The inaugural World Poker Tour Alpha8 $100,000 buy-in event, sponsored by ClubWPT.com, kicked off at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open on Monday with 18 players hitting the felt for a full day of high-stakes action. Three players — Daniel Alaei, Daniel Perper and Isaac Haxton – busted and re-entered the event, which brought the total number of entries to 21. That created a prize pool of $2,026,500, with $891,660 of that reserved for first.
After 11 levels of play, the man best positioned to capture that prize is Matt Glantz, who finished the final nine as the chip leader with 410,500. Here’s a look at the chip counts for the remaining players:
Seminole Hard Rock Alpha8 Chip Counts
According to the WPT Live Reporting Team, the first elimination of the day was Andrew “Lucky Chewy” Lichtenberger, who fell in Level 5 (500/1,000/100). It happened when he opened for 2,200 only to have Jason Mercier three-bet to 6,800 from the small blind. Lichtenberger opted to move all in for 38,500 and Mercier made a quick call.
It was a classic flip, and according to the PokerNews Odds Calculator Lichtenberger had a 54.80% chance of doubling while Mercier would take the pot 44.84% of the time. The flop was kind to Mercier as it paired his ace and made him the overwhelming 92.02%. Lichtenberger needed a seven to stay alive – which would happen 7.98% of the time – but it wasn’t in the cards as the and appeared on the turn and river, respectively. Lichtenberger opted not to re-enter the tournament.
Busted 52nd. Cashed for $35k. Fun event. Got an hour to decide if I wanna jump in this @WPT_Alpha8 $100k ... Any advice???Follow @MattGlantz
Just registered the Alpha 8 100K at hard rock. Just gotta beat 12 ppl to win. Doesn't sound too hardFollow @SLOPPYKLOD
The aforementioned re-entries all fell in Level 6, as did Jason Koon, who only fired one bullet. After running into JC Tran’s , Koon was left with approximately 15,000. He got his short stack all in a short time later holding the under the gun and received a call from Tran, who held the . The board ran out and Koon was sent to the rail while the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event November Nine chip leader chipped up to 275,000.
The eliminations were few and far between, but over the course of the night Tom Hall, Klodnicki, Dan Shak, Erik Seidel, Brandon Steven, Perper and Gruissem all found themselves exiting the luxurious Alpha8Set. Interestingly, Glantz eliminated both Steven and Gruissem toward the end of the night to vault into the chip lead.
The former fell in Level 10 (1,500/3,000/500) in a big hand that began when Alaei opened to 6,500 from early position and Glantz three-bet to 16,000 from the button. Steven flatted from the small blind and then Gruissem four-bet to 35,000 from the big. Alaei mucked, Glantz five-bet all in for 78,000 and Steven called off for 62,000. Gruissem, who had the biggest stack, thought for a few moments and the made the call.
Steven was primed to triple, but his big pocket pair wouldn’t hold as the flop delivered Glantz a set. Neither the turn nor river changed a thing and Glantz took down the monster pot while Steven was sent to the rail.
Then, in Level 11 (2,000/4,000/500), Gruissem moved all in for 42,500 from the small blind holding the and Glantz called from the big with the . Gruissem got it in good, but the flop gave Glantz the lead with a pair of nines. The turn left Gruissem in need of an ace on the river, but it wasn’t meant to be as the useless appeared. Gruissem shook hands with his opponents and the final nine players combined to one table.
On Tuesday, those players will return at noon EST to play down to a winner. PokerNews will bring you a full recap upon completion of play, so be sure to check back for that.
*Pictures and hands courtesy of the WPT Live Blog.