The 2013 World Poker Tour bestbet Open kicked off on Friday with Day 1a from Jacksonville, Florida. A stout group of 146 players entered, and at the end of the day Raj Vohra sat atop the remaining players — 44 to be exact. Vohra bagged 224,800 in chips.
Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
Vohra stayed plenty active throughout the day but not until the final level did he snatch the chip lead. First, he eliminated Team PokerStars Pro and two-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner Jason Mercier. Then, he busted two PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event champions in Harrison Gimbel and John Dibella.
In Level 10 with the blinds at 500/1,000/100, Tim Reilly opened with a raise to 2,200 from middle position, according to the WPT Live Updates. Mercier reraised all in for 12,100 from the cutoff seat, and Vohra made the call out of the small blind. Following a fold from Reilly, it was revealed that Mercier's was up against Vohra's . The flop contained an ace, and the board ran out to eliminate Mercier.
Later on in that final level, Vohra's was racing with the at-risk Gimbel's . Despite fading the flop, Gimbel witnessed his tournament come to an end after a king hit the turn. Then, Dibella's top pair lost to Vohra's aces after the money went in on a ten-high flop to finish his day.
Other notables eliminated on Day 1a were Justin Zaki, Aaron Massey, Andy Frankenberger, Chris Klodnicki, Carter Phillips and Matthew Waxman. Luckily for them, they'll all have the opportunity to re-enter if they wish.
Finishing fourth overall on the day was current WPT Player of the Year frontrunner Matt Salsberg. There are just two more WPT stops after this one in Jacksonville, so Salsberg is setting himself to increase his lead over Paul Volpe. The difference was only 100 points heading into this event, but Volpe was over in Germany for the European Poker Tour Berlin festival. Whether or not he'll hop a flight back across the pond to get to the WPT is not known.
Day 1b is underway, beginning on Saturday at 12 p.m. ET. PokerNews will be bringing you more events as the event progresses, so stay tuned through the coming days.