The first stop of the World Poker Tour Season XII in the United States kicked off on Thursday as 142 players took to the felt on Day 1a of the Legends of Poker at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, California. After 10 levels of play, just 56 players remained with Barry Hutter and his stack of 212,400 leading the way.
Others who thrived on Day 1a were Nick Phoenix (207,700), Joseph Cheong (188,100), and two former WPT Player of the Year winners — Season XI’s Matt Salsberg (90,000) and Season X’s Joe Serock (147,500).
Here’s a look at the approximate top 10 chip counts from Day 1a:
According to the WPT Live Updates, Hutter approached the 200,000 mark in Level 10 (500/1,000/100). With a board reading and nearly 100,000 in the pot, Hutter moved all in to put the pressure on his opponent, Carlos Chadha. The latter thought long and hard, but ultimately folded. Hutter took down the pot without a showdown and chipped up to 198,000. He went on to add a bit more before players bagged and tagged for the night.
Bagged 214k in day1a of legends main. Probably chip lead. Excited for two days off. Day 2 SundayFollow @barry_hutter
Unfortunately, not everyone was as fortunate as Hutter. Among those to fall on Day 1a (remember, they can all re-enter if they so choose) were David “Doc” Sands, Faraz Jaka, Gavin Griffin, Freddy Deeb, David Chiu, Anthanasios Polychronopoulos, Jeff Madsen, Ryan Riess, Sean Jazayeri, Will Failla, Phil Laak, Kyle Julius, Jeremy Ausmus, and Paul Volpe, just to name a few.
Volpe fell in Level 6 (200/400/50). He checked a flop, and Jake Schindler bet 1,200 from middle position. Volpe woke up with a check-raise to 3,400, Schindler three-bet it, and Volpe shoved for approximately 10,000. Schindler made the call holding the for a flush draw, which had the of Volpe dominated. Neither the turn nor river changed a thing, and Schindler’s ace high held to send Volpe to the rail.
Another player that failed to make it through the day was former November Niner Soi Nguyen. He fell in Level 8 (300/600/75) when a preflop raising war saw him get his last 32,000 all in holding the and racing against the of Shawn Buchanan. According to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, Buchanan had a 53.59% chance of winning the hand while Nguyen would win 46.02% of the time. Those percentages changed dramatically after the flop came down to give Buchanan a set. He became an overwhelming 95.76% favorite while Nguyen’s chances of survival dropped to just 4.24%. The turn left Nguyen drawing dead, and after the was run out on the river for good measure, he took his leave from the tournament.
While many fell, there is still a multitude of notables still in contention including former WPT champions Lee Markholt (17,800), Scott Clements (71,100), Adam Weinraub (83,100), and Buchanan (99,100). Others who punched their tickets to Day 2 were Evan McNiff (39,800), Justin Young (66,900), Micah Raskin (88,200), and Jason Koon (88,500).
The surviving players will return on Sunday, September 1 at 1 p.m. PT for Day 2 action. In the meantime, Day 1b will take place on Friday followed by Day 1c on Saturday. PokerNews will bring you daily recaps from the WPT Legends of Poker, so be sure to check back for those.
*Pictures and data courtesy of worldpokertour.com.