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WSOP Days 1 and 2 Recaps

The 2006 World Series of Poker has kicked off and Event #2 saw a record 2,776 players. Of the thousands who joined, the number was cut to 122 on Tuesday night. The event, held at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas ended that day with Carlos Mortensen in the lead with $127,000.

The following day, Wednesday's play began 2 p.m. with every player still in the competition earning at least $4,500 for the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Tournament. First placer in the first public event of the 2006 WSOP bags $757,839. The tournament witnessed 2,288 participants beginning their play shortly after noon. On the first two rounds, WSOP officials called in another 488 alternate players as other participants got eliminated. The Amazon room gaming area was packed with audience hoping to be called as alternate, that is how in-demand the slots are.

The first event in the WSOP is reserved for casino employees. The top spot was grabbed by Chris Gros from Henderson, Nevada, making him the first Gold Bracelet winner of the 2006 WSOP. He joined the other victor Mike Sexton as the first two winners of the series. The employee bagged the $127,516 prize, from the record 1,232 crowd. Gros could hardly believe his luck. "Oh my God," he gushed. "I don't know what's more exciting, not having to make another mortgage payment or winning the bracelet. This is something I will always have."

1989 Main Event Champion and nine-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth Jr. was honored late Tuesday night when he won his 50th WSOP event. He was greeted with hearty cheers which he acknowledged with a brief wave. Hellmuth still has a long way to go at 67th place with $25,000 at the end of day 1.

2004 WSOP Main Event Champion Greg "Fossilman" Raymer drew in the biggest crowd Wednesday. Raymer is known to be openly friendly, and was situated close to the rail separating the spectators from the gaming area. His willingness to chat with the audience is very likely the cause of the huge audience attraction. He is currently in 36th place with $40,000 in chips.

According to World Series of Poker officials, play will be continuing on Day 2 until only Final Table players remain. The Final Table is set to be played Thursday afternoon.

More honorable mentions from day 1: 5th Place - David "Devilfish" Ulliot $88k 9th Place - Young Phan $71k 10th Place - Erik Seidel $70k 46th Place - Jennifer Harman $32k 50th Place - Phil Gordon $31k 62nd Place - Paul Darden Jr. $26k 80th Place - Tuan Le $21k


09/12/2006, Tuesday
Matthew Dorst

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