On Friday, Day 1a of the River Poker Series Main Event kicked off at WinStar World Casino and Resort. This $2,500,000 guaranteed prize pool event saw a grand total of 366 entires on its first starting flight. The field played down to the top 10 percent, or 37 players on Day 1a, resulting in a 15-hour day of poker. At the end of the day, it was Matthew Lapossie who led the tournament field, bagging up 658,000 in chips.
Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
With just 10 percent of the starting field remaining, this means that each returning player is guaranteed a payday. The amount, however, will remain undetermined until registration for the tournament closes on Day 1c.
Lapossie jumped out to a huge chip lead just after the dinner break when he eliminated three other players in one hand. Lapossie held pocket queens to do the deed and after that moment commanded the largest stack in the room by a mile. He rode that momentum through the rest of the day and finished on top.
Right on Lapossie's heels, however, was Austin Lewis with 652,000. Lewis is having a stellar month, coming fresh off a victory in the CardPlayer Poker Tour Choctaw Main Event where he pocketed over $183,000 in prize money. He's guaranteed another payday with a good shot at another deep run here.
Quite possibly the most notable player to advance to Day 2 is 2010 World Series of Poker November Niner Joseph Cheong. Cheong had a roller coaster of a day, busting one bullet very early in the day. On his second bullet, he found himself short early once more, with our PokerNews Live Reporting team spotting him as low as 8,000. He worked his magic and built that stack up as the day progressed, and ultimately put 511,000 in the bag. With this many chips in Cheong's arsenal, he'll certainly be a force to be reckoned with in the later stages of the tournament.
Other notable players to bag up at the end of Day 1a include Lynn Samples (401,500), Scott Clements (386,000), Pete Kaemmerlen (327,000), Jonathan Gaviao (310,000), 2012 River Poker Series Main Event runner-up Andy Robinson (204,500), Arthur Morris (126,500), Rep Porter (122,000), and Christian Harder (62,000).
While these players all advanced onto Day 2 and are guaranteed a payday, others came out and fell before the final hand of the day was dealt. Some of those to fall on Day 1a included Bryan Campanello, TJ Cloutier, Clint Tolbert, David "ODB" Baker, Allen Kessler, Noah Vaillancourt, Kyle Bowker, Kevin Saul, Ari Engel, David Tuthill, and WinStar poker ambassador Maria Ho. All of these players are likely to return to the felt on later starting flights to try their hands once again.
Play for Day 1b kicks off on Saturday at 12 p.m. local time. Players should expect a long day of poker as the 1b field will once again be whittled down to the top 10%. PokerNews will be on hand with all of the latest updates from the tournament floor.