The $5,000,000 guaranteed World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship at its new location at Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City began on Monday with the first of two Day 1 starting flights. Day 1a saw 105 players put up $15,000 to buy in to the Season XII finale.
After eight 75-minute levels, 62 were left bagging up their chips and moving on to Day 2. Leading the way on Day 1a was professional poker player and online legend Paul Volpe with 215,300. Others topping the field include Jerry Wong, Brandon Steven, Scott Seiver, and Tony Gregg.
Here is how the top ten in chips stacked up on Day 1a:
|She Lok Wong||177,200|
Canadian and Team IveyPoker pro Mike Leah ended the day with 91,500. Leah appears to be the only Canadian making it through the first flight, but we can expect to see some other big names from the better part of North America trickle in. The WPT’s newest Champions Club member Eric Afriat is expected to enter the field on Tuesday.
As one of the most prestigious events of the year, the WPT World Championship draws in an elite field of poker’s best. Some of those bagging stacks at the end of play include Shannon Shorr, David “ODB” Baker, Matt Glantz, Christian Harder, Tony Dunst, Phil Hellmuth, Marvin Rettenmaier, Jeff Gross, Joseph Cheong, Greg Merson, and WPT Player of the Year points leader Mukul Pahuja.
Player’s failing to qualify for Day 2 on the first Day 1 may re-enter on Day 1b. Registration is open until Level 6 and, in order to meet the guarantee, there will have to be at least another 239 entries.
Some big names to fall on Monday were Bryn Kenney, Moshin Charania, Ryan Riess, Chriss Moorman, John Racener, Jared Jaffee, Dan Smith, Eugene Katchalov, Matt Stout, Nick Shulman, and Abe Mosseri.
This season’s WPT Championship saw some big changes. It not only moved locations from Bellagio in Las Vegas to Borgata in Atlantic City, but the buy-in was cut down from $25,000 to $15,000. Season XI saw 146 entries creating a $3,540,500 prize pool. Chino Rheem walked away with the title and $1,150,297.
Day 1b action gets underway at noon in Atlantic City on Tuesday. You can follow along with our live-update coverage using our Live Reporting tab and check back at the end of play for a complete day recap.