Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Event 1: *PAGING* Missing Poker Player

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Dear Richard Leah,

Play continues until 2am tonight,
your stack is currently blinding off in the Event Center.

Borgata Poker Open

Event 2 Preview: BYOB Chip

$350 + $50 + 100 NLH Black Chip Bounty

Sandy Elbaum (Richmond, VA) Looking Good in Black

As Event 1 thins, busted players are itching to get right back on the felt.

The next chance is Thursday's Black Chip Bounty tournament and officials are issuing an advisory:

BYOBC - Bring Your Own Black Chip

(and get it in advance on the casino floor)

The configuration of the tournament registration area does not permit players to buy the $100 black chip at the desk. There will be a chip cart in the Event Center selling black chips, but it's suggested that players get the chips before signing up.

One of the bounty tournament rules states that black chips must be visible at all times and remain on the table. So even if you're registered you can't start playing unless you have the chip.

To avoid waiting in the chip cart line and possibly missing hands at the start of the tournament, it's highly recommend that players get the black chip in advance of the 11 am start.

Event 1: Capt. Cool

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Tim "Wildcard" Gross has used his calm demeanor and slow-paced play to stack a mountain of chips on one of the outer tables.

The New York city kid frequents the city's underground poker clubs when he's not busy grinding out his day job in the Finance world.

The "Wildcard" is amongst the Chipleaders with 448,000 chips.

As the poker saying goes, "Gross is sick."

Tim "Wildcard" Gross (New York, NY)

Event 1: Movin' Up

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Floor Supervisor "G" helps Stenberg (hat) and Kim Settle in

The completion of Level 12 (800/1,600/200 ante) means players are on a 15 minute break and it's a chance for the floor supervisor to move the remaining 15 tables from the Poker Room to the Event Center.

The move brings along some big stacks including Mark Steinberg (Woodmere, NY) who has 220k and Ed Kim (Toronto, Canada) with 270k, who happen to be side-by-side.

"I wish this table would break," says Steinberg, who has Kim on his immediate left.

~400 players remain as the push towards 2 am and the completion of Day 1 continues.

Event :1 Field Stats

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

After 11 hours of check-folding and re-raising, the fatigue starts to show. Heads are rested on hands and yawns are prevalent throughout the tournament field.

Big stacks continue to "raise and take it," while short stacks hang on for dear life. The bustouts have slowed down with "nitty/tight" players hanging on to make the money.

All players currently on a 10-minute break.

Number of Entries: 1,718
Players remaining: 359
Total Buy-In: $687,200

Event 1: Poker Pros

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Poker Pros and Borgata Notables are still alive as players
move into their 10th hour of play. The grind continues until 2am.

Name / Chip-Count:

David Inselberg - 237,000
Jason Young - 181,000
Mike "Little Man" Sica - 161,000
Paul Darden - 128,000
James "Suits" Salters - 110,000
Gordon Eng - 48,000
Al Krux - 42,000

Event 1: Scan the Room

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

A quick glance at some other big stacks around the room,
the Day 1/Event #1 grind continues...

Danny Kraus (Staten Island, NY) - 242,000
Retired NY Police Department
"you're right, sometimes poker is harder than fighting crime"

Eliano Mesquita (Minas, Brazil) - 208,000
Construction Worker
"building chips"

Jay Nair (Seattle, Washington) - 161,000
Computer Programmer
"I'm a math major, the math drew me to poker"

Event 1: College Grad Collects Chips

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Players have returned from Dinner Break,
Level #12 begins with 800/1,600/200a.

While big stacks bully and short stacks struggle,
Nick Salimbene (Brick, NJ) has emerged as the Chipleader.

The recent college graduate is looking for a new career and stumbled upon tournament poker along the way.

With tournament poker skills and a degree from William Patterson University, the future looks bright for the New Jersey native.

Event 1: Dinner Break

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

All players currently on a 1-hour Dinner Break,
play will continue until 2am tonight.

Dave "Stone Cold" Inselberg scoops 80k with pocket Aces and
becomes one of the Chipleaders with 240k.

Poker Pro, Josh Brikis, takes an early exit with pocket Jacks before
he can tweet about "how ridiculous he's running in 2011".

