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Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open: Sinishtaj Overall Leader After Day 1b

Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open: Sinishtaj Overall Leader After Day 1b 0001

On Friday, the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open continued with Day 1b of the $10 Million Guarantee Championship Event. The second starting flight attracted 690 entries, and leading the 223 survivors with 376,000 chips is Gjergj Sinishtaj.

Sinishtaj, 21, finished sixth in Event #61: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha at the 2013 World Series of Poker for $153,372. It was only his third career score in a live tournament, and when Sinishtaj was eliminated, Jared Bleznick spoke very highly of the young grinder.

"He's got a bright future," Bleznick said. "He's going to win the Main Event before he's 25. I'll bet it."

Raj Vohra finished Day 1b second in chips with 322,000. The Florida native surged during the final level of the evening, taking some chips off of Steve Barkshak in this hand, and will be looking to earn his first six-figure score since he made the final table of a $5,000 event at the 2008 WSOP.

1Gjergj Sinishtaj376,000
2Raj Vohra322,000
3Chris Dombrowski266,800
4Deborah Hinton255,700
5Neri Sanchez241,200
6Uri Kadosh218,500
7Marc Davis211,600
8Bradley Rhodes207,200
9Kelly Minkin197,400
10Ravi Raghavan195,900

Several notable players survived the day, including Justin Young, Allen Bari, Randy Ohel, Allen Kessler, Kyle Julius, Matt Sout, Jared Hamby, David Benyamine, Mike Matusow, and Dan Shak.

Matusow, who won his fourth bracelet at the 2013 WSOP, eliminated fellow ’13 bracelet winner Cliff “Johnny Bax” Josephy in the 400/800/100 level. Matusow four-bet shoved with two kings, Josephy, the three-bettor, called with two nines, and the kings held.

Kessler also climbed the leaderboard thanks to a few knockouts of his own. Faced with an all-in bet of 5,275 with the blinds at 300/600/100, The Chainsaw called in the big blind with {4-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}. His opponent showed {a-Clubs}{k-Clubs}, and Kessler’s fours held up.

Later on in the day, Kessler, a member of Team Ivey, eliminated his boss Phil Ivey to push his stack above six figures.

Like Ivey and Josephy, several players fell short of making Day 2 on Friday. Jason Mercier, Dan Kelly, Justin Bonomo, Daniel Buzgon, Terrence Chan, and Jason Koon are among the players who will need to return for the third and final starting flight on Saturday if they wish to receive a piece of the $10 million guarantee prize pool.

Chan lost a three-way all-in pot to the aforementioned Justin Young, who flopped a set of nines on a board of {10-Clubs}{9-Spades}{7-Clubs}. Chan had an over pair of kings, Mike Linster, the third player, had top pair, and Young held, improving to a full house on the river. Chan was later eliminated.

Bonomo and Koon will be firing bullets four and five respectively on Saturday.

Also exiting on Day 1b was 2013 WSOP bracelet winner and PokerNews Senior Editor Chad Holloway.

PokerNews will return on Saturday for Day 1c coverage of this massive Championship Event. Players will once again be able to update their status immediately using the PokerNews MyStack App, and you can expect more features and interviews as well.

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