The eyes of the poker world have been upon the East Coast these days, as the launch of online poker in New Jersey last month. Today though, the focus shifted back to the brick and mortar, as the $1,675 buy-in Harrah’s Atlantic City Circuit Main Event kicked off with two flights of action on Friday.
Between the 12pm Day 1A and 5pm Day 1B flights, so far there have been 572 entries in this year’s event. That number stands to grow even higher, as registration does not close until the start of play on Sunday. While there is a little ways to go, it appears this year’s field will end up not too far off from the 616 players that took part in last season’s event.
Not only has this event drawn one of the larger Main Event fields so far this season, it has also drawn one of the most stacked, with top East Coast talent turning up to participate. Some of the big stacks who made it through one of the two starting flights include six-time ring winner Ari-Engel, Chad Brown, three-time bracelet winner Matt Matros, bracelet winner Loni Harwood, John DiBella, and bracelet winner Jeff Papola. All told, 188 players survived opening day and will be back in action on Sunday.
While it was Engel who stole the headlines early with his big stack, the player who edged him out for the chip lead was Michael Lydon of Woodside, New York, who ran his 20,000-chip stack up into 213,700. Lydon was the only player to finish with more than 200,000. Engel, meanwhile, finished second in the counts with 151,500, while Chad Brown rounds out the top three with 150,300.
Others who advanced through to Day 2 include Rex Clinkscales, Robert “Uncle Kurnk” Panitch, Chris Tryba, James St Hilaire, three-time ring winner Phil Hui, Alex Queen, Andy Spears, DJ MacKinnon, runner-up in this event last year Wade Woelfel, November Niner Michael Esposito, and Scott Baumstein.
Others were less fortunate, failing to survive Day 1 despite, in some instances, firing two bullets. Jamie Kerstetter, Jack Schanbacher, Roland Israelashvili, and Joe McKeehen were just some of the casualties over the course of Day 1 play.
Day 2 action gets underway on Sunday at 12pm. Once again, WSOP.com will provide live updates of the action all day, including updates on the total prize pool, the bursting of the money bubble, and whether or not the field will get to a final table.
Until then, here is a look at the top ten counts from the end of Day 1 of the Harrah’s Atlantic City Main Event. A full list of chip counts is available on WSOP.com:
1. Michael Lydon – 213,700
2. Ari Engel – 151,500
3. Chad Brown - 150,300
4. Jason Shapiro – 148,600
5. Brad Johnson – 143,800
6. Arthur Pro – 142,500
7. Tom McMackin – 140,000
8. Ray Taylor – 139,900
9. John Nelson – 138,200
10. Matt Matros – 134,600