The World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Poker Open Main Event kicked off on Sunday with the first of two starting flights. 271 entries were tallied on the day, though expect loads more on Monday. Leading the 129 survivors into Day 2 is Mukharji Uppalapati with 252,400 chips.

The Borgata Poker Open is one of the few “old guard” stops on the World Poker Tour, having been part of the schedule since Season II (we are now in Season XVIII). It began as one of the biggies on the live tournament calendar, boasting a $10,000 buy-in. But like most of the WPT Main Events, the buy-in was decreased on a number of years ago to encourage more signups. In Season VIII, the buy-in was set at $3,500, which is where it has been ever since.

At the same time, unlimited re-entries are permitted all the way through the first two levels of Day 2. Thus, the WPT Borgata Poker Open can draw more players with the lower buy-in, but the re-entries can still goose the prize pool.

Day 1A was pretty darn competitive at the top of the leaderboard. Asher Conniff is close behind Uppalapati with 247,800. Three other players beat the 200,000 mark: Ryan Olisar (229,700), Bruce Kramer (211,600), and Larry Ormson (204,600). Lucas Drolet was also just a few hundred chips underneath the 200,000 chip plateau.

Uppalapati is essentially a regional player, hailing from Gaithersburg, Maryland. His $112,454 in live earnings are all fairly small, the largest of which is about $25,000. Most of his cashes have come at Maryland Live! Casino and all but one is at a Maryland venue. The lone holdout is his biggest cash, which came from a sixth place finish in a preliminary event at the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open this past January.

The plan for today is the exact as yesterday. After all, it would not be fair to players in either starting flight if Days 1A and 1B differed. There will be eight hour-long levels with 15-minute breaks every two levels. Interestingly (or not, I don’t know), there will be no dinner break. The first two levels of Day 2, during which players can still register and re-enter, will also be 60 minutes. After that, they will be 75 minutes for the rest of Tuesday. The big blind ante is in effect from the jump.

The eventual winner of the tournament will have some big shoes to fill. Last year’s champ was Erkut Yilmaz who then went on to win WPT Rolling Thunder and the WPT Player of the Year award.

2019 World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open Main Event – Day 1A Chip Leaders

  1. Mukharji Uppalapati – 252,400
  2. Asher Conniff – 247,800
  3. Ryan Olisar – 229,700
  4. Bruce Kramer – 211,600
  5. Larry Ormson – 204,600
  6. Lucas Drolet – 199,100
  7. Jordan Fisch – 180,200
  8. Connor Daum – 177,200
  9. Andrew Ostapchenko – 165,800
  10. Spencer Champlin – 163,000

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