Event 1: $2 Million Guarantee Big Stack NLHE Re-Entry
Days:
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Highlights

Highlights

Event 1: $2 Million Guarantee Big Stack NLHE Re-Entry
Day 1 Completed

Event 1: Day 1A Comes to a Close, Torrey Korsog Claims Chip Lead

Jonathan_Zaun
Robert "Uncle Krunk" Panitch is Among the Chip Leaders at the End of Day 1A
Robert "Uncle Krunk" Panitch is Among the Chip Leaders at the End of Day 1A

After 16 levels of play here at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Day 1A of the Winter Poker Open’s first event has come to a close. Event 1 here in Atlantic City is a $500 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry event, and with a guaranteed prize pool of $2 million, more than 1,000 players took their shots (and in the case of players who re-entered, quite a few shots) at a massive score.

A total of 1,212 entries were recorded on Day 1A, and tournament officials expect the house to be packed tomorrow, as Day 1B and Day 1C are played concurrently. Add in the recent conclusion of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, where many of poker’s brightest stars were in attendance, and tomorrow’s action should be thrilling from start to finish.

That was the case here today as well, with hundreds of local grinders, home game heroes and even online qualifiers flocking to the Borgata to try their hands. There were a few notable names in the house though, as defending WPT Winter Poker Open Main Event Champion Andy Hwang, actor and poker enthusiast James Woods, and tournament veteran Men “The Master” Nguyen all fell short.

At the end of the day, it was Torrey Korsog who emerged as the chip leader, as his 372,000 stack just nipped Johnson Nguyen and Roger Wellman, who each held 361,000 at day’s end. For the honor of claiming the chip lead, Korsog was awarded a cool $2,000 from the Borgata, while Nguyen and Wellmann split a $1,000 prize.

Korsog is an experienced tournament player, having taken down a $600 NLHE event at the 2013 Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza III. He earned $68,312 for that win, and with the most chips in the room here today, he is well on his way to another big cash.

The other big stacks include Randy Pfeifer (345,500), Robert “Uncle Krunk” Panitch (319,300), Erik Lefkowitz (297,200), Mike Ortiz (276,500) and John Fava (265,000).

A total of 201 runners survived the day, bagging and tagging to return on Day 2, but this event’s unique format allows any of these players to come back tomorrow and try to build a bigger stack. When Day 2 begins, the biggest stack an individual player has built is theirs to keep, so we expect to see a few familiar faces in the field tomorrow.

Check back in at 10 a.m. local time to follow all the action, as the game’s most feared professionals show up with fresh tans to take on New Jersey’s best. Day 1B and Day 1C will be played simultaneously, and tournament officials expect more than 2,000 players to show up, so the action will be fast and furious from the start. The PokerNews live reporting team will be here for the duration, bringing you all the bad beats and bustouts in real time, so check in early often to follow the progress here at the Borgata Winter Poker Open.

Tags: Andy HwangBorgataErik LefkowitzJames WoodsJohn FavaMen NguyenMike OrtizRandy PfeiferRoger WellmannTorrey Korsog

Event 1: Bag and Tag 'Em

Jonathan_Zaun

The surviving players are bagging and tagging their chips at the moment, as play has concluded here on Day 1A. The fortunate few with chips still remaining will return for Day 2 on Thursday, while Day 1B and Day 1C will played concurrently tomorrow.

Event 1: Beckley Best With Bullets

Jonathan_Zaun

We missed the preflop betting, but Joshua Beckley found himself all-in for his last 108,000 facing a lone caller.

Showdown:

Beckley: {A-}{A-}
Opponent: {K-}{K-}

A common cooler was the case, and after a clean, king-free board rolled out, Beckley scored a big double as the day nears its conclusion.

Joshua Beckley us
Joshua Beckley
us 295,000 295,000

Event 1: The Next Level

Jonathan_Zaun

The 16th and final level of the day has arrived, and with it, blinds of 2,000-4,000 with a 400 ante.

