The World Series of Poker Circuit continued on Saturday with Day 1b of the Choctaw Durant Main Event, and after 17 levels of play, Jonathan Bakhshian led with 460,000 chips. Drazen Ilich, who finished Day 1a with 650,000 chips, will enter Day 2 as the overall chip leader.
Top 10 Chip Counts Entering Day 2
Day 1b attracted 674 entrants, creating the third-largest field (1,140) in the history of the WSOP Circuit. The 2011 and 2012 Hammond Main Events attracted 1,615 entrants and 1,523 entrants, respectively.
Only 99 players survived Day 1b, meaning Day 2 will begin with 163. The top 117 players will receive a small piece ($2,804) of the $1,710,000 prize pool, with the winner earning $312,080, the WSOP Circuit gold ring and a seat in the Southern Comfort 100 Proof National Championship.
While Bakhshian, Jason Hall, Bobby Layne, Hien Nguyen and Mike Davis made late charges to the top of the counts, Kunal Patel steadily climbed the counts throughout the day.
Patel, who bagged 236,500 chips, started to climb the leader board after dinner break. He crossed the six-figure threshold when a player decided to bluff into him when he turned a flush. The blinds were 800/1,600/200, and the board was when Patel led out for a bet. His opponent moved all in for around 40,000, and Patel called with . The player sheepishly tabled the , and a meaningless completed the board.
Patel later crossed the 200,000-chip threshold when he called a preflop shove in a battle of the blinds. The limits were 1,200/2,400/400 when a player open-shoved for 40,000 from the small blind. Patel tank-called with the , which had his opponent’s dominated. The board ran out , and Patel eliminated his opponent.
Hundreds of players failed to survive the day, including notables David Clark, Kurt Jewell, Will “Monkey” Souther, Justin “Choctaw” Kruger, Allen Kessler, Tommy Vedes, AP Phahurat, Huy Nguyen, Traci Brown and Abraham Araya. Nguyen and Brown, who finished first and second, respectively, in the 2011 WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant Main Event, both exited after the dinner break.
A short-stacked Brown moved all in with the on a flop of only to be called by Danny Logston who held the . The turn and river came , , respectively, and Brown was eliminated.
Rex Clinkscales, who leads the WSOP Circuit National Leader Board, eliminated Nguyen. With the blinds at 1,200/2,400/400, Nguyen open-shoved his last 26,000 with the . Clinkscales re-shoved with , and flopped an ace. The turn and river both bricked, and Nguyen was eliminated.
During the last level of the evening, the defending champion Araya was eliminated. With the blinds at 1,500/3,000/500, Araya moved all in for his last 52,000 with . An opponent looked him up with , and the board ran out . Araya, who misfired a bullet on Day 1a, as well, was eliminated, meaning there will be a new champion at Choctaw.
Day 2 of the Choctaw Durant Main Event will begin on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. CST. Join the PokerNews Live Reporting Team as they bring you all of the action straight from the tournament floor.