Following a very successful stop in Toledo, Ohio, last month, the Hollywood Poker Open was down in Tunica, Mississippi, at the Hollywood Casino & Hotel Tunica for the next HPO Regional Main Event.
Following 14 grueling levels on Day 1, just six players remained and the top five are set to be paid out. Donald McArthur led the way, having amassed 370,000 through the course of play. That put him well in front ofMark Kehrees in second place with 191,000.
Unfortunately, there will likely be little drama as to who will be the unfortunate bubble victim. Scott Mauer (175,000), James McCauley (123,500), Nancy Regan (31,000), and Chris Trotter (9,500) also survived with chips, with the latter having blinded down for the last four hours of the tournament. Trotter, a fixture in tournaments around the Tunica area with more than $80,000 in career cashes, left the venue during Level 10 (500/1,000/100) with one of the biggest stacks in the room after complaining of difficulty breathing. Hopefully, all turns out well for him, as good health takes precedence over a good score any day.
Trotter did score the signature elimination of the day when he flatted a raise to 2,100 during Level 9 (400/800/75) on the button and saw HPO ambassador and former World Series of Poker Main Event champ Chris Moneymaker shove all in from the big blind for about 12,000. Trotter called after the opener folded, holding with against as the board ran out .
As for McArthur, he was nearly eliminated during the previous level when he four-bet all in for about 13,000 over Trotter's 3,600 three-bet preflop. Trotter held , dominating McArthur's , but McArthur found a king on the flop to survive. Later, he made some huge hands, including flopping a set of twos to cripple Zach Kauffman a little before the final table as Kauffman was unable to get away from top pair on a flop.
Some other notable runners who threw their hats into the 45-player field but failed to make it through the day included former Borgata Winter Poker Open winner Josh Mancuso, WSOP Circuit Tunica Main Event winner Johnny Landreth, five-time WSOP Circuit ring and 2014 bracelet winner Kyle Cartwright, regional points leader Barry Schultz, and Ken Ervin, who trails Schultz by just 13 points.
The remaining six players will reconvene Sunday at noon local time here in Tunica, and hopefully Trotter will be back in action. You can follow the live coverage by clicking here.