After a full 10 levels on the opening day of Event #8: $50,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event, the curtains have drawn to a close with just 13 players remaining. Brian Rast will head into Day 2 with the chip lead after bagging up 886,500 chips, looking for his first cash of the US Poker Open.
Rast entered the field midway through level six and started his climb up the leaderboard. He went about his business rather quietly but ended the day with a bang. With around 200,000 in the middle, Rast shoved over the top of a pot-sized bet from Justin Bonomo, which forced his fellow American to fold. In one of the last hands of the night, Rast vaulted himself to the front of the pack.
The remaining contingent of players will provide Rast with a stiff challenge moving forward. Ben Tollerene, who has already won an event this week, bagged up an equally impressive 620,500 chips. Tollerene picked up the majority of his chips when he held pocket aces against Dan Shak's pocket queens. It was a cooler for Shak but Tollerene became the beneficiary of his chips.
Keith Tilston, who has had an impressive week in his own right, rounds out the top three with 488,500 chips. Tilston has racked up over $387,000 throughout the course of the first seven events and is now looking to add to that score.
A couple more familiar names in Daniel Negreanu (461,000) and Benjamin Pollak (454,000) close out the top five stacks. Negreanu had a bit of an up and down day, at one point holding the chip lead and then falling back to around a starting stack. He finished strong, however, and will be looking to show the "young kids" that he can still battle with the best of them in these nosebleed buy-in events.
The day started out with just seven players taking their seats at one table and slowly grew from there. More players joined the field while some were forced to use their allotted one re-entry. By the midnight hour when late registration officially closed, there were a total of 33 entries making up a prizepool of $1,650,000. The late additions were Stephen Chidwick, Cary Katz, and Tom Marchese who all decided to take their seats at the start of Day 2.
With the prizepool and payouts now finalized, it is confirmed that Stephen Chidwick will walk away with the title of US Poker Open Champion. Chidwick has earned over $1.2 million in the series thus far and can not be caught no matter the outcome. The UK poker pro captured the title in two of the $25,000 events and cashed in two others. When Chidwick rejoins the field tomorrow, he will just be looking to add his numbers.
With such a prestige event taking a place, every player that took to the felt could be recognized by those sitting on their couch at home. Unfortunately, not all of them were able to run up a stack throughout the day and bowed out early. Some of those on the list include Jason Koon, Isaac Haxton, Nick Schulman, Rainer Kempe, Erik Seidel, David Peters, and Sean Winter.
The action is scheduled to restart at 2:00 P.M. PST on Saturday inside the Aria Resort and Casino poker room. At 4:00 P.M., one of the tables will be moved to feature table to begin the live-stream on PokerGO with a 60-minute delay. They are scheduled to play down to a final table of six players, which will resume on Sunday.
You can keep up to date with all of the live action from the tournament floor as the PokerNews live reporting team will be here to bring you all of the coverage.