As far as attendances go, the World Poker Tour (WPT) has seen bigger fields, but given the fact that a lot of people have started their summer sojourn to Las Vegas, and that most of the airspace is thick with volcanic dust, 94 players is not to be sniffed at. After all it is still €329,000 in prize money and we will still have day 1b to come tomorrow.
Thomas Kremser starting things of by telling the players that we would play eight levels of 60-minutes play and at the end of those eight levels we had lost 57% of our players. 54 plastic bags were sealed when the clock struck 01:00 (CET) and by that time the average chip stack was 52,222.
The first player to put his head above the felt parapet and get himself noticed was Loic Sa. Ironically, Sa last played in this arena at EPT Barcelona a few months ago, and he finished that day 1a as the chip leader. He played extremely well all day and although he did not repeat his feat he did end the day as one of the highest chip counts.
The early chip leader had also played at this venue before. It was back in late 2011 and it finished off rather well after picking up a 1st place in a side event for €19,200. His name was Marton Czuczor and he was performing very well despite being pitched on a very tough table. Kevin Vandersmissen, Nicolas Yunis, Tonio Roder and Maximillian Noll all with big main event experience.
At 19:30 the players headed out to the local bars to fill their starving bellies. One player who decided to eat his chips in the casino was Artur Koren and boy was he wolfing them down. Koren became the first player to pass the 100,000 chip mark soon after the break and he refused to let that lead slip. There were many players trying to prize him from the top spot including Czuczor, Sa, Justin Tazelaar, Clemens Manzano and Martin Vallo but in the end Koren stood strong. Nobody could shift him from the top spot, and after placing 122,800 chips into his plastic bag, we told him that it was more than 53 other players in the room and a little smile broke out on his face.
Other notable players who made it through day 1a were Mario Adinolfi, Leo Margets, Juha Helppi, Thomas Bichon & Kevn Vandersmissen
For a full commentary of the WPT Spanish Championships day 1a live reports check out the live blog.
WPT Spanish Championship picture gallery