After two action packed days of No Limit Hold'em, Tavish Margers emerges as the chip leader of the World Series of Poker Circuit Harrah's Southern California Main Event. The two starting flights saw 281 players pony up the $1,675 to have their chance at a Circuit Main Event title, a ring and a seat in the WSOP National Championship. Margers bagged 378,500 at the end of Day 1B, which puts some serious distance between him and the remaining 46 plaers as the event heads to Day 2.
Joining him at the top of the chip counts are James Bechtel, Mike Broadhead, Mitchell Davis and Dan Stir. They head to Day 2 with 280,500, 244,000, 228,000 and 210,000, respectively.
Tavish Margers won a ring here at Harrah's Southern California in one of the preliminary events. Afterward, he explained that he always plays wearing a Team Challenge sweatshirt. Team Challenge is the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s endurance training and fundraising program. Margers’s 12-year old son has Crohn’s disease, and he wears the shirt and supports the program to help his son and others with the disease.
"I’ve been with Team Challenge for four years now," he said after winning his ring a few days ago. "What we do is we raise money for the Crohn’s and Colitis foundation to help fund research and spread awareness. We do endurance training, we do half-marathons, we do triathlons and stuff like that. My son did his first half-marathon with me back in November in Las Vegas. We both decided to do crazy mohawks for the race, running up and down the strip, so we could fit in with all the crazies in Vegas.”
Stir ended as the Day 1A chip leader, but was dropped to fifth overall after the big day that a couple of the players had on Day 1B. Bechtel is looking for his first major live tournament win, but he comes from quite the poker pedigree. His father won the WSOP Main Event for $1 million in 1993 and has over $2.5 million in tournament earnings. It wasn't easy for those players to earn those chips to get them to the top of the leaderboard as there were plenty of top flight pros to make their way to the San Diego area. Bracelet winners Eric Baldwin, Jordan Morgan and Josh Pollock all played Day 1B of the event, with Morgan and Baldwin getting through on their second bullet. Former November Niner Soi Nguyen will be coming back for Day 2, as is Bernard Lee, five-time ring winner Valentin Vornicu and Tahoe Main Event Champion Jesse Wilke. David "Bakes" Baker, Brent Hanks, Rex Clinkscales, Howard "Tahoe" Andrew, Erik Roussakis, Robert Cheung, Josh Hale, Shane Schleger, Michael Skomac and Ping Liu were just a couple of the top pros who flamed out without bagging any chips. Late registration is open until the start of play on Day 2, so the exact prizepool has yet to be calculated. If the current 281 players is the final number, the field will have generated a prizepool of $421,500 with the top 30 spots earning a payday. While late registration is open, it is only open to players who haven't entered more than once in the event. If a player has already fired two bullets, they are no longer eligible to register for the event. Day 2 will get cards in the air at noon PST and is scheduled to play 10, 60 minute levels with hopes of getting down to at least a final table of nine. WSOP.com will have complete coverage of the day's action. Day 2 chip counts are available here.