Jesse Chinni Leads Day 1C of Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open

Ben Berg finished second in chips on Day 1C of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. (Photo by Thomas Keeling)

Ben Berg finished second in chips on Day 1C of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. (Photo by Thomas Keeling)

The final starting flight for the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event came to a close with 1,060 entries on the final day, making the overall number of entries 2,384. The event needed 2,000 entries to make the $10,000,000 guarantee and that number was reached within the first level of play. The day ended with around 360 players remaining and leading them all was Jesse Chinni after bagging up 377,500.

Just behind Chinni sits Florida pro Brian Berg with 331,000. “It was a pretty standard for most the day and then I got in a couple good spots,” Berg said. “I flopped a set against a guy that made two pair, but the biggest pot was when I had aces versus ace king.”

Berg played on just one bullet on Saturday but spent the prior days trying to satellite in. He lives in West Palm Beach and was excited about the turn out. “This was a great event and I’m happy they did it. I’m glad the Hard Rock had the courage to do it,” he said.

Behind Berg is Justin Bonomo with 326,900. Other notables moving on to day Day 2 from Saturday’s flight are Chino Rheem, Erik Seidel, Eugene Katchalov, Phil Laak, Jeremy Ausmus, Mike Sexton, Shaun Deeb, Terrence Chan, Dwyte Pilgrim, Christina Lindley, Lee Childs, David “Doc” Sands, Joseph Cheong, Danny Masterson and Nelly.

Unable to make it through the day were Phil Ivey, J.C. Tran, Russell Thomas, Matt Affleck, Matt Salsberg, Ty Reiman, Lauren Kling and Jacob Bazeley.

The top 338 players will make the money out of the juiced up $11,920,000 prize pool. The winner will walk away with $1,745,245, second place will earn $1,163,500 and a final table run will be good for at least $174,525. Players that fired at least two bullets will have to finish in the top 151 spots to earn a profit and some of the deeper rolled players that re-bought numerous times will have to finish in the top 64 to clear $20,000.

Laak hit a big double up in the last level of the night when he moved all in on a flop of A A T. His opponent called holding A J for trip aces, but Laak flopped a full house holding pocket tens. His full house held when the board completed 9 2 and he finished the day at over 200,000.

Pilgrim won a large bet with fearless aggression in the last level of the night. The board was 7 6 5 6 3, The big blind bet 15,000, Pilgrim moved all in for 32,00 and the big blind tank-folded – showing a six. Pilgrim tabled A 9 for ace-high and said, “That’s why I’m a living legend.”

Nelly was short stacked before the dinner break and moved all in preflop. He was called by three players – one with pocket aces, one with pocket jacks and one with A Q. Nelly tabled T 7 and flopped a flush when the flop came 8 5 4. The board completed T 9 and Nelly stacked up over 75,000 after the hand to stay alive.

The 768 players remaining will be combined for the first time at noon when Day 2 kicks off.

Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event Top Ten Chip Counts – Day 1C

  1. Jesse Chinni 377,500
  2. Benjamin Berg – 331,100
  3. Justin Bonomo – 326,900
  4. Alan Le – 309,800
  5. Chino Rheem – 284,800
  6. Joseph Leung – 265,100
  7. Cong Pham – 260,500
  8. Songkane Traymany – 253,300
  9. David Bell Jr – 247,000
  10. Dung “Gomer” Nguyen – 239,800

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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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