WPT: Steve O’Dwyer Leads After Day 1 of $25K Championship

Steve O'Dwyer is off to a strong start in the WPT Championship, taking the chip lead into Day 2.

One season ends as another begins, as the closing event of Season X of the World Poker Tour officially kicked off the Summer for poker players. The WPT Championship, the biggest buy-in of the season at $25,000, did not see many players sent to the rail on Day 1.

Just five of the 103 entrants went through their stack of 100,000 before the end of Level 4. Three former WPT Champions were among that group, including Sean Jazayeri and Phil Laak. Darren Elias made two final tables during Season X but he would not make a third in this event, while Heather Sue Mercer, one of three women to enter the field so far, failed to make it through Day 1. Erik Seidel had an unusually early exit in this big buy-in event, and joined the small group of casualties as well.

Steve O’Dwyer claimed the overnight chip lead with 231,750, followed closely by Masa Kagawa, Tyler Smith, Guillaume Darcourt, and Vanessa Selbst. Defending champion Scott Seiver has yet to register for the event, but registration is open through all of Day 2 and up to the beginning of Day 3. Farzad Bonyadi, the runner-up last year in this event, is off to a strong start as well with 185,000.

The 103 entries on Day 1 is down from 195 entries on Day 1 last year; there would eventually be 220 players who registered for the WPT Championship in 2011. With the SCOOP Main Event beginning on Sunday, there are a number of players who are out of the country playing the last event of that series. If they make Day 2 of any of those events, they won’t be able to play, but those who bust out on Sunday have the option of registering until Monday at 12 pm PT.

Day 2 will have four more 90 minute levels, the same schedule as Day 1. WPT Player of the Year leader Will Failla made it through the day, as did Joe Serock, Daniel Buzgon, and Vitor Coelho, though Coelho is the shortest stack remaining with 25,000. While those players in the top 5 all still have a chance at WPT Player of the year, Elias’ hope for the award ended with his elimination.

Play will resume at 12 pm PT Sunday. Here’s the unofficial top 10 after Day 1 of the WPT Championship.

  1. Steve O’Dwyer – 231,750
  2. Masa Kagawa – 228,675
  3. Tyler Smith – 221,600
  4. Guillaume Darcourt – 215,250
  5. Vanessa Selbst – 207,425
  6. Joe Serock – 197,000
  7. Michael Mizrachi – 194, 875
  8. Justin Young – 190,000
  9. Isaac Haxton – 189,500
  10. Farzad Bonyadi – 185,000
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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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