A chip lead at any point in a poker tournament guarantees nothing.
While having the lead is a desirable position, players are constantly just a handful of cards away from being knocked to the bottom of the counts.
Some Day 1 leaders are able to ride their lead to victory though. Shakeeb Kazemipur did it LAPT8 Panama when he had a dominating lead at the end of Day 1b and ended up winning the tournament.
Chadi Moustapha almost did the same last event, but finished just short and lost the title to Claudio Moya.
But more often than not, Day 1 chip leaders lose their momentum and aren’t able to recover.
Today, we’ve seen both sides of the spectrum.
Jorge Breda started the day second in chips with 177,600 but is now below average with just about 50,000. Last night, Breda had a beaming grin as play ended but it slowly evaporated along with his chips.
Even when he loses, he doesn’t really lose.
In one hand, Moustapha raised to 4,000 from the cutoff and the button moved all-in for 7,800. The big blind raised to 15,000 and Moustapha thought for a while before he five-bet to 40,000.
The button sighed and the big blind folded.
Moustapha turned over 10♥10♣ and the button showed A♥6♥.
The K♥6♣5♠2♣6♦ board gave the button trip sixes and he took down the main pot while Moustapha was almost able to neutralize his losses with the side pot.
But when someone loses chips, somebody else wins them.
Renata Teixeira nearly tripled her start-of-day stack and is now up to about 90,000.
Friend of PokerStars Felipe Ramos is also up to about 95,000 after eliminating a player.
In that hand, the cutoff moved all-in for 17,500 and Ramos called from the small blind. The cutoff showed K♦Q♥ and started packing his things after Ramos tabled K♥K♠.
The board ran 4♣4♦8♣3♦K♣ and Ramos took down the pot with a full house.
Alexander Villegas is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.