2016 WPT Fallsview Main Event Day 1: Robert Forbes Leads as 300 players Hit the Rail

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The World Poker Tour got back in action this week as the action headed north of the (U.S.) border to the Fallsview Casino Resort, overlooking Niagara Falls, for the WPT Fallsview Main Event. This is the one of the increasingly rare major tournaments with just one starting day; 423 players turned out for the CAD $5,000 tournament, with 132 making it to Monday’s Day 2. Robert Forbes of Burlington, Ontario is the chip leader with 349,700 chips. Nobody else finished with more than 300,000 and only four other players have more than 200,000.

Last year’s WPT Fallsview was a rough scene, not as much for the Main Event, but for one of the popular preliminary events that preceded it. Ticket scalpers, of all people, ruined the experience for many players prior to the $1,100 event. The problem was brought on by three factors: 1) physical capacity limitations resulted in a hard cap of 500 players for each of the two starting days, 2) no alternates were allowed, and 3) all entry cards were fully transferrable.

The selling of entry cards is very common; we usually see this when someone wins a satellite, but would rather just receive money than an entry into the next tournament. To accomplish that, the person sells the entry ticket they won, usually at a slight discount from face value. The satellite winner gets the money he wanted and the buyer gets to enter the bigger tourney for a bit less money. Win-win.

What happened last year was that because there was an entrant cap for each of the starting days for the $1,100 event, demand outpaced supply. When it was evident that Day 1B was going to sell out, scalpers – people who didn’t even intend on playing in the tournament – started buying up tickets, mostly from satellite winners. When the event was sold out, those who wanted to play had to either go home or pay a premium to scalpers. Reports were that the $1,100 tickets were going for as much as $1,800.

Fortunately, the situation was fixed this year, as the entry cards are non-transferable (which has created some other issues for some players, but none as significant as last year’s) and limited to one per person. Alternates are also allowed this year. Thus, there is no market for scalpers.

Last year’s WPT Fallsview was the unofficial start of Anthony Zinno’s run to the WPT Player of the Year award, as it was his first of back-to-back WPT Main Event titles last season. Unfortunately for Zinno, it will not a be a repeat, as he bowed out on Day 1.

Play has started at the Fallsview Casino Resort as the remaining players look to make it into the money before they call it a night.

2016 World Poker Tour Fallsview Main Event – Day 1 Chip Leaders

1.    Robert Forbes – 349,700
2.    Alexis Gavin – 281,600
3.    Randy Pfeifer – 276,800
4.    Shane Brotherwood – 239,700
5.    Daniel Watton – 200,200
6.    Theodore Doukas – 194,100
7.    Andre Larosa – 180,000
8.    Mike McDonald – 177,400
9.    Nicholas Palma – 168,400
10.    Xuan Liu – 168,000

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