PCA 2016: Dustin Johns bags Day 1 chip lead in $25K High Roller

We watched Bryn Kenney take down the $100,000 Super High Roller to help kick off this PokerStars Caribbean Adventure festival. Then Steve O'Dwyer added yet another high roller trophy to his collection after winning the $50,000 Single-Day High Roller.

Today the third and final high roller of this year's PokerStars Caribbean Adventure got underway, a $25,000 buy-in, single re-entry event, and after one day of play Dustin Johns sits atop yet another talent-rich field after spinning his starting stack of 50,000 all of the way up to 298,100 to end Day 1.

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Dustin Johns

As expected this final high roller of the festival drew another star-studded field with several seats at every table filled with poker's top tournament talent. Many were here to start the day, then gradually players who'd gone deep over in the Main Event were coming over as well after busting, among them Davidi Kitai who finished 70th, Jeff Gross 68th, and eventually Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier who made it all of the way to 20th in the Main.

By the dinner break Nick Maimone looked to be the pace-setter with Brian Yoon, Isaac Baron, and Aleksei Platonov. Before long, though, Olivier Busquet pushed up the leaderboard, boosted in large part by busting out fellow high roller star Mustapha Kanit.

olivier_busquet_pca2016_hrd1.jpgOlivier Busquet

By the dinner break there had been more than 170 entries total, but players continued to arrive thereafter with Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu the first to sit down post-dinner. Meanwhile new players kept arriving while others who were busted were re-entering, pushing the total up over 200 as the night wore on.

One of those late arrivers was Negreanu's fellow red spade sporter, Liv Boeree of Team PokerStars Pro. Alas for Boeree, her stay was short-lived after she first ran sevens into Salman Behbehani's pocket aces, then rebought and immediately thereafter was busted by Kanit after running jacks into his aces.

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Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree

Meanwhile others thrived today, including Robert Gorodetsky (294,400), Brian Yoon (294,000), and Jared Jaffee (293,300) who will all be just a few big blinds away from Johns to start Day 2.

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Jared Jaffee

Others with big stacks to end the night include Isaac Baron (258,700), Olivier Busquet (257,400), and Faraz Jaka (254,900). And of the Team PokerStars Pros, Jason Mercier will be returning to 81,800 after putting in a couple of hours at the end of the night, Andre Akkari likewise made it through with 59,100, and Daniel Negreanu will return to a short stack of 19,500.

Steve O'Dwyer (on a second try) is still in the mix as well with 47,600, as is Daniel Dvoress (who cashed in both the $100K SHR and $50K HR) with 51,400. And three-time Super Bowl champion Richard Seymour also made it through on a second entry, finishing with 43,700. Players who entered and were felted twice on Day 1 besides Boeree and Kanit were Bryn Kenney, Nick Petrangelo, Calvin Anderson, Dani Stern, Igor Kurganov, Govert Metaal, and Joe Kuether.

In the end a total of 106 players made it through to tomorrow from the 214 total entries -- again, with re-entering still available for those who haven't done so yet until the start of play tomorrow. A full list of end-of-day-1 chip counts can be found here.

Join us tomorrow starting at 12 noon when Day 2 of the $25,000 High Roller continues to roll onward toward Thursday's final table.

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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in High Roller