12pm: 169 advance to Day 2
Day 1B is now in the books as 169 players move on to Day 2 of the Main Event
10pm: 244 players left at Level 8, Hublot Players’ Cocktails ongoing
From a starting field of 459 runners, we are down to only 244 with about five minutes remaining in Level 8 (blinds at 300/600/75). According to Tournament Director Justin Hammer, we will play until Level 10 and those that survive the end of that level will move on to Day 2 of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Sanya, which happens tomorrow at 12:00NN still here at the MGM Grand Hotel’s main ballroom.
Also ongoing now is the Hublot Players Cocktails wherein Hublot, the official watch of the WPT, gave away one of its elegant timepieces to one of the lucky players in attendance. WPT President and CEO Adam Pliska gave a message of thanks to the players and staff of this event and stressed that being part of the WPT tournaments is a unique experience that all cherish—from players to staff to organizers.
We are now on a ten minute break. More updates a little later on.
6pm: Korean tourney grinder, Chinese poker babe in the field
From contrasting backgrounds, two members of Team J88 Poker have been battling amiably thus far as Justin Shin (Jae Wook Shin) of Korea and Chinese stunner Jin Tian have been waging war in their campaigns to advance to Day 2 here in WPT Sanya.
Shin first gained renown as an online hobbyist that eventually led to him turning pro in 2012; picking up his first cash in the Philippines three years later in the PokerStars Live Manila Megastack 3 wherein he finished in thirteenth place. Shin eventually went on to amass nearly $80,000 in winnings, most recently the ACOP 6-Handed event just last October.
Jin—who has only been playing professionally for the past two years—has picked up some kind of a cult following because of her beauty and brains package and has two championships under her belt, winning the 2015 WPT Sanya NLHE Shooting Star event for her biggest cash to date at $26,272 while also taking down the Bounty event in the 2016 Super Poker Tournament in Boao, China.
Both are doing well and past the midway mark of Day1B here are still very much in contention.
4pm: Two-time WPT champ Samuel Panzica in action here
Just last March, Samuel Panzica got the biggest cash of his career by taking down the title in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event and took home over $1M in prize money. Today, he is slugging it out at Table 8 against a phalanx of local online qualifiers here and is holding his own against them.
Panzica, is making his first appearance on the Asian tour and this two-time WPT champion (who also won the 2016 WPT bestbet Bounty Scamble Main Event in Jacksonville, Florida), is coming off his first stint in this side of globe in WPT India and is also headed for the inaugural WPT Japan tournament this following week.
Panzica, who hails from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is also a three time World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) winner and has had cashes in Canada, Italy, the Bahamas, France and Monte Carlo and is seeking his first here in Asia.
3pm: French Connection of Gonzva and Chauve plunge into action
Inaugural WPT Cambodia champion Benjamin Gonzva and WPT Thailand runner up Vincent Chauve have landed at their respective tables as France is now fully represented by these two Asian circuit regulars.
Both gentlemen have been based in Bangkok, Thailand for quite awhile and besides appearing in the numerous tournaments the region has to offer, they are also established online players preferring to fly under the radar. Their first goal is to advance to Day 2 here.
Vincent Chauve began Day 1B at the Featured Table but has taken a few hits to his stack, while Benjamin Gonzva is also struggling to stay afloat early.
But with the tourney still at Level 3 (Blinds at 75/150), both have plenty of time to find their form against the mostly Chinese field here.
12am: Suffle Up and deal!
With World Poker Tour (WPT) President & CEO Adam Pliska flying in from Singapore to join the festivities, Day 1B of WPT Sanya is now in motion at the main ballroom of the MGM Grand Hotel here.
A total of 459 entrants have descended upon this venue with hopes of advancing to Day 2 where yesterday 173 entrants made it through to the next phase of the competition.
Tournament Director Justin Hammer indicated that the competitors will be battling it out for ten levels, which should have the day conclude roughly at midnight. Each player begins with 25,000 in chips with the starting blinds at 50/100 with one hour levels.
Most of those in action are local players who survived a series of online qualifiers on Ourgame’s PokerWorld site, while a number of international campaigners are also expected to join the wars on the felt.
The coverage continues all tournament long here on somuchpoker.com.
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