WSOP Main Event Day 1B recap: Danzer thrives, Rio floods

Paul Oresteen/BLUFF

The 2015 World Series of Poker main event kicked of the second of three Day 1 flights at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino on Monday and welcomed 1,761 players – an 18 percent drop from 2014’s Day 1B flight.

The event felt bigger as players were spread across the Amazon, Brasilia, Miranda and Pavilion rooms, instead of isolated in one room like Day 1A, but with only one more starting flight available, the WSOP needs 4,181 players to match 2014’s mark of 6,683 total entrants.

Basically, they need to hit a one-outer to draw that many for the final flight, considering 2014’s Day 1C flight had 3,768 players – the record for the largest single-day field in main event history.

Attendance may have been altered due to the dramatic weather in the area on Monday. Rain storms in Las Vegas are rare, but can be intense when they strike. Player's phones went off throughout the Rio as play continued with from flash flood warnings. Then the Rio had flooding issues of its own. Several leaks in the ceiling led to an early dinner break as dozens of tables and players were soaked in the Brasilia and Pavilion rooms

Around 20 cash game tables in the Pavilion were affected and 23 tournament tables in the Brasilia room were closed and players were re-routed to the Amazon room. Barring another downpour, the tables should be ready for Day 1C’s crowd.

Several former main event champions played on Monday, including Johnny Chan, Dan Harrington, Greg Raymer, Chris Moneymaker and Carlos Mortensen. Hollywood sent Jennifer Tilly, James Woods and Nick Cassavetes. World famous Cricketer Shane Warne took a seat as well.

Prior to the start of play, George Danzer had his 2014 WSOP Player of the Year banner unveiled.

”It’s nice, now when I have downswing or not feeling well at the table and getting beat every hand, I can just look up and remember how lucky I ran for a year and make things good again,” he said to the field before kicking off play on Day 1B. Danzer thrived on Monday, bagging up near a near six-figure stack.

“The main is so long it doesn’t matter how you do on Day 1 or 2," he said. "For me, the tournament for starts on Day 4. It’s nice to have a stack and have something to work with it, but I don’t put too much value on that this early in the tournament.”

Danzer has never cashed in the main event.

Brian Rast also ended near the top of the leaderboard with 88,825 in chips. Over the weekend, Rast earned $7.5 million from his victory at the Super High Roller Bowl.,

“It’s not that important to be honest," said Rast of his current stack. "This is a really long tournament and the antes just kicked in. It’s not that crucial if you don’t have a lot of chips right now.

"People like to talk about streaks, but they also like to find patterns in chaos," he continued. "I’m feeling good – I’ve been playing well this summer. Is it going to help me in this tournament? Sure, I think so.”

The surviving field of 1,154 advances to Day 2 on Wednesday and all are chasing Hamid Feiz's stack of 182,675 in chips. Combined with the 470 from Day 1A, 1,624 players combine to a single Day 2A field. Among the survivors are Dominik Nitsche, Matt Salsberg, Matthew Ashton, Daniel Colman and Jason Mercier, all whom ended the day with above average stacks. All five former main event winners survived as well.

Ben Lamb, Robert Mizrachi, Bernard Lee, Dan Smith, Shaun Deeb, Scott Seiver, Eugene Katchalov and Jean-Robert Bellande were a few notables that did not survive the day.

Top Five Chip Counts

1.Hamid Feiz (182,675 in chips)

2.Adil Khan (156,800)

3.Srikanth Koneru (154,725)

4.Edward Grau (148,825)

5.Marko Neumann (146,675)

Small blinds: Defending champ Martin Jacobson is scheduled to give the “Shuffle Up & Deal” for Day 1C as he had to reschedule due to illness. If Jacobson doesn’t feel well enough, BLUFF’s own Kevin Mathers was tapped to substitute. … Connor Berkowitz won his first bracelet in the final preliminary event of the summer – the $777 Lucky Sevens event. He earned $487,784 and defeated a final table that featured Faraz Jaka and Matt Matros.