Day 1A Entrants: 64
Players Remaining: 28
Ryan Phan (pictured) announced his arrival on the local poker scene emphatically with $170,000 in cashes in 2016, making him one of the more successful players on the Midwest circuit that year. He followed that up with another $130,000 in 2017 and is looking to get his 2018 cooking with an early cash, not having booked a tourney score since July.
Lady luck smiled upon him just now in a big pot when someone shoved all in for 22,400 in early position and Phan tank-called in the big blind with 4♥ 4♣. His opponent had a dominating 8♥ 8♦ but the 4♦ 10♣ K♦ Q♦ 7♠ board enabled Phan to flop a set and dodge a flush draw. He's looking like a strong candidate for top stack by the night's end.
A player with a less rosy outlook: Papa Karn. He got it in there ahead with bottom two pair for nearly all of his chips but was outdrawn by Drew Woodke, whose gutshot and flush draw got there on the turn, leaving Karn shaking his head and dragging his remaining crumbs back.
Ryan Phan - 76,800
Papa Karn (pictured below) - 4,800