Neff, Gilmartin, and Ahuja among the Big Stacks in WPT World Championship Day 1B
Last Updated: January 25, 2024
It was another big day of action at WPT World Championship at the Wynn on Wednesday, as 730 players signed up to play the Day 1B, steadily growing the field and approaching the $40 million guarantee.
While Day 1B saw fewer poker superstars sign up for play than Day 1A, quite a few big names still made it to Day 2, including the likes of Christoph Vogelsang, Brian Rast, Jamie Kerstetter, Brian Hastings, and Lynn Gilmartin.
They were all eclipsed by Peter Neff, who bagged a monster 899,000 chip stack and ended the day as chip leader, although Jeff Hakim’s 998,000 stack remains the biggest overall in the WPT World Championship so far.
All of them will be coming back for Day 2 action on Saturday, but not before two more massive Day 1 flights play out at the Encore Ballroom today and tomorrow.
Peter Neff Dominates the Day 1B Field
Day 1B of the WPT World Championship saw 730 players turn out to play from as early as 11 am on Wednesday morning, with many of them arriving in time to take advantage of playing the early levels with super deep stacks.
While the field perhaps lacked slightly in poker superstars, it did not lack in amazing poker players and successful tournament grinders, hundreds of which showed up to take their shot at winning the biggest guaranteed poker tournament of all time.
One man dominated the day, as American professional poker player Peter Neff built up a huge stack and never looked back, finishing the day as the chip leader and advancing to Day 2 with close to 900k.
Another notable name among the top five chip stacks is Indian player Ankit Ahuja, who comes into the WPT World Championship fresh off his Eureka Main Event win in Cyprus, which netted him over $360k in profit and the first major title of his poker career.
Notables like Brian Hastings, Caitlin Komeskey, and Lynn Gilmartin took to social media to share their end of day stacks, while plenty of others made their way into the later stages of the tournament in relative obscurity, as they chase their dream and look to finally break onto the poker scene in a major way.
— Lynn Gilmartin (@LynnGilmartin) December 14, 2023
WPT Anchor Lynn Gilmartin among the Notables to Advance
Among the hundreds of players who showed up to play the WPT World Championship Day 1 on Wednesday was the WPT host and anchor Lynn Gilmartin, who previously cashed the WPT World Championship event in 2022, bagging the biggest tournament score of her poker career.
The Australian actress and WPT icon tore through the field and ran up her 100,000 chip stack to 556,000, and finished the day 12th in chips, advancing to Day 2 with close to 100 big blinds.
While not primarily a poker player, Gilmartin once again displayed her significant poker prowess as she held her own against a table made up of poker veterans and young poker sharks, many of whom make their living exclusively playing the game.
Gilmartin will be back on Saturday, along with hundreds of others, as she looks to make the money and make another deep run at the WPT World Championship, hopeful to improve on her 91st place finish from last year.
Six ClubWPT Qualifiers Make Day 2
Online poker satellites helped shape live poker into what it is today, and they continue to help emerging poker players turn their dreams into reality in 2023.
In the buildup to the WPT World Championship, the Tour handed out plenty of seats to players on the subscription-based ClubWPT app, which allows American players to play competitive poker and win seats to major live poker events, among other things.
Six of the players who qualified for the Championship via the mobile poker app managed to survive Day 1 action on Tuesday and Wednesday and make Day 2, with the most successful of them advancing with a very healthy stack of 552,000 chips.
Here is a look at all the six ClubWPT qualifiers who will be coming back to play on Saturday:
- Catlin Lockhart (552K)
- Chris Burks (310K)
- Kent Turkington (181K)
- Aaron McCall (161K)
- Michael Capo (113K)
- Chace McKamie (80K)
It was impressive to see the ClubWPT players hold their own against some of the best tournament players out there, and the six who will come back will be going into Day 2 action filled with a new level of confidence they acquired while surviving the full day Championship play.
WPT World Championship Crawling Toward Guarantee
The WPT World Championship Day 1C kicked off early this morning at the Encore Ballroom, and more than 830 players showed up to play by 3:00 pm, steadily growing the field toward the 4,000 needed to meet the $40,000,000 guaranteed prize pool.
The likes of Jason Koon, Ethan “Rampage” Yau, Chance Kornuth, Nick Schulman, and Alec Torelli were only a few of the big-time celebrity players to show up to play Day 1C and make a run at the biggest WPT event of all time.
— WPT Live Updates (@WPTlive) December 15, 2023
With late registration open until the end of dinner break and plenty of players still entering the field, we can expect the overall field to grow to well over 2,000 by the end of the day, bringing us ever-closer to shattering the guarantee.
WPT will need to bring out some 2,000 players tomorrow in order to avoid overlay, but if the amazing success of the final Day 1 flight of WPT Prime Championship is anything to go by, we could even see the overall prize pool surge well past the current guarantee.