Chris Tryba leads after day one of NAPT Mohegan Sun, a day on which 387 players came to Uncasville, Connecticut, parted with $5,000 for a seat in the game, and looked to battle through eight one-hour levels to keep dreams alive of a $450,000 payday. Only about 230 managed it, which meant more than 150 did not.
Players started with 30,000 chips, and by day's close Tryba had multiplied that almost six times. He finished with 173,400, which gives him some breathing room ahead of Jerry Wong, who has 165,000.
Tryba might not be a household name, but the man has form: he has listed tournament scores dating back to 2003 and won six figures in Atlantic City last month. He also took the last of Eugene Katchalov's chips, so he's hardly scared of tangling with the best.
However this tournament is due to last four more days, and despite what seems to be happening at Augusta National at the moment, pillar-to-post winners are almost unheard of in this game.
Perhaps it would be better to be in the chasing pack, from where portents are more favorable. At this time last year, the Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst was in second spot after day one and went on to win. Tonight, well what do you know? Another Vanessa - this time Vanessa Rousso - is in a similar position. She has 125,800 after a startling late charge vaulted her into the top echelons.
Ms Selbst isn't done yet, however. The defending champion remains in the hunt, with 87,600. And there are also three World Champions--Jonathan Duhamel (23,800), Joe Cada (18,400) and Carlos Mortensen (107,400)--still battling, alongside some of the other biggest names in the game.
Victor Ramdin, who was an early chip leader, has 123,300 at the end of the day's play. Jason Mercier, who won the Bounty Shootout last year, has 30,900. Team Pro Canada's Pat Pezzin (49,700) and Greg De Bora (41,200) are all still alive, as are Team Online's George Lind III (34,100) and Kevin Thurman.
Play resumes at noon ET tomorrow.
All photography from Mohegan Sun is ©Joe Giron/www.joegironphotography.com.