What started out small, soon grew tenfold. Half an hour before the start, just 7 players had registered for the PokerStars Championship Panama $10,300 High Roller, but when play got underway 14 players took their seats. When play wrapped up for the day after ten levels, that number grew to a staggering 98 entries, making it one of the biggest poker tournaments ever on Panamanian soil. With registration open until the start of Day 2, that number might still increase.
Sam Greenwood leads, having built his 50,000 starting stack into a 316,500 emporium. He's closely followed by Pedro Idrovo who brings 305,200 chips to Day 2 of the three-day event.
Justin Bonomo was one of the first to enter, and was also the first in the re-entry line. He doubled Stephen Chidwick up early on, running into the Brit's set to get short-stacked. Bonomo busted not much later, missing a flush draw against flopped trips. Bonomo did better on his second bullet, ending with 132,600.
While Bonomo might have been the first to go, he certainly wasn't the last. Players busted left and right, and most of them decided to buy back in. From the 101 entries, 24 are re-entries.
Contrary to the Super High Roller and the Single-Day High Roller, the field in this $10,300 High Roller was full of fresh faces we hadn't seen before this week. Still, the regulars were out in force as well and any poker fan would've loved to watch the action as some of the biggest names in poker clashed with each other.
One of the recognizable names to enter was Felipe Ramos. The Brazilian Team PokerStars Pro ended the day with 231,400 in chips, after a long day full of action on the 'battlefelt'. First he called down Martin Jacobson with jacks and turned out to be good, later he made Kristen Bicknell's life miserable shoving the river in a big pot where Bicknell had to fold.
Ramos needed just a single bullet in this event, but his Team PokerStars Pro colleague Leo Fernandez needed two. Fernandez ended the day with 148,600 in chips.
Sam Chartier was one of the players that signed up late, and it would turn out he couldn't have found a better time to do so. In his very first hand, he doubled with aces through Daniel Dvoress' ace-king and ended the day with 104,300.
Forty-three players return tomorrow for Day 2. Blinds will start at 1,000/2,000 and buying in is possible until the start of play at noon local time. Handing over $10,300 at the cage gives you 50,000 in chips, or 25 big blinds to start the day.
PokerNews will naturally be on the floor once again with live updates from the first flop until the last river, plus photos of all the players.