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WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Draws Record Field; Kuether Leads After Day 1c

World Poker Tour

The World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Showdown $3,500 buy-in Main Event continued Saturday with the third and final starting flight in Hollywood, Fla. A total of 1,021 entries were tallied during the first two starting days, which meant only 530 more were needed to reach the $5 million guaranteed prize pool on Saturday.

That number was easily met as 774 more entries were registered, bringing the total to 1,795 — a new World Poker Tour record. Around 300 of those players advanced after ten levels of play, with well-known tournament specialist Joe Kuether leading the way with 295,900 in chips.

Day 1c Unofficial Top 10 Chip Counts

1Joe Kuether295,900
2Will Durkee284,800
3Nick Schwarmann274,900
4Gary Sewell266,300
5Siva Ganta217,800
6Angelo Miele192,800
7Ray Qartomy186,700
8Jason Rosenberg172,700
9Kunal Patel158,200
10Jonathan Tamayo156,500

Kuether, who currently ranks 12th in the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race, emerged as the leader late on Day 1c after a huge double-up. Here's how it happened, courtesy of WPT champ Matt Salsberg:

matt salsbergJust walk over to see @jkuether3 3 bet 56dd flop the nuts and hold vs a flush draw to double up for heaps. #Blessed

Kuether, who said he entered the tournament four times, earned himself a $5,000 bonus for being the chip leader at the end of the day.

Jonathan Tamayo had a very productive day as well, landing among the leaders after 10 levels. But Tamayo also won himself a $15,400 seat to the World Poker Tour Championship by playing fantasy baseball while he was playing poker on Saturday. Tamayo won a WPT Championship qualifier on DraftKings, the official daily fantasy sports sponsor of the WPT.

Defending champion Kevin Eyster also advanced to Day 2, but he took a big hit on the final hand of the night according to the WPT Live Updates. With a raise and a reraise in front, Eyster four-bet to 13,500 from the button with the {A-Diamonds}{A-Hearts}. The original raiser moved all in, and the other player folded.

Eyster's aces were in front of his opponent's {Q-Clubs}{Q-Spades} for the moment, but the board ran out {K-Clubs}{J-Spades}{7-Spades}{4-Spades}{9-Spades} to give the other player a flush and a pot worth more than 100,000. Eyster will still return on Day 2 with around 53,000 in chips.

Others moving on to Day 2 were Phil Laak, Matt Giannetti, Tommy Vedes, Tristan Wade, Makul Pahuja, Josh Arieh, Mike Linster, Jeff Gross, and Michael Mizrachi.

Among those who hit the rail on Day 1c were Jeff Madsen, Jonathan Aguiar, Joe Serock, Nenad Medic. Serock lost most of his chips during Level 8 after seeing a flop of {A-Spades}{K-Spades}{4-Spades}. Serock led bet 3,500 and another other player called, bringing the {A-Hearts} on the turn. Serock fired 5,000, and his opponent check-raised all in for just under 25,000. Serock called, and the cards were revealed.

Serock: {A-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts}
Opponent: {Q-Spades}{5-Spades}

Serock needed help against the other player's flopped flush, but the {5-Hearts} river didn't do it. That left him with around 20,000 in chips, and he was eliminated two levels later.

Day 2 will kick off at noon ET on Sunday with 670 players returning to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. The official prize pool information will be announced on Sunday as well. Stay tuned to PokerNews as we bring you a full recap of the action upon completion of play.

*Data and photos courtesy of the WPT Blog.

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