Epic Northeast Blizzard Closes In on WPT Borgata as Day 1b Wraps

The Borgata, at less snowy times.

Given the name of the tournament, players at the 2015 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open clearly got what they signed up for.

Maybe even a little too much winter, in fact.

While the Northeast coast bunkered down for the onslaught of "blizzard of the century" Day 1b of the Winter Poker Open wound down under slightly unusual circumstances.

The State of New Jersey shut down all of its roads and and imposed a statewide travel ban as of 11 pm ET.

That means all players still in the tournament, or yet to leave the property, were legally obligated to stay at the Borgata unless there was an emergency travel need.

Hotel rooms were also booked for all dealers working the tournament as they couldn't make it home either.

James Woods 5
Weathered Day 1a, but can he weather the storm?

With roughly 600 players hitting the felt for Day 1b and close to 400 still in the tournament, it made for an eventful end to the day and uncertain expectations for tomorrow.

Will Day 2 Be Affected?

Given the severe nature of the storm and the expectation of up to three feet of snow in places (although much less is predicted for Atlantic City), the tournament could face some obstacles carrying on to Day 2.

If the roads don't open, players who survived Day 1a but aren't staying at the property or at a hotel nearby might not be able to reach the casino by the expected start time of 12 pm.

Roads are however currently expected to re-oped in the early morning.

Chip leader Andy Hwang (251,300) led a group of about 160 survivors who bagged up chips on Day 1a. Other notables include actor James Woods, reigning WPT Player of the Year Mukul Pahuja, Shannon Shorr and Marvin Rettenmaier.

Day 1b notables include former WPT champs Anthony Zinno and Matt Waxman, Chance Kornuth, Jamie Kerstetter and Matt Stout. With a total of 989 players so far the prize pool has eclipsed the $3m guarantee.

For a full rundown of all the day's action and updates on the storm/continuation of the tournament, check the WPT Live Updates.

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