If you thought the field at the World Poker Tour’s Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown would offer some more insight into how Black Friday will affect live poker in the United States, we have to be honest: The 406-player field really doesn’t tell us too much. The size of the field is in line with predictions and makes it one of the larger $10,000 events of the WPT season. However, since this is a new spot on the tour, there is simply no means of comparison.
Here’s what we do know: The field is at 400 players and counting, first place is going to take home over $1 million, and everyone who is here seems to really be enjoying the Florida stop. With prelim events running the past couple of weeks, not to mention a number of other Florida tournaments such as a $3,000 event at the nearby Isle Casino in Pompano Beach, many players have been here for a couple of weeks to see if all the hype about the Florida poker scene is as good as it sounds.
For Randy Dorfman, Florida poker has been great so far. He ended Day 1 of play at the Seminole Hard Rock first in chips with 160,000 from his 30,000-chip starting stack. It is too early to tell if this will be yet another final table for the BLUFF Player of the Year contender, but his recent track record plus his big stack could mean big things for Dorfman in the next few days.
Several other big names are faring well in the event too, including former online poker pro Nick Grippo, who bagged up 149,375. Todd Terry also had a productive day, ending with 124,975. There are several other notable Floridians still in the event too, including Rob Mizrachi, Jason Mercier, Adam Levy, Matt Waxman, and young Harrison Gimbel, who is one of a handful of players taking advantage of 18 and ups being able to play on the property.
There were 290 Day 1 survivors, while players like Gavin Smith, Faraz Jaka, Scott Seiver, Dwyte Pilgrim, Hoyt Corkins, Antonio Esfandiari, and WPT Player of the Year frontrunner Andy Frankenberger. Registration for the event is still open through the start of play on Thursday, so there is still potential for a few stragglers to join the action a little late.
Here are the top ten chip counts from the end of Day 1 of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown:
1. Randy Dorfman – 160,000
2. Nick Grippo – 149,375
3. James Carroll – 130,925
4. Todd Terry – 124,975
5. Seth Davies – 115,225
6. Joe Serock – 113,150
7. Marsha Wolak – 106,350
8. Elio Cubrera – 105,025
9. Jorge Chavez – 104,525
10. Aarib Schaff – 104,225
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