NAPT: David Williams Soars To Chip Lead in Day 1 at Mohegan Sun

David Williams has 200,000 reasons to smile.
David Williams has 200,000 reasons to smile.

The Mohegan Sun had 716 players start the North American Poker Tour Mohegan Sun Main Event in the tour’s first stop on the East Coast. The field was stacked big name pros, tournament regulars and online qualifiers all vying for the coveted title. David Williams ended Day 1 on top of the leaderboard with 230,900 chips.

When play began players were spread across 60 tables in the convention center ballroom, with an additional 15 overflow tables in the host casino’s regular poker room. Players seated in the poker room grumbled with displeasure that seemingly all the PokerStars pros and online qualifiers were seated in ballroom while the previous day’s satellite winners and other tournament regulars were all seated together in the poker room. Many complained they had a much tougher table draw in the poker room than those in the ballroom.

Williams opened up a huge lead on the field at the end of the seventh level. His opponent moved in on the turn with the board showing 9 6 2 3. He called to see the bad news that he was up against a flopped set of twos when he held Q Q. But he spiked a two outer on the river when the Q fell giving him his sizable lead on the field.

“I feel good, it’s been a while since I’ve been a Day 1 chipleader,” Williams said. “When I started in ’04 and ’05 I was chipleader in every $10k event I was in. I hadn’t gotten things going in a while, maybe I was trying too hard. I’ve been rethinking things, been patient and was fortunate in a lot of spots today. It worked out for me.”

The Team Full Tilt Pros were not-so conspicuously absent at the NAPT Venetian, but Phil Ivey and Tom “durrrr” Dwan showed up for the brand. Shortly after arriving Dwan put on a Team Canada hockey jersey and hat while smiling, due to a lost a prop bet on the men’s Olympic gold medal game. But Dwan’s day ended during the last level of the day when he committed his last 23,000 on a board of A A J 9 9. He insta-mucked his hand when his opponent called and showed Q J.

Also crossing the 100,000 chip barrier are Vanessa Selbst, Lars Bonding, Matt Woodward, and Brandon Cantu.

Not all the well known pros survived the day with a field full of online qualifiers. Barry Greenstein, Carter Phillips, Nenad Medic all failed to make it to Day 2.

Of the 716 runners only 464 will advance to Day 2. Only the top 104 finishers will make the money with a $3.2 million prize pool. Whoever wins the event will take home $750,000.

Top Ten Chip Counts for end of Day 1 NAPT Mohegan Sun Main Event:

  1. David Williams – 230,900
  2. Vanessa Selbst – 214,200
  3. Lars Bonding – 177,100
  4. Matt Woodward – 165,500
  5. Brandon Cantu – 115,000
  6. Cliff “Johnny Bax” Josephy – 100,000
  7. Gavin Smith – 88,000
  8. David Fox – 85,000
  9. Gavin Griffin – 85,000
  10. Aaron Lerner – 81,000
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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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