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Mercier Mashes Day 1a at WPT Seminole Hard Rock
Playing on his home turf in Florida, Jason Mercier ran up a huge stack to end Day 1a near the top at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Open.
A solid 125 runners forked over the $3,500 buy-in today at the Seminole Hard Rock for the next stop on the World Poker Tour with about 50 surviving the day.
For a non-televised event it also brought out a surprising amount of big names, led of course by Mercier.
The South Florida native used the home court to his advantage to rack up about 176k in chips - good for third in the chip counts.
The overnight chip leader is Uri Kadosh with 275,500, followed in second by Eliyahu Levy with 218,500.
Rounding out the top five in chips are Nick Avena with 133,200 and Michael Michnik with 121,100.
Big-Name Field, Big Day Expected Tomorrow
For just a $3,500 buy-in, the quality of the field was certainly A-list with dozens of players buying in and lamenting their table draws.
Jonathan Little, Matt Waxman, Matt Stout, Andy Frankenberger, Andrew Lichtenberger, Shannon Shorr, Will Failla, Christian Harder, Matt Giannetti and Shaun Deeb all made appearances - some more successfully than others.
Deeb was among the more successful, building up a decent stack to end the day with 112,700.
Waxman also held his own and bagged up 59,400 - just slightly below the average chip stack of 75,000.
Shorr, Giannetti and Failla also made it through the day but with below-average stacks.
They'll all return for Day 2 on Sunday along with Mercier.
Bustees today included Little, Stout, Harder, Lichtenberger and Frankenberger. Players who busted today however have the option of re-entering tomorrow on Day 1B.
Any players who survived but don't like their chip stack can also forfeit their chips and try again.
A big field is expected for Day 1b tomorrow in Hollywood; tune in to the WPT Live Updates to follow the action.