Ivey Falls on Day 1 of $111K WPT Alpha8 for One Drop; Aleksejs Ponakovs Bags Big

On the day that the 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event was playing down to a final table, and Bin Weng was busy winning his second World Poker Tour (WPT) title of the year, the $111,000 buy-in WPT Alpha8 for One Drop was kicking off at Wynn Las Vegas.

Day 1 attracted 39 entrants, though registration is open until the start of Day 2. After 10 levels of play, 15 players bagged with Aleksejs Ponakovs leading the pack with 1,455,000. Hot on his heels are Iaron Lightbourne (1,325,000) and Dan Smith (1,256,000).

Those players, and any who opt to late register, will play one-hour levels on Saturday until the final table of six is reached. The final six players will then return on Sunday to play it out on a live-streamed final table.

WPT Alpha8 for One Drop Day 1 Chip Counts

Place Player Count
1 Aleksejs Ponakovs 1,455,000
2 Iaron Lightbourne 1,325,000
3 Dan Smith 1,256,000
4 Michael Lim 1,249,000
5 Brian Kim 676,000
6 Rick Salomon 629,000
7 Henrik Hecklen 608,000
8 Isaac Haxton 579,000
9 Santhosh Suvarna 414,000
10 Adrian Mateos 386,000
11 Artur Martirosyan 337,000
12 Jonathan Jaffe 302,000
13 David Stamm 253,000
14 Kevin Rabichow 158,000
15 Ramin Hajiyev 144,000

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Of course, not everyone was fortunate enough to survive Day 1. Among those to hit the rail were Cary Katz, Fedor Holz, Jason Koon, Justin Bonomo, Nick Petrangelo, Sean Winter, Seth Davies, Stephen Chidwick, Talal Shakerchi, Bill Klein, Justin Kindred, Mike Lang, Fahredin Mustafov, Chris Brewer, Leonard Maue, and Mikita Badziakouski.

In regards to Katz, “El Jefe” at PokerGO, he was set up by Brian Kim in Level 6. Katz got his chips all in on the turn holding pocket aces on a nine-high board, but Kim had turned a set of eights. The river failed to offer a reprieve to Katz, and he bowed out of the tournament.

Ivey Done and Dusted

In one big hand captured by the WPT Live Updates, it was Level 9 (4,000/8,000/8,000) when Davies min-raised to 16,000 from the hijack only to have Phil Ivey three-bet to 104,000 out of the small blind. Davies responded with an all-in four-bet to approximately 200,000 and Ivey wasted little time in making the call.

Davies was ahead with the JJ and was looking to hold against the AK of Ivey. He did so through both the 1085 flop and 10 turn, but Ivey got there on the river when the K spiked.

Aleksejs Ponakovs
Aleksejs Ponakovs

Unfortunately for Ivey, he exited two levels later courtesy of Ponakovs. It began when Ponakovs raised to 22,000 from middle position and Ivey called on the button. Both blinds folded and the flop came down 982.

Ponakovs bet 23,000, Ivey called, and the 6 appeared on the turn. Ponakovs bet again, this time 75,000, and Ivey jammed for 304,000. Ponakovs thought for 30 seconds before calling wit the 1010 which was behind Ivey’s two pair with the 98. Unfortunately for the Poker Hall of Famer, the 6 paired the board on the river to counterfeit him and give Ponakovs a bigger two pair.

PokerNews will offer daily updates on the WPT Alpha8 for One Drop, so be sure to check back throughout the weekend.

Sizzlin’ Hot Bin Weng Captures WPT EveryOne for One Drop Title for $2.2 Million

*Images courtesy of WPT / Drew Amato.


  • Day 1 of the $111,000 @WPT Alpha8 for @OneDrop attracted 39 entries, but only 15 players found a bag.

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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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