On Saturday, the second and final Day 1 of the 2015 partypoker.net World Poker Tour (WPT) Canadian Spring Championship drew 234 players to Canada's premier poker destination, Playground Poker Club, just outside of Montreal, Quebec.
With registration now closed, combining the 136 players from the first flight creates a total field of 370 entries for the first stop of WPT Season XIV.
With the final numbers in, the players will be battling for a share of the $1,148,480 prize pool, and the eventual winner will receive $237,390 along with the Canadian Spring Championship belt and have their names forever engraved on the WPT trophy.
By the end of the scheduled 10 levels of play on Saturday, a total of 102 players survived to continue to Day 2. Another well-known face managed to top the leaderboard after a successful day after Mike Leah did the same on Day 1a. Local rounder and 2014 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown champ Eric Afriat grabbed the end-of-day chip lead. Afriat had a hot start to the day, building his stack up to 90,000 chips in just the first level and a half, and, although there were some bumps in the road, he bagged 212,200 and the lead, though he's still a bit behind Leah when they meet on Day 2.
Top 10 Stacks From Day 1b
Others who built big stacks before play ended included 2013 World Series of Poker bracelet-winner and WPT Canadian Spring Championship finalist Jason Duval, WSOP final-tablist Laurence Grondin, WSOP Circuit winner Darryll Fish, and WPT Champions Club member Marvin Rettenmaier.
Hitting the rail as the day wore on were stars like Poker Hall of Fame member, partypoker Team Pro, and WPT host Mike Sexton, 2010 WSOP Main Event champ Jonathan Duhamel, and 2014 WPT Montreal winner Jonathan Jaffe.
The 102 Day 1b survivors will join the 50 qualifiers from Day 1a on Sunday, making for a total of 152 players that will hit the felt when play kicks off again at 12 p.m. local time in Montreal. Day 1a chip leader Mike Leah will be bringing the biggest stack with him.
The PokerNews live reporting team will be back to bring you all the action from start to finish with live updates and videos throughout, so be sure to stay tuned. Follow the action live on our blog.
In the meantime, check out what Afriat had to say about his big start in the following video interview with PokerNews' Caitlyn Howe: