Arunas Sapitavicius tops WPT Seminole Rock N Roll Poker Open Day 1A

Paul Oresteen
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Posted on: November 25, 2023 12:03 am EST

The first of two starting flights for the $3,500 World Poker Tour Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open drew 655 entrants. Play ended after ten levels with 237 remaining players and Arunas Sapitavicius leads the field with 575,000.

“My day went good, I had a very lucky hand,” he said. “I won a huge pot with eight-high, I got it in with flush and straight draw against another combo draw. I got queens to fold, but I knew he was folding with his sizing. It looked like jacks or queens with another guy behind him.”

That pot came late in the day when Sapitavicius raked in a pot north of 450,000 holding just eight-high. At the turn with the board of 9h 5d 2d 3h, Sapitavicius check-raised all in, forcing out Art Peacock’s pocket queens, with 8d 7d and Scott Ball called with 7h 6h. The turn bricked and Sapitavicius pulled the pot that secured the chip lead.

Rounding out the field

Ben Grise bagged up in the top ten of the chip counts. “My day was easy – smooth sailing,” he said. “I was making hands and getting paid on the river. I have the day off tomorrow and I’m going to the beach with the family for a little vacation.”

Noah Schwartz has more than $3 million in WPT earnings with a third of that coming out of Florida. He fired a couple bullets in today’s action and is looking for a big result now that he plays limited tournaments.

Nadya Magnus had a career-defining appearance on “The Big Game” 13 years ago and things came full circle for her when PokerStars returned to Las Vegas for the NAPT.

Ethan Yau will return for Day 1B on Saturday. Photo c/o WPT

Ethan “Rampage” Yau, Scott Ball, Alec Torelli, Joe Serock and Craig Varnell each took part in building the prize pool but did not bag a stack for Day 2. There was a high turnout of former WSOP Main Event winners in the field with Jamie Gold, Ryan Riess, Koray Aldemir and Joe McKeehen. But none of the bracelet winners advanced to Day 2 in Friday’s action.

Koray Aldemir will have to play Day 1B. Photo c/o WPT

Nuts and bolts

The field already pushed the prize pool north of $2 million with Saturday’s field all but guaranteed to hit the $3 million guarantee before the first break of the day. Day 1A came up just shy of 2022’s 664 mark and tournament officials hope to beat the 1,541 total entrants from 2022.

Day 1B starts at 11:00am on Saturday and will mirror Day 1A’s schedule. The field combines for the first time on Day 2, which has a noon start, and it’s ten levels a day until they play down to the final table of six players.

Top Five Chip Counts

  1. Arunas Sapitavicius – 575,000
  2. Tommy Tran – 479,000
  3. Rayan Chamas – 419,000
  4. Luciano Nardi – 400,000
  5. Aleksandrs Zenkovs – 350,000