WSOP Main Event: Norm MacDonald Eliminated; Bill Chen Out After Rollercoaster Ride

By Dr. Pauly

The insanity and circus-like atmosphere of the first day of the WSOP settled down after dinner break. Hours earlier it would take you several minutes to walk down the congested hallways. They finally emptied out with spectators and fans. For the first time all day you could actually feel the air-conditioning. Frenzied fans clogged the aisles snapping photos of their favorite pros as they soaked up the Championship event in the tournament area. With most of the crowd evaporated, the Amazon Room could be navigated with more ease.

The few people who remained after dinner break were poker enthusiasts and family members sweating their relatives and spouses from the rail. Even the scantily clad leggy models in the hallways pitching different poker paraphernalia went home for the day.

Official numbers were announced for Day 1A at the 2006 WSOP. 2,138 players including alternates bought in $10,000 for the first day of action at the main event championship. After dinner break, only 1,500 remained as 30% of the field were eliminated.

One of those casualties was Norm MacDonald. At one point around 4:30 in the afternoon, he emerged as the chipleader after he flopped trip aces. MacDonald had been running over his table, amassing almost 50K in chips. Unfortunately his table broke and he found himself in unfamiliar territory with was 2006 WSOP bracelet winner Mark Vos seated on his left. MacDonald lost a huge chunk of his stack when his pocket Aces were cracked by Vos' Q-Js. Vos flopped two pair and doubled through MacDonald, who was left with 15K in chips. A few hands later MacDonald busted out.

Bill Chen had an up and down day as his stack took a rollercoaster ride. His stack slipped to 7K early on, then he jumped up to 25K in chips when he tripled up. Chen moved all in on a flop with a nut flush draw against two flopped sets. He promptly caught his flush on the turn to triple up. Chen was down to about 7.5K after dinner and bottomed out at 3K at one point.

"The stack has been going up and down all day. I'm getting my chips in play when I can," he said.

Chen was eventually eliminated when he moved all in with a short-stack from the blinds. His A-4 lost to A-Q.

EPT creator John Duthie scooped a pot with quads earlier in the day. Duthie flopped a set with 5-5, then turned quads. He built up his stack to over 35K. Barry Greenstein hovered around 15K for most of the early evening and got as high as 19K.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker