Trying to guess how many entries the $50,000 Poker Players Championship will get is always a lottery. But amidst the whisperings of which high-stakes cash game players would join the field in pursuit of WSOP glory, talk was that the number of entries could surpass 100 for the first time since 2014.
It didn't quite get that far, with 90 entries on Day 1, but all signs point to a healthy field with late registration open for another five more levels on Day 2 on Monday.
All the big names you would expect to see in a tournament of this magnitude were in attendance, including eight former champions, six Poker Hall of Famers, and five WSOP Players of the Year.
After six levels on Day 1 it is Luke Schwartz (893,000) who bags the overnight chip lead after winning a last-minute hand against Julien Martini to overtake the Frenchman. Bryn Kenney, Shaun Deeb and Bryce Yockey are the only other players above 700,000.
$50,000 Poker Players Championship End of Day 1 Chip Counts
|1||Luke Schwartz||United Kingdom||893,000|
|2||Bryn Kenney||United States||802,000|
|3||Shaun Deeb||United States||718,500|
|4||Bryce Yockey||United States||715,000|
|5||Aaron Katz||United States||695,500|
|7||Dan Cates||United States||617,000|
|8||Andrew Kelsall||United States||583,000|
|9||Benny Glaser||United Kingdom||547,000|
Day 1 Recap
The action was typical for Day 1 of this prestigious tournament, with slow and deep-stacked mixed game play across all nine games in the format.
What was atypical was the arrival of defending champion Dan Cates. Why? Because he was dressed like Randy "Macho Man" Savage. And talking like him as well.
The costume didn't seem to hinder "Jungleman" as he bagged a healthy stack ahead of Day 2.
Despite the 100-minute levels, there were some casualties on Day 1. Jens Lakemeier was the first elimination after a hand of Pot-Limit Omaha against Shaun Deeb. He was joined on the rail by Eli Elezra, Felipe Ramos, David Prociak and Ben Diebold.
Fireworks were in short supply, but several players did manage to chip up considerably from the 300,000 starting stack. Julien Martini registered midway through the day and soon made his way up the chip counts. Naoya Kihara and Bryn Kenney were equally active as they looked to add second bracelets to their collection.
The tournament continues at 2 p.m. on Monday, June 27 with six more 100-minute levels scheduled. Late registration closes prior to the start of Level 11 at approximately 10:20 p.m. Stay tuned to PokerNews for full updates from the $50,000 Poker Players Championship