Brazil's Joao "Azor_Ahai" Neves Jr snagged the biggest chip stack on the first online day of the partypokerLIVE MILLION North America Main Event. Neves Jr ended up with almost 6.4 million in chips after 4.5 hours of online play.
As has been the case in recent partypoker-branded tournaments, the opening days take place both online at partypoker and live, in this tournament's case, at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal, Canada. The tournament guarantees a huge $5,000,000 prize pool with at least $1,000,000 guaranteed to the winner for a $5,300/$4,000 buy-in.
This was the first of two online Day 1s held at partypoker, with the second online opening day scheduled for April 30 at 9 p.m. ET. A few days later, the three live Day 1s will take place at the Quebec poker room on May 5-7.
Players can opt to play as many Day 1s as they wish. Any player bagging chips on multiple Day 1s will finish off the final three days of the tournament on May 8-10 with their largest stack. Players can also choose to late register on Day 2 up until the second blind level is completed.
This was the first of two online Day 1s held at partypoker, with the second online opening day scheduled to take place on April 30.
The three live Day 1s will feature 60-minute blind levels. The structure becomes deeper as play moves on with Day 2 and 3 featuring 75-minute blind levels and the final day features 90-minute blind levels.
A Field of 31
Today's opening flight began with a field of 20 players and grew to 31 players, including two reentries, by the time the late registration period ended at the end of Level 6.
Players who directly bought into Day 1a or qualified via traditional satellites began the day with 1,000,000 in chips. However, many of the players began Day 1a with varying chip counts thanks to qualifying into the field via so-called Phase 1 tournaments. The Phase 1 tournaments are structured so players begin any of the Day 1s with their ending chip stack from that tournament.
Blinds increased every 24 minutes during Day 1a and the structure will be the same for the other online opening day next Sunday.
Of the 31 entrants, 13 players survived the day and will move onto Day 2. In addition to Neves Jr, other notable players who advanced to Day 2 included Toby "eightenclubs" Lewis and Toby "jesusneedsaces" Joyce.
Timothy "RandyB0bandy" Ulmer and David "JeanClaude1970" Peters (two bullets) were less successful and were eliminated before the action was completed.
The PokerNews Live reporting team will be back on April 30 to report the second online opening day. When the online portion of the tournament is done, the team travels to the Playground Poker Club to report on the live stage of the event.