The World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Poker Open will crown a new champion as every remaining WPT Champions Club member busted on Day Three; Cong Pham leads the final 36 players with 2.5m chips.
Cong Pham was the headline act on Day 1A, and he has muscled his way back into the spotlight after laying down kings over tens in a bizarre pot against Cliff Josephy during his ascension to the Day 3 chip lead.
In the hand in question Pham opened from early position and Josephy defended his big blind. The flop was [Qs] [Ts] [Td] and Josephy check-called a 30k bet from Pham. The turn was the [7h] and once again Josephy check-called; this time for 60k. The [Ks] completed the board, Josephy checked for the third time, Pham bet 150k and Josephy moved all-in for 675k. Easy decision for Pham one would think? Not so…Pham flashed pocket kings, for kings full, and then tossed them into the muck. Josephy flashed the lone [Tc] and collected the pot.
Long before we reached that spot, the ladies were having a torrid time as they tried in vain to reach the money. Amanda Musumeci losing a flip TT v AK; Danielle Andersen losing a three way all-in KK v AK v 88 to bust eight from the money, and Cherish Andrews also losing a flip 77 v AQ of Gregory Rudolph just shy of the cash.
Joshua Levkov was the direct money bubble after he got it in on the turn with top set on [Jd] [6c] [5h] [4d]. Normally a nice hand unless your opponent is Daniel Howe holding [7d] [3d] for the straight. The river bricked and Levkov paved the way for everyone else in the field to take home a paycheck.
Allen Kessler doubled through Vitaly Kovyazin: AQ v KJ before busting in 63rd place. That was Kessler’s 19th WPT cash and he now ties in third place on the all time WPT cash leader board with Daniel Negreanu, John Juanda and Hoyt Corkins. Lee Markholt holds that record with 24 cashes; Barry Greenstein and Erik Seidel both have 20.
Victor Ramdin wasn’t fast enough to catch his flush draw and busted in 80th, Eric Baldwin was coolered in 78th by Paul Volpe, who simply stated: ‘‘I flatted a four bet click back and got lucky,” and Jonathan Little went out in 59th place when his [Qh] [5h] bluff was caught by the pocket nines of Vanessa Selbst.
Volpe continued to run hot when he doubled through Leonard Palermo: AQ v JJ. Palermo catching a set on [Ac] [Jc] [6h], only for Volpe to hit runner-runner [Qc] [Ah] to survive. Then Christina Lindley ran ace-king into the pocket deuces of the ever-impressing Selbst to leave in 49th place, and Zachary Kottler eliminated Bobby Oboodi when his ace-queen found Broadway against pocket fours.
The reigning WPT Player of the Year, Matt Salsberg, doubled with aces against kings before running out of steam in 46th place. The current WPT Grand Prix de Paris champion losing A5 v AQ of Eric Fields, and then Volpe’s luck finally ran out in a hand that gave Pham the chip lead.
It was a three way pot on a flop of [9h] [8d] [3s] with Volpe all-in facing action from Josephy and Pham. The turn was [Ts], Josephy bet 160k and Pham called. The river was the [Qd] and Josephy check-folded to a Pham shove before showing a set of treys. Volpe showed [Ad] [9d] for a flopped top pair, but Pham had the goods with [Js] [8s] for the straight, and that pot cemented his place at the top of the charts.
Top Five Chip Counts
1. Cong Pham 2,548,000
2. Jake Schwartz 2,145,000
3. David Johnston 2,050,000
4. David Randall 2,020,000
5. Vanessa Selbst 1,739,000