The field looks up to Andrew Moreno after WPT Choctaw's first flight

Andrew Moreno WPT Choctaw 2023
Terrance Reid
Posted on: May 06, 2023 01:55 PDT

It's nice to have something you can rely on. Like a comfort TV show playing in the background, Andrew Moreno with a big stack in a World Poker Tour Main Event just feels right.

Day 1a of the WPT Choctaw Main Event at the Choctaw Casino and Resort has come and gone. As players prepare for the final starting flight at 11:00 am today, Moreno sits comfortably with 510,500 (204 big blinds) in his bag.

Of the 312 entries that took their shot on opening day here, 95 of them put their chips in bags after 10 levels. However, Moreno wasn't the only familiar face off to a great start.

Day 1a top ten chip counts

Place Name Chip Count Big Blinds
1 Andrew Moreno 510,000 204 big blinds
2 Bin Weng 435,000 174 big blinds
3 Luo Barlow 428,000 171 big blinds
4 Phu Vo 402,000 161 big blinds
5 Ren Lin 367,500 147 big blinds
6 Alex Foxen 358,500 143 big blinds
7 Albert Calderon 339,000 136 big blinds
8 Jeremy Joseph 297,000 119 big blinds
9 A.J. Nimer 269,000 108 big blinds
10 Josh Reichard 262,000 105 big blinds

You might recognize the name in second place as well. Bin Weng recently locked up his spot at the WPT Seminole final table just last week. That event will play to a finish in Las Vegas on May 25th. Now, he's put himself in a great position to make a deep run here, too.

Weng is off to an amazing start in 2023, having won "The Return" Championship event at the Borgata for $1 million and a WSOP circuit ring in Las Vegas, along with multiple other deep runs. "I skipped a few series in the second half of 2022," said Weng. "Maybe my study is working," he said simply.

One player that easily could have been firing again today is Jared Jaffee. Deep in the tank at the end of Day 1a, Jaffee made a huge preflop fold of pocket queens against Thanh Lien, who eventually showed down kings. That preserved his stack of 114,000 to put 57 big blinds in his bag and give him today off.

Jared-Jaffee-WPT Jared-Jaffee-WPT

Clearly, the field is stacked. Today, players will have their last chance at finding a bag for this Main Event. Day 1b registration will be open until the start of level nine. We know at least one player who will definitely be in the mix today.

Felipe Diaz is a ClobWPT qualifier for the event. He decided to play Day 1b, though he arrived a day early to take everything in. I wrote an intro piece to Diaz's path to qualification path to Choctaw; and after interviewing him, he couldn't be more excited to take his seat today.

Felipe Diaz dreams up the Mike Sexton Cup Felipe Diaz dreams up the Mike Sexton Cup

Action will get underway today at 11:00 am local time. Like yesterday, players will play 10 one-hour levels before joining their Day 1a counterparts tomorrow.

I'm not sure what your Saturday plans are, but, like Andrew Moreno putting lots of chips in a bag, you can rely on the fact that we'll be in a poker room on the weekend. We'll follow Diaz and others' paths today in Choctaw, and if you want up-to-the-minute updates, check out WPT's live coverage on their website as well.

All photos provided by WPT