P1 Million: Jessie Leonarez bags the most chips in day 1a

It was an action-packed day at PokerStars Live Manila with players flocking in to participate in the P1 Million Guarantee Main Event. By the end of late registration, a total of 170 entries were recorded, and at the end of tournament play, only 30 made the cut for day 2 on Sunday.

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Leading at the end of day 1a is Filipino poker pro Jessie Leonarez with 240,300 chips. Leonarez had a steady flow of chips coming his way all day and then landed a massive pile late in the tournament to put him right where he is now. During the hand, he faced off against Filipino player Regie Ann delos Reyes. On a board of 9♥7♦4♠K♦, Reyes moved all-in on top of Leonarez's bet. Without batting an eyelash, Leonarez called the push and sure enough, he was ahead with A♣9♦ against Reyes's J♥T♥ double belly. The river was no help to Reyes and Leonarez escalated to the chip leader's seat.

Running second in chips is another Filipino poker pro, Mike Takayama with 198,600 chips, and rounding off the third highest in chips is Edward Warriner from the UK with 191,100 chips.

During the early part of the tournament, Canadian player Christian Haggart was on a roll, raking in numerous pots and challenging players for the pot. At one point, he held the chip lead after booting two players when his pocket tens landed a full house, defeating a player with top pair and the other with a straight. Haggart returns on Sunday with 105,900 chips.

Among the top ranking Asia Player of the Year contenders, only China's Yang Zhang was able to hold on to his chips to end the day with 58,900. Ka Cheong Wong made it to the last level of the day, but when his ace-jack ran into rockets, he was instantly crippled to half the starting stack and soon after was eliminated.

An interesting tidbit today was the number of ladies who entered, a total of 13 graced the felt, but at the end of the night only Daisy Wain from the Philippines qualified into day 2. She will return with an above average stack of 83,900 chips.

Among the casualties of the day were previous P1M champion, Rey Concepcion (Philippines), China's Shih Chieh Su and Hui Yao, another local player Renato Villanueva, and the winners of the side events, David Erquiaga and Alvir Innocentes, both from the Philippines. Luckily for them, there is still day 1b coming up tomorrow.

Congratulations to all the qualifiers! For players at the bottom of the rung, you may re-enter day 1b for one last chance to qualify into the final day with a larger stack.

We will return tomorrow for day 1b. We will start earlier, at 12:30pm.

For a read on some of the action at day 1a, just head to the P1M Day 1a Updates posting. See you all tomorrow!

Top 10 qualifiers of day 1a:
Jessie Leonarez - Philippines - 240,300
Mike Takayama - Philippines - 198,600
Edward Warriner - United Kingdom - 190,100
Noel Araniel - Philippines - 139,400
Ernesto Camerino - Philippines - 127,800
Luke Pangan - Philippines - 123,700
Pete Lowell Tan - Philippines - 111,000
Christian Haggart - Canada - 105,900
Eugene Co - Philippines - 97,200
Justin Worth - Australia - 96,300

Triccia David
@PokerStars in News