DeMaci Leading The Big Event After Day 1A

Chris DeMaciOn Day 1a of the Big Event, there were 263 players who came and signed up at the Bicycle Casino in California. With PokerStars pulling out of the event and with the NBC National Heads-Up Championship occurring at the same time, it was unclear just how many players would be participating at this year’s tournament.

By the end of the first day, Chris DeMaci emerged as the overall chip leader with 213,300 in chips. DeMaci has had success at the Bicycle Casino in the past with a second place in the 2010 NAPT Los Angeles Main Event.

He managed to build up much of his stack in a hand where he opened to 1,050 with pocket kings. Thayer Rasmussen, who was in the cutoff position, three-bet to 2,800 and DeMaci four-bet to 5,350. Rasmussen then proceeded to five-bet, DeMaci moved all-in and Rasmussen made the call with pocket jacks. The board ran out Ac-3s-2c-9s-6h and Rasmussen was eliminated from the tournament.

Another player who had a good day was Alex Kamberis. He finished the day second overall on the leaderboard with 202,800. He built up his monster stack after a player opened to 2,000 from the button and the player in the small blind three-bet to 5,000. Kamberis four-bet to 11,000, with K-Q and the small blind called. The flop came down 9-T-J. Considering his opponent in the small blind had pocket nines, all the money went into the middle on the flop and Kamberis’ straight held up.

There were two former WSOP Main Event Champions in the field today. Tom McEvoy (1983) and Joe Hachem (2005) survived the day although Hachem has the bigger stack. Other top pros who will be heading into Day 2 include Pat Pezzin, Victor Ramdin, Govert Metaal, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Joseph Cheong, James Mackey, Anh Van Nguyen, Greg Debora, and Jeff Williams.

Not everyone was as lucky during the first day of the tournament and a number of notable pros were eliminated, including Justin “Boosted J” Smith, Chino Rheem, Bryn Kenney, Dan Heimiller, and Darryll Fish.

The second split day will see players return to the Bike at noon on Sunday. However, the second half of the field isn’t expected to be as big due to the number of major online poker tournaments on the same day.