The $5,250 World Poker Tour (WPT) Gardens Poker Championship Main Event moved on to Day 2 after two starting flights. Of the 346 entries (one re-entry was allowed per flight), 126 still have chips in front of them heading into Tuesday’s action. Leading the way is Girish Reknar with 459,500 chips.

Unlike many large tournaments, late registration did not extend to the start of Day 2, instead closing after Level 8 in both Day 1A and Day 1B. Thus, we don’t have to wait until later today for the official prize pool tally. The total prize money is $1,678,100, with 44 players getting paid. First prize is $357,380.

There is still a ways to go before the tournament even hits the money, but it is shaping up to be a pretty competitive race. Two other players besides Reknar – Lam Nguyen and Jason Dewitt – have over 400,000 chips, and Omar Bravo is just 500 shy of that mark. Another five players have over 300,000. Three of the players currently in the top ten have won WPT title. Of course, there is plenty of time for players not amongst the leaders to make their move and fight to make the final table.

The min-cash of $10,160 would be a nice chunk of change for the chip leader Reknar compared to his lifetime live tournament earnings of $132,597, but at this point, we would guess he has his eyes set a bit higher than that. His best live cash was for $26,300 for a second place finish in a $2,200 WSOP Circuit Event at the Bike this past March.

Reknar already had a sizable stack near the end of Day 1A when he put a cap on his tournament-leading collection. In a hand that is every poker player’s dream (or nightmare, I guess, if you are pessimistic), he had Kings and had an opponent with Queens all-in pre-flop for over 100,000 chips. His Kings, of course, held, and he was looking down on the rest of the field.

Day 2 begins at noon PT at the Gardens Casino in Hawaii Gardens, California in the Anaheim area. It will go for ten 60-minute levels with 15-minute breaks after every two levels and a 90-minute dinner break after level 16. Tournament officials expect the money bubble to burst today.

WPT Gardens Poker Championship – Combined Day 1 Chip Leaders

  1. Girish Reknar – 459,500
  2. Lam Nguyen – 405,000
  3. Jason Dewitt – 401,000
  4. Omar Bravo – 399,500
  5. Joshua Lachman – 348,000
  6. Paul James Hizer – 326,500
  7. Adam Weinraub – 319,000
  8. Alex Foxen – 308,000
  9. Frank Stepuchin – 304,000
  10. Brad Owen – 290,500

Image credit: / World Poker Tour

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