The first ever PokerNews Cup on American soil got underway at The Borgata yesterday. A total of 120 entries were made into the $2,000-buy-in event, resulting in a prize pool of $222,324. A total of 26 players remain after 16 levels in play, all still gunning for the $68,676-first place prize.
The event got saw an action packed start with Jarrett Blakeley and Scott Sissler allin pre-flop in the first level. Blakeley had aces and was up against the jacks of Sissler. The latter flopped a jack to get ahead, but the former found a straight on the turn and doubled up.
Action was fast and furious, undoubtedly motivated by the option for players to reenter if they busted before the 9th level had finished. Right before registration closed, a couple new players entered. Ryan Van Sanford, Tim West and Stan Jablonski were just a few of the players that got it last minute. After registration closed, action tightened up a bit.
John Dolan was one of the first players to bust without the option to give it another go again. The former November Niner got it in with aces against Dave Olshan who had turned a straight with eight-five. The ace on the river didn't help Dolan anymore and he got up and made his exit.
Alex Rocha, winner of the Venetian Deepstack 1 million guaranteed for $173,861 just last week, also went down with a big hand. He had ace-king with the ace of clubs on a paired board with four clubs. On top of all the cards out, Rocha and the other players had some extra information to work with as the dealer had accidentally exposed several cards dealing the turn. Rocha called with the best flush possible but turned out to be beaten by a full house.
Familiar names like Ben Keeline, Joey Weissman, Matt Stout, Jeremy Ausmus, Kevin Saul, Mukul Pahuja and Shannon Shorr all gave the PokerNews Cup a try but failed to survive to battle on Day 2.
A total of 26 players did make it through, with Dominic Picnic leading the charge. Picnic turned his 30,000-starting stack into a 323,500. His closest competitor is Jason Deutsch with 273,500 in chips. Jake Bazeley (235,000), Christian Harder (150,000), Ryan Van Sanford (116,000), Aaron Massey (78,500) and Mike Dentale (53,000) are some of the others to come back for Day 2. Play resumes at The Borgata at noon with level 17 (2,500/5,000, 500-ante). A total of 18 players will make it to the money.