The first day of the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open has ended at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. A total of 125 entrants were on the player’s list at the start of the non-televised tournament buying in with $3500, with more expected to join in on the action during the late registration option today during Day 1B. Notable faces included Will “The Thrill” Failla (Season Ten Player of the Year), Andy Frankenberger (defending Player of the Year), Jonathan Little, Tony “Bond_18” Dunst, Shaun Deeb and Matt Waxman. A particularly tough starting table included players Noah Schwartz, Christian Harden and Matt Stout – they had been seated at the same table after they used the late registration option.
Action was fast from the very start as players got involved in big hands early on. Christopher Tryba got eliminated as he went all-in with his pocket Jacks vs pocket Aces. Former WPT champ Rhynie Campbell eliminated Steve Levy with pocket Aces vs Levy’s KQ. Campbell would eventually be eliminated by Deeb. By the dinner break, just 96 players were remaining. Action remained fast and furious as the pace of eliminations remained rapid after the break.
Deeb continued to accumulate chips as he played a big hand against the then-chip leader Matthew O’Donnell, as he got O’Donnell to lay down his hand on a 6-5-5-8-9 board, boosting Deeb’s chip stack to 95K. Dunst was unlucky losing with his pocket Tens vs his opponent’s pocket Eights. Uri Kadosh in the second last hand of the evening took the chip lead as he eliminated a short-stacked player with AK vs 42 suited.
Shannon Shorr, Matt Gianetti, Schwartz and Waxman were among players who did well finishing with above-average chip stacks, the average being 44,347. On that front, Alan Kessler and Failla have some catching up to do.
Fast action during Day 1A can be attributed to the “second chance” structure, offering a rebuy opportunity on Day 1B. Dunst, Lichtenberger and Little are set to buy back in on the second day of the tournament. By the end of the action on Day 1B today, the total field size and payout amounts will be finalized. The final table is going to take place on Feb. 14, and will be streamed live online. The champion will walk away with a sizeable six-figure sum.