2017 WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event Day 1A – Trung Pham Rockets to Front
20 September 2017
PokerBrave (2984 articles)

The World Poker Tour (WPT) is back in action this week with a stop in Atlantic City with the WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event (I’ll be honest – I actually double-checked to see if it was the Borgata Winter Poker Open because I apparently don’t understand calendars). The first of two starting flights drew 283 entries, so it will take a big leap to surpass last year’s field of 1,179. It could very well happen, though, as a) the second of two starting flights is always the bigger one, and b) there are unlimited re-entries through Level 10, which will be mid-Tuesday afternoon. With a relatively affordable $3,500 buy-in, there are plenty of opportunities for the field to balloon.

The chip leader after Day 1A is Trung Pham, who has 327,300 chips. He is light years ahead of the second place Allan Rabinowitz, who is holding onto 207,500 chips at day’s end. One of the hands that helped Pham get to where he is now happened during Level 7, the second-to-last level of the day.

Pham raised to 1,600 chips pre-flop (blinds and antes were 300/600/100) and Johanssy Joseph called. The player on the button (according to WPT.com, this person was nameless) shoved for 14,200, prompting Pham to re-raise to 27,800, perhaps trying to force Joseph out of the hand and take on the button one-on-one. Joseph wasn’t going anywhere, though. In fact, he raised all-in for 61,700 chips. Pham called, putting both of his opponents at risk.

It was an interesting call, as Pham held T-9 of hearts. Joseph had pocket Nines and the button had pocket Tens, taking away all of Pham’s pairing outs (though if Joseph and the button had higher pairs, it wouldn’t have mattered that much, anyway). Pham was looking for a flush or straight at this point.

The flop of Q-7-2 with one heart wasn’t particularly useful to Pham, but then the poker gods spoke, presenting him with a 6 on the turn and an 8 on the river for the runner-runner straight. He eliminated two players in a single hand and grew his stack to 200,000 chips, good enough for the chip lead at that time. Clearly, he turned on the jets after that to increase his stack by more than 60 percent by the end of the night.

Day 1B, which just recently got underway, will follow the same schedule as Day 1B in the name of fairness. Again, players can re-enter as much as they would like – this is a WPT event, after all – so expect some bloated registration numbers today. The survivors from the two starting flights, plus late entrants, will come together on Tuesday for Day 2.

2017 World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open – Day 1A Chip Leaders

1. Trung Pham – 327,300
2. Allan Rabinowitz – 207,500
3. Joe Elpayaa – 181,600
4. Erik Cajelais – 169,900
5. Brandon Seo – 161,200
6. Dean Hutchison – 151,200
7. Matthew Silberzweig – 148,200
8. Shaun Deeb – 141,000
9. Michael Gagliano – 127,000
10. Reinaldo Troconis – 109,800

Featured photo credit: WPT.com/Joe Giron