The Season XII World Poker Tour (WPT) Rolling Thunder continued on Sunday with the Day 1b flight from 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 241 entries, which combined with Day 1a’s 224 brought the total field to 465 players, which created a prize pool of $1,488,000.
The prize pool will be divided among the top 54 players, with the eventual winner will taking home $302,750. After 10 one-hour levels of play, approximately 105 players advanced from the Day 1b field with Season X Player of the Year Joe Serock and his stack of 261,800 leading the way.
According to the WPT Live Reporting Team, Serock took over the chip lead in Level 10 (500/1,000/100). It happened on a flop when Serock bet 9,500 and received a call from Dylan Hortin, who had been the chip leader much of the day. Hortin then called a bet of 21,000 on the turn, and then it went check-check on the river. Hortin tabled the , but it was no good as Serock held two pair with the .
With a lot of notables in the field, needless to say some big names clashed on Day 1b. For example, in Level 9 (400/800/100), Will “The Thrill” Failla got his last 13,100 all in preflop from the hijack and was racing against Brandon Cantu in the cutoff.
The flop was kind to Failla, and his pair of aces made him a huge favorite. The turn left Cantu in need of one of the two remaining nines in the deck, and much to Failla’s dismay, he found it when the spiked. Failla was eliminated from the tournament on the hand while Cantu went on to bag up 112,600.
Others who failed to survive the day were Ravi Raghavan, Mukul Pahuja, Phil Hellmuth, Steve Sung, Tommy Vedes, Antonio Esfandiari, Jonathan Little, and Ludovic Lacay.
While many fell, quite a few notables advanced to Day 2 including Jeff Madsen (115,100), Scott Clements (76,100), Faraz Jaka (60,400), Linda Johnson (59,500), Scotty Nguyen (49,700), Amir Lehavot (40,200), Allen Kessler (23,800), Amnon Filippi (14,600), and J.J. Liu (109,900).
Liu got some of her chips in Level 10 in a pot that had roughly 45,000 already in the middle. The player on the button was all in on a board reading . Liu gave it some thought before calling with the for top pair with top kicker, and she was glad she did as her opponent could only muster the .
Day 2 is set to kick off at 12 p.m. PT on Monday with the goal of playing 10 more one-hour levels, during which time the money bubble should burst. We’ll bring you a full recap of the day’s action here on PokerNews upon completion of play.
For more information, check out this Day 1b update with Brittany Bell of the Royal Flush Girls:
*Photos and data courtesy of the WPT Live Blog.