The inaugural iNinja World Championship, held at Planet Hollywood, drew 420 runners over its opening two flights, held Monday at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Both flights reached their hard stops at 17 percent of the field remaining, and when the dust settled, it was Matt Lushin who put 439,000 in a bag, good for the chip lead among the 72 survivors.
Lushin has $189,874 in cashes and can usually be found at a variety of tournaments in the Midwest. His best result is a win for $52,000 in a Chicago Poker Classic event from 2015.
One major pot that helped propel Lushin to the top came during Level 10 (500/1,000/100), when Lushin and Ben McCoy built a pot of about 40,000 preflop and the hit the felt. Lushin got his last 16,300 in with the and was able to fade the outs of McCoy, who had .
Other players making it through included Jeremy Kerbel (418,500), Jason Smith (223,500), Michael Sanders (190,000), Ryan Phan (160,500), iNinja Pro and World Series of Poker bracelet winner John Reading (160,500), and Jose Montes (86,500).
Players eliminated on at least one bullet during the two flights included Matt Alexander, Lance Harris, Kou Vang, Joe Barnard, Aaron Johnson, Vlad Revniaga, and Emad Alabsi.
Two more Day 1 flights are scheduled for Tuesday, and PokerNews will be back on hand for more coverage.