2023 WSOP Day 1: Big Guns Turn Out in Force the $25K High Roller; Razaei Leads

Daniel Rezaei

The wait is finally over; the 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP) is underway at the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas! It feels like it has been forever since the PokerNews Live Reporting team was last on the ground, bringing you all of the action from the WSOP, but here we are again, ready for another summer of incredible poker action.

Day 1 of the 2023 WSOP saw two events shuffle up and deal: the $500 Casino Employees event and the eagerly anticipated $25,000 High Roller 6-Handed. The $500 Casino Employees saw its 1,015-strong field whittled to a more manageable 89 over the course of 17 levels, while the $25,000 High Roller 6-Handed ended with only 65 of the 187 entrants in contention for a WSOP bracelet.

Daniel Rezaei Gets Off to a Flying Start in the $25,000 High Roller 6-Handed

Event #2: $25,000 High Roller 6-Handed is a new addition to the WSOP schedule, with last year’s equivalent played as an 8-handed tournament. Day 1 sat 187 entriesincluding re-entries, enter the fray, although that number is set to increase because late registration remains open until the start of Day 2 on May 31.

As you would expect from such a prestigious tournament, dozens of elite-level players bought into the first big buy-in event of the summer. When the curtain came down on Day 1 proceedings, and the dust had settled, only 65 players had chips requiring bagging and tagging. Nobody crammed more betting tokens into the overnight bag than Austria’s Daniel Rezaei.

End of Day 1 Top 10 Chip Count

Place players Country crisps Big blinds
1 Daniel Rezaei Austria 1,368,000 137
2 Justin Liberto United States 1,147,000 115
3 Break Schutten United States 1,050,000 105
4 Sean Winters United States 1,047,000 105
5 Brock Wilson United States 1,009,000 101
6 Keith Lehr United States 997,000 100
7 am weng United States 975,000 98
8th Christopher Brewer United States 899,000 90
9 Bill Klein United States 888,000 89
10 Samuel Laskowitz United States 790,000 79

Rezaei finished Day 1 in the envious position of chip leader, having turned his 150,000 starting stack into a colossal pile worth 1,368,000, or 137 big blinds on Day 2 if you prefer. The Austrian built a substantial stack early into Day 1 and was propelled to the chip counts’ summit when he eliminated Shannon Shorer during the seventh level of the evening. Razaei turned a flush, which crushed Shorr’s middle pair. Shorr re-entered and finished with 304,000

Four other players return to their seats armed with seven-figure stacks. Justin Liberto (1,147,000), Break Schutten (1,050,000), Sean Winters (1,047,000), and Brock Wilson (1,009,000) is that big stacked quartet.

Keith Lehr (997,000), am weng (975,000), Christopher Brewer (899,000), Bill Klein (888,000), and Samuel Laskowitz (790,000) round out the current top ten.

Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu and Sean Winter
Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu and Sean Winter

Further down the chip counts, but still in with a shot of glory is a whole host of stellar names. Adrian Mateos (775,000) is lurking just outside the top ten, while Daniel Negreanu (610,000), on his second $25,000 bullet, is in the top 20.

Also still in the mix are such luminaries as reigning WSOP Main Event champion Espen Jorstad (563,000), Kristen Foxen (411,000), Isaac Haxton (355,000), the legendary Phil Hellmut (340,000), Brian Rast (230,000), and Justin Bonomo (228,000). Shaun Deeb (75,000) sits down on Day 2 with the shortest stack.

Play resumes at noon local time on May 31, and PokerNews will be on hand to bring you all of the action as it happens.

PokerNews’ Jesse Fullen Second in Chips Going Into Day 2

Jesse Fullen
Jesse Fullen

Event #1: $500 Casino Employees Day 1 is done and dusted. Some 1,015 players bought in, up from 832 last year, but only 89 will return for Day 2 on May 31. PokerNews‘ very own Jesse Fullen finds himself second in chips and with a realistic chance of having to work the rest of the series with a gold WSOP adorning his wrist.

You may recall that PokerNewsChad Holloway triumphed in this very event in 2013. Holloway is still in the mix in the 2023 edition, although his 211,000 stack places him 59th at the restart.

Chad Holloway
Chad Holloway

On the other hand, Fullen scooped a massive pot during the final level of the night, one that catapulted him toward the top of the chip counts. Fullen flopped a full house, eights full of threes, and eliminated Terra Dorval, who held a pair of tens on the hole. The turn and river did not help Dorvell, and Fillen flew up the leaderboard.

Only Benson Tam (889,000) has more chips than Fillen right now.

End of Day 1 Top 10 Chip Count

Place players Country crisps Big blinds
1 Benson Tam United States 889,000 89
2 Jesse Fullen United States 861,000 86
3 Lisa Eckstein United States 775,000 78
4 Zaen Qatan United States 773,000 77
5 James Urbanic United States 618,000 62
6 John Vournas United States 613,000 61
7 Burcu Dagli United States 583,000 58
8th Joshua Honegger United States 529,000 53
9 Joshua Brodsky United States 527,000 53
10 Sandra Faabeng United States 499,000 50

Others that bagged and tagged sizeable stacks include Lisa Eckstein (775,000), Zaen Qatan (773,000), and James Urbanic (618,000).

Reigning champion Katie Kopp went deep into the event but ultimately fell short of the money places, as did 2021 champion James Barnett.

Play resumes at 10:00 am and continues until only one player has all the chips in play. That player will become a WSOP champion and receive $75,535 in addition to the all-important WSOP bracelet.

What Events Are Running on Day 2 of the 2023 WSOP?

May 31 is Day 2 of the 2023, and it is packed with action. Event #1: $500 Casino Employees and Event #2: $25,000 High Roller 6-Handed play out their respective Day 2s, while Event #3: $1,000 Mystery Millions, Event #4: Tournament of Champions, and Event #5: $1,500 Dealer’s Choice 6-handed all kick off at the Horseshoe Paris Las Vegas.


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