The first of two starting days of the $1,100 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure National saw one man claiming the spotlights: Uri Reichenstein. The German, who finished runner-up to Sebastien Malec in the EPT13 Barcelona Main Event, went on a tear and amassed 642,000 when the dust had settled, quite ahead of his nearest challengers Eric Baldwin (470,000) and Lawrence Bayley (416,000) who rounded out the top three.
One of the key hands to Reichenstein's sizable lead came late in the night. While already holding the chip lead at that point, Reichenstein distanced himself from the pack by winning a big flip against Sergi Reixach. After a raise from Florian Duta on the button, the Spaniard three-bet from the small blind with ace-queen. Reichenstein four-bet shoved pocket sixes from the big blind, putting both opponents to the test, and Reixach called it off to create a near 100 big blind pot. The sixes held up to make Reichenstein the only player to cross the half million mark.
A total of 516 entries were made on Day 1, 77 of them survived, scored a Bahama flag and will return for Day 2. Behind Reichenstein, Baldwin, and Bayley, Antoine Saout (322,000), Dragos Trofimov (309,000), Calvin Anderson (297,000), Xixiang Luo (297,000), Pierre Calamusa (250,000), and Matas Cimbolas (240,000) also had strong showings and booked themselves a spot at the top of the counts.
Day 1a was scheduled to play until the bubble would burst, and eventually, three players ended up busting in the same hand while being two off the money. Daniel Strelitz, David Korn, and Vicent Bosca all chopped the min-cash, although exact amount will be decided once Day 1b has concluded and the total prize pool has been announced.
Other players that failed to make the money included defending champion Maria Konnikova, who busted out in level 14 and went to try her luck in Day 1b. Niall Farrell, Chris Moorman, Steven van Zadelhoff, Jack Sinclair, Randy Lew, Celina Lin, Sam Grafton, and Manig Loeser also bowed out during the first starting flight.
All survivors from Day 1a and 1b will return on Friday, January 11 at noon local time. Levels will be extended and play is scheduled to continue until a winner has been crowned, which promises a long day. PokerNews will be right back on the floor to cover all the action as the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure reaches the halfway point.