WPT Gardens Poker Championship Day 1A gets underway

Mo Afdhal
Posted on: May 21, 2023 08:21 PDT

The World Poker Tour Main Event kicked off today at The Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, California at 11:00 am local time.

The WPT returns to The Gardens for the fifth time in its history. The last time the tour came to The Gardens was back in 2020 when Markus Gonsalves took down the Main Event, outlasting a field of 257 entrants to take home $554,495 for the win. Previous champions include Simon Lam, Frank Stepuchin, and Roger Teska.

Joe Giron/WPT

The first of the two starting flights began with just 42 entrants on site to start the day, though that number should rise steadily throughout the first few levels. The day's schedule calls for ten sixty-minute levels with fifteen minute breaks every two levels and a dinner break following level six. Players start with 50,000 in chips and registration remains open until level nine, with a single re-entry allowed in each of the starting days.

Familiar faces in the field

Notable names playing in the Day 1A field include Steven "Cuz" Buckner, Andrew Moreno, Gal Yifrach, Bill Klein, Dan Shak, Anthony Zinno, Jesse Lonis, and WPT Gardens champion Frank Stepuchin.

Buckner started the first level with a light-hearted needle towards those that failed to pay their respects on the way in. It wasn't long before the tournament room was filled with the noise of his go to "Let's Go!" celebration.

Enrique Malfavon

Players will have to battle through four days of play to make the final table, which will see six final table players take their seats at the Hyper X Arena in Las Vegas on May 27th, all with dreams of seeing their name etched onto the Mike Sexton Cup.

WPT will provide live updates and chip counts throughout the day, so be sure to follow along as the action heats up.

Images Courtesy of World Poker Tour