2019 WSOP Main Event: Adam Owen Leads Day 1b, Kessler Bags Big
10 July 2019
PokerBrave (1115 articles)

The curtains have drawn on another day at the Rio All-Suite and Hotel for the 2019 World Series of Poker. After another twelve hours plus of poker, Day 1b of the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em MAIN EVENT – World Championship has come to an end with a little over 1,400 players advancing to Day 2ab. There were 1,915 entries recorded today, bringing the total number to 3,250 through the opening two flights.

When the players bagged up their chips at the end of the day, Adam Owen put the largest stack of 351,800 chips into his bag. Owen is mostly known for playing mixed games during the WSOP but he has shown off his skills in the no-limit hold’em format as well. Owen quietly went about his business on Day 1b and vaulted into the chip lead midway through the last level.

Owen has over $3.2 million in career tournament earnings with nearly half of that coming from one tournament just a year ago. The English native binked his largest career score of over $1.6 million at the $10,300 partypoker MILLIONS Main Event in Barcelona last April. Owen has finished third on three separate occasions when competing for a WSOP gold bracelet. There’s no other tournament that he would love to stand on top of the podium than this one.

2019 WSOP Main Event Top 10 Stacks After Day 1b

# Player Country Chip Count Big Blinds
1 Adam Owen United Kingdom 351,800 440
2 Gary Blackwood United Kingdom 330,200 413
3 Asi Moshe Israel 330,200 413
4 Tyler Gaston United States 329,200 412
5 Allen Kessler United States 301,800 377
6 Brandon Fraizer United States 298,400 373
7 Galen Hall United States 295,700 370
8 Gerald Claunch United States 252,900 316
9 Gregory Tyer United States 236,600 296
10 Yue Du China 236,300 295

Some other big stacks moving on from Day 1b include three-time bracelet winner Asi Moshe (330,200), Tyler Gaston (329,200), Brandon Frazier (298,400), and bracelet winner Galen Hall (295,700).

There were a few WSOP Main Event champions to take to the felt today, including Joe Hachem who spent most of his day in the Thunderdome main stage of the Amazon Room. Hachem bagged 61,300 in chips. Just a few tables away, his son Daniel Hachem also found a bag with 144,700 in chips. Daniel just started taking the game a little more seriously a couple of years ago and is looking to follow in his father’s footsteps to claim poker glory.

Ryan Riess (89,300), Greg Merson (25,000), Chris Ferguson (36,100), and Greg Raymer (73,100) also took a seat at the felt today and they all advanced to Day 2ab. Ferguson captured the title back in 2000 and Raymer in 2004. The two younger guys earned their titles a decade later with Merson winning in 2012 and Riess in 2013.

Things got started with a bang in the Brasilia Room as Bas de Laat picked up aces versus kings in the very first hand of the day. A poor run out of the board prevented him from getting max value. The Dutchman will return to a stack of 84,900 in chips on Day 2ab.

Another highlight was when Michael Monicatti eliminated two players in back-to-back hands to take over the chip lead heading into the second break of the day. Monicatti was on the right side of a cooler when his pocket aces held up against his opponent’s pocket kings with all of the chips in the middle preflop. In the very next hand, Monicatti flopped a straight against Xianjun Yin‘s straight and flush draw. Monicatti held on to eliminate Yin and built up a stack near 200,000 chips. He lost a bit but still ended the day with a healthy stack of 130,500 chips for Day 2ab.

Scott Seiver nearly saw his tournament come to an end halfway through the day when he ran his pocket queens into Jiyoung Kim‘s pocket aces. Kim was looking to ride the momentum after capturing her first-ever WSOP gold bracelet earlier this summer in the Ladies Event, but the poker gods had other plans. The flop came queen-high to give Seiver a set and he held on to double up. The two players went in opposite directions for the rest of the day as Seiver bagged up over a starting stack while Kim finished with just 20,800 chips.

A surprise to some saw Allen Kessler bag one of the largest stacks of the day. Kessler is often known as one of the biggest grinders on the circuit and infamous for racking up a min-cashes. However, he had other plans for his opening day of the Main Event as he ran up a stack of 301,800 chips. The majority of his chips came in a cooler hand where Kessler flopped quad fours against his opponent’s top boat. Heading into the last level of the night, Kessler held the chip lead but plateaued out before the bagging process.

The day wasn’t as successful for all of the notables to attend Day 1b as plenty of names hit the rail. Both Dan and Dillon Ott were eliminated along with Sean Winter, Dan Shak, Valentin Vornicu, Anthony Zinno, Cord Garcia, Xuan Liu, and Craig Varnell.

One player that a lot of fans had their eye on was 2017 final tablist John Hesp. Decked out in his customized colorful outfit, Hesp was seated at the secondary feature table. His 2019 Main Event didn’t last very long as he bowed out in the third level to Taylor Carroll who rivered a straight against Hesp’s flush draw. A well-mannered Hesp shook everyone’s hand and even gave a fist pump to the cameras.