PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Busting out of a poker tournament is never fun, but when you have a spectacular beach at your doorstep, 24-hour room service, and all-you-can-handle everything, it stings a little less. That's if they decide to call it a day, players that bust on Day 1A can still play Day 1B. Also, during late registration period a player can still re-enter Day 1B after getting knocked out.
After 10 levels and nearly 11 straight hours, Day 1A concluded close to 1am local time with a final count of 274 entries. Notable pros advancing to Day 2 include Canadian Patrick Serda, who's an EPT and WPT regular, and Demo Kiriopolous.
Kiriopolous took down the 2011 Punta Cana Poker Classic. And he's not resting on his laurels. The poker champion returns to his seat on Day 2 with 141,900 chips. Along with American Derrick Scott (155,800), Steve Stolzmann, (163,000), Patrick Serda (173,500), and Leonal Otaza (165,900), Kirioplous has a healthy chip lead and sits comfortably ahead of the average of 58,297.
In Day 1A, there was no shortage of edge-of-your-seat all in moments. Brandon Paster, who recently bubbled the Panama LAPT final table, ran into Patricio Rojas' set with a pair of bullets on a call. A miracle Ace gave Paster the victory.
Day 1B kicks off today at 2pm local time (1pm ET), with Day 2 scheduled on Thursday at 2pm ET local time. Day 2 will feature 87 players who lasted the 10 levels in Day 1A plus those who are able to hold onto their chips through to the end of Day 1B.
Entering its fourth year, the Punta Cana Poker Classic tournament takes place at the Vegas-style Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Dominican Republic, and runs until November 17th with a guaranteed prize pool of $500,000.
The Punta Cana Poker Classic has become one of the most popular Caribbean tournaments since launching four years ago, and not just because of the half-million-dollar guarantee. Players who won a package through a sponsor site were awarded with a bracelet that gives them access to unlimited food and beverages 24/7. Hotel rooms are well stocked with beer and liquor, room service is available whenever poker players crave it, and over a dozen restaurants and delis are ready to cater to package winners.
Players who can't make it to Day 2 can continue to enjoy rock star treatment for the duration of their stay. And they can take part in a number of other poker events. The Punta Cana Poker Classic also includes a number of other tournaments, including a High Roller's event and a Second Chance tournament.
More information on the Dominican Republic tournament including a full schedule of events can be found at PuntaCanaPokerClassic.com
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