With just 117 players remaining in the field, the Season XVI WPT Borgata Poker Open $3,500 Championship concluded its Day 2 on Tuesday. When the players return for Wednesday’s Day 3, they’ll be eyeing the money places that are just seven spots away.
Leading the pack to close out Day 2 was late-registrant David Gerassi (pictured). Gerassi entered with about an hour left to go in the event’s registration period, but a late start didn’t deter him from running his initial stack of 30,000 up to 1.332 million to close out the day.
“It all started on a hand where I had pocket threes, and I shoved…” Gerassi began when asked about his day by WPT.com reporters. He went on to tell a brief story about one of his first hands of the day when he doubled up with pocket threes against an opponent’s pocket jacks thanks to a three on the turn.
“Then the rest of it, it just came with that,” Gerassi said. “Believe it or not, the whole day I did not have pocket aces, I did not have pocket kings, and the highest cards I had were pocket queens. Three times I had pocket threes, one time pocket fours, and that’s it! The rest of them was suited connectors or connected cards.”
Gerassi entered this event with just under $44,000 in career live tournament earnings, including a couple of deep runs at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey, that was pointed out.
In 2014, Gerassi finished in 102nd place from a field of 1,229 entries in the Season XII WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open for $6,857. Later that year, in November, Gerassi found himself at a final table of a $560 tournament during the Borgata Fall Poker Open. In that event, which attracted a field of 207 entries, Gerassi took second for $16,565. That latter result was the largest of his career at time of writing.
“I’m tired,” Gerassi added about how he felt at the end of play. “I’ll be able to sleep, even though I don’t sleep that much at night. It doesn’t have anything to do with tournaments and stuff, but I’m sure I will be sleeping well.”
On his way to a towering chip stack, Gerassi’s Day 2 triumphs included eliminating Shannon Shorr with the against Shorr’s kings and also spiking a full house against the flush of Anthony Newman.
Thanks to a flurry of entries on Tuesday, the Season XVI WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship topped out at 1,132 entries and generated a prize pool north of $3.6 million. The top 100 places were set to reach the money, with the winner slated to take home $789,058, plus a luxurious Hublot Big Bang Steel watch and a special $5,000 membership to JetSmarter, the official private jet partner of the World Poker Tour.
One of the stars of the day was ClubWPT qualifier Jim McLaughlin, who will be joining Gerassi on Day 3. McLaughlin bagged a much smaller stack with 104,500, but the ClubWPT.com satellite winner is poised and ready to spin it up on Day 3 and make a run at the televised WPT final table.
Cliff Josephy (791,500), Andy Spears (651,000), and Maurice Hawkins (570,000) were a few of the others to advance to Day 3, as were WPT Champions Club members Mike Linster (282,000), Daniel Strelitz (214,000), Andjelko Andrejevic (152,000), Will Failla (99,000), Jared Jaffee (52,500), and Mike Del Vecchio (48,500). Del Vecchio will be the shortest stack returning for Day 3.
Another interesting player to keep an eye on for Day 3 will be none other than reigning Hublot WPT Player of the Year Ben Zamani, who bagged up 253,000 in chips. Zamani won the Hublot WPT Player of the Year for Season XV thanks to four cashes that included three final tables, and he’ll be looking to get on the board in Atlantic City with his first cash in Season XVI.
The cards will be in the air at 12 p.m. ET on Day 3, and the goal will be to reach the final three tables. With the field entering Day 3 one table off the money, the Action Clock, provided by Protection Poker, will be in play to start. Under the rules of the Action Clock, players will have 30 seconds for each action on Day 3, but each will start with four 30-second time extension chips that they may use for some additional thought.
As always, keep your browsers locked right here to WPT.com for continued coverage of the Season XVI WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship. The WPT Champions Cup awaits its new owner, and we’ll be with you all the way until a champion is crowned!
Photography by Joe Giron / PokerPhotoArchive.com
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