WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Day 1A: Luis Vazquez Leads First Day

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The first World Poker Tour (WPT) Main Event of 2013 got underway Sunday in Atlantic City, as the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open saw 397 players pay $3,500 to enter the first of two starting days. Leading the remaining field of 209 runners is Luis Vazquez, who will begin Tuesday’s Day 2 with 182,075 chips.

Vazquez won’t be known to most of the poker community, as the Massachusetts resident is the epitome of a local rounder. He has a relatively short list of live tournament cashes since 2007, all of them coming at the large regional casinos Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, and the Borgata. His biggest score came in the $3,300 Championship Event of the 2010 Foxwoods Poker Classic, where he finished first for $144,286. He has two other small victories, including one in a $200 buy-in event here at the Borgata this past July. All told, Luis Vazquez has won $439,199 in his live tournament career.

As an added bonus, Vazquez received $5,000 for being the chip leader at the end of the day, while Martin Matranca pocketed $3,500 for second place.

Notables remaining in the field include Jason Koon (130,600 chips), Matt Matros (128,350), Lee Childs (122,875), Eric Baldwin (95,000), Darren Elias (43,000), Dwyte Pilgrim (88,000), Matt Salsberg (79,825), Matt Giannetti (89,475), Matt Waxman (43,600), Andy Frankenberger (27,000), Will Failla (21,000), Tony Dunst (31,900), David “ODB” Baker (83,150), and Shannon Shorr (42,650). Not all of them made it through the day on one buy-in, though, as the tournament allows unlimited re-buys through the first six levels.

Those who will either have to find another tournament or re-enter on Day 1B include Erik Cajelais, Shawn Cunix, Noah Schwartz, Steve Dannenmann, Jonathan Little, and Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler.

This tournament marks a return to the World Poker Tour lineup for the Borgata Winter Poker Open. It debuted on the Tour in Season IV and in the three years it was on the roster, its champions list reads like a who’s who in poker. Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi won the Main Event in Season IV, John Hennigan took the crown in Season V, and Gavin Griffin won it in Season VI. Season VII of the World Poker Tour marked a trimming of the schedule, as it went from 18 events to 13. That number went back up to 17 in Season VIII, 19 in Season IX, and 22 in Season X, but it wasn’t until the current Season XI that the Borgata Winter Poker Open was put back on the WPT slate.

Action is already underway in Day 1B at the Borgata as hundreds of new players take to the felts for the first time and others try again after being knocked out on Day 1A. The survivors of both days will unite on Tuesday for Day 2.

2013 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open – Day 1A Chip Leaders

  1. Luis Vazquez – 182,075
  2. Martin Matranca – 166,350
  3. Ray Qartomy – 160,500
  4. Jason Koon – 130,600
  5. Matt Matros – 128,350
  6. Jared Jaffee – 123,400
  7. Stan Jablonski – 123,275
  8. Lee Childs – 122,875
  9. Mohsin Charania – 122,400
  10. Ruslan Dykshteyn -122,200


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