The second of two starting flights has concluded at the Harrah’s Cherokee World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event, and when it was all said and done, Clifford Billups topped the Day 1B leaderboard. After bagging up 276,500 chips Billups will enter Day 2 in comfortable shape, but of the 168 survivors from both flights, everyone trails far behind Day 1A leader Aaron Plaisted, who amassed a staggering 429,000 on Friday.
Plaisted’s astronomical chip count is even more impressive considering he only decided to enter on a whim during Level 10 – meaning he began play with just 25 big blinds to work with. In only six levels of play Plaisted ran his 20,000-chip starting stack up at a torrid pace, and by the end of his flight he was running over the table, playing the classic loose-aggressive style employed by most end-of-day chip leaders. Of course, Plaisted also enjoyed a little bit of luck along the way, especially when his 9-2 offsuit materialized into a full house by the river, besting his opponent’s nut flush.
Several well-known pros managed to secure a seat for Day 2, including Josh Arieh (218,000), Michael Sewell (172,000), Ralph Massey (149,000), Leif Force (94,000), David Bach (78,000), Nicholas Palma (72,000), Paul Sokoloff (67,000), and Darryll Fish (16,000).
Among the casualties to take their shot and miss the mark were Greg Raymer, Brandon Newsome, Jonathan Abla, Kim Stone, Austin Buchanan, John Holley, Nancy Nguyen, Jason Sandling, Iverson Cotton Snuffer, and New England Patriots great Richard Seymour.
The first starting flight was the smaller of the two, drawing 283 entries, while Day 1B saw 503 more enter the fray to bring the field up to 786 total entries. At the end of Day 1A only 54 players bagged and tagged, while 114 made it through to the end of Day 1B. The tournament boasted a $750,000 guarantee and that was surpassed easily, with the final prize pool topping out at $1,179,000. The winner will take home $235,804 – along with a gold Circuit ring and a coveted berth in the WSOP Circuit National Championship – and 81 players will make the money.
The full payout structure can be found on WSOP.com.
All of the 168 survivors from the two starting flights will reconvene on Sunday at noon EST, and the combined field will play 10 levels lasting 60-minutes each.
Live updates from the Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event are available on WSOP.com
Here's a look at the Top 10 chip counts heading into Day 2:
1. Aaron Plaisted – 429,000
2. David Williams – 280,500
3. Clifford Billups – 276,500
4. Dave Terry – 266,500
5. Riley Fuller – 247,000
6. Peter Vitantoniv - 222,000
7. Josh Arieh – 218,000
8. Perry Johnston – 199,500
9. Steven Snyder – 197,000
10. Juan Cortes – 191,500
Full chip counts are available on WSOP.com.