The first of two starting flights for the 2014 Borgata Spring Poker Open Championship is in the books after eight levels of play on Monday, and leading the 57 survivors was Paul Volpe. Volpe, the 14th-ranked player in the world, bagged 206,600 in chips, winning a massive pot off of Matt Affleck in Level 6. Volpe turned the nuts against Affleck's flopped set of eights, and the board did not pair on the river.
Volpe has only registered three cashes thus far in 2014, but with a win at the L.A. Poker Classic and a runner-up finish in the Borgata $250,000 Guarantee, he has over $150,000 in earnings over the last three-and-a-half months.
Joining Volpe atop the leader board after Day 1a are Jose Montes (175,600), Jeff Madsen (135,500), Dan Heimiller (120,500), and Greg Ostrander (106,100). Madsen snagged a pot off of Heimiller during the final level of the evening when he made sixes full on the river against Heimiller's turned flush.
A plethora of notables will also return for action on Day 2, including Christian Harder, Joe Kuether, Matt Salsberg, Ravi Raghavan, and 2014 Global Poker Index Player of the Year leader Keven Stammen. Stammen endured a roller coaster day that saw him dip as low as 1,875 in chips with the blinds at 300/600/75, but he doubled several times and ended up bagging 31,100.
The day was not kind to all, though, as Alex Queen, Mike Gagliano, Kyle Bowker, John Tavss, Tony Sinishtaj, and Chris Tryba all hit the rail. Tryba was eliminated in Level 2 when he flopped a straight only for Emad Alabsi to turn a higher straight.
There were a total of 115 entries on Day 1a, and Day 1b will need to attract at least 285 to reach the $1 million guarantee. PokerNews will be back bright and early at 11 a.m. to bring you all of the action from the first pitch to the bag-and-tag, so stay tuned.