Breaking Down the Action:
  • Oliveira Takes Tournament Lead
  • Other Superstars Pack the Top Ten
  • Other Players to Survive Pulsating Day 1b

4 Minute Read

Dan Smith knows what it feels like to win big on the world Poker Tour, so can 'The Cowboy' ride home in first place again?

The second day of three starting flights in the World Poker Tour’s WPT Championship Main Event at the Wynn in Las Vegas set all kinds of recent records. After a mammoth day at the felt where 673 entrants remained from a total field of 1,667 entries, the $15 guarantee that seemed huge to many when it was announced was already surpassed in style.

Oliveira Takes Tournament Lead

With 483 survivors from 1,052 players on Day 1b, the total number through was supplemented by a much quieter Day 1a that was enjoyed yesterday by players as famous as… Daniel Neidgrano among others. With some poker superstars making Day 2 in rude health, chips-wise, it was a huge day of action in Sin City.

Despite the EPT Prague festival playing on in Europe, Las Vegas has very much been the place to be this past week, with Jason Koon beating Phil Hellmuth in the $1.6 million High Stakes Duel match and the announcement of next year’s 10th season of High Stakes Poker arriving on PokerGO in 2023.

Top of the leaderboard after Day 1b’s action was the Brazilian poker professional Aryan Oliveira, whose stack of 1,551,000 not only dwarfed everyone else’s on Day 1b, but took a clear lead over Day 1a’s leader, the all-time money list challenger Justin Bonomo, who ended his opening day just over a million. Oliveira’s stack is the kind that will take some serious stopping on Day 2 and looks bulletproof to at least two big coinflips should he wish to roll the dice early in pursuit of an even bigger lead.

Other Superstars Pack the Top Ten

The chip leader on the day was not the only player to crush Day 1b. Second-placed Andrew Crookston (879,000) and third-placed Gin Tillman (825,000) were two players who used the day to grow their initial stacks of 100,000 chips far past their peers, while professionals Nick Yunis (782,000) and Dan Smith (746,000) both made the top five after the latter came back to Vegas after a little ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) inspired him to get on the plane.

Smith wasn’t the only one who was excited to share their progress. Joey Ingram was all-in for the tournament, and when he was chip leader near the dinner break, posted this picture:

Ingram wouldn’t make the top ten by the time play closed for the day, but plenty of other big names did. Matt Stour (657,500) soared into seventh place, with the former WPT Main Event winner James Carroll (610,000) not far behind. Poker legend Freddy Deeb ran his stack up to 589,000 to end the day in 10th place.

Other Players to Survive Pulsating Day 1b

From the top to the bottom, there was a superstar from the world of poker at every table. Upeshka De Silva doesn’t only have multiple WSOP bracelets to his name, he’s also a WPT Deepstacks Champion and his pile of 520,000 by the end of the day won’t harm his chances of winning the WPT World Championship.

Daniel Weinman (477,000) will be looking to add another WPT to his growing trophy collection, while Tyler Cornell (450,000) and Frank Kassela (437,000) have put themselves in the best position possible to end their wait and get their names on the Mike Sexton Champions Cup. Kristen Foxen (387,000) did her reputation no harm as the player many believe to be the best female poker player on the planet made Day 2 comfortably.

Elsewhere, there were Day 2 stacks for players such as Ben Yu (353,000), Michael Gathy (340,000), four-time WPT champion Darren Elias (335,000), former WSOP Main Event winner Joe McKeehen (335,000) and Natasha Mercier, whose stack of 333,000 will stand her in good stead for a deep run.

2022 WPT World Championship Day 1b Top 10 Chipcounts:

Place Player Country Chips
1st Aryan Oliveira Brazil 1,551,000
2nd Andrew Crookston U.S.A. 879,000
3rd Gin Tillman U.S.A. 825,000
4th Nick Yunis Chile 782,000
5th Dan Smith U.S.A. 746,000
6th Scott Wellenbach Canada 660,000
7th Matt Stout U.S.A. 657,500
8th Kharlin Sued U.S.A. 652,500
9th James Carroll U.S.A. 610,000
10th Freddy Deeb Lebanon 589,000


James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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