Day 1a of WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Smashes GTD; Anthony Spinella Leads

On Friday, the World Poker Tour (WPT) $3,500 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown kicked off in South Florida. The first of two starting flights proved to be a smashing success with 1,135 entrants, which means the prize pool is already at $3,632,000 (it actually surpassed the $3 million guarantee before the dinner break).

It marked the fourth-largest flight for the Showdown Championship behind only 2021’s 1,434 entries on Day 1b, 2016’s 1,222 entries, and 2017’s 1,207 entries.

After 10 levels of play, 378 players remained with Anthony Spinella and his stack of 473,000 leading the Day 1a field. Not far behind is poker phenom Ethan “Rampage” Yau, who bagged 451,000.

“If I’m not the chip leader I punted three straight hands with five hands left in the day,” Yau told WPT reporters. “I ran well today, this never happens to me, I’m glad that I have chips.”

Others to bag big stacks were James Anderson (412,500), Brandon Wilson (411,500), Jeff Madsen (406,500), and Debbie Lee (377,500), while defending champ Mark Davis made it through with 137,000.

Top 10 Day 1a Chip Counts

Place Player Prize
1 Anthony Spinella 473,000
2 Ethan Yau 451,000
3 James Anderson 412,500
4 Brandon Wilson 411,500
5 Jeff Madsen 406,500
6 Mark Davidoff 400,000
7 Sung Lee 377,500
8 Dario Dussan 376,500
9 Marco Rodriguez 373,000
10 Shai Arbel 372,000

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Others to make it through were Benny Glaser (321,000), Andrew Moreno (317,000), Raminder Singh (305,500), Steve Buckner (247,000), Jeremy Ausmus (226,500), David “ODB” Baker (206,500), Chance Kornuth (191,500), Alex Foxen (181,000), Mike Leah (166,500), Nate Silver (127,000), Shannon Shorr (92,500), and Katie Kopp (59,000).

Of course, not everyone was fortunate enough to thrive on Day 1a. Among those to fall throughout the day were Loni Hui, Alex Jim, Asher Conniff, Anthony Zinno, Chad Eveslage, Joe McKeehen, Matt Stout, Jeff Platt, Brad Owen, Will “The Thrill” Failla, Jonathan Jaffe, and Cherish Andrews.

Likewise, WPT Ambassador Andrew Neeme failed to find a bag and tweeted details regarding his bust out.

Day 1b of the WPT $3,500 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown will begin at 11 a.m. local time on Saturday. Late registration will remain open until the start of Level 9 (approximately 9:00 p.m.). Day 2 will begin on Sunday, April 30th at 12 p.m. EST and Day 3 will take place on Monday, May 1st at 12 p.m. EST with a plan to play down to 16 players.

Day 4 is scheduled for Tuesday, May 2nd at 12 p.m. EST and will reach the final table, which will then be played at the Hyper X ESports Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 25th.

*Images courtesy of WPT and Seminole Hard Rock.

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Chad Holloway

Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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