The 2014 Borgata Spring Poker Open is officially underway at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Tommy Martone is the chip leader after Day 1a of Event 1 with 366,500. John Gulino, who finished the day at Martone’s table, also finished with a large stack; 267,000.
Marton rocketed above 200,000 chips in the penultimate level of the evening, eliminating three players in a four-way all in. The last player to go all in committed the remainder of his stack with , and Marton showed . The other two players held and , and Marton extended his lead with a set of nines on the flop. He filled up on the turn, and after a brick completed the board, he was up to 260,000.
Gulino chipped up through the entire day, but he too secured a large knockout during the final hours of Day 1a. An opponent moved all in preflop for 30 big blinds or so holding , and Gulino had him crushed with . The black aces held up as the board rolled out , and Gulino found himself was over 200,000 chips. He added a few more pots during the final level of the evening, and bagged the largest stack in the room.
Registration for the first flight closed after Level 9, and the total number of entries was 358. Activity is expected to pick up later in the week, particularly on Thursday, when the property will host both Day 1c and Day 1d.
Other survivors of Day 1a include Jane Stanton Hitchcock, Joe McKeehen, and Chris Tryba. Tryba steadily climbed the ranks all day, and bagged 174,500 chips. Tryba has pledged to donate 10 percent of his potential winnings at Borgata to help his cousin Peter fight chronic kidney disease.
Several player were unable to survive the first flight, including Micah Raskin, Maureen Merdinger, Jim Boyd, Robert Hwang, and Meir Yedid.
Raskin had a turbulent day, making a flush and nearly doubling on one of the first hands he played only to bust his first bullet shortly thereafter. He later reentered and dipped below the starting stack of 25,000, then tripled up in a preflop, three-way all in. Raskin was at risk with against , and , and he flopped a pair of kings. The turn and river both produced blanks. With three hands remaining, Raskin was eliminated in a 180,000-chip, blind vs. blind pot with against . The flop produced a queen, and Raskin will have to reenter Wednesday.
Day 1b kicks off at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, and even players who bagged stacks will be allowed to reenter if they choose. PokerNews will be on hand to bring you live updates straight from the tournament floor.