The Season XVI WPT Borgata Poker Open $3,500 Championship has $789,058 up top for the winner, and only 24 players are left with a shot at earning that life-changing sum of money. What began as a field of 1,132 entries was whittled down to less than three percent of the field thanks to an exciting day of poker on Wednesday.
Taking the chip lead into Day 4 was Cliff Josephy (pictured), known to many simply as “JohnnyBax” from his legendary online poker days. The New Yorker entered this tournament with a stout poker résumé that includes more than $6.88 million in live tournament earnings that will only go up from here. Josephy bagged a stack of 4.079 million in chips and, like his 23 opponents left in the field, has locked up at least $16,306.
Day 3 at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey, saw Josephy sit at the top of the leaderboard for a good portion of the day, but with 38 players left it was Matt Parry leading the way with a tiny bit more than 3 million. Josephy took out Moe Farrah in 38th place, though, to move to 3.2 million when his turned straight held against Farrah’s top set.
The full list of chip counts to end Day 3 can be found below, but rounding out the top five on the leaderboard were Parry with 3.398 million, David Gerassi with 3.354 million, Gregory Weber with 2.651 million, and Will Givens with 2.426 million.
When Day 3 began on Wednesday, 117 players remained. With only the top 110 reaching the money, a few players had to go home empty handed. With 111 players remaining, Jordan Siegel was down to his last 8,000 in chips and all in with the against the for Joseph Giulino. The board ran out to send Siegel to the rail.
From there, the in-the-money eliminations began to rack up, including that of ClubWPT qualifier Jim McLaughlin who was having the time of his life playing the event. The 74-year-old ClubWPT VIP battled his way to a 100th-place finish worth $6,993 and couldn’t have been happier with the result.
Other notables who busted out on Day 3 were reigning Hublot WPT Player of the Year Ben Zamani, who fell in 50th place, and Mike Linster, the last WPT Champions Club member in the field. Linster went out in 27th place and his elimination opened the door for a brand new winner to be welcomed into the prestigious WPT Champions Club.
Looking ahead to Thursday’s Day 4, one of the players to watch will be Josh Kay, who finished out Day 3 with a stack of 779,000 for 19th place on the leaderboard. Kay placed third in the Season XVI WPT Choctaw Main Event for $270,801 and is currently seventh in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. A run to the final table could see Kay move into first place in the running for Hublot WPT Player of the Year.
Another fun story will be that of Jia Liu, who has had success at Borgata before with a victory in the 2012 Borgata Spring Poker Open for $312,483. Liu also took sixth in the Season VI WPT Legends of Poker Main Event for $137,175 and won the 2013 DeepStacks Poker Tour World Championship at Mohegan Sun for $129,663. Interestingly enough, when Liu won the DeepStacks event, Steve Karp, who has also made Day 4 of the Season XVI WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship, finished in seventh place.
Day 4 will begin at 12 p.m. ET, and the field will work its way down to the televised WPT final table of six. A seat on the WPT main stage will be worth a minimum of $161,247 for six of these players, and you can follow along right here on WPT.com to see who makes it.
Photography by Joe Giron / PokerPhotoArchive.com
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