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WSOP 2021: Leo Abbe, Chad Eveslage & Jesse Lonis Headline Day 1 Events

WSOP 2021
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  • Namita Ghosh October 1, 2021
  • 4 Minutes Read

It`s back! The much-awaited 52nd Annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) is up and running at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, after a prolonged 26-month hiatus. The world’s grandest poker series traditionally draws massive numbers from across the globe. However, owing to COVID-related travel and safety restrictions, the turnouts may not touch the all-time high. Still, if the opening day turnouts are anything to go by, we can buckle up for a blockbuster comeback series.

As far as tournament action is concerned, the first three events made their opening run on Thursday. The series-opener, Event #1: $500 Casino Employees Event, was choc-a-block with 419 players. Day 1 concluded with 50 players bagging up for the final day. A DraftKings’ sportsbook promotions associate Leo Abbe (537,000), leads the survivors, with Shawn Weintraub (474,000) and Roberto Reyna (461,000) in pursuit.

Event #2: $25,000 H.O.R.S.E is a new addition to the schedule, and the first time a H.O.R.S.E event with a $25,000 buy-in is part of the annual series. WSOP has run $50,000 and $100,000 high roller versions in the past. The event clocked in 73 entries, and only 47 bagged up for Day 2. The field was predictably star-studded, and several prominent poker players advanced further. Florida-based poker pro Chad Eveslage (860,000), John Monnette (589,500), and Jean Gaspard (569,000) round out the top three stacks for Day 2.

Some of the world’s best players, including the likes of GGPoker Ambassador Daniel Negreanu (272,000), Sean Perry (252,500), Benny Glaser (231,000), and Phil Hellmuth (206,000), have also qualified for Day 2 of Event #2.

Event #3: $1,000 COVID-19 Relief NLHE also wrapped up Day 1 proceedings a few hours ago. The event allowed unlimited re-entries and drew 266 players, creating a $205,400 prize pool, of which $25,000 was raised for charity. It took just over nine hours of action before the bags were brought out with the formation of the five-handed final table. Jesse Lonis (2,285,000) leads the finalists, while Jeremy Ausmus (1,345,000) and Asher Conniff (7,55,000) hold the subsequent big stacks.


Event #1: $500 Casino Employees Event

Sticking to tradition, the series flagged off with the customary Casino Employees Event. A total of 419 players signed up to play Event #1: $500 Casino Employees Event, generating a $175,980 prize pool.

Following seventeen 40-minute levels of play, 50 runners kept their bracelet hopes alive. At the forefront of this group is Leo Abbe (537,000). Abbe, a sportsbook promotions associate with DraftKings, won two crucial hands towards the end of the play to land himself the Day 2 chip lead.

Shawn Weintraub (474,000) and Roberto Reyna (461,000) round out the top three stacks of the day. Roberto Reyna (461,000), Andrew Bart (422,000), and Akash Desai (415,000), and Jesse Fullen (223,000) were others who made the cut.

The WSOP 2019 Main Event fourth-place finisher Connor Richards and WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart were not so lucky.

These fifty Day 2 qualifiers will convene at 12 PM (PST) in the Amazon Room to play down to a winner. In addition to the bracelet, the eventual champion is assured of winning $39,013.

Leo Abbe
Leo Abbe


Top 10 Chip Counts at the End of Day 1

  1. Leo Abbe – 537,000
  2. Shawn Weintraub – 474,000
  3. Roberto Reyna – 461,000
  4. Andrew Bart – 422,000
  5. Akash Desai – 415,000
  6. Marco Starnoni – 363,000
  7. Jack Behrens – 363,000
  8. Jason Smith – 351,000
  9. James Barnett – 343,000
  10. Daniel Kim – 337,000


Event #2: $25,000 H.O.R.S.E

Making its debut run at the WSOP, Event #2: $25,000 H.O.R.S.E took off at 3 PM (local time) on September 30. The event featured a mixed-format where play cruised through a rotation of five games; namely, Limit Hold ‘em, Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better.

By the time registrations close, 73 players had signed up. The field was replete with poker celebrities, and action took the course over ten intense 60-minute levels of play.

Only 47 survived through to Day 2, and topping the advancing field was Chad Eveslage, who bagged 860,000. John Monnette (589,500) and Jean Gaspard (569,000) round out the top three stacks for Day 2.

Also carrying big stacks are Mike Matusow (420,500), Adam Friedman (420,500), Shaun Deeb (321,000), and Randy Ohel (295,000).

Some other notables still in the field include Daniel Negreanu (272,000), Sean Perry (252,500), Benny Glaser (231,000), Phil Hellmuth (206,000), Dan Shak (202,000), David ‘ODB’ Baker (170,500), Robert Mizrachi (167,000) and Anthony Zinno (31,000).

WSOP commentator Norman Chad had also entered the event. Chad sold part of his action on StakeKings, with the entire markup to be donated to “Hope for Depression Research Foundation.” He made Day 2 with a stack of 150,500.

Chad Eveslage
Chad Eveslage


Top 10 Chip Counts at the End of Day 1

  1. Chad Eveslage – 860,000
  2. John Monnette – 589,500
  3. Jean Gaspard – 569,000
  4. Jesse Klein – 490,500
  5. Mike Matusow – 420,500
  6. Adam Friedman – 420,500
  7. Chris Vitch – 371,500
  8. Shaun Deeb – 321,000
  9. Hal Rotholz – 314,000
  10. Randy Ohel – 295,000


Event #3: $1,000 COVID-19 Relief NLHE

Event #3: $1,000 COVID-19 Relief NLHE registered 266 entries, generating a prize pool worth $205,400. WSOP will be donating 10% of the buy-in, i.e., $100, to charitable organizations working to benefit frontline health workers.

Day 1 of the turbo-paced tournament was scheduled to play down to the five-handed final table, and it got in a little over nine hours of action. Jesse Lonis (2,285,000), Jeremy Ausmus (1,345,000), Asher Conniff (7,55,000), Steve Gross (485,000), and Mitchel Halverson (385,000) are the players in contention for the bracelet and the $48,681 kept aside for the winner.

The top 38 places got paid at least $1,454. The notable ITM finishes included Craig Mason (7th for $6,148), Eugene Tourevski (8th for $4,792), Kevin Wang (10th for $3,120), and Pete Chen (17th for $2,000). Liran Betito bubbled the FT in sixth place for $8,076.

Jesse Lonis
Jesse Lonis


Final Table Chip Counts

  1. Jesse Lonis – 2,285,000
  2. Jeremy Ausmus – 1,345,000
  3. Asher Conniff – 755,000
  4. Steve Gross – 485,000
  5. Mitchell Halverson – 385,000


Content & Images Courtesy: WSOP & PokerNews

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