On Saturday, the Season XII World Poker Tour (WPT) Rolling Thunder kicked off at the Thunder Valley Casino, a four-diamond casino resort located in the greater Sacramento area in Northern California. The $3,500 buy-in Main Event attracted 224 entries, but after ten 60-minute levels of play, just 85 players remained with former PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champ Galen Hall and his stack of 211,100 leading the way.
According to the WPT Live Reporting Team, Hall got off to a quick start and continued to make moves throughout the day. For example, in Level 5 (150/300/50) there was approximately 15,000 in the pot on a board reading when Hall bet 11,050 from the hijack. His early-position opponent hit the tank before calling, but mucked when Hall rolled over the for trips.
In Level 6 (200/400/50), a flop saw Daniel Strelitz get his stack of around 39,000 all in holding the and was up against the of David Tuthill. The turn gave Strelitz straight outs to go with his flush draw, but the river failed to complete it. Strelitz was eliminated on the hand while Tuthill chipped up to nearly 100K.
Likewise, in Level 8 (300/600/75), Brandon Cantu opened for 2,100 from the hijack and Jonathan Aguiar called from the cutoff. The small blind came along, as did Bobby Suer in the big, and four players saw a flop of . After action checked to Cantu, he moved all in for 14,500 and only Suer called.
Cantu was ahead with top pair, but Suer was drawing to the nut flush. No heart would come, but the turn was just as good as Suer paired his ace to take the lead. The blanked on the river, and Cantu was sent to the rail.
Others who failed to make it through the day were Linda Johnson, Jeff Madsen, Jason Koon, Jonathan Little, Will “The Thrill” Failla, Scott Clements, Phil Hellmuth, Allen Kessler, Antonio Esfandiari, and Faraz Jaka.
While many fell, a long list of notablea survived the Day 1a action including Maria Ho (165,300), Bryan Campanello (158,300), Ben Hamnett (127,900), Marvin Rettenmaier (122,100), John Racener (87,300), Blake Barousse (79,400), Jeff Gross (77,700), Anthony Zinno (71,300), Tony Dunst (63,400), JC Tran (50,000), Matt Salsberg (36,000), and Andrew Lichtenberger (12,800).
Day 1b is set to kick off at Noon PT on Sunday. Late registration and one reentry is open until the start of Level 7. Of course we’ll bring you a full recap of the day’s action upon completion of play.
For more information, check out this Day 1a update with Brittany Bell of the Royal Flush Girls:
*Photos and data courtesy of the WPT Live Blog.