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Winstar River Poker Series: $2.5 Million Guaranteed Main Event Kicks Off, Philacack Tops Day 1a

Andy Philachack


  • The $2.5 million WinStar River Poker Series Main Event got underway with 24 players advancing.

The $2,500 Winstar World Casino River Poker Series Main Event kicked off at noon Friday and drew 236 entrants for the opening flight. The advancing 24 players played more than 14 hours which is foreboding for the subsequent flights. Andy Philachack finished way out in front of the field with 936,000 and more than average stack lead over Edgar Perez in second place with 610,000.

Philachack took the lead with only minutes remaining in the day. He got into a huge preflop confrontation holding aces with Alex Greenblatt holding kings. The board ran his way and Philachack was the only player within shouting distance of a million chips.

"Man, I just felt that a king was coming right there," Philachack said moments later. "I didn't even want to watch the hand."

Kane Kalas, TJ Cloutier, and Dejuante Alexander each finished in the top ten counts. Greg Jennings, Nathan Gamble and Patrick Eskandar also advanced to Day 2.

Kevin Eyster, Mike Wang, Alex Foxen and Greg Himmelbrand played deep into the day but did not survive. Maria Ho, Calvin Anderson, Aaron Massey, Jake Bazeley, and Zo Karim all spent some time at the felt but were eliminated before 10 p.m.

Players have two more flights with unlimited reentry to make Monday's Day 2, but will have a long march to the money bubble. Day 1b gets cards in the air promptly at noon; keep up with all the action right here on PokerNews.

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