Day 1a of the 2016 Run It Up Reno Main Event came to a conclusion on Friday with Gary Kochalka leading the remaining 61 players surviving into Day 2 on Sunday.
Friday saw the first of three flights grace the Peppermill Resort Hotel and 196 entries were tallied throughout the day to set the path of crushing the $150,000 guarantee. In terms of that guarantee, only an additional 104 players will be needed over the next two flights to eclipse it, plus beat the prize pool of last year when the event was held in October and generated $159,000.
Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
Defending champion Nick Aguilera led the field into Day 1a, along with Survivor contestants Rob Cesternino, Tyson Apostol, and Anna Khait. Seasoned veterans Steve Brecher, Randy Lew, Leo Wolpert, and Run It Up Reno host Jason Somerville all played, and the latter three were forced to reenter.
Previous event winners Steve Nevius, Thomas Dominguez, and Kevin Martin also took seats, as well as a plethora of Run it Up warriors, local amateurs, and satellite winners.
Chips passed freely around each table as the rate of eliminations was constant until the conclusion of play. Several players, such as Alex Lavinthal, Chad Holloway, Zhihao Zhang, Bill Casey, and Kevin Gerhart, all flirted with the chip lead, but it wouldn't be until that final level of the day where three players soared to the top of the leaderboard.
First, Rob Paul soared over 250,000 when he rivered a full house against two players. Then it was Reuben Moss doubling up while eliminating Khait to climb to over 200,000. However, on the final hand of the night it was Gary Kochalka calling a button shove with the to win a race against the .
Once the dust settled, Kochalka would be nestled on top of the leaderboard with 246,100, ahead of Paul's (242,000 and Moss' 210,900. Rounding out the next few chip counts would be Casey (147,200), Chris Corbo (133,700), Zhang (133,000), and Andy Peplinski (127,300).
Also amongst the survivors were Holloway, Lew, Martin, Jaime Staples, and defending champion Aguilera.
Day 2 for the Day 1a survivors will be on Sunday at 12 p.m. local time with PokerNews providing continuous coverage until the Run It Up Reno Main Event champion is crowned. Will it be Aguilera defending his title? Will a big name take it down? Stay tuned to find out!