2016 WPT Rolling Thunder Day 1B: Ankush Mandavia Looking for Back-to-Back Deep WPT Runs

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Day 1B of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Rolling Thunder Main Event is in the books at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort, as another 175 players bellied up to the tables to try to make a run to become a member of the WPT Champion’s Club. Ankush Mandavia, who just finished 23rd at the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star, emerged as both the Day 1B leader and overall Day 1 leader with 184,500 chips.

Yesterday, my colleague Earl Burton explained the unusual opening round structure of this tournament: players are permitted one initial entry and one re-entry into each of the two starting flights plus another re-entry during the first level of Day 2. Thus, players could conceivably enter the event five times. With a $3,200 buy-in and $300 entry fee, that means that some players could end up buying-in for $16,000; that’s 60 percent more money than the buy-in for the World Series of Poker Main Event.

Earl also noted that the Day 1A field of 200 players was a good omen for Day 1B, which “should see a large outpouring of players.” Normally, I would agree with him, as later starting flights almost always attract more players than early ones and re-entries would allow for more players, but in this case I am glad I had the day off and didn’t have a chance to agree because Earl was DEAD WRONG!

Day 1B only saw 175 players register, which is pretty good compared to past years, but it is actually fewer players than played on Day 1A. As mentioned, though, people can still signup during the first level of Day 2, so the field should grow.

WPT Rolling Thunder is also the last leg of the “California Swing,” a set of three WPT stops in a row that includes WPT L.A. Poker Classic and WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star. Players receive points based on how they finish in each Main Event and the overall points leader after Rolling Thunder wins prizes at each stop of next year’s California Swing:

•    Up to six nights of accommodations at the 2017 WPT L.A. Poker Classic, a free airport transfer, and a free massage at the Meridian Spa
•    Shooting Star status at the 2017 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star (Is this a prize or a penalty? I don’t know if I would want a target on my back. Meh, it’s probably a lot of fun.)
•    Up to five nights of suite accommodations at the 2017 WPT Thunder Valley Series and a $500 room credit

Here are the current top ten on the leader board:

1.  Stefan Schillhabel  –  179 pts
2.  Dietrich Fast  –  178 pts
3.  Adam Geyer  –  167 pts
4.  Bryan Piccioli  –  156 pts
5.  Alex Keating  –  155 pts
T6.  Andjelko Andrejevic  –  144 pts
T6.  Sam Soverel  –  144 pts
8.  David Malka  –  139 pts
9.  Seth Davies  –  138 pts
10.  Alex Rocha  –  137 pts

As this contest is only open to U.S. residents, though, Schillhabel and Fast are ineligible, meaning that Adam Geyer is effectively the leader at this point.

Day 2 of the WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event will pick up at noon PT.

2016 World Poker Tour WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event – Day 1B Chip Leaders

1.    Ankush Mandavia – 184,500
2.    Markus Gonsalves – 142,200
3.    Jesse Rockowitz – 137,700
4.    Darren Elias – 137,600
5.    Faraz Jaka – 104,800
6.    Jerry Yang – 98,400
7.    Igor Kurganov – 96,000
8.    Imaze Hasnain – 94,700
9.    Tom West – 86,400
10.    Dylan Wilkerson – 86,200

2016 World Poker Tour WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event – Overall Day 1 Chip Leaders

1.    Ankush Mandavia – 184,500
2.    Chance Kornuth – 178,100
3.    JC Tran – 166,000
4.    Robert Kuhn – 145,300
5.    Markus Gonsalves – 142,200
6.    Brian Altman – 141,400
7.    Jesse Rockowitz – 137,700
8.    Darren Elias – 137,600
9.    Russell Garrett – 134,000
10.    Matthew McEwan – 131,800

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