A grueling 11 hours of play is over and today has had its fair share of ups and down for players and fans alike. The day began with 2,100 entrants each starting with 3,000 chips and by the end of the night there were only 168 contenders left, each of whom had locked up a min cash by the end of the day. The apparent leader at the end of Day 1 was Matt Matros who seemingly came out of nowhere to grab the chip lead at the beginning of the day. From there he never looked back and locked up the top chip stack with 145,000 chips going into day two. Just before one of the breaks, Matros was able to reclaim his chip lead when his pocket queens held up against pocket tens and .
Jake Balsiger looked to give Matros a run for his money, but at the end of the day he finished with 15,000 less than Matros. Balsiger was able to use the power of the bubble pressure to increase his stack from just about 80,000 to 130,000 in just about an hour. That was good enough for what looked like second place at the time. Balsiger will be looking to capture his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet tomorrow while Matros looks to grab his fourth in four years, which would be an incredible feat for any poker player.
There was plenty of players who came and went here on Day 1. Some of the notables who didn't quite make it to the money were Vanessa Selbst, J.J. Liu, Jesse Sylvia, John Eames, Amit Makhija, Antonio Esfandiari, Jonathan Little, Jan Heitmann and many more. Alongside them were plenty of notable players who made it through to the money and some even on to Day 2. Neil Channing and Will Failla each made it into the money, but busted at the end of the day, without moving on. Ari Engel, Victor Ramdin, David Chiu, Ryan Laplante, Ryan Tepen, Allen Kessler, James Mackey, Alex Queen and many more all made it through to tomorrow which will prove surely to be a very interesting day.
Action begins at 1 p.m. tomorrow in the Amazon room here at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino. PokerNews.com will be here with all the updates all day long so be sure to stay tuned as we follow on the road to crown the next World Series of Poker bracelet winner.