In the words of one of PokerStars Blog’s brilliant photographers Carlos Monti, this $25K High Roller might be “the most beautiful tournament.”
Oh sure, we had the Liv Boerees and Igor Kurganovs of the poker world out in the field, but he wasn’t talking about the looks of the players themselves. He explained: “The $100K is for millionaires and the top top players. The $50K, it’s the same. But the $25K? It’s just possible for more of the great players to play.”
It’s not hard to see what he means. Of course the PokerStars Championship Main Event is the most important, and the one everyone truly wants to win, but it became clear today that for the top players in the game, this is like a second main event.
Not only was this tournament as stacked as you’d imagine, but there were plenty of faces in the mix that we don’t normally see on the high roller circuit. This $25K is truly highlighting what the PokerStars Championships are all about.
Having said all that, after ten 60-minute levels it’s the familiar face of Nick Petrangelo who is out in front of the 77 survivors, turning his second bullet from the 50,000 starting stack into 290,600. Rounding out the top five counts were Sam Greenwood with 276,800, Byron Kaverman with 272,000, Rocco Palumbo with 267,700, and Oleksii Khoroshenin with 264,000.
We had 115 unique entrants and 36 re-entries, totalling 151 entries, and for the latter half of the day it was mostly Khoroshenin, Greenwood, and Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu (who ended with 104,600) who held the top chip counts the longest. Joining Negreanu in wearing the red spade were fellow Team Pros Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier (140,300), Liv Boeree (43,000), Andre Akkari (40,600), and Jake Cody (32,800). Felipe Ramos was also in, but busted early on.
Cody is one of those faces we don’t often see in the $25Ks. So are Mario Ho, Phil Laak, Bernard Lee, three-time Superbowl champion Richard Seymour, and three-time LAPT champion Nacho Barbero. But all were here today, and all will be back on Day 2. Seymour tops those names, finishing with 165,000.
Then you have the faces we’re used to. Bryn Kenney – who not only took down the $50K single day this week for $969K but also binked the $25K shot clock event yesterday for $392K – had an OK day, finishing with 66,800. Jason Koon, winner of the $100K for $1.65 million, had a better session, progressing to tomorrow where he’ll unbag 165,000.
Meanwhile, Dan Colman (100,400), Daniel Dvoress (50,000), Stephen Chidwick (145,000), and Mustapha Kanit (40,000) are just a few of the serial high roller final tablists we’ll see again tomorrow.
Of course, it wasn’t a good day for everyone. Sean Winter finished runner-up in this one last year, losing out on the trophy to Nick Maimone (who funnily enough ran deep in the Main Event today, eventually busting out in 19th for $24,640). That amount would just about get Maimone a seat in this event, whereas Winter busted two bullets. His second and final life ended when his flopped trip queens were beat by Oleksii Khoroshenin’s flopped threes full.
Charlie Carrel couldn’t keep up some of that high roller run good that he’s enjoyed so frequently over the past 12 months. After finishing second to Jason Koon in the $100K for $1.191 million earlier this week, he then busted the $50K single day tournament just before the dinner break, and did the same thing here in this one. He’d already used his re-entry option, so Carrel got an early night. We spoke to him earlier on today about playing these big events, and you can find that interview here.
Take a look at all of the end of Day 1 chip counts here.
Registration is open until the start of play tomorrow, so we won’t know the official field size until then. Make sure you join us back here tomorrow at noon as we’ll be touching base with the goings on throughout the day. At the same, the Main Event will be playing down to final table of six.
The two most beautiful tournaments of the festival.
Take a look at the official website of PokerStars LIVE, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the PokerStars Championship Bahamas and all other Festival and Championship events.
Also all the information is on the PokerStars LIVE App, which is available on both Android or IOS.
Jack Stanton is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.