Eric Panayiotou Leads 166 Survivors of WPT World Championship

Eric Panayiotou topped the leaderboard after six levels of play.

Eric Panayiotou topped the leaderboard after six levels of play.

Eric Panayiotou ended Day 1 of the Season XIII $15,000 World Poker Tour World Championship at the top of the counts with 262,400. The field played six full levels and 166 of the 234 total entrants survived the day.

“It’s still very early – it’s only the sixth level and things can change fast in two more levels,” Panayiotou said. “I’ve been here before, so I don’t get too excited. Having a lot of chips now helps in case you get a bad beat.”

Panayiotou was at the same table all day with more or less the same players. “I picked some good hands, made some good reads and made some people lay their hands down.”

The final event of Season XIII featured past champions Keven Stammen, Chino Rheem and Yevgeniy Timoshenko alongside World Series of Poker Main Event champions Ryan Riess, Greg Merson and Carlos Mortensen. In fact, Mortensen and Daniel Negreanu occupy the top two spots of the WPT’s All-Time money winners and were seated next to each other all day.

Tyler Patterson, Stammen, Matt Glantz, Daniel Weinman, Jason Mercier, Merson, Faraz Jaka and Scott Clements survived the day with an above average chip count. While Ari Engel, Christian Harder and Matt Stout advance to Day 2, they do so at the bottom of the counts.

Dan Shak, Negreanu, Shaun Deeb, David Williams, Bryn Kenney, Christian Harder, David Paredes, David Williams and Garrett Greer all ponied up the steep buy-in but were unable to survive the day.

Negreanu busted in the last level of the day after he went to a flop of 4 2 2. Larry Ormson led out for 20,000 – virtually setting Negreanu all in (20,400) – and Negreanu pushed all in. Ormson called holding pocket aces and Negreanu was at risk with holding pocket tens. The board finished 5 J and Negreanu was eliminated.

Greer got in a preflop showdown with Nick Petrangelo where Greer six-bet shoved holding pocket aces and Petrangelo called with kings. The board ran K J 6 Q 4, Greer’s aces were cracked and he was eliminated.

Kenney was the first player eliminated on the day when he got involved in a blind vs blind hand with Greg Merson. The got to the turn on a 8 7 2 5 board when all the money went in. Kenney had pocket aces, Merson had 9 8 for straight and flush draws and then the river caem 9 – giving Merson two pair and eliminating Kenney.

The event featured a single starting flight without re-entries – something that seems to be a rarity in today’s poker world. Though the event does allow for players late register up until Level 8 – about three hours into Day 2. Cards will be in the air at noon for the start of Day 2 on Sunday.

2015 WPT World Championship Day 1 Top Ten Chip Counts

  1. Eric Panayiotou – 262,400
  2. Brian Murphy – 256,600
  3. Konstantinos Nanos – 170,000
  4. Jose Montes – 178,000
  5. Nick Petrangelo – 175,000
  6. David Stefanski – 170,000
  7. Lazaro Hernandez – 165,200
  8. Harry Arutunyan – 162,000
  9. Sang Kim – 161,900
  10. Tony Dunst – 157,500
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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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