Playground Winter Festival: Day 1a of WPT Playground Kicks Off

Anthony Zinno

The headline event of the Playground Winter Festival 2017 is underway. Day 1a of the $1,000,000 guaranteed World Poker Tour (WPT) Playground kicked off on Friday gathering 134 entries. At the end of 10 levels, none other than Anthony Zinno sat atop the 54 remaining chip counts.

One of the more decorated WPT Champions, Zinno is no stranger to shipping WPT titles in Canada. In 2015, Zinno topped the field at WPT Fallsview and a week later bested the prestigious WPT LA Poker Classic. The American has three WPT titles under his belt and more than $2.5M in career WPT earnings.

Zinno led the charge bagging an impressive 209,200. The only player to the cross the 200K mark. Jake Schwartz used the best of a second bullet to finish behind Zinno on the leaderboard. Schwartz doubled up quickly after re-entering and ran his stack up to 163,100 by night’s end. Rayan Chamas (162,100), Theodore Doukas (157,700), and recent Winter Festival Omaha Champion and qualifier Nicolas Le Floch (156,500) round out the top five.

Spending most of the day among the leaders, Chamas had cooled down toward the latter part of the day and was slipping down the counts. That is until a huge cooler swayed in his favor on one of the last hands of the night. Chamas called off a five-bet shove from Christopher Hudson with pocket kings, crushing Hudson's pocket queens. A king on the turn sealed the pot for Chamas who climbed up to third in chips.

Rayan Chamas
Rayan Chamas

Some big names also securing a seat on Day 2 include Daniel Dvoress, Marc-Andre Ladouceur, Mike Leah, David Paredes, Kristen Bicknell, Sam Chartier and Christian Harder.

With one re-entry permitted per day, 18 of the 116 players in the field on Day 1a required a second bullet. Many more fell but perhaps decided to take their next shot on Saturday’s Day 1b. Leah and Schwartz both re-entered and had better luck the second time. Others firing twice were Mike Sexton, Alex Difelice, Will Failla and Jeffrey Cormier.

Hope is not lost for all that fell on Day 1a as they can fire again on Day 1b. Some needing to make the best of that opportunity include Max Silver, Mark Radoja, Benoit Jean, Peter Jetten, Mike Dentale, Xuan Liu and WPT Champion Eric Afriat.

Day 1b is set to get underway at 11 a.m. local time Saturday morning at Playground Poker Club. Another 10 levels are scheduled with late registration open until the end of the break following level 6.

The Playground Winter Festival runs through Feb. 15 and PokerNews will bring you daily updates of all the happenings throughout the festival. For full coverage and details check out the Playground event blog here.

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