Some big names showed up to Harrah's Cherokee to compete for the penultimate bracelet of the year, but the likes of Antonio Esfandiari, Shaun Deeb, Joe McKeehen, John Monnette, and Anthony Zinno (pictured) didn't scare Horseshoe Council Bluffs Casino Champion Josh Turner.
A Circuit regular with four rings and over $300,000 in career tournament earnings, Turner felt right at home in the elite company. He competed in this event last year, winning a seat by taking down the Lumiere Place Main Event in St Louis. He failed to cash, but returned with a vengeance this year, amassing a pile of chips over the course of Day 1, which no one would come close to matching.
From a field of 122, just 48 players remain in the first-ever Global Casino Championship. There are 24 players who put up the $10,000 to buy-in and qualified based on their WSOP POY points total or because they won a ring this season, but that number could grow, as registration remains open through the start of Day 2 first level on Wednesday.
Turner tops the field with an impressive 302,700 in chips. He estimates he knocked out six or seven players over the course of the day, including Janet Fitzgerald and Russ Head. A pivotal pot early on that helped propel him to the top of the counts early came when he flat-called a three-bet with pocket aces and the flop came A-A-J, giving him quads. He played it slow, just calling on the flop and turn, but managed to get it in on the river against a player who held J-J.
While his big hands held up to give him chips today, Turner's skill at the tables deserves some credit too. While he acknowledges he isn't the biggest name in the field, he doesn't discount his chances in this tournament.
"I fit in with these people," Turner says. "I've got four rings."
Turner is the only player over 300,000, as well as the only player over 200,000. His next closest competitors appears to be David Slaughter, the New Orleans Casino Champ, who bagged 187,600. Sean Small, an at-large qualifier, rounds out the top three with 176,200.
While much of the attention today focused on the POY qualifiers who paid the $10,000 entry fee, they didn't fare particularly well today. Around half of them busted over the course of the day, including Ankush Mandavia, David Peters, Olivier Busquet, Phil Hui, John Monnette, Shaun Deeb, Shannon Shorr, John Racener, Rep Porter, and 2015 WSOP Main Event Champ Joe McKeehen. Other big names who failed to survive the day include Antonio Esfandiari, Mukul Pahuja, Valentin Vornicu, Cory Waaland, John Holley, Ari Engel, and the only player to qualify for every single National/Global Casino Championship, Woody Moore.
While over half the field fell before the day was over, plenty of others thrived. Doug Carli, the all-time Circuit cashing leader, bagged up 64,100. All-time Ring winner Alex Masek is still in the field with 97,500 as well. Of the players who bought in to the tournament, the biggest name remaining is Anthony Zinno, though he finished with less than starting stack at 25,100. Other notables returning for Day 2 include Aditya Prasetyo, Joe Kuether, Nipun Java, Barry Hutter, Jesse Martin, Mike Leah, Sergio Castelluccio, Bernard Lee, Ryan Tepen, Brian Altman, and Justin Liberto.
The remaining players are back in action at 12pm ET on Wednesday. A complete list of chip counts and seat assignments can be found in the Reports tab. There will be live updates of all the action http://www.wsop.com/tournaments/updates.asp?grid=1235&tid=15049:Here is a look at the official chip counts heading into Day 2:
1. Josh Turner - 302,700 (Horseshoe Council Bluffs Casino Champ)
2. David Slaughter - 187,600 (New Orleans Casino Champ)
3. Sean Small - 176,200 (at-large)
4. Blake Whittington - 130,700 (at-large)
5. Daniel Weinman - 124,700 (POY qualifier)
6. Brian Senie - 120,800 (Tbilisi Main Event Champ)
7. DJ Mackinnon - 119,800 (at-large)
8. Said El-Yousfi - 112,000 (Marrakech Casino Champ)
9. Cody Pack - 107,800 (at-large)
10. Barry Hutter - 106,900 (POY qualifier)