Day 1a of the Hollywood Poker Open Columbus $1,115 Regional Main Event is in the books. The first of two starting flights attracted 152 entries, which swelled the prize pool well past the $100,000 guarantee even before the end of level one. With a whole other starting flight to go, it's safe to say the last stop of Season 3 – aside from the HPO Championship in Vegas next month – is already a tremendous success.
After 14 levels of play, Daniel Swartz bagged the lead with a massive 350,000 in chips. His closest competitor at the end of Day 1a was Ken Moore, who bagged up 266,500. Also still in the hunt are Gary Tsui (248,500), Brandon Wetzel (214,000) and Nick Guagenti (119,000). In all, 26 players advanced to Monday’s Day 2.
Top 10 Day 1a Chip Counts
|5||Iverson Cotton Snuffer||183,500|
Swartz managed to get some of his chips from the most famous face in the field, 2003 World Series of Poker champ and HPO Ambassador Chris Moneymaker. In Level 12 (800/1,600/200) with a board reading , Swartz bet 12,500 and Moneymaker raised to 29,000. Swartz thought for a moment before placing out a three-bet to 50,000, and Moneymaker eventually folded.
A couple of hands later, Swartz and Moneymaker were at it again. With a board reading , Swartz check-called a bet of 20,000 and then led out for 25,000 after fell on the river. After some contemplation, Moneymaker announced a call and Swartz, who had previously busted Steven Williams, rolled over the for a rivered straight. Moneymaker incredulously mucked his hand.
As for Tsui, he got a boost in one of the last hands of the night when a player open-shoved for 40,200 under the gun. Action folded to Tsui on the button, and he thought a bit before making the call with the , which had his opponent's pocket sixes crushed. The board ran out , and Tsui went on to finish third in chips.
A few notables that entered, but failed to advance were Moneymaker, Shawn Cunix, Doug Holland and Andrew Jeffrey. While all of them will have another chance on Sunday if they so choose, should they choose, Moneymaker, who busted Day 1a after he "shipped right into aces," has already confirmed that he won't be firing a second bullet.
Good luck to those playing today in flight 1b @hwpokeropen #colhpo. Been a long road trip for me. Going home to see family for two daysFollow @CMONEYMAKER
Join PokerNews at 12:15 p.m. ET on Sunday as we bring you live updates from Day 1b of the HPO Columbus!