Boasting a TWD 6 million (US$190,725) guarantee, the opening flight of the 2019 Poker King Cup Taiwan Main Event, Day 1A, saw a total of 55 entrants (46 unique) ante up the TWD 27,500 (~US$875) entry fee and fight it out at the felt, with 21 players able to bag up chips at the conclusion of the twelve 40-minute levels.
The man leading the charge is the USA's Edwin Gerard, who bagged up a massive 267,900 stack — giving him over 133 big blinds with which to return for Day 2.
Gerard has over $100,000 in live tournament cashes on his poker resume, three of them coming at final tables in countries ranging from the US, Macau, and Taiwan and looks to be in great shape at taking a shot at winning his first live tournament title.
The US player flew under the radar for much of the day before tangling with Taiwan's Hsiao Yun Yang on the second to last level of the day. Yang had held the top spot for the vast majority of the day's action with an aggressive play style that saw him steamroll all three tables he competed at and become the first player to reach and breach the 100,000-chip mark, but Gerard managed to get the best of him in two sizable pots to usurp his position at the top of the counts.
It was the second of the two pots that proved the most costly for the Taiwanese player; with both players sitting on top three stacks of over 125,000 apiece Gerard rivered the nut flush holding ace-trey of clubs to take a second big bite out of Yang's once-proud stack, leave him reeling like a punch drunk prizefighter and bring his chip count below the 100,000-mark. While Yang was able to make it through to Day 2, he was unable to reach his previous high, bagging up 56,300.
Others to bag big on Day 1A include Hong Kong's Howard Sun (116,200), Singapore's Si Yang Phua (116,600), China's Jieming Xu (104,300), Taiwan's Yu You Ci Tsai (102,500) and Hong Kong's Gabriel Fung (101,900), with the rest of the field all bagging up below the six-figure chip mark.
Other notables in the running included Taiwan's fifth most successful tournament player Chen An Lin and Singapore's Graeme Siow, though of the two only Lin managed to make it through with a stack of 45,000.
However, with the format offering players unlimited re-entry, any player unable to make the Day 2 cut can try their luck again tomorrow with both remaining starting flights playing out on Saturday, August 17. Day 1B gets underway at 1:00 p.m. local time and will follow exactly the same structure as Day 1A. Day 1C has a slightly later start time of 6:00 p.m. and will feature slightly shorter 30-minute levels.
The 21 Day 1A survivors will return for Day 2, which takes place at 1:00 p.m. local time (GMT+8) on Sunday, August 18 and the PokerNews live reporting team will be on hand to bring you all the tournament thrills and spills as the 2019 Poker King Cup Taiwan plays down to a scintillating conclusion.