Well, it has yet to eclipse 100 players, probably guaranteeing that it will be one of the smallest events ever on the Main Tour portion of the World Poker Tour, but WPT Russia has already beaten all of the three WPT Tournaments of Champions, finishing Day 1B at 96 entries. There is still Day 1C on Wednesday and if it fits the pattern of other major events, it should be the largest of the three starting flights, and registration doesn’t close until halfway through Day 2, so we’ll see where this thing can go!

The chip leader – and overall leader for both starting flights – of WPT Russia Day 1B is Maksim Bukreev, who closed Tuesday with 168,300 chips. Like Danilo Velashevich in Day 1A before him, Bukreev has created some distance between himself and the second place player, who on Day 1B is Pedro Oliviera, with 114,300 chips. The difference between Day 1A and Day 1B, though, is that the chip counts at the top of the Day 1B leader board are much more impressive than those at the top of Day 1A. Whereas nobody after the top two players on Day 1A had even more than 80,000 chips, literally the entire top ten on Day 1B eclipsed that mark. The size of the field likely had a lot to do with that: 65 players create a much larger batch of chips than do 31 players – more than twice as many, if you have your calculator handy.

Like many players in WPT Russia, the chip leader, Bukreev, is from Russia himself. He has sixteen recorded live tournament cashes on his resume, all but three coming in his home country. He has been doing some work lately, as more than half of his cashes were earned in the second half of 2018. All told, his total live earnings add up to a bit over $62,000 (approximately, as all totals involve currency conversion). Bukreev is in a great position to end up with one of his better cashes.

As mentioned, there is one more starting flights, set to start at noon local time. Single re-entries are allowed each flight, so there may be some repeat players on Wednesday, as well as Thursday’s Day 2, during which players can still register through the end of Level 12.

2019 World Poker Tour Russia Main Event – Day 1B Chip Leaders

1. Maksim Bukreev – 168,300
2. Pedro Oliviera – 114,300
3. Roman Gadzhiev – 112,200
4. Vyacheslav Bondartsev – 107,100
5. Aleksandr Chernikov – 97,200
6. Oleg Kan – 91,000
7. Vitaliy Pankov – 89,400
8. Daria Feshchenko – 88,200
9. Rostislav Evdokimov – 85,600
10. Evgeniy Boitsov – 82,600

2019 World Poker Tour Russia Main Event – Overall Day 1 Chip Leaders

1. Maksim Bukreev – 168,300
2. Danilo Velashevich – 151,800
3. Pedro Oliviera – 114,300
4. Roman Gadzhiev – 112,200
5. Alexandr Sheshukov – 111,500
6. Vyacheslav Bondartsev – 107,100
7. Aleksandr Chernikov – 97,200
8. Oleg Kan – 91,000
9. Vitaliy Pankov – 89,400
10. Daria Feshchenko – 88,200

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