The first of two starting days for the 2021 partypoker MILLIONS Online $5,300 Main Event has wrapped up. Thanks to 591 total entries, the tournament is on track to surpass the $5 million guarantee as another starting day remains one week from now on Sunday, February 28th, 2021.
After nine and a half hours of poker action, the day ended with just 87 survivors. Initially, Day 1a was supposed to conclude with the top 15% of the field and 89 contenders remaining. However, during the final hand of the night, three players hit the rail on different tables to miss out on a payday entirely.
High Roller regular Daniel Dvoress claimed the Day 1a lead and amassed 30,582,133 in chips. Not far behind the Canadian are Hermogenes Gelonezi (27,798,834) and Andras Nemeth (27,371,860), as well as the 2020 WSOP Main Event international leg finalist Dominykas Mikolaitis (24,489,173). Mikolaitis was partly responsible for the end of the day when he knocked out partypoker ambassador Joao Simao during the most crucial stage of the day.
2021 partypoker MILLIONS Online $5,300 Main Event Day 1a Top 10 Counts
|Rank||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|7||Joshua Hoesel||United States||17,591,055||126|
|8||Endrit Geci||United Kingdom||17,498,394||125|
|10||Espen Uhlen Jorstad||Norway||15,695,668||112|
Some notables that made it through to Day 2 with an above-average stack in the first flight already include Joshua Hoesel (17,591,055), Pedro Padilha (16,330,297), Espen Uhlen Jorstad (15,695,668), Oleg Vasylchenko (13,787,078), Simon Deadman (10,762,859), Christian Rudolph (9,544,082), Bruno Volkmann (9,453,291) and 2019 WSOP Europe Main Event champion Alexandros Kolonias (9,127,932).
Plenty of other well-known names of the international poker circuit locked up a payday and that also includes three partypoker representatives. For Twitch streamer Jaime Staples, it was the first cash in an online poker event with a buy-in of $5,000 or higher. The Canadian made it through with a stack of 8,386,939, while sponsored pro Dzmitry Urbanovich (1,984,954) and Jason Koon (1,700,256) were among the shortest stacks at the end of the night.
It wasn't an easy ride by any means for Staples, who scored a lucky double up with king-jack versus kings when he was short. However, once that crucial step was done, the Canadian never looked back and picked up big hands along the way to consistently grow his stack.
All other partypoker representatives were not as fortunate and hit the rail throughout the day including Mikita Badziakouski, Joni Jouhkimainen, Patrick Leonard, Isaac Haxton, and John Duthie. The list of Day 1a casualties beyond that reads like the who-is-who of the international poker circuit.
The Action of the Day
There were only a handful of casualties in the first few levels of the day and among them was partypoker Advisory Board member Duthie. On a shorter stack, he got it in with fours and deuces only to run into superior two pair, which held. For Leonard, the second bullet ended against Sergei Koliakov when king-queen suited made an inferior pair versus ace-nine.
Jason Koon's first bullet ended rather early as well after a clash with Guillaume Nolet. However, Koon re-entered and ran up an above-average stack which only faltered late on once the money bubble approached.
Among the many hopefuls were also former MILLIONS Main Event champions. Benjamin Chalot won the 2019 online edition which featured a buy-in of $10,300. The Frenchman and Hungary resident fired two bullets on Day 1a and didn't make it through. MILLIONS UK live edition winner Maria Lampropulos was unable to find any help with a dominated pair to bust after the registration had closed.
Daniel Dvoress jumped to a big stack when he made the nut flush against Ramon Kropmanns and then knocked out Sergi Reixach with kings versus ace-five suited.
While the pace of eliminations certainly picked up mid-way through the day, it slowed down a ton a few dozen players away from the target. Anatoly Filatov fell victim to the hot run of Dvoress and other big names such as Dario Sammartino, Tomas Jozonis, and Georgios Karakousis, Christopher Frank, and Robert Heidorn all busted during the final stage.
Eventually, the bubble burst when Marco Baldini ran out of chips. However, Joao Simao also crashed out on a different table when he ran pocket eights smack dab into the pocket aces of Dominykas Mikolaitis to miss out on Day 2 and the min-cash.
All 87 survivors have guaranteed a portion of the $5 million guarantee already. However, with such a solid turnout for Day 1a, the overall prize pool may grow beyond that as the second and final starting day takes place the following Sunday, February 28th. The PokerNews live reporting team will be back then to provide all the action from the virtual arena.