Selbst Dominates Day 1 of WSOP Eastern Regionals

This morning marked the first action in the WSOP’s last major tournament of the year. The WSOP Circuit’s Eastern Regional Championship began at 11am at Harrah’s in Atlantic City. This event is one of the first four regional championships being sponsored by the WSOP this season. Each of these events carries a $10,000 buy-in. In addition to the title of “Regional Champion,” winners will receive a sizable payout, a championship ring and a seat at the $1 million WSOP Circuit National Championship next year.

The first WSOP-C Regional Championship went down at the Horseshoe Hammond in October. Despite a pro-heavy turnout, it was amateur Jim Anderson that took home top honors, more than half a million dollars, and the first Regional Champion title. Also at that first Regional Championship was Vanessa Selbst, who gave the title a considerably more successful go today when she sat down for the Day 1 action of the Eastern Regionals in Atlantic City. By the time Selbst stood up, she was not only qualified to return for Day 2, but she was leading the pack by almost 40,000 chips.

It’s already been an exceptional year for Selbst whose 2010 live tournament earnings have fattened up her career earnings enough to make her one of the most successful female pros to date. Already in 2010 Selbst has finished first in two Main Events – one on the NAPT series and one on the PPT series. Selbst is also already a WSOP bracelet holder for her Pot Limit Omaha event win at the 2008 WSOP, but there’s no denying that being one of the first WSOPC Regional Champions in history would be a jewel in any pro’s crown.

The WSOP’s Eastern Regionals drew 136 entries today, making for a first place prize of $358,295. That would be more than enough to push Selbst over the $4 million career earnings mark. Only 93 players remained at the end of the day. Here’s the top ten stacks going into Day 2: 

  1. Vanessa Selbst – 126,375
  2. Isaac Baron – 89,250
  3. Andrew Frankenberger – 84,850
  4. Kenny Hicks – 80,400
  5. Nick Mitchell – 79,675
  6. Chris Klodnicki – 79,250
  7. James Collopy – 79,100
  8. Jason Burt – 73,050
  9. Dan Kelly – 72,275
  10. Frank Vizza – 72,000

While Selbst herself holds a formidable lead, the competition between the rest of the big stacks is pretty tight. Some other notable pros still in the running include Bryn Kenney, Matt Affleck, T.J. Cloutier and John Racener, the latter of which coincidentally is seated at the same table as forerunner Selbst. While the turnout was smaller than expected, there’s no shortage of talent, so Day 2 promises to be equally newsworthy.

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