LAS VEGAS -- There was no post-dinner-break lull on Day 1C. We often see lackluster play for the first few hours after dinner, but Monday night offered a plethora of big pots and eliminations. Jonathan Duhamel, Chris Moneymaker, Matt Waxman and Andrew Badecker all hit the rail during Level 4 and will have to wait until next year for their next shot at main event glory.
Phil Ivey may have the Humphries by his side, but he wasn't been able to keep the chips in front of him during the last level. Ivey enters the last level of the night with 17,000 in chips. Jason Mercier, Harrison Gimbel, Kirk Morrison and Jeff Madsen understand Ivey's situation all too well and equally hope to turn their nights around during the last two hours.
Michael Mizrachi had an awful level but still is well above average. Grinder left for the dinner break with 150,000 in chips and lost half his stack during the first hour of Level 4 before leveling off at 81,000. Joseph Cheong, now seated next to his November Nine tablemate Matthew Jarvis, was down to just a couple thousand at the dinner break and is now sitting above average. Matt Affleck, Farzad Bonyadi, Viktor Blom and Brett Richey are among the notables at the top of the chip counts.
The way Blom got to that point was perhaps the most entertaining moment of the day. According to PokerNews, Viktor Blom doubled up shortly before the end of Level 4. The real story behind the hand is how the dealer told Blom that he couldn't five bet and that the action was capped. Clearly the rest of the table questioned the dealer and the action was able to progress, but the mere thought that the deal believed for a moment that this was a limit game was rather surprising. In that hand, Blom held A-K to his opponent's K-K and hit an ace on the flop. The 21-year-old has cashed twice this Series, including a 14th-place finish in the $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship.
Players have two more hours of play and then return on Wednesday for their Day 2.
Small blinds: David Sands, Johnny Chan, Humberto Brenes and Dan Kelly aren't too happy with their Day 1 draw. Eight of the nine players at their table currently play poker for a living, which means there's incredibly little dead money available on a day when they should be able to build their stacks. ... Antonio Esfandiari and his table are playing "Lodden Thinks" to keep the day interesting. A number of players have $100 bills in front of them. ... Joe Cada says his charity poker room in Michigan is doing just fine. He says the summer is a little slow, but it should pick up after people no longer want to go to the lakes or go outside. ... Jason Alexander's moustache is tremendous. ... Some guy in the purple section just tried to order a bottle of champagne from the table. ... Andy Frankenberger is sporting his WSOP bracelets today with one on each wrist. ...