A few minutes before 11 a.m local time, the doors to the Bally’s ballroom swung open, the throng poured in, and it seemed like Christmas morning for every poker player.
The start of the $10,000 Main Event is the biggest day on the poker calendar as defending champion Koray Aldemir did the ceremonial “Shuffle Up and Deal.” Aldemir’s run at a repeat performance will have to wait as he did not enter this flight, but 900 players did take to the felt today on Day 1a to chase their dreams of World Series of Poker glory and the title of world champion.
Leading the way after five two-hour levels is Cedrric Trevino. The man behind the vlog “Poker Traveler” hit a set of kings on the river to crack pocket aces and knock out a player on his way to bagging 317,800.
Right behind him is Wesley Fei. The cryptocurrency investor and Hustler Live cash game regular only started playing poker six months ago. The Main Event is his first-ever tournament. He won a big pot with kings against ace-queen to approach 200,000 chips, finishing the night with 300,000.
“I feel good. First time playing a tournament,” Fei said at the end of the night. “This tournament is almost like a cash game. I’m happy with deep stacks.”
2022 WSOP Main Event Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
|RANK||PLAYER||Country||CHIP COUNT||Big Blinds|
|1||Cedrric Trevino||United States||317,800||397|
|2||Wesley Fei||United States||300,000||375|
|3||Suhaag Gandikota||United States||269,700||337|
|6||Andrew Moreno||United States||238,200||298|
|7||Yusef Yusufov||United States||230,000||288|
|8||Wendy Bowers||United States||219,400||274|
|9||Kenneth O'Donnell||United States||217,600||272|
|10||Jimmy D'Ambrosio||United States||213,500||267|
A total of 631 players made it through the day. Ryan Depaulo knocked out two players, one with a set of sixes against pocket kings and the other by rivering a straight with jack-ten to crack a set of nines. The bracelet winner finished the night with 188,800. Others who made it through to Day 2 include past Main Event champions Martin Jacobson (64,300), Ryan Riess, and Qui Nguyen, in addition to Thomas Eychenne (255,800), Andrew Moreno (238,200), Jimmy D’Ambrosio (213,000), two-time “Last Woman Standing” Kelly Minkin (204,700), and Kevin Gerhart (149,900).
One player who is no stranger to Main Event success is Josh Remitio, who rode the strength of his boisterous rail a year ago all the way to a fourth-place finish. Remitio took to the felt today for another run and ended up with 145,500.
“It feels good. I've bricked every tournament so far this series. This just kinda feels like my event though,” Remitio said about being back on the Main Event stage. “Following (last year’s) Main Event I studied a lot more but yeah, pretty much taking the same approach.”
The Main Event dream ended early for others. Reigning Player of the Year Josh Arieh ran into a cooler with a rivered flush against D’Ambrosio’s full house and busted shortly after. Johnnie “Vibes” Moreno, Ana Marquez, $100,000 High Roller champion Aleksejs Ponakovs, and Japanese vlogging superstar Masato Yokosawa also hit the rail on Day 1a.
The players who survived the day will return on July 7 for Day 2ab. Stay tuned to PokerNews as another group of Main Event hopefuls gets their turn on July 4 on Day 1b at 11 a.m.