Friday, May 19, 2017 11:27 PM Local Time
Flight A Chip Leader Jonathan Poche
The first of two starting flights in the Circuit Main Event at Harrah's New Orleans got a total of 311 entries and 58 players survived the day. The big stack at the conclusion of play was 244,000 chips and belongs to Jonathan Poche, won the Circuit Main Event here the last time he played, which was in 2011.
After Poche, Jeffrey Trudeau Jr. bagged the second most chips with 234,500, followed by Brett Connally (218,000), Ken Barlow (200,000), and Brock Gary (192,000) to round out the top five from Flight A.
Other well-known players to bag in this flight include two-time WSOP bracelet winner Loni Harwood (133,500), who would love to add another ring to her collection of three, and fellow bracelet winners Phil Hui (54,500) and Kyle Cartwright (111,500).
Doug Carli also made it through, with 127,500. Carli holds the record for most cashes all-time in Circuit events. Three-time ring winner Robert Georato will bring a stack of 51,500 to Day 2. DJ Alexander has one Circuit ring and got fourth in the WSOP Circuit in Choctaw in January. He bagged up a healthy stack of 187,000.
Some other WSOP bracelet winners played today, but were unfortunate to bust before the end of the night. These were Cord Garcia, Ben Keeline, Larry Wright, and two-time bracelet winner Josh Arieh. November Niner Dennis Phillips also made an appearance, but busted halfway through the day. Multiple ring winners Valentin Vornicu, Robert Hankins, Caufman Talley, John Holley, and Charles “Woody” Moore also played today but didn't make it through. Several of these players will be sure to show up tomorrow to give it another go.
The Flight A survivors will have a day off in New Orleans tomorrow as players in Flight B fill the room. Those who make it through tomorrow's flight will join the 58 from today for Day 2 Sunday at noon.
Friday, May 19, 2017 10:52 PM Local Time
In one of the last hands of the night, Robert Hankins and Ryan Leng clashed.
According to players at the table, Leng limped under the gun, BJ McBrayer limped in middle position, and Hankins raised to 12,000 in the cutoff. The button and blinds folded, Leng called, and McBrayer folded.
It was heads up to a flop of and Leng checked. Hankins bet 10,000, Leng raise to 25,000, and Hankins called.
On the turn, Leng said, "Oh my god, the turn saved me," and moved all in. Hankins tank-called for his remaining stack, around 30,000, and they showed down.
Leng had pocket sevens for a turned set and Hankins was drawing dead with .
Ryan Leng - 159,000
Robert Hankins - Eliminated
Friday, May 19, 2017 10:41 PM Local Time
The remaining 63 players in Flight A are playing four more hands before bagging for the night. A full recap will be posted shortly after play concludes.
Friday, May 19, 2017 10:38 PM Local Time
Jonathan Poche won this event back in 2011, and he hasn't played it since. This belated defense of his title is going rather well, though, and Poche will be hard to beat for the end-of-day chip lead.
In the most recent pot, Poche is in position and heads-up with Chris Leanza on the turn of a board. Leanza checks, and Poche moves all in for about 50,000 effective — about a pot-sized shove. Leanza eventually calls, putting himself at risk.
Poche's pair of fives has him in the lead, and the on the turn gives him the pot. Leanza is eliminated, and Poche adds to his mountain of chips during the final few minutes of Day 1 action.
Jonathan Poche - 290,000
Friday, May 19, 2017 10:33 PM Local Time
Scott Anderson opens to 6,500 in the cutoff and Melvin Dukes calls in the blinds.
The flop comes and Dukes checks. Anderson bets 8,000 and Dukes calls.
They both check the turn and the river is the . Dukes bets out 20,000 and Anderson lets it go.
Melvin Dukes - 152,000
Scott Anderson - 141,000
Friday, May 19, 2017 10:30 PM Local Time
After some players limped in, Paul Hendee goes all in for 7,900 in the big blind. The early position limper calls, the cutoff calls, and the remaining players fold. It is heads up on the side and Hendee is at risk.
The other two players check down the board of .
The early position player shows , the cutoff shows , and Hendee tables his for two pair to win the pot, get the triple up, and stay alive in the tournament.
