Day 1 of Event #1: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em has come to a conclusion at the U.S. Poker Open with Joseph Cheong the chip leader. A late push at the final table thrust Cheong to the top of the leaderboard with six players left to finish on Thursday.

Cheong leads the final six players with 2,885,000 chips. Second behind him is Lazaro Hernandez with 2,195,000. Those two are followed by Stephen Chidwick (1,965,000), Joseph Orsino (1,635,000), Joseph Cappello (1,380,000), and Sean Winter (1,190,000).

Event #1 Final Table
Seat 1: Stephen Chidwick – 1,965,000
Seat 2: Sean Winter – 1,190,000
Seat 3: Joseph Cheong – 2,885,000
Seat 4: Joseph Cappello – 1,380,000
Seat 5: Lazaro Hernandez – 2,195,000
Seat 6: Joseph Orsino – 1,635,000

“Everyone is so short,” Cheong said, noting that the tournament was still wide open after playing until 3 a.m. to reach six players.

Cheong made a late push as the final table to claim the chip lead. He eliminated Jake Schindler with pocket kings and then did the same to Jerry Robinson with pocket aces. In between those two hands he spiked a straight against chip leader Lazaro Hernandez to chip up to the top of the leaderboard.

Though Cheong is the leader at the moment, this year’s installment of the U.S. Poker Open might feel familiar to last year’s at least after the first day. Chidwick, who led all players in earning last year, finds himself back again with a chance for the $216,000 top prize.

“I was very excited to come play,” Chidwick told PokerCentral. “I’ve been looking forward to this for a while, so it’s nice to get off to a good start.”

Hernandez began his rise early in the tournament with a three way hand that he raised before the flop from the big blind. Hernandez found calls from under the gun, the button, and small blind. He eventually took the hand down with a 15,000 turn bet on a board that read . The pot gave Hernandez some early cushion that he wouldn’t give back. Later, Hernandez padded his stack with a knockout of Dylan Wilkerson, who shoved with his last 27,500 chips. His pocket kings dominated Wilkerson’s pocket deuces and he won another large pot in the early stages of the tournament.

Chidwick burst the pay bubble in the series’ first event by eliminating Sam Soverel in a dramatic hand.

When Chidwick opened to 40,000 before the flop, Soverel made it 175,000. Chidwick came along and then called Soverel’s continuation bet of 70,000 on the flop. Both players checked the turn and Soverel bet 190,000 into Chidwick on the river. Using his time extension, Chidwick went into the tank before betting enough to put Soverel’s tournament at risk. Like Chidwick, Soverel also needed some extra time to ponder the call, but finally did so only to discover Chidwick had pocket nines for a set.

Lazaro got there with some well-timed aggression late in Day 1. He opened to 50,000 on the button and got the big blind to call. After Jake Schindler checked from the BB, Hernandez continued for 75,000 and received a quick call, but that didn’t stop Schindler from committing more of his stack. Again on the turn, after the came, Hernandez bet, this time making it 125,000. Schindler obliged again and the river was the . When Hernandez committed his entire stack on the river, putting Schindler at risk, Schindler didn’t take long to muck his cards.

The final six players will return on Thursday at 4 p.m. (EST) to play down until the Event #1 winner is crowned. Each player is currently guaranteed $54,000, but it is the $216,000 first-place prize that they will all be eyeing.

Cards will be in the air at 4 p.m. (EST) with the PokerGO live stream starting at 5 p.m. (EST). Stay tuned to PokerCentral.com for the continued coverage of Event #1, along with all the remaining U.S. Poker Open coverage.

Stay tuned right here to PokerCentral.com for the exclusive live coverage of all the U.S. Poker Open action from the PokerGO studio. New to PokerGO? Subscribe right now to not miss a minute of the action.

Stephen Chidwick, Sean Winter, Joseph Cheong, Joseph Cappello, Lazaro Hernandez, Joseph Orsino