PokerStars Festival Korea Main Event action continued Saturday as the final two starting flights played out at Paradise City Hotel & Resort in Incheon. Day 1c and Day 1d — a special turbo flight — played back-to-back with PokerNews on hand throughout the day for live updates.
Here's a look at how each played out.
After the two opening flights of PokerStars Festival Korea Main Event drew 120 players total, Day 1c nearly matched that amount with 118 runners, pushing the three-flight total to 238.
PokerStars Team Online's Randy "nanonoko" Lew was one of the 38 players who found bags at the conclusion of 12 levels of play, but it didn't come easily for Lew as he had to overcome a major pitfall late.
It looked like it was going to be a good day for Lew, who chipped up early and seemed to hold an above average stack much of the way. However, on Level 12, he got in a big all-in preflop pot for a huge pile of chips, about 200,000. Lew held ace-king against pocket jacks of Yang Zhang, but a short-stacked player also got in there with king-queen, blocking some of Lew's equity. A brick-tastic ten-high board hit the felt and left Lew with less than 20 big blinds.
Lew recovered a bit from there to bag 52,700. He's coming off of a strong showing at the WSOP Main Event, where he finished 159th for $53,247. He also came in hot here in Korea, showing up and immediately cashing for fifth place in the High Roller for $17,552. He'll be just a bit over 20 big blinds when play resumes on Day 2, so despite the late stumble, he's still got a pulse in the Main Event.
Lew and everyone else who bagged is looking up in the counts at Scott Janik, one of the few American players participating in the tournament. Janik, who doesn't have any documented live results to his credit, bagged 215,800.
Naohito Tamaya (204,800), Masatoshi Tanaka (162,000), Hiroyuki Noda (153,400) and Zhang (152,500) round out the top five.
With just under $1 million in live cashes, Zhang is one of the more accomplished players to fire here in Korea. He spent much of the summer in Las Vegas, where he notched four cashes at the WSOP and another at Venetian.
Lew's fellow PokerStars-sponsored player, Team Pro Celina Lin, was not as successful as her teammate. She made a thin call with ace-king on a ten-high flop against a player holding jack-ten, costing her most of her chips early on. She was unable to recover, running pocket queens into aces to lose the last of her stack.
PokerStars wanted to offer one last chance for players to make it to Day 2 of PokerStars Festival Korea Main Event, so they held a special turbo starting flight that kicked off at 9:30 p.m. Saturday and featured 20-minute levels. When the turbo madness was finished, 47 players had taken advantage of their final cracks at the prize pool, and 24 of them still have a pulse heading to Day 2.
Lin, after bricking on the earlier Day 1c, made good on the opportunity and bagged 73,900, one of the bigger stacks. Lin was down below the starting stack early on, but her luck finally turned when she flopped top pair in the big blind and ran a straight against an opponent who flopped top two.
Lin was on the verge of bagging one of the very best counts, as she said she was around 120,000 late, which would have been good for the Day 1d lead. However, she flopped top pair of aces with ace-ten and lost a chunk to an opponent who made better top pair with ace-queen.
PokerStars Festival Korea High Roller winner Boyuan Qu still has high hopes of winning the two biggest events here as he also found a bag. Qu, who took down $64,195 for the aforementioned win, had a swingy go of it but finished with 66,800.
American Albert Paik, who won the last edition of APPT Seoul right here in Korea just last year, made it to the 12 sped up levels with 86,000.
Dosun Park, meanwhile, finished as the chip leader with 109,700, though that pales in comparison to the stacks of the other Day 1 leaders. The faster structure simply meant there was less time and opportunity for everyone to accumulate chips.
The 47 turbo runners means the total field amounted to 285. The 24 survivors of Day 1d will combine with the players who made it through the other Day 1 flights to form a 98-player field for Day 2. That bunch will take to the felt at noon local time on Sunday, and PokerNews will be bringing live updates throughout the day.
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