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WSOP Tournament Updates: Cassidy Conquering H.O.R.S.E., Almost Phamous + Kesselman Captures Bracelet

:: Big Names High on H.O.R.S.E. - The $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event got underway yesterday, and the field is a whose-who of big name players and experienced vets with wicked-multi-gaming-chops and horse-member sized resumes. However it's a young-gunner, Joe Cassidy, best known for his second place finish in the 2004 USPC, who leads them all after Day 1. Cassidy has been running hot at the 2006 WSOP, with two cashes to his credit. Of the 143 entered in the event, only 15 were eliminated by the end of Day 1, and first place will bank $1,716,000. The top five on the leader board are: [the aforementioned] Joe Cassidy (168,700), Patrik Antonius (136,200), Captain Tom Franklin (125,000), Allen Cunningham (122,400), Matthew Glantz (119,300).

Friedman:: John Phan phails to phetch phirst bracelet. Not to get all Card Player on you...but...While a "John" did win Event #17 ($1,000 NLH), it wasn't the "John" everyone expected. That just hurts to write. Anyway, Jon Friedberg of Las Vegas entered the table as one of the short-stacks, with only 189,000 in chips. This was far less than chips leaders Mike Pomeroy ($1,325,000) and John Phan (747,000). However, when play ended, it was Friedman who had all of the chips. Crap. Still writing in Card Player mode. Must end this now: Friedman (at left, blurry image from Poker Pages) bested Phan heads-up for the title, banking $526,185 and earning his first bracelet.

:: Jim McManus doesn't win his first bracelet. Wicked Chops Poker is known for throwing our non-existent journalistic integrity out the window and pull for favorites. So we were hoping to see Jim McManus, author of Positively Fifth Street, claim his first WSOP title. Alas, the Positively Fifth Street author finished sixth, and Event #18 ($2,000 PLH) was taken down by Eric Kesselman. For the win, Kesselman banks $311,403 and takes his first bracelet.

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