Korsog Among Leaders

mnuwwarah

Torrey Korsog appears to have placed himself among the leaders with a surge past the 300,000 mark despite a recent hand in which he lost a few chips.

After a player limped from middle position, Korsog raised to 8,000. Everyone folded back to the limper, who called. The player then check-called a bet of 7,000 on the {q-Diamonds}{6-Spades}{q-Clubs} flop. Korsog thought considerably before checking back the {3-Hearts} turn, and his opponent came out with 20,000 on the {a-Hearts} river. Korsog folded quickly.

Torrey Korsog us
Torrey Korsog
us 315,000 315,000

Tags: Torrey Korsog

Event 1: Not Even a Sweat

Jonathan_Zaun

We watched Christopher Piccone get his last 28,000 or so chips into the middle, and after receiving a lone call, Piconne revealed {Q-Spades}{Q-Hearts}.

The ladies put Piccone well in front of his opponent's {4-Diamonds}{4-Spades}, and when the flop fell {j-Diamonds}{q-Clubs}{q-Diamonds}, the hand was over in an instant.

Piccone's quad queens could not be beat, and a {5-Clubs} arrived on the turn for good measure, leaving the other player with just four-high.

As the defeated player stood to depart the tournament floor in agony, Piccone reminded him that he was still alive. An accounting of both player's stacks confirmed as much, and the player retook his seat a bit sheepishly, telling the table with a smile "I guess it's time to gamble now boys."

Christopher Piccone
Christopher Piccone
63,000 63,000

Tags: Christopher Piccone

Event 1: The GOAT and the Gutterball

Jonathan_Zaun

We saw Roger Wellman with his stack pushed forward, along with two opponents, with the board reading {j-Spades}{q-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}. When the cards were showed down, the Chilean born Wellmann found himself in a tough spot.

Wellmann: {10-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}
Opponent 1: {A-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds}
Opponent 2: {a-}{q-}

Although he had found a flush draw and a gutshot straight draw on the flop, Wellmann was no longer looking for diamonds with one player holding the nut flush draw. Holding top pair, top kicker, the third player in the hand was simply looking to dodge the deck.

Turn: {9-Spades}

Needing a non-diamond nine and a non-diamond nine only, Wellmann found his miracle card on fourth street, giving him a straight and the lead in the hand. When the {4-Clubs} completed the board on the river, Wellmann survived and scored the double knockout, padding his stack to over 200,000 in the process.

"This is the greatest Chilean player in the world, make sure you get that..." said Wellman's neighbor, Troy Hamilton. "The greatest of all time!"

Hamilton would know better than most, as he recently returned for a two-week vacation to Chile with his in-laws. After travelling thousands miles to return home, the vagaries of fate saw fit to bring Hamilton and Wellmann together.

Reminded that he might be the greatest Chilean poker player of all-time, as that nation has a rich history of soccer success, the newly stacked Wellmann responded happily by saying "I play soccer too."

Roger Wellmann
Roger Wellmann
210,000 210,000

Tags: Roger WellmannTroy Hamilton

Event 1: Panitch Doubles Through Cincotta

mnuwwarah

Mark Cincotta contemplated an all-in bet of just over 100,000 from Bob Panitch before announcing a call, flipping over {a-Diamonds}{q-Diamonds}. Panitch triumphantly slapped down his {a-Spades}{k-Clubs}, showing Cincotta how much help he needed.

Cincotta frantically called for a queen after the {10-Spades}{7-Spades}{5-Hearts} flopped, but the {9-Diamonds} and {8-Diamonds} left him with naught but a four-flush.

"I'm gonna tell you a story," Panitch said, after there was some banter about the worthiness of ace-queen. "One time, I was at a final table on TV, and I called an all in and a call with ace-queen."

"I got psyched out," he said with a chuckle. "I almost won, too."

Robert Panitch
Robert Panitch
217,000 217,000
Mark Cincotta
Mark Cincotta
43,000 -169,000

Tags: Mark CincottaRobert Panitch