Day 1a of the partypoker.net World Poker Tour National Canadian Spring Championship concluded on Thursday with 62 players advancing from the starting field of 219. Eric Davis proved to be the man to catch after he bagged up 276,300 in chips. With three starting days and a $1,000,000 guarantee, this event should amount to be a massive one.
Following behind Davis with big stacks were notables Andrew Turcotte (267,800), Eric Levesque (180,000), and the WPT's own Tony Dunst (155,000). The defending champion, Amir Babakhani, finished the first day on 125,000 in chips, which gives him a great start in the elusive quest of a title defense. As a refresher, Babakhani won the 2013 WPT Canadian Spring Championship for C$442,248, although last season the event was part of the regular WPT schedule, not the WPT National.
As always on a jam-packed starting day, the casualties mounted as the day grew on. Some of those to fall were Erik Cajelais, Gavin Smith, Antonio Esfandiari, Sam Chartier, Mike Sexton, and Mike Leah, but the bust of the day no doubt went to Richard Figiel. Why? Because Figiel's bust led to him entering a cash game and then striking it rich by hitting Playground Poker Club's Bad Beat Jackpot for $415,551, of which he received $157,865.
Leah was eliminated during Level 5 with the blinds at 150/300/50. According to the WPT Live Updates, Leah moved all in on the flop of against Dimitrios Helmis. Helmis made the call with the for a flopped straight. Leah was at risk with the for an overpair and a straight draw. Following the on the turn and the on the river, Leah was eliminated. Helmis, though, would fail to make it through the day.
Day 1b will take place on Friday beginning bright and early (for poker players, at least) at 11 a.m. ET. It will be the second of three starting flights and another big field of players is expected to be out in action. You can tune back into PokerNews for a recap following the completion of play.