Paul Hendee - 28,000
Friday, May 19, 2017 10:07 PM Local Time
Friday, May 19, 2017 10:01 PM Local Time
A player in middle position goes all in for 28,000, John Richards calls in late position, and Jon Wisbey calls on the button. The blinds fold and Richards and Wisbey are heads up on the side.
The flop comes and Richards checks. Wisbey goes all in for 65,000 and Richards folds.
Wisbey is ahead with his jacks and holds up on the turn and the river. He eliminates his opponent and chips up.
Jon Wisbey - 130,000
Friday, May 19, 2017 9:33 PM Local Time
In a heads up raised pot, the flop comes . The big blind leads out 7,000 and Scott Anderson makes it 22,000. His opponent calls.
They both check the turn and the river is the .
The big blind moves all in for 44,000 and Anderson calls.
Anderson shows for queens and sixes with an ace kicker and his opponent shows before hitting the rail.
Scott Anderson - 220,000
Friday, May 19, 2017 9:28 PM Local Time
Friday, May 19, 2017 9:14 PM Local Time
Neil Scott open-shoves 14,000 in early position and it folds to Joe Tehan in the big blind. He peeks at his hand, announces he has two paint cards, and calls to put Scott at risk.
Tehan has Scott in bad shape, and Scott can't find help from the board. He hits the rail late in the day.
Joe Tehan - 43,000
Neil Scott - Eliminated
Friday, May 19, 2017 9:14 PM Local Time
The player under the gun opens to 5,000, and there are two calls before Cory Waaland three-bets to 21,000 in position. The initial raiser folds, as does the next player behind him, but the third player back-shoves with the larger stack. Waaland has just 35,000 behind, and he shoots a quizzical look at his opponent. "I wasn't planning on raising and folding, but then you did something I didn't expect," he says. Waaland does call all in for 56,000, though, putting himself at risk.
The board runs out , and Waaland wins the flip to double-up.
Cory Waaland - 126,000
Friday, May 19, 2017 8:48 PM Local Time
Friday, May 19, 2017 8:33 PM Local Time
The remaining players in Flight A of the Main Event are on their last break of the day. This is the registration break, the last opportunity to get into the first flight. They will return to play three more levels before bagging for the night.
Friday, May 19, 2017 8:32 PM Local Time
"All right," Patrick Eskandar says, glancing at the clock. "Five minutes to re-enter?" There are five minutes left on the clock in Level 12, and registration will indeed be closed once the break ends in about 20 minutes. Eskandar sticks his last 6,400 into the middle preflop, and James Alexander calls next to act.
The board runs out , and Alexander wins the pot with a set of aces. Eskandar is eliminated for the moment, but he still has thorough the break to re-enter, should he so choose.
Friday, May 19, 2017 8:28 PM Local Time
Cory Waaland opens to 3,100 in middle position and Jeremy Stein goes all in for 23,900 in the big blind. Waaland thinks for a little while and commits calling chips.
Stein's nines are ahead, and they hold up on a board of for the double up.
Jeremy Stein - 50,000
Cory Waaland - 48,000
Friday, May 19, 2017 8:11 PM Local Time
After a long grind with a middling stack, Denise Pratt was just relieved of her last few thousand chips, and she headed straight to the cashier to take advantage of her Day 1A re-entry. So far, bullet number two is working out significantly better.
Pratt is in the big blind for this hand, involved in heads-up action against the player on the button. The turn is out on the board, and there's more than 20,000 in the pot. Pratt moves all in for her last 8,400, and the button calls to put her at risk.
Pratt's flush draw is no good, but her pair makes her the favorite to double-up. The river is the blank , and Pratt scores a full double with a pair of treys. It took a re-entry to do it, but she's suddenly at her high point of the day after a fresh start.
Denise Pratt - 37,000
Friday, May 19, 2017 7:55 PM Local Time
Friday, May 19, 2017 7:54 PM Local Time
A player under the gun limps, a player in middle position raises to 2,700, Paul Hebert calls, the cutoff calls, the button calls, and both blinds call.
Then, the initial limper goes all in for 25,800, the initial raiser folds, and Hebert re-shoves for 30,000. The remaining players fold and they show down.
The board runs out and Hebert eliminates his opponent. The initial raiser says he folded eights after the hand, so the all-in player was drawing very slim.
Paul Hebert - 72,000
Friday, May 19, 2017 7:42 PM Local Time