It was fitting we spent time during Day 1A of Moneymaker’s Road to PSPC – Seminole on the road. I mean literally, in a car, driving as we shuttled between the two locations of this uniquely-designed event.

There are two Day 1 flights — one today and another Saturday. And each of those flights is divided in two again, with players simultaneously and separately playing in two different poker rooms, one at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood and the other at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.

We spent a good part of the afternoon at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, enjoying the hospitality (and pizza!) provided by the staff as we watched players put up $360 and try to make it through Day 1 and into the money. And  (most importantly) continue to have a shot at the pretty Platinum Pass being awarded to the winner, worth $30K and good for a trip to Barcelona to play in the second running of the PokerStars Poker Players Championship.

Rock ‘n’ roll! The trophy and the Platinum Pass

There were 42 entries in action at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, including the man whose road we are traveling who got things going for the early 10 a.m. start.

It looked as though Moneymaker might be needing a second entry when in the last level before the re-entry option ended he was nearly felted by Tom Gity. All in on the flop with a pair of tens that were best against Gity’s two overcards, a runner-runner flush for the latter left Chris with four big blinds.

He was on fumes, but not fuming. And soon after doubling and then winning another decent pot he had the fuel he needed to motor onward toward the night’s conclusion. In fact, by night’s end he was one of the five players making it through, and bagged the biggest stack of all five Coconut Creek survivors, his 284,000 ending just ahead of Sheldon Gross with 222,500.

“Overall a pretty smooth day,” said Moneymaker when bagging

Meanwhile the bigger crowd was at the Seminole Hard Rock — 135 entries, altogether, making the total turnout 177 for Day 1A. After having driven to Seminole Casino Coconut Creek in the morning, we got back on the road again in the afternoon to the Hard Rock to look in on the action during the latter stages of play.

By then they were down to just over 30, still needing to lose more than half that number to get to the finish line. At last early evening arrived and they’d reached their target and with 14 players left — that is, 19 total — the day was done.

One familiar face among those making in through was Scott Baumstein, and indeed he’d end up with more than anyone playing at Hard Rock today with 470,000. He’s the overall chip leader at present, with Charles Odenz (420,000) and Isaac Ebron (300,500) also having exceeded Moneymaker’s total.

But fourth overall is Moneymaker, who is making a habit of getting off to great starts in these Moneymaker Tour events.

He was the overall Day 1 chip leader at the Hippodrome in London before going on to finish 14th. He bagged an above-average stack on Day 1 in Newcastle, ultimately cashing in 50th. Then in Aspers he was the Day 1A chip leader and in the top five overall among all the first-day flights, eventually converting that start into another cash with a 15th-place finish.

In fact, most recently in Dublin he had his worst Day 1 where he only made it through with a short stack. But then he recorded his best finish yet, getting all of the way to seventh.

He’ll get to replenish his fuel tank with a day off tomorrow, but we’ll be right back at it. The fields — again in both locations — are expected to be bigger. We’ll see if anyone in either of them can get it in gear to pass Moneymaker and take pole position heading into Sunday’s final. We’ll also share a closer look at this Guitar Hotel at which we’re staying at the Hard Rock.

Until then, good night from Hollywood!


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