The 2012 World Series of Poker have begun in Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas-based poker pro Brent Hanks took home the series first bracelet after winning the $1,500 NLHE event 1 for a $517,725 first prize.
The 2012 World Series of Poker has taken off, finding its first official bracelet winner late Wednesday night.
The 2012 WSOP's first event this year was the $1,500 NLHE and saw 2,101 players sign up.
Following a true bloodbath on Day 1, only 239 players survived and on Day 2 this was reduced to just 15 runners. The final table was reached on Wednesday, and counted three former bracelet winners in Vanessa Selbst, Andrew Badecker and J.P. Kelly.
None of the three however managed to stop the Las Vegas-based poker pro and former fifth grade teacher Brent Hanks, who went on to win the event after beating Jacob Bazely heads-up.
For the win, Hanks will collect $517,725 as well as his first-ever golden WSOP bracelet. The first prize was the lion's share of the $2,836,350 combined prize pool, and will bring Hanks' total WSOP cashes to a little more than $1 million.
Also notable for the event was Phil Hellmuth's 61st-place finish. The cash was Hellmuth's 86th WSOP cash of his career - by far the all-time highest for any player.
Hanks' win was the first official bracelet event of the series, but followed another win in Event #1, the Casino Employees' event.
The series opener, which is a closed $500 NLHE event only open to employees of the Las Vegas casinos, was won by Chip Saecho, who took home a $70,859 first prize after beating runner-up Patricia Baker.