Lance Howard topped 105 Day 1a entries, bagging 288,000 and a narrow chip lead over Dennis Hugelet (270,000) in the Hollywood Poker Open Toledo $1,115 Regional Main Event.
Howard skyrocketed to the chip lead in the second half of the day when he turned the nut flush and got paid off by John Nelson when he shoved on the river. Nelson had flopped a straight.
Hugelet had a strong day and a lot of it was highlighted by the friendly jabs he exchanged with Glen Poitinger (172,000) after almost every hand.
Justin Pimpedly (228,500), Michael Hahn (194,500), and HPO ambassador Chris Moneymaker (189,500) rounded out the top five.
After spending the first part of the day with a relatively stagnant stack, Moneymaker found a few spots and built his stack nicely. On one hand, he flopped trips and turned a boat against Denny Robinson. Robinson shoved all in on Moneymaker, who snap-called and doubled up. He didn't look back from there, adding to his stack throughout the day.
The 14 remaining players will return for Day 2 on Sunday at 12:15 p.m. local time. They will be joined by those that make it through Day 1b, which starts Saturday at 11:15 a.m. local time. Just as you found today, live updates will be right here on PokerNews, so stay tuned.
Don't Miss the Next HPO Stop!
If you're sitting at home kicking yourself because you're missing out on the Hollywood Poker Open stop in Toledo, don't worry because there are still a few more stops in Season 4 that you've got plenty of time to be a part of.
Next up on the HPO Season 4 schedule is St. Louis, with a 33-event schedule starting March 10 and running through March 20. The HPO St. Louis $1,115 Regional Main Event will take place March 18-20 and comes with a $150,000 guaranteed prize pool.
Following that event, the HPO will head to Columbus for an 18-event series running April 28 through May 8. The HPO Columbus $1,115 Regional Main Event will take place May 6-8 and boast a $200,000 guarantee on the prize pool.
After that it will be time for the HPO Regionals to come to a close with the stop in Charles Town from May 12-22. The Charles Town schedule hasn't been released yet, but the dates are out and you can bet you'll get plenty of action coming out of West Virginia.
Just like in Toledo, PokerNews will be at each of the HPO's remaining stops, so be sure to come out, say hello, and get your grind on.