WSOP TODAY: May 29; Selbst, Kelly eye first open title of 2012

Highlights from day 3 of the 2012 WSOP (May 29)

The first open event of the 2012 WSOP will be decided today when the 15 remaining players return to the felt at the Rio. Event #2, the $1500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament continued yesterday and played from 239 down to 15.

The day two chip leader was Jacob Bazeley from Ludlow, Kentucky. He held a slight advantage in chips over Ryan Schmidt, from Anchorage, Alaska. Two other serious threats include J.P. Kelly (two previous wins) and Vanessa Selbst (one previous win), lying fourth and fifth respectively in chips.

Event #3, the $3000 buy-in Heads-up No Limit Hold’em/Pot Limit Omaha Mix started yesterday and played from 317 down to 64. Those still in the hunt for the USD $207,708 first prize and a WSOP gold bracelet include Annette Obrestad, David Williams, David Benefield, John Racener, Jason Koon, Justin Bonomo, Yevgeniy Timoshenko and Mike Sexton.

Event #4, the $1500 buy-in Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split tournament also kicked-off yesterday and played from 622 down to 210 players. They’re chasing a slice of the USD $839,700 prizepool while the winner receives USD $201,559. Two-time gold bracelet winner Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi is in second place while Jeff Madsen is eighth in chips.

• A rarity on major tournament schedules around the world after once being one of the more popular offerings, Event #5 is a $1500 buy-in Pot Limit Hold’em tournament (kicking-off today).

The first Pot-Limit Hold’em tournament at the WSOP took place in 1992. The game has been a fixture on the WSOP schedule ever since. During most years, it was one of the first tournaments on the schedule.

No player has ever won more than one WSOP gold bracelet in Pot-Limit Hold’em.  There are 48 players who each hold a single gold bracelet in this form of poker. The player with the most career WSOP cashes in Pot-Limit Hold’em events at the WSOP is Jason Lester with nine. Chris Ferguson, T.J. Cloutier, and Ken Flaton each have eight.

• There have been a couple of surprise sightings in the halls of the Rio in the past couple of days. Carter Gill was escorted from the Rio last year after throwing his girlfriend’s clothes out the window of their room. He was barred from the Rio but all seems to have been forgiven as he took his seat in event #2.

And after skipping the entire schedule last year, Phil Ivey has been spotted in the hallways of the Rio and is expected to feature prominently this year.

• Additional reporting, Nolan Dalla,

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