On Friday, the World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event began at the Horseshoe Hammond Casino, and after Day 1a, Canadian professional Mike Leah held the chip lead with 276,100 chips.
Leah jumped out of the gate fast, running his stack up to 70,000 chips before the first break, and continued to trend upward. The Canadian pro was gifted a big pot in Level 12, when an opponent moved all in for more than a pot-sized bet on a flop of . Leah quickly called with , which crushed his opponent’s . The turn and river came , , respectively.
The $1,675 buy-in event attracted 835 and among the entrants were notables Isaac Baron, Ryan Julius, Steve Karp, Harrison Gimbel, Amanda Musumeci, Faraz Jaka, Dan Heimiller and PokerNews’ very own Chad Holloway. Unfortunately, none of those players advanced. At the end of the day, 170 players remained.
Nick Jivkov, who won 2012 WSOP Event #5: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em and final tabled the Horseshoe Hammond Main Event in 2010, was live multi-tabling on Friday. Jivkov was at the final table of a $365 limit Omaha hi/lo tournament, but decided to hop in the Main Event anyway. Jivkov was eliminated when he ran ace-king into Dale Robinson’s pocket kings, and the board ran out . Not to worry though, Jivkov took down the Omaha event, pocketing $16,046 for his efforts.
Another player eliminated during play was 86-year old World War II veteran Richard Decowski, who was one of the first players to cross the six-figure mark. However, he went on to lose a massive pot with pocket jacks against an opponent’s pocket queens. A few levels later, Decowski was eliminated when he moved all in with . Steve Terrile picked him off with two kings.
Mukul Pahuja also had a very nice day. Right off of the bat Pahuja was aggressive. He was faced with a raise from Owais Ahmed and a call from another opponent, before three-betting to 2,600 on the button. Pahuja received one call, and the flop fell . Pahuja’s opponent led for 4,000, and Pahuja quickly raised to 10,600. His opponent mucked, and Pahuja raked in the pot. Pahuja finished the day right behind Leah with 261,400 chips. His brother, Vinny Pahuja, was eliminated on the day and will be left with the option to re-enter on Day 1b.
Other notable players who survived the day include Danny Johnson, Aaron Steury, Mark Maletic, Joe Kuether, Kennii Nguyen, Jacob Bazeley, Eric Crain, Nick Grippo, and Jeff Fielder.
Day 1b will begin on Saturday at 1200 CDT (2000 CEST), and run for 15 levels just like Day 1a. Both fields will then combine on Sunday at noon. Make sure you keep it locked to PokerNews.com for all of your up-to-the-minute live updates from this and every other Main Event on the WSOP Circuit.
Follow PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.