Day 1a of WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Brings Out the Heavy Hitters

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Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Day 1a

The biggest and most popular World Poker Tour (WPT) stop of the year is underway in Hollywood, Florida with the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. The series features the $3,500 buy-in WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship, a $3 million guaranteed event that kicked off on Friday with Day 1a.

The massive starting flight attracted 945 runners, only 298 of whom survived to see Day 2, which will take place on Sunday, April 21. Leading the way with a stack of 505,500, good for 202 big blinds, is Brazil’s Eider Da Cruz, ahead of fellow big stacks John Krpan (504,500), Myles German (466,000) and Jose Nadal (456,500).

Eider Da Cruz
Eider Da Cruz

End of Day 1a Top Chip Counts

  RANK PLAYER CHIP COUNT BIG BLINDS
  1 Eider Da Cruz 505,500 202
  2 John Krpan 504,500 202
  3 Myles German 466,000 186
  4 Jose Nadal 456,500 183
  5 Gary Gelman 415,000 166
  6 Curtis King 405,000 162
  7 Vincent Cafone 401,500 161

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Kornuth, Lonis & Seidel Among Day 1a Runners

Nearly the entire ballroom at Seminole Hard Rock was filled up on Friday afternoon as hundreds of players made they way to their seats in the Championship event. By the time registration closed after Level 9, the $3 million guarantee had already been reached.

The packed field included poker author and mixed game specialist Dylan Linde, who just weeks ago shipped the WPT Voyage $10,000 High Roller for $230,467 as he added to his nearly $8 million in live earnings. Linde played a pot in the middle of Day 1a with Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel, who himself is fresh off a victory at the US Poker Open in Las Vegas just a few months after winning his tenth bracelet in the Bahamas.

Erik Seidel
Erik Seidel

The field also featured a few ClubWPT qualifiers, including longtime grinder Ray Cochrane, a 65-year-old from Colorado who found himself nestled between breakout star Jesse Lonis and former GPI Female Player of the Year Nadya Magnus.

Other notables in the Day 1a field included Shaun Deeb, Jeremy Ausmus, Francis Anderson, Erick Lindgren, Adam Hendrix, DJ Alexander and WPT Champions Club members Frank “The Tank” Stepuchin (who PokerNews caught up with at last year’s WPT Gardens), Will “The Thrill” Failla, Jonathan Jaffe, Tony Sinishtaj, Chance Kornuth, Erick Lindgren and Erick Lindgren.

As expected with such a large and stacked field, there were plenty of highlights across the first flight. Those included recent WPT Prime Championship winner Calvin Anderson scoring a knockout with quad jacks and the newlywed Josh Arieh running into the nuts to be eliminated.

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Josh Arieh
Josh Arieh

There’s still one more flight to go in the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship, which will get underway on Saturday, April 20 at 11 a.m. local time. It will follow the same structure as Day 1a with 60-minute levels, starting stacks of 50,000 and starting blinds of 100/200/200.

PokerNews is on-site at Seminole Hard Rock to write about the tournament festivities, while live updates from the event can be found on the WPT site.

WPT SHRPS Championship Remaining Schedule

*Images courtesy Joe Giron & WPT

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