The World Poker Tour $5 Million Guarantee Seminole Hard Rock Showdown $3,500 buy-in Main Event kicked off on Thursday with Day 1a in sunny South Florida. The tournament attracted 479 entries, of which approximately 175 advanced to Day 2 after ten levels of play. Leading the pack is Justin Young, who topped the counts with 313,200.
The tournament allowed players to enter as many times as they’d like up to the start of Level 7, and plenty took advantage including Jennifer Tilly. The World Series of Poker bracelet winner was on her third bullet when she got involved in a big hand in Level 5 (150/300/50). With a board reading , Tilly bet 4,000 from early position after her opponent, who was in the big blind, had checked. Loni Harwood called from the cutoff, and then the big blind check-raised to 15,000. Tilly responded by moving all in for 22,000, Harwood folded, and the big blind called with the for a flopped full house. Tilly held the , but failed to find a lady when the completed the board on the river.
In Level 8 (300/600/75), James Calderaro, who recently won the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open for $271,103, got his last 12,000 in with the on a board reading . Calderaro was ahead of his opponent’s , but then the slammed down on the river to Calderaro’s opponent a winning straight.
Joining Tilly and Calderaro on the rail on Day 1a wee David Diaz, Darryll Fish, Jared Jaffee, Harrison Gimbel, Dan Heimiller, Allen Kessler, Andy Hwang, Amir Lehavot, Chance Kornuth, Bryan Campanello, Jason Mercier, Phil Laak, Mohsin Charania, Paul Klann, Jeff Madsen, Matt Stout, and Blair Hinkle.
Among the players who advanced to Day 2 were Aaron Massey (147,000), Ryan Riess (141,800), Tony Dunst (116,000), Loni Harwood (108,000), Matt Salsberg (95,300), Dan O’Brien (91,800), Scotty Nguyen (84,000), Blake Bohn (84,000), Lee Markholt (83,300), Dan Shak (64,000), Noah Schwartz (52,600), Matt Waxman (48,000), Eugene Katchalov (47,600), and Mukul Pahuja (44,000). If you recall, Pahuja was recently featured in an in-depth article by Rich Ryan, which you can read by clicking here.
Day 1b is set to kick off at noon ET on Friday. Registration is open until the start of Level 7, during which time players can reenter as many times as they’d like, so expect a lot of player to fire multiple $3,500 bullets. Likewise, the same rules apply for Saturday’s Day 1c. Of course, PokerNews will bring you a full recap of the action upon completion of play every day until a winner is determined.
*Data courtesy of the WPT Blog.