The WPT World Championship needed 334 entries to reach its guaranteed prize pool of $5 million. And after a first starting day with 105 entries, Day 1B brought 223 more, falling just short of meeting the organizers’ expectations.
The unofficial count is now set at 328 entries, which is still the largest World Championship field in five years. The official numbers will be released later today, but according to the WPT Blog, if the field size is confirmed, then the $15,000 + $400 event will effectively become a $15,244 + just $156 in tournament rake.
This is definitely good news for all 200 players heading into Day 2 and great news for Jason Koon, who topped the Day 1B field and is sitting comfortably behind his 252-blind stack. He and Athanasios Polychronopoulos (223 BB), Keith Lehr (221 BB), and Lee Markholt (218 BB) will have a slight advantage over the remaining entrants to win the big prize of $1.35 million. To be in that position though, they will have to survive four more days.
But they have already taken the first step toward the goal. Both Koon and Polychronopoulos arrived during Level 2 missing the opening 75-150 blinds. Polychronopoulos started his action with a …. fold? On a #ad#jh#8s#10d board, his opponent, WPT Jacksonville winner Doc Nabil Hirezi check-raised, a move that put the Greek-American into the tank for over two minutes until he decided to fold.
Two levels later, Polychronopoulos started a pre-flop war against Lehr. Both players moved all-in only to catch a third unlucky one right in the middle of things. The two big stacks had pocket Aces while the third held pocket Kings.
But this wasn’t the biggest hand of the day. Zohair Karim lost one particular hand although he had a straight flush:
Just lost str8 flush to bigger str8 flush. Just called a small raise otr tho #canNeverBeTooCareful
— Zo Karim (@PakmanMMA) April 22, 2014
Other notable competitors who will play in the second day of the Season XII final are WPT Jacksonville Fall Poker Scramble winner Jared Jaffee, $2.6 million live career winner Matt Stout, WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star champ James “Croll” Carroll, L.A. Poker Classic millionaire Chris Moorman, and Hall of Famer Scotty Nguyen.
Jaffee, Carroll, and Moorman rebought their way through the event after an unsuccessful Day 1A.
Dan Smith, Eugene Katchalov, Ryan Riess, and Mohsin Charania tried the same strategy using two bullets in the World Championship but failed to advance. According to their Twitter accounts, Katachalov and Charania will head to Monaco next for the EPT Grand Final.
Day 2 will commerce today at 12:00 PM ET. PokerUpdate will follow along bringing you the latest stories from Atlantic City, New Jersey.