Local poker stars staying alive in WSOP Main Event

Most everybody’s goal upon entering the grandest poker tournament in the world, the World Series of Poker’s Main Event, is pretty modest.

Just survive Day 1, and go from there.

Several Michigan players have accomplished that, including Grand Rapids’ Casey Carroll, who quipped to The News recently that in his first Main Event, in 2016, “I didn’t even survive the dinner break.”

Carroll bagged 42,900 in chips after his Day 1, which is slightly under the starting stack of 50,000 and well below the field average, but still. Survival!

“Progress,” Carroll said Tuesday. “First step complete.”

Of the 7,221 poker players who plunked down $10,000 for the Main Event — which started with three consecutive “Day 1s” on Saturday, Sunday and Monday — only 2,200 were left Tuesday afternoon, as Day 2 got under way.

A whopping 1,084 places will be paid, with the champion to receive $8.15 million when the finals commence later this month at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Among the strong Michigan contingent, West Bloomfield’s Tahsyn Mekani was off to the best start, in 48th place with 168,300 in chips Tuesday afternoon.


Following were: Canton’s Robert Russ (114th; 146,100); Milford’s Steven Stout (115th; 146,000); Traverse City’s Royce Matheson (127th; 142,100) and Fenton’s Pat Cunningham (217th; 121,500). Those were the lone Michigan players at more than double their starting stack in the No-Limit Texas Hold’em tournament.

The average stack starting play Tuesday was in the mid-60,000s.

Michigan’s two most recent Main Event champions remained alive after Day 1, including Shelby Tonwship’s Joe Cada, trying to cash for the first time since winning it all in 2009. He’s about average, with 63,000. Clarkston’s Ryan Riess, who won in 2013 and cashed in three of his four appearances, was at 26,400.

“Rough Day 1,” Riess said. “But we’re still in.”

Muskegon’s Jordan Young, who had a six-figure payday earlier this summer for a runner-up finish in a WSOP tournament, is really short-stacked at 9,200 chips.

But, hey, he got past Day 1.

Anything is possible from here.

“Long tournament,” Young said. “It’s all about surviving.”

The biggest highlight of Day 1 of the Main Event came at the feature table, where one of the world’s best players, Vanessa Selbst, was stunningly eliminated when here full house of aces over sevens ran into her opponent’s quad sevens.

ESPN and ESPN2 are airing several days of live coverage, through the final table.

Source : http://www.detroitnews.com/

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