Last year at WinStar River Poker Series Main Event, Maxx Coleman topped a field of 1,164 players to take the whole thing down after a three-way chop sent him $750,000, the biggest chunk of the prize pool. It looked like a new champ was imminent after Coleman failed to make it through the first two starting days, but Coleman rebounded on Day 1c to bag the lead out of 44 players who advanced.
Coleman finished with 547,000, just ahead of 2016 November Niner Gordon Vayo (513,000). Layne Flack (433,000), Chino Rheem (312,000), Ray Qartomy (298,000), Rob Salaburu (202,000) and Kevin Eyster (165,000) also advanced.
Coleman got the better of Eyster in a pair of pots to surge up late in the night. First, he shoved in about 15 big blinds with ace-king against an early-position raise from Eyster, who called with eights. Coleman was two cards from elimination after a brick flop, but an ace on the turn gave him new life.
Then, with blinds at 4,000/8,000/1,000, Coleman opened for a min-raise and saw a player on the button three-bet to 36,000. Eyster was in the small blind and woke up with a cold four-bet to 84,000 and Coleman shoved all in for 277,000.
"How does this keep happening?" Eyster said with a sigh.
He called and saw his kings were trailing Coleman's aces, which he said was the fourth time he had run into the spot this tournament. The board ran out dead for both players and Coleman doubled through. Eyster was at least able to recover and bag some chips.
Some players who were not so fortunate included Scotty Nguyen, Allen Kessler, Calvin Anderson, David Paredes, Aaron Massey, David "ODB" Baker, Aaron Mermelstein, and WinStar ambassador Maria Ho.
Alas, those players are fresh out of chances as the conclusion of Day 1c means the Day 2 field is now set. The 434 who turned out for Day 1c make it 1,054 players total. Ten percent of them will return Monday at 1 p.m. local time with blinds rolling back to Level 18 (4,000/8,000/1,000) where Day 1b left off. Coverage will be back here on PokerNews once again, so check back soon for all the updates.