We'll continue to look for big stacks and
bustouts as the night moves on

Event 1: Payouts

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Number of Entries: 1,718
Total Buy-In: $687,200

1st - $140,852
2nd - $87,989
3rd - $53,327
4th - $44,661
5th - $36,662
6th - $29,663
7th - $23,664
8th - $17,998
9th - $12,332
10-12 $7,999
13-15 $5,666
16-18 $3,666
19-27 $3,000
28-36 $2,533
37-45 $2,133
46-54 $1,866
55-63 $1,666
64-72 $1,466
73-81 $1,333
82-90 $1,200
91-100 $1,067
101-120 $1,000

Event 1: Robert Rakes

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

We picked up the action after WSOP World Champion, Robert Varkonyi, was all-in on a scary flop of J♣ Q♠ 10♣.

Two players struggled to make a decision, but both players eventually called.

With over 50K in the middle, Varkonyi was poised to triple up when he tabled the nut straight with A♠ K♥.

The board ran out dry, leaving Johanssy Joseph's K♠ 10♠ and Anthony Thambynayagam's J♠ J sitting in the muck.

Varkonyi leans over and politely says, "That hand is blogworthy right?"

Event 1: Smiles by Schultz

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Poker veteran, Dean Schultz, has created a loose atmosphere at his table. Comedy and side action have loosened the mood on Table #5.

Nobody has taken him up on the "how many bustouts so far" side bet, but he's convinced a fish will bite soon.

The tournament moves on with few bustouts and a sea of players trying to make the 7:30 Dinner Break.

Dean Schultz (Stow, Ohio)

Event 1: Split Shift

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

While the Event Center remains packed, the Poker Room is just as busy. An unofficial cub reporter says less than 30 tables remain at the opposite end of the building.

There's ~900 players left in the field as players are on a 15 minute color-up break. The green (25) chips are being removed from play as level 9 (400/800/75) is in the books.

Players are on a 15 minute break.

Event 1: Player Profiile

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Nick Frangos (Mays Landing, NJ) has been described as "the last of a dying breed". A true live player that stays away from the online game and enjoys the feel of brick and mortar casinos.

He's no stranger to big field tournaments and is steady grinding away Borgata's first event of the series.

His loose-aggressive style developed from playing and watching the game he loves. His system of trial and error has served him well, "Little Nicky" has been beating the games since the late-1990's.

The New York-native lives in New Jersey, playing the biggest games on the East Coast and traveling around the country looking for juicy $600/1,200 Stud games.

He's a "feel player" with great instincts and he's got the resume to back up the poker intuition that's made him one of the game's greats.

Nick's Borgata Poker results:

Borgata Poker Open / WPT Season 7
Event #13 / No Limit Hold Em' Championship
13th - $47,500

Borgata Poker Open / WPT Season 7
Event #9 / No Limit Hold Em'
5th - $14,130

Borgata Poker Open / WPT Season 7
Event #3 / No Limit Hold Em'
51st - $1,587

Borgata Summer Poker Open
Event #4 / No Limit Hold Em'
4th - $11,816

Borgata Summer Poker Open
Event #2 / No Limit Hold Em'
33rd - $689

Event 1: Nicknames

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Solid play and consistent results builds a certain reputation amongst the poker does having a nickname.

Poker Pros, Eugene "Todd Bro" and "Action Bob" Hwang, grind out the early levels on Table #18.

Event 1: Former WSOP Champ Here

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

The 2002 WSOP Main Event Champion Robert Varkonyi (Great Neck, NY) is also in the field.

On a board of Q 4♠ Q♠ 10 8, Varkonyi bets 5k into a healthy pot and Phil Reed (Washington, D.C.) calls.

Varkonyi shows K♠ 10♠ which is no good vs Reed's A A♣ , who now has 62k. Varkonyi drops to 21k.

The former world champion says he doesn't play a lot of poker, but the large field of 1,718 players validates him putting this tournament on the calendar.

"This is a pleasant surprise, especially since I drove three hours in the rain," he says.

Varkonyi adds that his wife Olga, who's also an accomplished player, didn't make this event as she's making sure their children's first week of school goes smoothly.

Event :1 Who's Where?

