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WSOP Day 1A news and notes

6 July 2010

LAS VEGAS -- The Day 1A field attracted 1,125 players, including plenty of former Main Event champions and multiple-bracelet winners. 2003 Main Event champ Chris Moneymaker survived a few all-ins and ended Day One with over 100,000 chips.

Greg "Fossilman" Raymer was knocked out of the tournament in the afternoon.

Mike Matusow and Erik Seidel each sat at two of the four featured tables. T.J. Cloutier, Barry Shulman, Dewey Tomko and David Sklansky were a few other multiple-bracelet winners who took part in Monday's action. Seidel, Shulman, Tomko and Sklansky all survived and will return on Friday.

Just because you're a former November Niner does not mean you're above getting the clock called on you. That's what happened to James Akenhead about midway through Day 1A.
He was heads-up and was facing a very healthy raise in front of him. Akenhead pondered his decision and stared daggers into his opponent. Then he pondered some. And then stared more daggers.

Finally, a man who could have been three times' Akenhead's age made the "time-out" gesture. A tournament official came over, and informed Akenhead he had one minute to make a decision, and then they would countdown from 10.

James Akenhead was a November Niner last year.

James Akenhead was a November Niner last year. (photo by Vin Narayanan)

Akenhead mucked his hand with about 30 seconds left on the clock.
Not surprisingly, there were a number of celebrities competing in Day 1A of the Main Event. Actor David Alan Grier sported a Full Tilt Poker patch as well as one from the Poker Players Alliance. He survived Day One with an extremely small stack of 6,000 chips.

Noted poker enthusiast Ray Romano also took part in the Main Event's first day, rocking a hat that promoted his show "Men of a Certain Age." This is the fourth-straight year the actor/comedian competed in the Main Event. He was alive at the dinner break. But he suffered a horrific beat near the end of the night when he was knocked out by a rivered straight flush.
Dallas Mavericks star Shawn Marion came agonizingly close to surviving Day 1A, but the Matrix ran out of luck with about 45 minutes left to play.

Sitting one table over from Grier, the towering NBA forward had played well throughout the day but was short stacked as the night progressed. He moved all in with Ah-Ks and the board reading As-Ks-7c-5s. Unfortunately for Marion, his opponent made the call and showed 7d-7h for three of a kind.

Marion still had a few outs, and he called out what he needed once he saw his opponent flopped a set.

"Come on, I need a spade," he said.

The river was 10d, and Marion's tournament run was over. The ESPN cameras, which had been at that table off and on throughout the day, captured Marion's final hand and left when he did.
"I guess that's the end of our TV time," quipped someone at the table.
T.J. may have earned his chops before online poker existed, but he

T.J. may have earned his chops before online poker existed, but he's still happy to talk shop with online grinders. (photo by Vin Narayanan)

This is truly an international event, with a possibility of hearing German, Spanish and English at the same table. You have a woman dressed up like she was about to attend the Kentucky Derby. You have a man who wore a black baseball cap with a giant marijuana leaf.

And the dynamics of each individual table can be striking. For example, the 70-year-old Cloutier talked shop with an online pro who looked like he just graduated from middle school. What other major event can level the playing field across ages and genders?
In a sign of how fast information travels these days, a table had some fun reading a PokerNews account of their own reactions after a major hand.

Kevin McGowan hit runner-runner cards against his opponent to win a major pot and push his chip count to over 100,000.

PokerNews said in its short report that "half the table leapt to their feet at the shock bad beat."

After reading the piece on a player's Blackberry, a few did a mock reenactment of what PokerNews reported.
WSOP Day 1A news and notes is republished from