Some big names already joining the early WSOP events. Francois Billard wins big in Canada. Find these stories and more in the Wednesday Hit and Run.

WSOP Day 1 Underway

The cards have officially been dealt for the 50th annual World Series of Poker as both the $500 Casino Employees Event and the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Super Turbo Bounty event have begun. While the Casino Employees event is a relatively low-profile event there are some notables participating including Kevin Mathers, Jonathan Aguiar, Dutch Boyd and Chad Holloway. Kyle Chismar holds the chip lead at the time of this writing.

Being the first open event with a large prize pool, some big names have bought into the $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty. Dan Shak holds the chip lead while Kenny Hallaert, Erik Seidel, Kristen Bicknell, Joe Cada, Ryan Riess, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth are among the notables who have joined.

The poker world reacts to the start of poker’s biggest festival with hype from Daniel Negreanu, Dan Smith, David Baker and Norman Chad. Meanwile, Online Poker Report takes a look at how big the prize pools are likely to get during the 2019 WSOP. The staff at Pocket Fives share their thoughts on the most likely winners of the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year.

Watch the WSOP

Throughout the 2019 WSOP, poker fans can check out live coverage of dozens of events over the next month and half. There are no events broadcast for today; however, on Thursday, poker fans can tune in to Poker Go and CBS All Access to view the final day of the $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty. A subscription is required to watch coverage from both PokerGo and CBS All Access.

Quick hitters

– Just before the start of the WSOP, Francois Billard took down the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS North America Main Event held in Canada. Billard, who overcame 521 players to win the title, took home an impressive $715,414 in prizes after a three-way deal and playing out the rest of the tournament. Second place finisher Kevin Rabichow won $430,848 while 3rd place winner Joni Jouhkimainen actually took home a bit more — $434,063.

1Francois Billard $715,414
2Kevin Rabichow$430,848
3Joni Jouhkimainen$434,063
4Alexandros Koonias$275,331
5Paul Fontan$223,241
6Danick Landriault$186,035
7Ben Heath$148,828
8Ruben Perceval$111,621
9Armin Razei$74,414

The next partypoker LIVE MILLIONS event comes to Las Vegas, running at the Aria during the WSOP from June 28th to July 2nd.

– Speaking of partypoker, if you played a few events during the partypoker KO Series you may have received some extra value. That’s because over the two weeks of the series, dozens of tournaments fell short of their guarantee, resulting in almost $1 million in overlays.

– ICYMI: The SugarHouse online sportsbook is now live for a public testing, becoming the first mobile sportsbook in PA. Online sportsbooks are likely coming for all PA sportsbooks, but the Rivers Casino and Parx Casino are expected to be the next to launch.

– Part Time Poker’s Alex Weldon reviews poker ranking leaderboards across the internet in his pre-WSOP look at the best poker players so far this year.

– Wednesday’s featured classic Grinderschool poker training video is Colossos’ “Cash Games with Colossos” series where we revist some of his poker strategy sessions. In this video, Colossos plays two tables of $0.05/$0.10.

– From the Fake News Bin: BonusCodePoker gives some helpful advice to survive the 2019 WSOP including avoiding playing craps with Chino Cheem.

Best poker videos on the Web

– Earlier this year, the poker world was rocked by Gavin Smith’s untimely death at the age of 50. To celebrate the life and help raise money for the Gavin Smith family, the Gavin Smith Memorial Poker Tournament was held and attended by top players including Phil Hellmuth and Todd Brunson, who were interviewed by Poker News to discuss Smith:

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