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Scanning the room and looking for snip-its,
here's our list of some Borgata notables:

Table #38
Anthony Moore - former Borgata Open Event final tablist
Josh Brikis - Poker Pro, former Borgata Champion

Table #51
Wayne Lewis - Borgata regular, cash game specialist

Table #52
Angelo Pistone - talented, young New Yorker

Table #62
Mike "Little Man" Sica - "I'm still here, not bad for a 67 year old"

Table #66
John Lakatosh - tournmanet grinder, Borgata regular
Ryan Eriquezzo - talented up and comer, tournament pro

Table #58
Matt "Muffins" Mazzeo - a Borgata media favorite
Joe Liberta - part-time Borgata vendor, full-time poker grinder

Table #44
Joey Almonte - "I took 6th in the double entry last month, still on tilt"

Table #34
Ben Klier - finished 6th, earned $148,000 (Borgata Poker Open 2010)
Rosa Klaneski - feared female player, tournament regular

Table #32
Wade Woeffel - talented young poker pro from Minnesota

Table #23
Joseph Wertz - "The Borgata let me in the doors, I'm running good"

Table #20
Steve Ryan - the nicest guy in poker is "running good" this year

Table #19
Raj Patel - over 1 million dollars in tournament earnings

Table #26
Joe Simmons - music mogul and poker veteran

Event 1: Record Setting

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Tournament Director Tab Duchateau has announced that 1,718 entries are in the field which is a Borgata opening day record for any series. The previous high was 1,563 in the 2010 Borgata Winter Open.

Event 1: Third Time the Charm?

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

With re-entry closed, the last of the bust outs are in line to rejoin the field.

Saad Ghanem (Laurel, MD) stops by Media Row and asks, "what's the most rebuys you've heard? I'm at three."

Ghanem's first entry is a cooler when he's out kicked trips vs trips. His second entry busts when his pocket kings are out flopped by a set of 4s.

Ghanem is hoping the third time is the charm as players are on a 15 minute break.

As for total re-entries, Ghanem is the leader in the clubhouse with three.  Anybody with four?

Event 1: Protecting the Innocent

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

"This game makes me hate the human race," says Ryan Eriquezzo (Danbury, CT) who just lost a 90k pot. " I wish an asteroid would come down and destroy us all."

Eriquezzo's frustration comes when he moves all in on the turn with a pair of aces and his opponent calls with a pair of 5s.  The river is another 5 and the player who wishes to remain anonymous wins the hand with trip 5s.

The hand cripples Eriquezzo to 12k who retaliates my moving all in blindly over the next few hands. "Where do these people come from," he rants, "Put in the blog Ryan gets smashed again. Unbelievable."

Eriquezzo's stack comes to an end when he drops his last 5k to James "Suits" Salters (West Hempstead, NY) who takes advantage of the re-entry as level 6 is winding down.

Event 1: Last Chance

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

It's now do or die for players who need a chip infusion before the re-entry period closes.  Level 6 (200/400/50 ante) is the last chance for short stacks to double-up or re-enter if they bust.

Player's strategies vary on a case-by-case situation, but most agree that the safety net is a nice option if lady luck delivers her nasty bad beat.

Event 1: "Sick Turn Out"

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry) 

With the announcement that more than 1500 entries (and counting) are in the field, the players are thrilled and pleasantly surprised that the already lofty expectations are being blown away.

"It's great value and a great start to the open," says Borgata regular Rob Nguyen (Brooklyn, NY).  "I see a lot of regular 5-10 (cash) players who don't normally play tournaments."

Stanley Lee (W. Hartford, CT) adds that it's a, "sick turnout," and the former on-line grinder points to the government's Black Friday shutdown of internet poker for pushing the total past his 1200 player expectation.

"It's either this (live play) or move to Costa Rica," says Lee, who was 'Stanman 420' on-line.  "I'm making the best of what's been a tough situation."

Lee has nearly tripled his starting stack to 70k, while Nguyen is down to 20k.

Level 5 (150/300/25) is underway.

Event 1: Regulars Running Good

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Eric & Martha

Just back from break and it's nice to see Borgata regulars doing well Eric Siegel (Melville, NY) and Martha Patella (Massapequa Park, NY) both have ~43k as Level 4 (100/200) is underway.

Event 1: Big Hand Before Break

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry) 

 Gio on the Move

On the last hand before break a couple of "oohs" and "ahs" erupt from the front of the Event Center as there's three way all-in action.

Gio Giovanniello (Howard Beach, NY) 5 bet shoves for 20k with pocket aces and gets two callers.  An anonymous player has everyone covered with 50k and turns over pocket 7s, while the third player has 9 10 off suit with only 15k.

The flop is Q 10 3 and the first "ooh" is because Frank Schinco (Saginaw, MI) folded QQ and would have hit his set.  The next "ah" is for the 7 on the turn giving the anonymous player a set, but the big explosion comes on the river.

The A♠ gives Giovanniello a set of aces and the double up to take his stack to 59k.  The anonymous player is down to 20k, while the third player busts.

