The 2018 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort in California completed the second of its two-Day Ones on Saturday. By the time the dust had settled, there was a new overall leader in Dean Freedlander. With late registration still ongoing, however, the players were still unsure of what they were playing for.

The final Day One of the tournament brought out a flock of players looking for redemption from busting out of Day 1A. From the first flight of the cards, 145 entries were on the tournament clock and many of those were from players who had taken a previous shot. Ari Engel, Anthony Zinno, Darren Elias, Blair Hinkle, Curt Kohlberg and Kathy Liebert were all return guests of the tournament, looking to make the most of their final shot (?) on Saturday.

By the time the tournament had reached Level 4 on Day 1B, it was obvious that it was going to be a much bigger day than Day 1A. 199 entries had been received by the start of Level 4 and the players continued to stream in through the Thunder Valley tournament arena doors. That number continued to ratchet up and reached a grand total of 251 entries by the time that the day had concluded.

It was an interesting ride for many pros in the field on Saturday. Ray Qartomy (who had also been a part of the proceedings on Friday) saw his chip stack yo-yo all through the day before he departed late in the action. He wasn’t the only one, however; Liebert and Elias were also victims of the elimination bug and Aaron Mermelstein, Loren Klein, Taylor Paur, Rep Porter, Allen Kessler and Hinkle were all under the original starting stack of 30,000 at the close of business.

Someone who was able to move quietly through the field was Freedlander. The psychiatrist was able to diagnose that his opponents didn’t have much in hands against him, although he did admit to hitting “a few nut flushes on the turn or river” that his opponents didn’t pick up on. There must have been quite a few of those “nut flushes” because, by the end of the night, Freedlander had seized the overall lead.

1. Dean Freedlander, 163,900
2. Tim McDermott, 148,800
3. Paul Nguyen, 137,000
4. Anthony Zinno, 131,500
5. Ari Engel, 123,900
6. Darryl Okamoto, 120,000
7. David Larson, 113,600
8. Kevin Eyster, 110,000
9. Amnon Filippi, 104,000
10. Darrel Dier, 102,400

Along with the finishers from Day 1A, here’s how the overall leaderboard looks:

1. Dean Freedlander, 163,900
2. Tim McDermott, 148,800
3. Sean Marshall, 142,100*
4. Eddy Sabat, 140,000*
5. Matt Salsberg, 139,200*
6. Paul Nguyen, 137,000
7. Anthony Zinno, 131,500
8. Ping Liu, 130,100*
9. Jesse Rockowitz, 126,200*
10. Ari Engel, 123,900

(* – Day 1A Player)

There were 141 survivors from the Day 1B field, bringing the grand total of players that made it through either Day 1A or 1B to 212. The final numbers are not known yet as late registration is going to go through Level 10 on Sunday’s Day 2 action, or about 2PM (Pacific Time). Once Level 11 begins, the final totals will be revealed (still an excellent shot at getting over 400 entries for the overall tournament) and the final prize pool revealed. The tournament is scheduled to play down to its final table on Monday, with the next champion crowned at the WPT Rolling Thunder on Tuesday night.

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