WPT Borgata WPO Makes $3M Guarantee as Winter Storm Juno Cripples NJ

Matt Itkin thrived at a tough table on Day 1B of the 2015 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open that featured both Matt Waxman and Taylor von Kriegenberg - and bagged enough chips to put him second going into Day 2.

Matt Itkin thrived at a tough table on Day 1B of the 2015 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open that featured both Matt Waxman and Taylor von Kriegenberg – and bagged enough chips to put him second going into Day 2.

Things took a turn for the surreal Monday at the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open as Winter Storm Juno hit New Jersey hard – so hard, in fact, that all of the players who made it through Day 1B were likely stuck at the Borgata overnight.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie issued a travel ban Monday night that restricted all non-emergency personnel from driving on any road in the state of New Jersey. That happened approximately one hour before the close of Day 1B, meaning all of the players and staff in the tournament room could not leave by car.

The severe weather caused a drop in field size year-over-year, but despite the travel restrictions and all of the redirected and canceled flights to the Northeast United States the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open still met its $3 million guarantee. By the end of the dinner break there were 629 entries on Day 1B – putting the unofficial field size at 989 players, pending conformation from staff on Tuesday morning.

Approximately 375 players made it through the second starting session, joining the 159 who advanced from Day 1A. Matt Itkin took a late pot to clear 200,000, and his 221,200 puts him second overall to Day 1A chipleader Andy Hwang heading into Day 2. Barry Hutter (191,300), Cathy Dever (169,600), Brent Roberts (167,400) and WPT Champions Club member Anthony Zinno (162,000) will each start Day 2 in the top 10.

Jamie Kerstetter took a few minutes this afternoon to talk about her success in the final day of the GSSS, and managed to make a big run to end Monday well above average.

BLUFF.com WPT Ones to Watch Kristy Arnett and Garrett Greer both advanced to Day 2. Arnett – who’s playing her first WPT event – finished with 46,100, while Greer will need a massive comeback from the 5,500 he bagged if he wants any shot at replicating what he did in the Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

DraftKings qualifier Evan Bacheller was one of a number of players who won their seat into the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open via daily fantasy sports, and he’ll start Day 2 with 65,600 – well over an average stack.

Day 2 is scheduled to start at 12 pm ET, which should allow things to proceed as normal as long as the travel ban is lifted at daybreak, pending the conditions at the time. Prizepool information and an official field size are expected shortly after the start of play Tuesday.

2015 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open – End of Day 1 Chip Counts

  1. Andy Hwang – 251,300
  2. Matt Itkin – 221,200
  3. Dan Wach – 209,900
  4. Jason Helder – 200,800
  5. Barry Hutter – 191,300
  6. Cathy Dever – 169,600
  7. Brent Roberts – 167,400
  8. Walter Fisher – 166,400
  9. Anthony Zinno – 162,000
  10. Greg Weber – 156,200
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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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