World Series of Poker Europe

WSOP-C Horseshoe Southern Indiana Day 1: Overall Points Leader Dudani Going Strong

Shiva Dudani

Day 1 of the Main Event for the second stop of the year on the World Series of Poker Circuit wrapped up on Sunday night at Horseshoe Southern Indiana. A field of 289 players took to the felt, all ponying up the $1,600 it costs to enter. When the 16 levels of play were finished for the day, 66 remained, with Jorge Solorzano leading them all. He bagged up a massive 294,700 in chips and will lead the way into Day 2.

The first day of action wasn’t so much about who stuck around for Day 2, but rather it was about the notables we lost throughout the day. There weren’t a lot of recognizable names in the field to begin with, but Dwyte Pilgrim, TJ Cloutier, Lee Childs, Maurice Hawkins and Mark Kroon were all in action. Unfortunately for these players, all hit the rail and will not be returning on Monday.

As many of the players everyone was focusing on hit the rail, WSOP Circuit National Championship point leader Shiva Dudani climbed the leaderboard. Dudani began the day by dropping from the starting stack of 20,000 to about 14,000 at one point before beginning his surge. With solid play and timely aggression, his stack grew.

Dudani is the overall point leader for the National Championship race, having already secured 125 points. That's a good bit more than the 87.5 points the next closest nonqualified player has. A deep run with a final table in this event could really put him way out in front. Dudani came second to Blair Hinkle at the WSOP Circuit event in Council Bluffs, Iowa – the first one of this season – and went on to win his own gold ring at this series. This could mean Dudani is the new Dwyte Pilgrim for the 2010-2011 WSOP Circuit season.

Also playing Sunday were many gold-championship ring winners. Drazen Ilich, Tuan Bui Le, Kevin Manley and Kyle Knecht all played and made it to the end of the day before bagging their stacks. Robert Cheung was another player in the field who will be moving on to Day 2, and he has a piece of gold jewelry that every poker player envies – a WSOP gold bracelet. One can’t forget about Ari Engel or Miguel Borrero either; both will also be back on Monday.

Play resumes on Monday in Indiana at 12:00 p.m. local time. The plan for the second day is to play down to a final table of nine. Out of those players remaining, only 30 players will be paid out, but all are surely gunning for the top prize of just under $100,000 and a spot in the National Championship at the end of the season.

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