2008 World Series: HORSE finishes first lap

With only one notable exception, today was not one in which we expected any major celebrations or bracelet anticipation. Today was a day of beginnings.

For the first day of the $50,000 HORSE event, we convened for the first time this year in the Amazon room's press box and settled in for what is sure to be a very long five days of poker. The only sniff of a final table we had came from the nose of 2005 World Series champ Joe Hachem.

Hachem began the day in fine fashion with a sizable stack going into Day 2 of the $1,500 PLO8 event. He made a run for the final table, but came up short. He finished in 35th place for a $4,600 payday.

Today also marked the beginning of a rockem-sockem rebuy event. Several members of Team PokerStars Pro began the day, but only one is going to bed with chips tonight.

Humberto Brenes is looking to lock up his 52nd cash of his World Series career. He's already had three this year. As Day 1 of the $1,000 no-limit hold'em rebuy event closes, he has a near-average chip stack and an eye on his first final table of the year.

The story of the day, however, is the $50,000 HORSE event. One hundred forty-eight players signed up this year for the five-day event. Only sixteen will get paid. The winner stands to walk away with nearly $2 million. Team PokerStars Pro is well-represented in the field. Barry Greenstein, Greg Raymer, Daniel Negreanu, Katja Thater, Chad Brown, Bill Chen, Dario Minieri, and Isabelle Mercier all sat down for the big event. Other notables include PokerStars-sponsored players Kirill Gerasimov and Alex Kravchenko. Well-known PokerStars Supernova Elites George Lind and Joseph "bigjoe2003" Michael round out the PokerStars family in the big event.

What does Team PokerStars Pro think of the big one?

Watch WSOP 08: Team PokerStars on H.O.R.S.E on PokerStars.tv

The concept of chip counts in this event is largely academic at this point (except for the eight players who no longer have chips to count). In a deep-stacked five-day tournament, the movers and shakers of the day can't feel necessarily good or bad about where they ended up. Bill Chen and Barry Greenstein made some moves today and finished among the leaders headed into Day 2. Daniel Negreanu had a rough first day and going into the final level sat with around 26,000. After a massage, he managed to rebound and put himself back into a respectable position. Everyone else sits near where they started in large part. No big surprise there, as there is still a long way to go before the size of the stacks will make much difference. We'll have official chip counts later when they are released by tournament staff.

Play resumes at 3pm PST in both the $1,000 Rebuy and $50,000 HORSE events. Tomorrow begins the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Short-Handed event at $1,500 Stud Hi-Lo tournament. We'll be here for it all.

For a wrap-up of Day 1 of the $50,000 HORSE event, check out this video blog.

Watch WSOP 08: HORSE Day 1 Draws To An End on PokerStars.tv

You can see any of the video blogs we've posed today by clicking HERE or visiting PokerStars.tv.

For a complete look back at all the day's coverage, see any of the links below.

Thorson, Horecki join Team PokerStars Pro
Hachem going deep, HORSE saddling up
Seoul-searching with Hevad Khan
Tales from the tape
$50,000 HORSE begins
Snap! Hachem takes his leave
Humberto answers the 'what ifs'
Don't Make Raymer Angry
Muscle from Moscow
Sport of Kings
Filling in Time
To Rio, Via Rio and San Jose

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker