The World Poker Tour kicked off its latest event on Friday at the Poker Room at Orange Park Kennel Club in Jacksonville, Florida. The $3,500 re-entry Main Event attracted 188 players, with 85 advancing to the next day of play. Leading the way is 2010 WSOP November Niner Matthew Jarvis with 190,300 in chips.
Even with this being one of the smaller buy-in WPT events, the field was jam packed with all-stars. Jason Mercier, Victor Ramdin, Will "The Thrill" Failla, Allen Kessler, Tommy Vedes, John Racener and Harrison Gimbel were among the players in the field. Unfortunately for them, a run at this WPT title is going to cost them double, because they all busted on Day 1a and will have to re-enter on Day 1b in order to still have a shot for this title.
Another player eliminated on Day 1a was Matt Stout. According to the WPT Live Update Team, he ran into his opponent's and failed to get there after the board ran out . Lee Markholt was also eliminated after being down to just three big blinds and moving all-in with , but losing to one of his opponent's on the final board of .
It wasn't until the final few hands of the day that Jarvis was able to take over the number one spot. The board read and a player moved all-in for approximately 17,000. Jarvis made the call with . His at-risk opponent held the weaker and was drawing. The river completed the board, giving Jarvis a full house to win the hand. That pot put Jarvis at just about 190,000, giving him the chip lead.
A few other notables who bagged up plenty of chips on the first day were Shaun Deeb, David Pham and Nick Grippo. Along with them, Darryll Fish, Dwyte Pilgrim, Chris Klodnicki and Jonathan Little will all be moving on to Day 2. The WPT's own Tony Dunst also made it through the day, dapper as always.
Another slew of players will be in action on Saturday starting at 1200 EST (1700 GMT) for Day 1b. The field size should get a bit bigger and plenty of pros will be on hand. There's also going to be your fair share of double dippers out of the players who busted on Day 1a. Be sure to return to PokerNews for the daily recap.
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*Photo courtesy of the World Poker Tour.