The second starting flight for the Season XVI WPT Borgata Poker Open $3,500 Championship concluded on Monday after a field of 682 entries showed up. When the dust settled, it was Guy Smith (pictured) leading the pack.
Smith bagged up a stack of 210,800 to lead Day 1b, but he finished nowhere near the 327,300 chips that Day 1a chip leader Trung Pham put in the bag. Smith came out of the final break of the day with one of the biggest stacks in the room and went on to finish on top.
“It was a steady rise throughout the day,” Smith told WPT.com after play. “I had a lot of big hands, but it was a pretty steady ride.”
Smith, who hails from Milford, Connecticut, has career tournament earnings of more than $200,000 entering this event and he frequents many events at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, he said.
“I’ve come to most every tournament here over the last couple years,” Smith said. “I came in for the earlier one, the $600 with the $2 million guarantee, and then I came back for this one.”
Others to join Smith with larges stacks coming out of Day 1b were George Cicak (117,600), Jae Hwang (176,200), and Carmine Tirone (171,000).
Another player to advance to Day 2 was ClubWPT.com qualifier Jim McLaughlin, who was back in action in a World Poker Tour event for the third time and looking to make it count.
McLaughlin, a 74-year-old player who hails from Broomall, Pennsylvania, finished the day with more than double the 30,000-chip starting stack.
McLaughlin’s fellow ClubWPT qualifier, Jonathan Burnham, failed to make it through the day after he was eliminated by Matthew Burnitz.
Right near the end of Monday’s play, a big went down between Andy Philachack and Don Cho that was a straight flush against a straight flush. With the board of in the middle, Philachack was all in with the against the for Cho. The river brought a fourth diamond with the to give both players a straight flush, but Cho’s was best and Philachack was eliminated.
Also at the end of play on Day 1b were doubles from Marc Sandy and Jamie Kerstetter.
Day 2 will begin on Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET from Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. Registration will remain open through the first two levels of play on Tuesday, which means the field that’s already eclipsed the $3 million guarantee will only grow larger. As it stood when Day 1b ended, the field size was at 965 entries.
WPT.com will be back on Tuesday for more live coverage of this great event, so stay tuned.
Photography by Joe Giron / PokerPhotoArchive.com
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