Gjergj Sinishtaj Leads Day 1B of Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open

Gjerfj Sinishtaj bagged up 376,000 for the lead on Day 1B of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. (Photo by Thomas Keeling)

Gjerfj Sinishtaj bagged up 376,000 for the lead on Day 1B of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. (Photo by Thomas Keeling)

The second of three Day 1 flights of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event wrapped up with around 225 players surviving of the 690 entries that took to the felt. The $10,000,000 guaranteed prize pool brought out some of poker’s biggest stars with Phil Ivey, Jason Mercier and Eugene Katchalov turning up. At the day’s end Gjergj Sinishtaj sat on top of the chip counts after bagging up 376,000.

Sitting behind Sinishtaj are Raj Vohra (290,000) and Vinny Pahuja (192,000). Other notables that survived the day were Mike Matusow, Kyle Julius, Matt Stout, Jared Hamby, Leo Wolpert, Allen Kessler and Tristan Wade.

Ivey, Katchalov, Cliff Josephy, Jason Koon, Layne Flack, Mercier, Tony Dunst, Jeremy Ausmus, Matt Berkey, Nelly and David “Doc” Sands were eliminated throughout the day. Tournament officials are expecting an even larger field to turn out for Saturday’s Day 1C flight and many of the eliminated players are expected to try their luck one more time.

The combined fields from Day 1A and Day 1B is 1,324 and Day 1C only needs 676 entries to reach the $10 million guarantee. All signs point the field smashing that number and juicing the prize pool even more.

Sinishtaj had stack around 300,000 entering the final level of the night and was in contention for the chip lead. He won a sizable pot halfway through the level on a flop of T 7 6 T K. His opponent bet 10,100 on the river and Sinishtaj put out a tall stack of T5,000 chips to set him all in. His opponent called and mucked after Sinishtaj tabled K T for a full house and locked up the chip lead.

Ivey was eliminated on his first bullet after being whittled down to a third of the starting stack. He moved all in twice in a row blind and picked up the blinds and antes. But the third time he shoved blind Neri Sanchez called with K Q and had to hold against Ivey’s T 7. Ivey flopped a seven but Sanchez made trip queens. Sanchez ended the day with over 200,000.

Ivey re-entered a second time and was busted shortly after by fellow Ivey Poker teammate Allen Kessler. Kessler chipped up to over 100,000 after the hand.

Dan Shak was spotted in the field again today after a horrendous Day 1A. He reportedly bought in four times and couldn’t build a stack. Another player that entered multiple times was Justin Bonomo. According to his Twitter feed he busted his third bullet in seven minutes holding aces against ace king.

Josephy was busted my Matusow when he opened, Josephy three-bet on the button and Matusow but Josephy all in holding pocket kings. Josephy tabled pocket nines and came up empty when the board ran A 8 6 4 J.

Chan was the victim of a large three-way pot against Justin Young and Mike Linster. They were at the flop of T 9 7, Linster shoved his short stack, Chan called and then Young moved in over the top. Chan called after some short thought with pocket kings, Linster tabled J T and Young flopped middle set holding pocket nines. The board completed Q 7, Young chipped up to 140,000, Linster was eliminated and Chan was short-stacked and never recovered.

Day 1C will kick off at noon on Saturday and those survivors will combine with the first two starting flights for Day 2 on Sunday.

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

  1. Gjergj Sinishtaj – 376,000
  2. Raj Vohra – 322,000
  3. Chris Dombrowski – 266,800
  4. Deborah Hinton – 255,700
  5. Neri Sanchez – 241,200
  6. Uri Kadosh – 218,500
  7. Marc Davis – 211,600
  8. Bradley Rhodes – 199,100
  9. Kelly Minkin – 197,400
  10. Ravi Raghavan – 195,900

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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 PokerNews.com. 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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