WSOP Main Event Day 1C: Williams, Veldhuis, WSOP go big

wsop2010_thn.jpgDavid Williams is no dummy. He knows that when you get a job, it's best to make a good impression on your very first day.

Last night, Williams joined Vanessa Selbst as they were both announced as PokerStars newest Team Pros. Today, Williams walked into the Rio and pretty much went wire to wire as chip leader or close to it. Before the dealers had even broken a sweat, Williams had nearly tripled up. By the dinner break he had nearly five times his starting stack. At day's end he was sitting with around 112,225 chips.

Williams, as most folks know, came runner up in the 2004 World Series of Poker to Greg Raymer. It might have been a path toward obscurity and also-ran status. Instead, in the six years since, Williams has become a player among players and a perfect fit for the elite stable of Team Pros.

Now Williams is among the chip leaders and hoping to continue proving his worth on Day 2.


This is, of course, the time to shine. The Main Event is the biggest poker event in the world, and this year is officially going to be bigger than last. Even before Day 1C registration had closed, the WSOP announced that the 2010 World Series would have more players than the 6,494 that played in 2009. Here's how the numbers have broken down thus far.

Day 1A: 1,125
Day 1B: 1,489
Day 1C: 2,314

That's 4,928 people at $10,000 a pop. So, more than 1,566 have already signed up for tomorrow, with room for approximately 3,800. That is to say, this could eerily be the second-biggest WSOP of all time (2006--8,773 players).

Day 1C began with 2009 WSOP champ and Team PokerStars Pro Joe Cada calling out the "shuffle up and deal" before spending his entire day at the featured table and in front of WSOP cameras. Cada is among a battalion of Team PokerStars Pros, qualifiers, and sponsored players who have finished today with chips in their bags. We're happy to give Day 2 congratulations to the likes of the following folks:

Lex Veldhuis 100,000
Pierpaolo Fabretti 85,000
Pat Pezzin 65,000
Marcin Horecki 49,000
Joe Cada 49,000
Gualter Salles 42,000
Salvatore Bonavena 37,500
Veronica Dabul 36,000
Pieter De Korver 35,500
Greg Debora 33,000
Marcel Luske 31,000
Angel Guillen 31,600
Alex Gomes 27,200
Daniel Negreanu 24,475
Tom McEvoy 22,000
Dennis Phillips 20,000
Luca Pagano 19,500
Christophe De Meulder 17,050

(All chip counts are approximate and were taken with some minutes left on the clock which means, due to the vagaries of tournament poker vis a vis the fluctuation of chips stacks and donkey-moves, the overnight counts will almost certainly be--by a small measure--somewhat different).


We also can't let the end of this beautiful day end without mentioning a couple of big-stacked qualifiers. Geoff Ulrich, a qualifier from Canada, is bagging up around 120,000, while Dutch qualifier Fokke Beukers is close behind on 116,000.


Geoff Ulrich


Fokke Beukers

It's not all sunbeams, cold beers, and hot oil back rubs, though. For some of the Team PokerStars Pros, the 2010 World Series of Poker ended today. It happened, as always, in a variety of ways. Among the KIA's: Vicky Coren (never got anything going), Chad Brown (kings into aces), Joao Nunes (lost a race), and Dario Minieri (went bust before his lunch settled), Ville Wahlbeck (unknown circumstances).

Dario, we'll miss you

With all of that now behind us, it's time to see how big this can really get, how big the PokerStars folks can really go, and how many licks it really does take to get to the middle of a Tootsie Roll Pop. We've got one more day of Day 1, and then it gets down to the nittiest of the gritty.

If you're just now catching up with the action from today, feel free to look back at any of the stories below:

Same again?
How a champion starts his day
Mr. Ambassador
"Caio" for hello, "Caio" for goodbye
All the way from the Vic
Hall of Famer?
Drama with 30,000 chips
Pavilion to pasta
The Lex Veldhuis post

We like to think we're writing in the universal language of love, but if you like your coffee another way, check out all our coverage in Swedish, German, Dutch or Spanish.

Also, we want to hear your stories, so shoot us an e-mail to about yourself and your journey here. We'll do our best to tell the world about it.

That's it for tonight. We'll return at noon PST Thursday for the last flight of Day 1. Join us then. If you'd like more fun in the meantime, check out the videos on

Good night from Las Vegas.

All photography from Las Vegas on PokerStars Blog is (c) Joe Giron/Joe Giron Photography.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker