August 12, 2017 (Cherokee, N.C.) - Day 1 of the Main Event at Harrah’s Cherokee is a wrap. Flight B drew 645 entries, making the total entries for the event 1,022. This is among the largest main event fields at this stop with a total prize pool of $1,533,000. The 181 remaining players are competing for a top prize of $283,597 along with a WSOP gold ring. The top 108 finishers will be in the money with a minimum payout of $2,821.

A total of 118 players survived Flight B and Joseph Taylor finished the night at the top of the counts. Taylor took the chip lead from bracelet winner Ryan Welch in the final level of the night. Taylor was already over 300,000 chips with about fifteen minutes of play remaining when he came from behind to eliminate a player who was all in for 75,000.

Taylor had ace-queen suited in the small blind against his middle position opponent’s ace-king offsuit. The flop came jack-high and Taylor went runner-runner for Broadway to eliminate his opponent and take a commanding chip lead. His stack of 386,000 makes him first in chips overall going into Day 2.

Clifford Billups bagged the second-largest stack of the flight with 350,000, followed by Ryan Welch with 341,000. The top three stacks from Flight B are also the top three overall going into Day 2. Kindah Sakkal (264,000) and John Shepherd (262,500) round out the top five stacks in Flight B.

Here are the top 10 chip counts overall prior to the start of Day 2.

1 – Joseph Taylor (386,000)
2 – Clifford Billups (350,000) 
3 – Ryan Welch (341,000)
4 – David Davenport (340,000) 
5 – Warren Sheaves (313,000)
6 – Johnny Landreth (268,000)
7 – Kindah Sakkal (264,000)
8 – John Shepherd (262,500)
9 – Justin Harvell (255,000)
10 – James Alexander (250,000)

The remaining players from the two starting flights will combine to play Day 2 at noon on Sunday. Play begins at Level 16 with blinds of 1,500/3,000 and a 500 ante. The tournament will wrap up on Monday when a champion will be declared.

Complete Chip Counts & Day 2 Seat Draw