The PokerStars No Limit Hold’em Players Championship (PSPC) officially returned on Monday with the first day of action in the Bahamas.
The first day brought in 1,003 players, which included more than 400 Platinum Pass winners. That tidal will grow as players can still register on Day 2. Tony Tran and Chris Moorman tied as the chip leaders with Day 1, both with 356,000. Tran spoke with USPoker Tuesday about his first day.
“I feel awesome, cool and relaxed,” Tran said. “I’ve never cashed in a $25,000 event, but I’ve only played in two other $25,000 events prior to this one.”
Here’s a look at the first day at the PSPC as well as some other action from the series.
Tran pleased with tournament so far, glad to be returning as chip leader
The trip to the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) has been a nice choice for Tran (pictured in lead image courtesy PokerStars/Joe Giron). Overall, the player from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was pleased with his play and catching some big pots throughout Day 1. Finding the chip lead came after seeing some big action at his table.
“I had a table of Europeans and Upeshka De Silva, who’s always very active,” he said. “Fifty percent of pots were three- and four-bet preflop. I registered late and got in on level three. There were some bigger stacks at the table and I was able to win the majority of big pots I played.”
Tran is no stranger to high-level poker. He’s a two-time World Poker Tour champion with $2 million in live tournament winnings.
When not playing poker, Tran also has some real estate interests and has worked on renovating homes as well. He’s also working on opening a restaurant as well. While he may describe himself as a more of a part-time player, Tran has some real poker chops.
On Tuesday, Tran chose to leave the property to get away and grab some local cuisine. Perhaps that brought a chance to keep his head clear as well with the action ramping up for the second day of play.
“The goal is to maintain the momentum and continue to build the stack and put people in a lot of tough spots,” he said.
Some other players returning for Day 2 include Josh Arieh, Martin Zamani, three-time WPT champion Eric Afriat, Dario Sammartino, Sean Winter, Fedor Holz, Jeremy Ausmus, Roger Teska, Asher Conniff, and PokerStars US ambassador Jen Shahade.
Matt Glassman keeps Platinum Pass roll going after making Day 2
USPoker recently featured the story of Matt Glassman, who won a Platinum Pass for a story he submitted as part of a PokerStars contest. By day, Glassman teaches public policy at Georgetown University, focusing on congressional procedure and operations. He was ready for action on Day 1.
“No more studying, o more GTOWizard, o more practice tournaments,” he noted on Twitter. “Nothing left to do but win the coolest tournament in the world. One time!”
Glassman has now advanced Day 2 of the PSPC, living a dream many recreational players would envy. However, Glassman’s experience came with some ups and downs. His first day might exemplify the dynamics at play in the tournament.
40.5k end of day. Second table much tougher than first, Dan Smith absolutely torturing me every time I opened. Coming back tomorrow at noon with a playable stack, though. Let's GOGOGOGO! pic.twitter.com/qoblpPX0bQ
— Matt Glassman (@mattg312cards) January 31, 2023
There are some well-heeled pros with a large mix of recreational players unaccustomed to playing not only at such high stakes but also at such a high level. But Glassman still has a shot to keep his dream tournament going.
Many players who couldn’t snag a Platinum Pass would love to be in his seat.
US players rack up wins in Bahamas
The action so far has seen several Americans reach the winner’s circle. Jesse Lonis chalked up a nice win on Saturday in the $10,200 PSPC Warm Up. He took home $367,400 in an event that saw 162 entries for a $1.6 million prize pool.
Won the 10k warm up for $367,000 🇧🇸 pic.twitter.com/CASNtqLuFr
— Jesse Lonis (@JesseLonis) January 30, 2023
Isaac Haxton started off the series by winning the $25,000 High Roller for $1.1 million. That came after a deal with fellow American Seth Davies, who also scored just under $1.1 million.
The $550 Seniors event saw Farzad Raji take the top spot for $11,710. In the $2,200 DeepoStack, Jeremy Ausmus found yet another win for $144,610. Joseph Cheong finished runner-up for $90,500.
In the $3,000 Mystery Bounty, Samuel Cobian found a victory for $239,658. This was the biggest cash of his career and he now has $354,085 in live tournament winnings.
Jonathan Little grabbed the win in the $50,000 No Limit Hold’em event. The high roller drew only eight entries and Little scored big for $194,814.
Justin Bonomo also picked up the trophy and $574,530 in the $25,000 NLHE event with Portugal’s Rui Ferreira in second for $664,820. Haxton also found a nice score of $491,550 for third, with the top three players reaching a deal.
In the $25,000 PCA High Roller, New Jersey’s Dylan Smith grabbed the top spot for $364,440.