APPT9 Seoul Day 1A: Ward well ahead

The poker action has come to a close here in Seoul for tonight, after eight hours of play and a horde of eliminations.

There were 116 players who pulled up seats for Day 1A, and now that all is said and done, 42 players remained. They'll have tomorrow off to enjoy the local culture before returning Saturday for the official Day 2.

Tournaments specialists, seasoned regulars and satellite qualifiers were among the tough field today, and many fell by the wayside.

Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand ElkY Grospellier made an early exit in unexpected fashion, as did Team PokerStars Pro Online Naoya Kihara. David Vamplew and the twin brother of last year's APPT Seoul Main Event champion, Chin Kampanatsanyakorn, also failed to make the cut.

Elky APPT Seoul

Bertrand ElkY Grospellier on Day 1A of the APPT9 Seoul Main Event

Bryan Huang and Aditya Agarwal made up the Team PokerStars contingent to qualify for Day 2. Joining them will be the APPT7 Seoul Main Event champion Aaron Lim, and the reigning champion, Chane Kampanatsanyakorn.

It was the United Kingdom's Alex Ward who emerged as chip leader, finishing the day with 133,800 in chips. Ward has no previous live tournament scores but plays as asiancutiee on PokerStars and has over $700,000 in online cashes.

Alex Ward APPT Seoul 2015

Chip leader Alex Ward on APPT9 Seoul Day 1A

APPT9 Seoul Day 1A Top Ten Chip Counts
Alex Ward (United Kingdom) - 133,800
Tyler Jennens (Canada) - 101,900
Yunye Lu (China) - 101,100
Toan Ngoc Nguyen (Australia) - 91,200
Jason Park (USA) - 90,100
Quan Bin Zhong (China) - 88,900
Boris Li (Russia) - 86,700
Lkhagvaa Durgarbaatar (Mongolia) - 80,600
Bryan Huang (Singapore) - 79,900
Justin Chan (Hong Kong) - 79,200

Another group will fill the poker room here at Paradise Walkerhill Casino tomorrow with hopes of claiming the next APPT title. Day 1B kicks off at 12pm local time and players will battle it out through eight, hour-long levels as they did today.

We'll be back tomorrow to continue our coverage and we hope you can join us then. In the meantime you can check the full chip counts from Day 1A in the live reporting section on the APPT9 Seoul page.

Brad Kain
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour