Yesterday saw the start of the second annual $10,000 buy in WPT Seminole Hark Rock Showdown in Hollywood, Florida. The glitzy event is expected to offer a prize pool around the $3 million mark (as of last night there were over 280 players registered with a few more expected before resumption of play today) - notably down on last years $4.1 million but still one of the biggest prize pools in the WPT tour.
The field was packed with big name players including; Jason Mercier, Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin, Matt Giannetti, Chino Rheem, Jonathan Little, Allen "chainsaw" Kessler, current WPT player of the year leader Will "The Thrill" Failha, Hoyt Corkins, Abe "EazyPeazy" Mosseri, Mike Sexton and last years champ Taylor von Kriegenbergh.
The controverisal former November Niner David "Chino" Rheem ended the day in the top ten with 106k chips (David Nicholson currently leads with 132k) and has been at the top end of the leader board ever since a big hand at the end of level two when he was involved in a big pot, showing Jd9d on a Js9c8c board. He found himself in the unenviable position of being a 61/39 underdog to take the pot up against his opponents' Jc10c and had to dodge a fair few bullets on the turn and the river before raking in the 72k pot and temporarily taking the chip lead.
The reigning Seminole Showdown champ, Taylor von Kriegenbergh, is still in the running at the end of day one but with only 2/3 of his starting stack will have to work hard to progress any further. Saying that, he is very lucky to still be in the tournament as late in the day he found himself all in for his tournament life holding KK to his opponents AA. A lucky King on the river kept von Kriegenbergh in the tournament - and with that sort of luck just maybe he'll have a chance!
Today will see 209 of the 280 starters come back to play another day at midday local time (along with any late sign ups who join before Day 2 gets underway) and another five levels will be contested. With a 30k starting stack and with only 10 players currently holding over 100k in chips there is still a fair amount of value in entering the tournament so we'll see how things shape up at the end of play today.