World Series of Poker 2006


The 2006 World Series of Poker No Limit Texas Hold’em Main Event is underway at the Harrah’s Rio All-Suite Casino in, where else, Las Vegas. Each year, it seems, the field grows, as does the pot to be won. A scan through the room of players reveals average guys, average gals, professional poker players, celebrities, athletes, and even a chimp (no rule states that the player must be human, so there he was).


The tournament started on July 28th, with somewhere around 8,580 registered players. This put the grand prize at $11.7 million. The final 12 players, in fact, will each win more than a million dollars. The final table will begin play on August 10th and will continue until a winner is crowned.


The idea, of course, in the first few days of the WSOP, is to just survive. Advancing to the next day, advancing to the next round, and approaching the final day and final table is all you want early on. Nobody wins the WSOP on the first couple of days. On the other hand, you can certainly lose it this early.


As the field gets whittled down quickly over the first few days of the no limit Texas holdem event, leaders begin to emerge. Since the idea is just to advance to the next day at this point, the field is difficult to handicap. What can be done, though, is an analysis of the chip counts for those still in it. A high chip count can be a big advantage as the days wear on. That means that players, especially those in the running for the big money, are usually conservative early on. The chip counts from the first few days are not a true indication as to who will win. Several former winners are in the field but not in the top chip counts as of Sunday night.


Some of the early chip leaders as of Sunday the 30th of July are Jon Carlson, Branden Lewis, Daniel Negreanu, Jan Sorensen, and Justin Gaines. They are all over the 40,000 chip mark and are making noise. It is important to note, though, that there are a number of big names still out there surviving their tables and days. Many of the favorites are nowhere to be found, but with several rounds left there is a lot that can happen.


As for the players left who were favored going into the tournament, there are a few who were expected to make a little noise. From the start, Phil Ivey has been a big favorite. Coming in at most sportsbooks as a 150 to 1 favorite, the oddsmakers say his main competition will be Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuch, and “The Professor” Howard Lederer who are all 250 to 1 or better. It would, though, be overstating things to say that in a sport like poker, anything can happen, making these odds difficult to swallow. Nonetheless, the seasoned veterans of the event know that the idea at this point is just to make it to the next day and the next table.


As you can see, there is a lot going on at the 2006 World Series of Poker No Limit Texas Hold’em Main Event. Chips are moving, celebrities are playing, and former champions are biding their time and waiting for that perfect moment to strike.


Final places were as follows:


1st  Jamie Gold:  $12,000,000

2nd David Reese: $1,784,640

3rd Justin Scott:  $842,262

4th Jeff Cabanillas  $818,546


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