Mark Kroon takes the chip lead into Day 2 of the first-ever Circuit main event in his home state. 

MILWAUKEE (February 11, 2017) -- Both starting flights of the first-ever World Series of Poker Circuit main event in the badger state are in the books and Wisconsin native Mark Kroon is taking the chip lead into Day 2.

Day 1A of the $1,675 no-limit hold’em main event at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino drew 249 entries on Friday and when Day 1B closed registration on Saturday evening, there were another 428 entries in the field. It brought the total field size to 677 and generated a prizepool of over $1 million, with first place worth more than $208,000. It’s one of the biggest prizepools in Wisconsin poker history.

Nick Pupillo bagged the Day 1A chip lead after bagging 283,000 in chips, but Kroon ended Saturday’s flight with 382,000 in chips and will take a massive chip lead into Day 2 with almost 100,000 more chips than Pupillo, who is his closest competitor.

Kroon was steadily chipping up all day, but really put some distance between himself and the rest of the field in the last level of the day. He knocked out Phil Mader in the last level of the day with king-ten against Mader’s ace-king. Kroon hit a ten on the flop to send Mader to the rail and cross the 300,000-chip mark.

Joining Kroon at the top of the chip counts are the aforementioned Pupillo, Chad Wiedenhoeft, Fadi Hamad, and James Gregg. A complete list of the Day 2 chip counts can be found in the reports tab in the live updates.

Here is a look at the top 10 chip counts:

  1. Mark Kroon – 382,000
  2. Nick Pupillo – 283,000
  3. Chad Wiedenhoeft – 275,500
  4. Fadi Hamad – 254,000
  5. James Gregg – 251,000
  6. Garrett Riley – 237,500
  7. Denise Pratt – 234,500
  8. Steve Buell – 230,000
  9. Dale Menghe – 222,500
  10. Thomas Peebles – 200,500

Aside from the top chip counts, Day 2 will be loaded with top notch poker talent. Krzysztof Stybaniewicz (183,500), Johsua Reichard (183,000), Dennis Phillips (169,500), Andy Philachack (120,000), Nick Jivkov (115,000), Ravi Raghavan (112,000), Keven Stammen (111,500), Eddie Ochana (107,000), Andy Spears (91,000), TK Miles (59,500), Craig Varnell (59,500), Chad Holloway (53,500), Allen Kessler (38,000) and Ryan Van Sanford (33,000) are among the top pros who will be coming back on Sunday.

Unfortunately for some, lady luck wasn’t on their side and lots of top pros were unable to put chips in a bag for either flight. Eight-time ring winners Ari Engel and Valentin Vornicu, Andre Crooks, Zal Irani, Nathan Bjerno, Jake Dollinger, Rex Clinkscales, and Tom Koral were some of the notable pros who were unable to earn a spot in the Day 2 field.

There were 49 players that made it through Day 1A and 83 players waded through the Day 1B field, meaning that 132 players will return for the penultimate day of the first-ever Circuit stop in Wisconsin.

When play kicks off at noon on Sunday, the levels will be 60 minutes in length and the money bubble will be on everybody’s mind. The top 72 players will earn a cash of at least $2,843 and the bubble is expected to burst before the second break of the day. Complete payouts can be found here. The field will play 10 levels before bagging and tagging chips for the night.

The survivors of Sunday’s action will return on Monday and play down to a winner.