It’s finally here. The World Poker Tour's first visit to the east coast for its Championship event. For the first time in 12 seasons, the World Poker Tour has moved their signature event out of Las Vegas and into New Jersey’s Borgata as a part of the Borgata Spring Open poker series.
The $15,400 buy-in drew 105 runners to the felt, many of which are some of the most recognized names in poker. Nick “The Takeover” Schulman, Matt Stout, Team Ivey Pro Dan Smith, Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov, Jeff Madsen, former November Niner John Racener, WPT Champion Chris Moorman and 2013 World Series of Poker Champion Ryan Riess were all in attendance…and all went busto before days end.
These top tier pros will have a 2nd chance to buy back in tomorrow during Day 1b but the list of 62 players who managed make it through the day with chips in their stack is just as, if not more, impressive.
Paul Volpe, Brandon Steven, Scott Siever, Tony Gregg and Shannon Shorr all cultivated top ten chipstacks. The Poker Brat, Phil Hellmuth is still in, as is 2012 WSOP Champ Greg Merson. Eric Baldwin, Matt Glantz, Marvin Rettenmaier and Joseph Cheong are just a sample of some of those names fighting for a piece of this massive (as yet to be determined) prize pool.
According to PokerNews, the Borgata is going to need some of those who went busto to jump back in, plus some new faces as 239 players will need to register to make the $5 million guarantee.
Another interesting story emerging from the Borgata floor was that of longtime Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin actually playing in the event. The current free-agent is sitting right behind Phil Hellmuth in the chip counts and the New Jersey Pro Bowler even got into an all-in situation against Volpe and survived.
For more on that, check out this interview Volpe did with Bluff Magazine's Thomas Keeling at the end of the day.
Day 1b will get underway at 11:00am EST.
Just because the Main Event is over, that doesn’t mean the Borgata Spring Open is slowing down. With 5 more events, outside of the World Poker Tour signature event, left to play there’s still a ton of action to be had at the Borgata.