We’ve seen some rookie stops really excel on the World Series of Poker Circuit before. Horseshoe Hammond immediately started drawing massive crowds, as did Choctaw Casino in Oklahoma. Just last season, River Rock Casino in Vancouver, BC cracked 1,000 entries with its first-ever Circuit event.
We can now add Horseshoe Cincinnati to that list. The new stop and the site of Ohio’s first-ever WSOP Circuit event has been generating good turnouts and rave reviews so far, but it remained to be seen just how big the Main Event might get.
With 408 entries on the first of two starting days, this event is on pace to be one of the biggest Main Events of the season. The turnout is not surprising considering the casino gave out numerous seats via poker room promotions, not to mention a crowd of Ohio-area poker enthusiasts thrilled to be playing in a major event with a six-figure payday for the winner.
At day’s end, only 130 of the 408 remained with none other than two-time Circuit ring winner Aaron Massey leading the way. Massey spent most of the day middling around average stack, but catapulted to the top of the counts when he picked up pocket aces on the third to last hand of the night. He scored a full double up, then ended the day with 189,700 chips after starting at 12pm with just 20,000.
Massey was not the only Circuit regular to thrive at the tables today either. Two-time ring winner Blake Barousse ended with an impressive 134,300 after spending pretty much all day near the top of the counts, while local boy turned poker pro Justin Truesdell bagged up 94,900. Perhaps the most impressive performance was that of Sam Panzica, who won his third career ring and second ring of this Cincinnati series before immediately hopping into Day 1A action. He finished with 83,100 and another shot to add points to his already substantial tally in the Horseshoe Cincinnati Casino Champion contest.
There were several bracelet winners in the Day 1A crowd in addition to the ring winners, including Bryan Campanello, Adam Friedman, Nick Jivkov, and Aaron Steury. OF the four, Steury was the only one able to make it through the day, ending with a well above average 103,100.
Others who joined Jivkov, Campanello, and Friedman on the rail were Rex Clinkscales, Ralph Massey, poker reporters Brett Collson, Josh Cahlik, and Tim Duckworth, Darren RAbinowitz, Caufman Talley, Maurice Hawkins, and Joe Kuether.
For these eliminated players there is still hope, as this single re-entry tournament does allow them to take another shot on Day 1B, which begins on Saturday at 12pm ET. In the meantime, the 130 Day 1A survivors get to enjoy the city on their day off, then return to the felts for Day 2, which begins at 1pm on Sunday afternoon.
We’ll be back in action for Day 1B with live updates from the floor. Until then, a full list of Day 1A chip counts can be found on WSOP.com.
Here is a look at the official top ten chip counts from the end of Day 1A:
1. Aaron Massey - 189,700
2. Michael Gibson - 179,300
3. Jeremy Halaska - 146,500
4. David Costain - 143,400
5. Eric Zadan - 142,100
6. Blake Barousse - 134,800
7. Michael Wells - 128,000
8. Sean Lippel - 120,200
9. Viet Vo - 120,000
10. Douglas Holland - 118,900