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2013 World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open Day 1a: Cong Pham in Control

Cong Pham

The 2013 World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open kicked off Sunday in Atlantic City, N.J. The $3,500 buy-in re-entry event saw 376 players participate on the first of two Day 1 flights, and after eight 75-minute levels of play only approximately 180 had survived. Leading the way after Day 1a was Cong Pham (pictured) who bagged 191,025 in chips.

WPT Borgata Poker Open Unofficial End-of-Day 1a Top 10

1Cong Pham191,025
2Besnik Ziba183,375
3Thomas Campbell181,025
4Jeff Fielder175,400
5Peter Vitantonio158,000
6Tony Sinishtaj157,000
7Cherish Andrews152,000
8Eric Baldwin131,475
9Joseph Gibbons126,200
10Cliff Josephy123,000

Pham took the chip lead during Level 5 and never looked back. The biggest hand occurred in a three-way all-in situation. According to the WPT Live Updates, Pham and two other players committed all of their chips on a flop of {8-Clubs}{8-Hearts}{5-Hearts}, and Pham had the lead with pocket fives for a full house. Both of his opponents held an eight for trips, and the {7-Hearts} on the turn and {4-Clubs} on the river secured a massive pot for Pham, thrusting him into the chip lead.

Another player who found success was Cherish Andrews, who landed in the top 10 chip counts after rivering a full house late in Level 8. On a board of {J-Hearts}{5-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{Q-Spades}{Q-Hearts}, Andrews fired a pot-sized bet worth 17,000 and the player in the cutoff called. Andrews tabled {Q-Clubs}{J-Clubs} for a boat and her opponent mucked. That moved her above 130,000 in chips, and she finished the day with 152,000.

Plenty of other well-known players made it out of Day 1a with healthy stacks, including Eric Baldwin, Cliff Josephy, Allen Kessler, Christian Harder, Matt Glantz, Jeff Madsen, Christina Lindley, Matt Affleck, and Vanessa Selbst. Others who advanced were WPT Champions Club members Kevin Saul, Prahlad Friedman, Lee Markholt, Steve Brecher, Jonathan Little, and Phil Laak.

Among the less fortunate who exited on Day 1a were David Randall, Jamie Kerstetter, Amanda Musumeci, Aaron Massey, Chad Brown, Will Failla, Kara Scott, Matt Waxman and Matt Salsberg.

Day 1b will begin at 11 a.m. EST on Monday, and another few hundred players are expected to be in the mix, including many of those who fired a bullet on Sunday. Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for daily recaps from the WPT Borgata Poker Open.

Data and photo courtesy of

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