Nearly 300 in the Field on Day 1a at WPT Choctaw Championship

With one of two opening flights in the books at the $3,800 buy-in World Poker Tour (WPT) Choctaw Championship, the field is about to crack the 300-entrant mark.

Day 1b will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday at Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, Oklahoma. Those who didn’t make it through Day 1a are eligible to come back and give it another shot up until registration closes following Level 8 (approximately 9:15 p.m.).

Quite a Day for the Chip Leader

Curt Kohlberg
Curt Kohlberg

Curt Kohlberg was the fastest to crack 100,000 from his 50,000-chip starting stack. But he didn’t even make it to the dinner break before being eliminated. But he appears to have made the wise decision to rebuy as he ended up where he was all the way back in Level 1 — in the chip lead.

Kohlberg ended the session with 505,000 chips, good for 202 big blinds. Brian Battistone has the second largest stack at 482,000, and Kyle Arora is the only other player to bag more than 400,000 chips.

A number of big name pros bagged big stacks. That list includes Michael Wang (347,000), Erick Lindgren (288,500), Chino Rheem (274,500), and Ren Lin (241,500).

Lin, like Kohlberg, busted his first bullet and then spun it up on his second. Lindgren is a two-time World Poker Tour champion and has over $3 million in cashes on tour. But he has only cashed once in the past decade.

Saturday is shaping up to be a big day at Choctaw. Not only will the $2 million guaranteed prize pool be surpassed at some point, there’s going to be a players party on the dinner break with pizza and bowling inside the casino, an annual tradition for this prestigious Main Tour event.

Quite a few high-profile players were unable to find a bag, including the defending champion, Jared Jaffee. Others on that list include Anthony ZinnoGal YifrachCraig Varnell and Jesse Lonis. They’re all eligible to come back on Day 1b to rebuy. Among those who finished the day with a small stack are Dan Sepiol (95,500), Ashley Frank (78,000), and Scott Ball (10,500).

The payouts aren’t yet available as registration is still open, but we’ll have all that info on Saturday night.

*Images courtesy of the World Poker Tour.

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