Fifty players advanced out of the 412 entries that took their shot on Day 1b of the 2019 WinStar Labor Day River Poker Series $1,500 Main Event. The big turnout brought the total field size up to 705 entries, which accounts for Day 1a's 293 runners but is still awaiting Sunday's Day 1c tally.
Of those to enter Saturday’s heat, there were far more recognizable faces visible in the crowd throughout the day than were present when chips went into bags. Players such as James Mackey, John Richards, Nathan Gamble, Phil Mader, and Michael Wang were just a few of the acclaimed players in the field to find themselves with no chips.
Three players finished with over 500,000 when the day concluded after a 12-hand bubble, which burst with 7:30 remaining in Level 16 (3,000/6,000/6,000). Quan Donot Nguyen knocked out Arun Bala on the last hand of the night after flopping two pair and holding against Bala’s pocket queens. The hand vaulted Nguyen to the top of the leader board as play came to a close, finishing the day with 619,000 in chips.
James Mordue (566,000) finished the day second in chips. Mordue was spotted with over 200,000 in front of him after the dinner break and continued to climb from there, including one such hand where he flopped top two pair with ace-queen and earned a knockout against another player's ace-king. Rounding out the top three is Mason Vieth who ended play with 504,000 in chips.
Jeff Banghart (379,500), Alex Greenblatt (220,000), and Ray Henson (79,000) were a few well-known players to advance.
Day 1c will be the final opportunity at advancing to Monday’s Day 2. Those who have yet to earn their way will have unlimited opportunities on Sunday, starting at noon. The top 12 percent of the total field will play their way into Day 2, joining the 86 who have already made it across the first two flights.
PokerNews will provide live coverage of all the happenings on Day 1c, so make sure to come back for updates as the tournament unfolds.