2016 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event Day 1B: Norman Michalek Seeks Another Deep Run

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It is on to the meat of the tournament today as both starting flights of the 2016 World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Winter Poker Open are in the books and the survivors from Sunday and Monday will come together to compete on Tuesday’s Day 2. Norman Michalek came out on top of Day 1B, bagging up 208,000 at the end of the night. His success means that there is an extremely tight race at the top of the standings to begin Day 2, as Michalek is in third place, just behind Day 1A leaders John Lee (210,700 chips) and Kou Vang (209,300 chips).

Day 1B was a bit more than twice as large as Day 1A, as 745 players came out for the second opening flight (compared to 359 on Sunday). Accordingly, more than twice as many players – 380 versus 162 from Day 1A – survived the flight. Thus, 542 players are about to take their seats to try to continue their march toward the final table. Registration is open until the start of Day 2, so a few more players may be added to tourney. Once registration closes, tournament organizers will be able to announce the prize pool and payouts.

The event has a $3 million guaranteed prize pool, but that number has already been eclipsed, with or without any last-minute entries. With a $3,300 buy-in less 3 percent taken out for dealer tips, the prize pool will be $3,533,904 if nothing else changes. With 1,104 entrants, we are probably looking at around 110 players paid.

The chip leader, Norman Michalek, is very much a regional tournament grinder. He has a long string of cashes on his live tournament resume dating back to 2010, the vast majority of which are in tourneys with buy-ins from $100 to $500, and mostly on the east coast. Makes sense, as Michalek is from New Jersey and thus mostly plays in tournament in Atlantic City and Pennsylvania. It looks like he has ventured out to Las Vegas for the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em events at the World Series of Poker each year for the last few years and has cashed six times. He also has one WPT cash, a 15th place finish in this same event last year. All told, Michalek has won nearly a quarter-million dollars on the live tournament circuit.

The cards are about to get in the air at the Borgata as Day 2 gets underway at noon ET.

2016 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event – Day 1B Chip Leaders

1.    Norman Michalek – 208,000
2.    Abrahim Aboukhalil – 188,900
3.    Cong Pham – 187,500
4.    David Moreno – 181,400
5.    Kim Noun – 166,500
6.    Matthew Wantman – 157,900
7.    Steven Graber – 157,400
8.    Daniel Buzgon – 144,000
9.    Farid Jattin – 140,600
10.    Kevin Ho – 140,200

2016 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event – Overall Day 1 Chip Leaders

1.    John Lee – 210,700
2.    Kou Vang – 209,300
3.    Norman Michalek – 208,000
4.    Anthony Newman – 195,500
5.    Abrahim Aboukhalil – 188,900
6.    Cong Pham – 187,500
7.    David Moreno – 181,400
8.    Lawrence Lakatosh – 176,300
9.    Jared Griener – 170,700
10.    Steven Buckner – 167,300

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