2012 World Poker Tour World Championship Day 1: Steve O’Dwyer Leading the Way



Every year, the $25,000 World Poker Tour World Championship attracts the most notable players in poker. This year was no disappointment as 103 of them showed up for Day 1 action. Last year, Scott Seiver bested the stout 220-player field to win $1,618,344.

At the end of the short day, Steve O’Dwyer was on top with 231,750 in chips, but he wasn’t too far ahead of Masa Kagawa in second place with 228,675. Just a handful of players hit the rail on Saturday thanks large in part to the extremely deep structure that the WPT World Championship has come to be known for.

O’Dwyer did some stack building during the third level of the day with the blinds at 150/300/25. According to the WPT Live Updates Team, a pot of over 10,000 in chips had brewed between O’Dwyer, Lee Markholt and another player on the {J-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}{5-Clubs} flop. The unknown player and Markholt both checked to O’Dwyer, who bet 5,400. The first player called and then Markholt got out of the way.

The turn was the {2-Clubs} and completed a possible flush draw. The first player led into O’Dwyer for 12,400 and O’Dwyer called to see the {K-Clubs} place a fourth club out on the river. With the board now completed, O’Dwyer’s opponent checked. O’Dwyer wasn’t about to make things chip and set his opponent all-in for his last 40,000 or so. The player quickly folded his hand and O’Dwyer raked in the pot to put him around 140,000 in chips at that point.

Of those in attendance were former WPT champions Guillaume Darcourt, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, Jonathan Little, John Hennigan, Nick Schulman, David Chiu and Daniel Negreanu. They were joined on the felt by Isaac Haxton, Hafiz Khan, Allen Kessler, Vanessa Rousso, John Juanda and Isaac Baron, just to name a few.

Negreanu went on to finish the day with 127,175 in chips. That’s more than the 100,000 he started with, but the road on Day 1 started out with a pretty big speed bump that resulted in Negreanu making an impressive fold to Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy.

In the first level of the day with the blinds at 100/200, the WPT Live Updates Team reported that Josephy raised to 500 and Daniel Santoro called on the button. Negreanu made the call from the small blind and the big blind called as well. All four players saw the flop come down {A-Hearts}{J-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds} and Negreanu checked. The big blind fired 1,300 and Josephy made the call. Santoro then raised to 5,500 and Negreanu made the powerful check-reraise to 14,000. The big blind folded, but Josephy had other intentions.

After first flatting the original bet, Josephy now pumped things up to 40,000 with a reraise. Santoro folded and Negreanu went into the tank. After taking his time and even apologizing to the table for taking so long, Negreanu eventually folded middle set with the {J-Spades}{J-Hearts} face up for all to see. Josephy elected to show Negreanu just the {A-Diamonds}, but Negreanu was certain he was beat. Later on Twitter, Josephy stated that he did indeed have pocket aces.

Of the few players that were eliminated on Day 1, you have Erik Seidel, Darren Elias, Heather Sue Mercer, Sean Jazayeri and Phil Laak. Unfortunately for them, this event is not a re-entry and they’ll be forced to have to wait until next season on the WPT.

WPT World Championship Day 1 Top 10 Chip Counts

Place Player Chips
1 Steve O’Dwyer 231,750
2 Masa Kagawa 228,675
3 Tyler Smith 221,600
4 Guillaume Darcourt 215,250
5 Vanessa Selbst 207,425
6 Joe Serock 197,000
7 Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi 194,875
8 Justin Young 190,000
9 Isaac Haxton 189,500
10 Farzad Bonyadi 185,000

With registration open until Level 12 of the event, players will still be able to buy-in up until approximately 1700 PDT (0100 BST) on Day 3. That gives plenty of time for this field to grow and it surely will. Some of the players you can expect to be entering late are Jason Mercier, Matt Waxman and Sam Trickett.

Day 1 only lasted four levels and action will resume for Day 2 on Sunday at 1200 PDT (2000 BST). Be sure to stay tuned for the daily recap right here on PokerNews.

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