Zo Karim fired up a dose of his patented "brown magic" to hold with aces in a monster pot and bag the chip lead on Day 1c of Poker Night in America $1,675 Main Event at Golden Nugget. Karim is an experienced tournament grinder with a number of final tables in major tournaments to his credit and nearly $1.4 million in cashes.
A total of 59 runners turned out for Day 1c, and just 11 of them bagged up for Monday's Day 2. Some others joining Karim in punching tickets were Chad Eveslage (296,000), Maxim Sorokin (273,000), experienced voice actor Nika Futterman (237,500), Kyle Frey (73,000), and World Series of Poker bracelet winner Joey Weissman (42,500).
Karim had aces come through for him in a big pot to surge into the lead late. It was Level 14 (1,200/2,400/400) when the big hand went down, starting with an early-position raise from Alex Keating to 5,000. Michael Lipman called and Karim made it 16,400 with the bullets. Raymond Dandrea cold-called on his left on the button, and both Keating and Lipman helped bloat the pot preflop before hit the felt.
Action checked to Karim, and he fired 27,000. Dandrea shoved for 140,000 or so, and Keating tanked before calling off about 50,000. Lipman folded. Dandrea had and Keating , but two bricks on the last two streets sent the huge pot to Karim, as he doubled through Dandrea for about 95,000. Dandrea still managed to find a bag with 102,000.
Some of the players firing and bricking on this last chance to qualify for Day 2 were Mike Dentale, Anthony Spinella, Sylvain Loosli, Kane Kalas, Michael Rocco, and 2016 Aussie Millions champ Ari Engel.
The players who did bag will be meeting at noon local time tomorrow for Day 2. There will be 25 total players, and 15 will reportedly be paid, although PokerNews is still awaiting a payout list. Come back tomorrow for that and much more when Day 2 coverage gets going.