Dan "djk123" Kelly Out Front in Event 1 at WSOP APAC

Dan Kelly
Dan "djk123" Kelly

The WSOP broke its first ground in Australia this morning and so did pro Dan "djk123" Kelly as he became the first end-of-day chip leader at WSOP APAC.

With expectations high and a buzz in the poker room the first event of the inaugural WSOP APAC kicked off at 6 pm local time with a great turnout of locals and big-name pros.

With an intriguing "accumulator" format - meaning players can enter all three Day 1s and add each day's chips to their Day 2 starting stack, 329 players paid the $1,100 buy-in and took their seats in Australia's first gold bracelet event.

By day's end just 47 players survived headed by noted online and live star Dan "djk123" Kelly, who picked up KK on the button late in the day and turned it into an end-of-day chip lead with 66,250.

Kelly was closely followed by Alex Givotovsky (65,600), Jonathan Duhamel (41,850) and Barry Greenstein (41,050) while noted pros Phil Hellmuth, Mike "SirWatts" Watson, Andrew Hinrichsen and Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah also carried over stacks to Day 2.

Hellmuth in particular seemed pleased with his 20,600 chips:

Full Day 1a chip counts can be found here. Top 10 below:

  • 1. Daniel Kelly 66,250
  • 2. Alex Givotovsky 65,600
  • 3. Minh Phuc Nguyen 43,950
  • 4. Frank Mccolgan 43,500
  • 5. Jonathan Duhamel 41,850
  • 6. Barry Greenstein 41,050
  • 7. Tristan Bain 39,025
  • 8. Mufit Brahim 33,225
  • 9. Nicholas Roth 33,150
  • 10. Andrew Scarf 33,025

Big Stars, High Hopes Rule the Day

Phil Hellmuth
Back on the bracelet grind

Given this is the second major event in Australia in just three months there was a bit of concern over the amount of foreign pros making the trek again but plenty seem to have taken the journey.

Joining the above-mentioned stars were all-time leading money winner Antonio Esfandiari, Eugene Katchalov, ElkY Grospellier, Chad Brown and Team 888 reps Jesse Sylvia, Jake Balsiger and Sam Holden.

Jason Koon, Melanie Weisner, Dominik Nitsche, Marvin Rettenmaier, Rupert Elder, Stephen Chidwick ... the list goes on.

For a full recap of all the big names and notable pots, check our Day 1a live updates page.

Also along for the ride are of course the experienced WSOP staff including longtime WSOP TD Jack Effel, who's very pleased with what he's seen so far from the host Crown Casino:

“If there’s one thing they know at Crown, it’s poker,” said Effel. “This crew does one fantastic job of running poker tournaments.”

Tune in to PokerListings' WSOP APAC page for more exclusive coverage every day including live streaming of all final tables. Action starts on Day 1b at 9 pm EST tonight. Check the Day 1a highlight reel below:

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