You can follow along with the action all weekend long at PokerNews.com with reporting from Brandon Temple.
The second of three starting flights is slated to kick off at 2 p.m. local time for the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Hollywood St. Louis $1,650 Main Event, and a much larger field is expected to converge on the felt in hopes of joining the five survivors from yesterday's Day 1a flight.
Ryan Tepen made his late entry count, as he surged to the top of the counts quickly and never relinquished the lead before bagging up a healthy 402,000 chips. Igor Holdaiy spun a stack of 19,000 all the way up to 295,000 in just two levels to bag the second largest stack, while WSOP Bracelet winner Brett Apter (270,000), Thomas Rennier (175,000), and Season XV HPT $2,500 Championship runner-up Christopher Audrain (88,000) were the only other players to bag chips at the end of the night.
Today's Day 1b flight will feature 40-minute levels, with a fifteen-minute break after every three levels, and a dinner break after Level 9. Registration remains open through the completion of the dinner break (approximately 9:30 p.m.) and a single re-entry option is available for players unfortunate enough to bust. Day 1a's flight ended with just under ten minutes remaining in Level 14, and the final two flights will stop at that point, or when 13% of the field (rounded down) remains, whichever comes first. One final flight is on tap for players, as Day 1c will kick off on Saturday at Noon local time.
Reigning HPT Player of the Year Nick Pupillo is expected to be in action again today, while Henry Zou, James Pupillo, and Keith Heine are also expected to make their initial appearance in this weekend's Main Event. Cards will be in the air at 2 p.m. local time, so be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews as we continue our coverage here at HPT Hollywood Casino St. Louis.