Cody Slaubaugh Bags Day 1 Overall Chip Lead at WPT Legends of Poker
Season XVI of WPT Legends of Poker at The Bicycle Hotel & Casino in Bell Gardens, California attracted a star-studded field of 715 entries across three starting flights, with 383 of those coming on the third and final flight Sunday. At the end of Day 1, 273 players remain.
Registration will not be closed until the beginning of Day 2 Monday at noon PT, so players can enter or re-enter for $4,000 until then for the equivalent of 25 big blinds going into Level 11. The prize pool in the event reached $2,566,135 and the payouts will be made available after registration closes.
Cody Slaubaugh was the Flight C chip leader after bagging 310,500. That also made him the overall chip leader heading into Day 2. Slaubaugh is a poker pro who lives in Las Vegas. He has had much success in both the online and live arenas with more than $1.322 million live tournament earnings reported on The Hendon Mob.
Slaubaugh prefers to play live because “you get to talk to the characters at the table.” And apparently, his Day 1 table did not disappoint. When asked how his table was, he responded, “Pretty crazy. It was fun, lots of action. There were some gamblers for sure.”
Slaubaugh chipped up early with the help of a double up in the second level of the day and “ran pretty hot from there on out.” In Level 4, he had top two versus bottom two versus open-ended, which held up for around a 100,000-chip pot early. That put him around 130,000. He also won a big flip for around 60,000 in Level 7 with jacks against ace-king all in pre to pad his stack even more. His game plan for Day 2 is to not have a plan and “just kind of feel the table out and go from there.”
Another well-known player to bag big on Day 1 was second-in-chips Mel Wiener who bagged 307,100. Wiener has an impressive $1.72 million in live tournament cashes, only one of those coming from a WPT event - a 16th-place finish in the Season II L.A. Poker Classic Main Event for $30,250.
Valentin Vornicu played in Flight B and bagged the third-largest stack with 286,700. Despite having much tournament success amounting to just shy of $1 million in career earnings, the seasoned Southern California poker pro is still looking for his first WPT Main Tour cash.
Another big name to make it through included Japanese pop sensation Gackt, who turned his 17,500 chips into 51,300 in last four hands of the night. He shoved two of the final three hands without being called. Then, in the final hand of the night, he raised with ace-eight suited and called when Season XV WPT finalist Simon Lam shoved with pocket kings. Gackt flopped an eight with a flush draw and hit his flush double up just before bagging.
Lam bagged 121,500 after taking the beat from Gackt. Other top pros to find a bag were Adam Geyer (273,000), Men Nguyen (185,000), Zachary Smiley (176,900), Marvin Rettenmaier (165,900), James Carroll (157,400), J.C. Tran (145,7000), William Kassouf (135,700), Jeremy Ausmus (133,600), Aaron Mermelstein (118,900), Ankush Mandavia (104,100), David “Doc” Sands (93,400), Dan Shak (88,200), Nipun Java (71,600), Allan Le (65,400), David “ODB” Baker (58,400), Jake Bazeley (55,500), and Seth Davies (52,600), to name just a handful.
Some recognizable players to bust out, at least once, on Day 1 include Kevin Eyster, Andy Frankenberger, Blair Hinkle, Daniel Strelitz, Tony Dunst, Phil Hellmuth, and Erick Lindgren.
Day 2 kicks off at noon PT on Monday with blinds of 600/1,200 with a 200 ante. Levels will last 90 minutes from Day 2 until the final table, when they will change back to 60 minutes. The final table of six will be live streamed on PokerGo Thursday at 4 p.m. PT. You can follow Live Updates through the event’s conclusion to stay up on the action.
Here's a look at the top ten stacks going into Day 2.
|1||Cody Slaubaugh||Day 1c||310,500|
|2||Melvin Wiener||Day 1c||307,100|
|3||Valentin Vornicu||Day 1b||286,700|
|4||Richard Geyer||Day 1b||273,000|
|5||Peter Neff||Day 1b||266,100|
|6||Benjamin Nguyen||Day 1c||245,100|
|7||Thomas Zanot||Day 1a||217,700|
|8||Igor Zektser||Day 1b||198,700|
|9||Men Nguyen||Day 1c||185,000|
|10||David Lambard||Day 1a||183,900|
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Images courtesy of WPT/Flickr