We’re not quite in Texas, but no spot on the Circuit is closer to the home of No Limit Texas Hold’em than the shores of Bossier City, Louisiana, located just 200 miles from Dallas, Texas. This Southern stop always draws some of the area’s best grinders and this year was no exception, as the $1,675 Main Event drew a range of players from young bracelet winners and November Niners to Poker Hall of Famers.The action got underway on Friday, with 170 players who turned up for the first of two starting days in the $1,675 single re-entry tournament. The field featured several notables, including Poker Hall of Famer TJ Cloutier, who was one of 31 players to survive the play. Cloutier wasn’t the only notable name to survive Friday’s action either. The big story out of Day 1A was reigning champ Jeff Gibralter, whose hopes of making it back-to-back victories in Bossier City are still very much in tact, as he ended the day second in chips with 269,000.The only player to bag up more was Jan Howard, who won a massive pot late in the action to surge up the counts. She just edged out Gibralter for the honor of chip leader by 500 chips, ending play with 269,500. Other notables who bagged up chips on Day 1A were Beverly Lange, Abraham Araya, and bracelet winner Jordan Smith.Day 1B saw an even bigger crowd turn out with 268 entries, bringing the total field size to 438 entries, up from last year’s group of 405. With that many entries, the prize pool came in at $657,000. The top 45 finishers in the event will each earn a payday, with the winner taking home a tidy sum of $144,537, not to mention the Main Event ring and the seat in the 2014 WSOP National Championship in Atlantic City.Day 1B not only drew more players, it also had even more notables, including several players taking their second shot in this tournament. Daniel Lowery almost didn’t sign up for Day 1B after news broke of a possible family emergency back home, but his second bullet ended up being a great shot, as he ended as the overall chip leader with an impressive 305,500 chips from the 20,000-chip starting stack.
Lowery and ring winner Cord Garcia paced the field for much of the day in a friendly battle of the big stacks. The two actually made a prop bet before play began about which of the two would get to 100,000 chips first. Both had fast starts, but it was Garcia who hit the century mark first, beating Lowery by about half an hour. While Garcia dropped back in the counts, Lowery surged, at one point nearing 300,000 in chips. As the day wound down, it was Garcia back out front, but Jessie Bryant also got in on the chip lead action.The trio ended first, second and third in chips on Day 1B, as Bryant bagged up 255,500 and Garcia ended play with 249,000. Other notables among the 50 Day 1B survivors were La Sengphet, bracelet winner Robert Cheung, Yossi Azulay, Rob Salaburu, Kenny Nguyen, and recent ring winner Dale Roesel, who currently holds the lead in the Bossier City Casino Champion race with 72.5 points.
Some of the players who made the trip down South, but failed to survive the opening days of action were Bernard Lee, bracelet winner Bryan Campanello, Kyle Cartwright, Tripp Kirk, Andy Hwang, Rex Clinkscales, Andy Philachack, and Caufman Talley.
A total of 81 players will be back in action at 12pm CT tomorrow for Day 2 play, which will see money bubble action, not to mention some stiff competition for who will make the final table. As usual, WSOP.com will offer live updates of all of the action from the start of play. Until then, here is a look at the unofficial top ten heading into Day 2:1. Daniel Lowery – 305,5002. Jan Howard – 269,5003. Jeff Gibralter – 269,0004. Huey Hulin – 258,5005. Jessie Bryant – 255,5006. Cord Garcia – 249,0007. Mo Arani – 238,0008. Sean Small – 234,5009. Wade Jabbour – 200,50010. Tyler Morris – 177,500