At the end of Day 1b of the 2016 Hollywood Poker Open Columbus $1,115 Regional Main Event, Kenny Smith bagged the chip lead with 509,500 in chips. Not only did Smith finish atop the survivors from Day 1b, but he also surpassed the 282,500 that Jeremy Detamore put in the bag on Day 1a, making him an overwhelming leader going into Day 2.
When registration closed, the final numbers of entries tallied in at 249, creating a $249,000 prize pool, of which $59,756 will be awarded to the winner.
Smith was the chip leader from his early moves, but after he won the biggest pot of the tournament, he became a clear favorite.
The action started preflop when another player opened to 3,500. Two players called before the action fell to Smith, and he reraised to 26,000. The player to his left cold-called, everyone else folded, and action was heads up. Smith then led the flop for 45,000, and his opponent called.
The turn was the , and Smith checked. His opponent bet 60,000, which sent Smith to the tank. He eventually moved all in, and his opponent called. Smith had against the of his opponent. The river was a blank to give Smith the pot.
If it wasn't for Smith, Sai Mudduluru might have been the chip leader, but nonetheless he still logged in a strong showing and will enter Day 2 with 237,500.
Joe Ebanks also booked his spot on Day 2. After an uneventful Day 1a, Ebanks was back at it for Day 1b. He got a healthy stack early and rode that wave to a middle-of-the-pack stack with 135,500, enough to make an impact in Day 2.
Thila Narayanan (218,000), Chris Meyers (199,500), and Jeff Gregg (183,500) rounded out the top five stacks from Day 1b.
The 21 survivors from Day 1b will join the 16 from Day 1a and play until the newest HPO champion is crowned. With only 37 left, Day 2 will start only 10 players away from the money. The restart is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. local time on Sunday, and you can stay tuned to PokerNews.com for all the action.