Daniel Lowery Leads after 2017 WPT Choctaw Main Event Day 1A

Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, Oklahoma is currently a welcoming host to the WPT Choctaw festival on the popular poker series’ 2017/2018 calendar. The $3,700 Main Event started off with flying colors on Friday, attracting 340 entries from all around the US and the rest of the world.

After 12 one-hour levels there were only 89 of them left to bag and tag for the night. Daniel Lowery, a player from Peter Pender, Arkansas, is leading the Day 1A survivors with 347,200 in chips. Lowery has been a live tournament regular over the past several years, but has never won a WPT Main Tour Main Event so far.

The player currently boasts more than $1 million in live tournament earnings. It could be said that Choctaw Casino has been a lucky venue to Lowery, as it was at that exact casino where he scooped his largest live cash. Back in 2012, the player finished second in the WSOP Circuit Choctaw Main Event for $167,230.

Lowery competed with AJ Nimer for the Day 1A chip lead late on Friday. However, Nimer lost several pots during the closing stages of play to eventually finish second in chips with 345,700 and not that far behind Lowery.

There are several former WPT Main Tour Main Event champions among the Day 1A survivors, including defending champion James Mackey, James Calderaro, Jared Jaffee, and three-times WPT winner Darren Elias.

In fact, Elias almost did not make it throughout the day. He found himself locked in an all-in confrontation against another prominent poker pro – Brazil’s Upeshka De Silva. Elias shoved pre-flop with [4s][4h] only to face De Silva’s pocket aces. A [Qs][10s][3s] flop gave Elias a little air to breathe, although De Silva was still ahead. A blank [7h] appeared on the turn, while the river brought a much needed [4c] to save Elias from elimination. The player eventually finished the day fourth in chips with 302,800, while De Silva did not make it.

Other players that failed to survive the day were former WPT champion and WPT commentator Tony Dunst, Scott Blumstein, who took down the WSOP Main Event almost three weeks ago, and Aaron Mermelstein, who boasts two WPT titles. However, given the fact that the tournament features unlimited re-entry opportunities, all these players and others that busted on Day 1A will likely appear at the Choctaw Casino tables today when Day 1B is set to take place.

Play is scheduled to resume at noon local time. Entries will play 12 more one-hour levels before bagging and tagging for the night. Registration for the event will remain open until the start of Day 2. At present, the event features a guaranteed prize pool of $2 million. It is yet to be seen whether that amount will be exceeded. The final prize pool and the places paid will be announced on Day 2.

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