Live Events 2
$1,650 Main Event

McBrayer Leads As 22 Advance From Day 1b of HPT St. Louis

BrandonTemple • Level 14: 1,500-3,000, 3,000 ante
BJ McBrayer

Day 1b of the HPT Hollywood Casino St. Louis $1,650 Main Event saw 140 entrants hit the felt, which combined with the 41 entrants from yesterday's Day 1a flight, brings the total field to 181 players, with the largest projected flight kicking off tomorrow at Noon.

After almost fourteen levels of play, Alabama pro BJ McBrayer bagged the biggest stack in the room, putting 473,000 chips in a bag for Day 2. McBrayer, who won HPT Vicksburg in 2018 for $45,946, spent the latter stages of the day exerting his will on the table, making timely three-bets and applying pressure to accumulate 20,000 more chips than second-place stack Mark Koeln (453,000), who was the only other player to crest the 400,000 chip plateau by the end of the night. McBrayer's stack puts Day 1a chip leader Ryan Tepen and his 402,000 stack third overall with one flight to go.

Austin McCormick (349,000), three-time HPT champ Reginald "Shawn" Roberts (320,000), and WSOP Bracelet winner Kyle Cartwright (280,000) round out the top five, while Ian Nelson (262,000), former HPT St. Louis champ Paul Belken (246,000), Jeff Trudeau (164,000), and Craig Welko (90,000) are just a few of the notables able to secure a bag for Day 2.

Maurice Hawkins, the WSOP Circuit's all-time rings leader and a former HPT St. Louis champ, got off to a strong start, but couldn't pull off a bold bluff against Justin Coliny (258,000), and found himself short of a Day 2 bag. Reigning HPT Player of the Year Nick Pupillo found slightly better sledding for a while, making just past the final break of the evening before finally succumbing.

Others unable to bag up chips in today's flight include former HPT champ Mike O'Neill, James Pupillo, preliminary event winners Nhut Nguyen and Jeffrey Copeland, and Will Berry.

The final starting flight for the Main Event will kick off at Noon local time on Saturday. Players will receive 30,000 in tournament chips, and registration and a single re-entry option are available for players until after the dinner break after Level 9, or approximately 7:30 p.m. local time. Like today's flight, play will conclude with 9:46 in Level 14, or when 13% of the field remains, whichever comes first.

Be sure to tune in to PokerNews tomorrow for all the action straight from Hollywood Casino St. Louis, as we finalize the field for Day 2 action.

Tags: Austin McCormickBJ McBrayerCraig WelkoIan NelsonJames PupilloJeffrey CopelandJustin ColinyKyle CartwrightMark KoelnMaurice HawkinsMike O'NeillNhut NguyenNick PupilloPaul BelkenWill Berry