After all the action, Courtney Currie (Ellicott City, MD) calmly adds that he folded KJ and would have hit a straight on the river had he stayed in the hand.

Players are on a 10 minute break.

Event 1: Spread the Word

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry) 

Chris DeOliveira (Hawthorne, NJ) Following the Blog 
After Folding 8 4 off suit
We're making it even easier for you to spread the word on all the poker coverage for the Borgata Poker Open.

The Facebook, Twitter and e-mail icons at the bottom of each post allows users to simply click the button they want and the item is instantly added to your favorite social networking site.  No more pasting URLs onto multiple sites.

Simply click and share!


Event 1: 1330 and Counting!

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Watch the Room's Transformation

The latest update has 1330 entries in the field and registration is still open through level 6. Borgata regulars Josh Brikis and Matt "Muffins" Mazzeo are late entrants who are in the house.

Level 3 (75/150) is underway.

Before & After

Event 1: Packed House

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Inselberg, Jeff  Einfalt (Vorhees, NJ) & Shurilla

Not only is the Event Center packed (90 tables), but an additional 50 tables are up and running in the Poker Room.

The early announcement from Tournament Director Tab Duchateau is that more than 1,000 players are in the field.

Players are setting the over/under line at 1200 entries and with unlimited re-entries for the first 6 levels the cries of, "seat open," periodically pierce the sound of shuffling chips.

More Familiar Faces
Cathy Dever
Dave "Stone Cold" Inselberg
Rosa Klaneski
Steve Ryan
Original Shurilla Gorilla
Howard Wolper

Level 2 (50/100) is underway.

Guest Post: Young Perspective

JY Enjoying the Borgata Amenities
Including a Massage from Stefanie

The Borgata Poker Open is here!

This is a trip that I know myself and all of my friends look forward to every year. It's the first big trip after the WSOP, it's the trip that signifies the end of summer, football season starting, and most importantly the final push to finish the poker year off strong.

The Borgata has always been known to blow away the competition on the East Coast, and with that comes amazing value to tournament pros, grinders, and recreational players alike during these series'.

Where else can you play in a $450 tournament where 1st place is routinely over $100,000? Not many!

And with some of the best structures in the industry, along with an amazing accommodating staff, the Borgata is truly the only place to be every September.

I look forward to making some deep runs this series, and I wish nothing but the best of luck to my friends as well as the guys just here taking a shot at a dream.

I know all about that, and luckily my dream came true. Maybe yours will be next.

See you at the final table!

Jason Young

Jason Young is a WSOP bracelet holder (2008 NL Shootout) and finished 3rd in the 2011 Borgata Winter Poker Open $1k tournament ($30,000)

Event 1: You Know Me?

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

For the next 17 days and 24 Main Events we'll be highlighting lots of players as they take their shots at the large prize pools and the coveted WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship (Sept 18-23).  Along the way we'll reconnect with old friends and introduce you to new faces.

Meet Brian Mooney (Middle Village, NY) who raises at table 15, takes the first hand uncontested, and is the unofficial chip leader as the hand is over before you can say, "button starts in the eight seat."

Moody takes down the blinds (25/50) and adds to his 25k starting stack.

An early look at who's here:

James Boyle
Joey "the B" Brooks
Ryan Eriquezzo
"Action" Bob Hwang
Eric Siegel
Jason Young

Event 1: Doors are Open!

$400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry) 

The vibe is electric as players file into the Event Center for the opening event of the 2011 Borgata Poker Open.

Handshakes, hugs and fist bumps are prevalent as old friends say hello and players meeting for the first time prepare for hours of raising, folding and grinding away.

We're just minutes away from those magic words, "shuffle up and deal!"

Wednesday, September 7

Today's Events (Event Center)

11AM: Event 1 - $400 + $50 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)
  • Players start with 25,000 in tournament chips 
  • Levels 1-10: will last 40 minutes each | Levels 11+: will last 50 minutes each 
  • Players may Re-Enter during first 6 Levels (unlimited Re-Entry) 
  • 2-Day event
3PM: Event 25 - $200 + $30 Survivor NLH
  • Players start with 10,000 in tournament chips 
  • Levels will last 25 minutes each 
  • Approximately 1 in 10 will win $2,000 CASH 
  • 1-Day event

7PM: Event 26 - $170 + $30 No Limit Hold'em
  • Players start with 10,000 in tournament chips 
  • Levels will last 20 minutes each 
  • 1-Day event