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Phil Kiphardt Leads Day 1A Denver Poker Open Main Event at Golden Gates

Phil Kiphardt

Day 1a of Mid-States Poker Tour Denver Poker Open saw a field of 73 entries turn up to get the ball rolling for the $200K guaranteed event, and eight of those players found bags after about 11 hours of play.

The top chip count by far belongs to Phil Kiphardt, who turned his 20,000 into 378,000. Kiphardt showed his fearlessness early on as he picked off a massive all-in bluff with just a pair of sevens on an ace-high board. He then had a big stack for most of the day, but a massive double knockout late in the night cemented his position as the Day 1a boss.

In a raised pot, Kiphardt flopped an open-ended straight draw and a flush draw with nine-eight suited. He checked it and saw two players shove all in for more than 20 big blinds apiece. Kiphardt opted to gamble and was happy to see each player show down just one pair.

Even the aces held by one of the players turned to dust on the turn when Kiphardt locked it up with a straight to rocket above 300,000 at a time when most players were happy to break 100,000.

Sitting in second place is WSOP Circuit crusher Vinny Moscati with 255,000. Moscati, who has seven Circuit rings to his credit, also cracked aces to swing things his way, with his coming when ten-seven suited flopped a pair and a flush draw. He also turned the bullets dead, and he'd later win a flip with ace-high holding against a flush draw and two live cards to reduce the field to eight.

Plenty of opportunities remain for players to join the eight survivors. Scott Stewart, Matt Livingston, Krzysztof Stybaniewicz and Warren Sheaves were some of the players firing bricks and missing on Thursday, but PokerNews expects to see them in the fields for the coming flights as the prize pool continues to grow.

Coverage of the Denver Poker Open resumes at noon local time on Friday with Day 1b.

Final chip counts from Day 1a:

Name Count
Phil Kiphardt 378,000
Vincent Moscati 255,000
Patrick Suzuki 226,000
Stephen Zipprich 209,000
Michael Rankins 153,000
Patrick Pineda 101,000
Albert Hart 93,000
Eli Lattimer 46,000