Biloxi, MS (September 14, 2013) — The Main Event at IP Casino Resort and Spa is underway following the first of two starting flights that began Friday at 12 p.m. Opening day drew a solid field full of past champions, gold bracelet winners, familiar faces and reality T.V. stars. In all, 139 players turned out and just 30 bagged following 16 levels of play.

Nolan Burton separated himself from the rest of the field, amassing 298,500 chips. Burton burst onto the WSOP Circuit scene winning the preliminary $365 six-handed ring event just a few days ago. His run good followed over to the Main Event when he was dealt kings against Kennii Nguyen's pocket nines on an eight-high board. The pair got their chips in the middle and Burton raked in a pot good enough for the chip lead and then some.

Joining him in the 200,000 chip club is Daniel Lowery. Lowery is a Circuit veteran with 15 cashes, one gold ring and more than $350,000 in career earnings. He heads to Day 2 with 246,500.

Other top stacks include Glen Goldsmith (172,000), Corrie Wunstel (143,500) and "Boston" Rob Mariano. Best known for his roles on Survivor and The Amazing Race, Mariano enjoyed a high-profile Day 1 that included timely ace on the flop to eliminate two players, quadruple his chip stack and surpass the 100,000-chip mark. His 137,500 chips place him firmly in the top five.

2011 IP Biloxi Main Event champion Jerry Monroe also stamped his ticket to Day 2. Monroe enjoyed a slow and steady Day 1A and bagged a modest stack of 80,000.

Past champion Kyle Cartwright contended for the chip lead for much of the early stages of play, but his run at a follow-up title slowly fizzled. Other notables to hit the rail include gold bracelet winners Ylon Schwartz, Dana Castaneda, 2008 WSOP Main Event fourth place finisher John Dolan and Circuit standout Ryan Tepen. These players are expected to give it another shot along with the groves of other participants in Flight B Saturday at 12 p.m.

Tournament staff is expecting Saturday's field to be strong enough to send to the two-day total over the 337-player mark, recognizing this year's Main Event as the largest in IP Biloxi's short history with the WSOP Circuit. Cards are in the air for Flight B beginning at 12 p.m. Registration for the championship event remains open until 9:30 p.m. and full prize pool information will be made available at that time.

Both starting flights combine Sunday at 12 p.m. and arrive to blinds of 1,500/3,000 with a 1,000 ante. Play is expected to reach a final table.

Live updates from the IP Biloxi Main Event are available on

Top 10 Day 1A counts

1. Nolan Burton - 298,500
2. Daniel Lowery - 246,500
3. Glen Goldsmith - 172,000
4. Corrie Wunstel - 143,500
5. Rob Mariano - 137,500
6. Robert Harwell - 124,500
7. Kasra Khodayarkhani - 115,500
8. Matt Oswalt - 113,000
9. George Beck - 109,000
10. Thomas Beckstead - 107,000

Full chip counts available on