234 entries populated the WPT Choctaw Day 1a field and a shade over one-third of them advanced to Sunday’s Day 2 as 86 players bagged chips at Choctaw Casino & Resort. Dave Alfa scored the most units with 414,000 and a spot high up on the leaderboard compared to the rest of the pack.
The Texas native had a relatively smooth day, all things considered.
“It was great,” Alfa said. “I came in late from Austin and ran good from the start. I just got lucky. It was a pretty standard progression. I never had any real big loss hands.”
Alfa hit a jackpot toward the end of the day versus Adriel Pierce. After calling on the river with on a board versus Pierce’s to double-up earlier in Level 9, Alfa found a prime spot to double once again. Pierce shoved into Alfa with on a flop and had the unfortunate luck of running into Alfa’s . That pot surged Alfa into the lead and he never looked back from there.
Choctaw is known for hanging banners of their main event champions, WPT winners included. Alfa won a banner earlier this year when he binked $321,000 in the WSOP Circuit Main Event at Choctaw in January. So far, his good run at Choctaw continues.
Joining Alfa at the top of the leaderboard are Jean “Prince” Gaspard (342,000) and WPT Champions Club member Jared Jaffee (338,000). Other WPT Champions to advance from Day 1a play include Brian Altman (237,000), Andy Hwang (173,500), Zachary Smiley (143,500), James Romero (123,000), James Calderaro (119,500), James Mackey (112,500), Season XVII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown final tablist James Carroll (100,500), four-time WPT champ Darren Elias (82,500), Frank Stepuchin (56,500), and Will Failla (49,500).
Six players who qualified at The Gardens Casino through their $20 Satellite Spectacular promotion made it to Day 2 led by Linda Stockstill [pictured] (158,000). Read more about the amazing promotion at The Gardens Casino that produced 12 qualifiers for WPT Choctaw.
Also advancing is poker media member Mo Nuwwarah, who spoke with WPT’s Sean Chaffin about the success he’s had in 2019 on the felt.
Ping Liu bolstered his chances of a run at the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. Liu bagged 214,000 and needs to reach the WPT Choctaw final table to overtake current leader Erkut Yilmaz.
Season XII WPT Player of the Year Mukul Pahuja quietly put together a stack of 173,500, good enough for top-10 from Day 1a.
WPT Commentator Vince Van Patten took his shot on Day 1a but fell short of a Day 2 berth. Van Patten and all others who missed a bag on Day 1a can redeem themselves tomorrow.
Day 1b action starts at 12 p.m. local time in Durant, OK with 10 more 60-minute levels on tap. The $1 million guarantee will be vanquished by the time cards are in the air and registration is open until the start of Day 2.
Only three days are left until the next group of final tablists to play at HyperX Esports Arena are known. Stay tuned to WPT.com for complete coverage of WPT Choctaw.
Photography by Jamie Thomson / PokerPhotoArchive.com
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