Cheong Among Top Stacks After First of Three Flights at Legends of Poker

Joseph Cheong finished Day 1A in third place, well within striking distance of chipleader Barry Hutter.

Joseph Cheong finished Day 1A in third place, well within striking distance of chipleader Barry Hutter.

Season XII of the World Poker Tour got underway earlier in August but the Legends of Poker, which began Thursday afternoon, is the first US event of the season and the first that will be televised.

There’s a long way to go before they reach the final six, but 56 of the players who took to the tables on Day 1A have at least punched their tickets to Day 2. Barry Hutter bagged the biggest stack of the bunch with 212,400, joined at the top of the chip counts by Joseph Cheong (188,100), Eddy Sabat (150,900), Season X POY Joe Serock (147,500), Matt Stout (106,100) and Christina Lindley, who was just named one of the ‘Ones to Watch’ for Season 12.

Jason Koon, who graces the cover of the newest issue of BLUFF, finished the day with an above-average stack (88,500).

David Sands, Kyle Julius and Jeremy Ausmus each made their way through the better part of ten levels before falling in the final levels of the day, though they’ll have two more opportunities to build up a stack. Faraz Jaka, Freddy Deeb, Jeff Madsen, Dan O’Brien, Mohsin Charania, Paul Volpe, Phil Laak and November Niner Ryan Riess also failed to make something of their first bullets.

The $3,700 buy-in event expanded from two starting days a year ago to three for Season XII, with 142 players entering on Day 1A. They have a long way to go to match the 622 entries from 2012, but the numbers are likely to increase significantly over the next two starting sessions.

This is the third year in which the Legends of Poker buy-in is $3,700, reduced from it’s previous level of $5,000. Will Failla won his first major title at the Bike two years ago in the midst of a tremendous two-year run, along with $758,085. Josh Hale won $500,000 and the title at the 2012 Legends of Poker the following year, beating out a tremendous final table that included Max Steinberg, Ali Eslami, Greg Mueller and Jeff Madsen. Hale didn’t play on Day 1A but he’s not going to give up the title without a fight, Tweeting, “Don’t worry, I’m def[initely] gonna defend… The plan is to play Day 1 C on Saturday,” late Thursday night.

Day 1B will begin, as Day 1A did, at 1 pm PT and they’ll play 10 one-hour levels before they bag up chips. While same-day re-entries are not allowed, any player who busted on Day 1A can re-enter on Day 1B and similarly on Day 1C, if they bust again. Even players who survive are allowed to take another shot, though only the biggest stack they carry through to the end of one of the starting days can be played on Day 2.

WPT Legends of Poker – Top 10 Counts – Day 1A

  1. Barry Hutter – 212,400
  2. Nick Phoenix – 207,700
  3. Joseph Cheong – 188,100
  4. Eddy Sabat – 150,900
  5. Joe Serock – 147,500
  6. Bart Hanson – 136,300
  7. Jesse Yaginuma – 130,100
  8. Matt Stout – 106,100
  9. Jamie Armstrong – 105,500
  10. Christina Lindley – 103,100
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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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