Monday, September 19, 2011

Event 20: Tough Day

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH 

Leigh Looking for Day 2 Double-up

Unofficially the shortest stack after Day 1 B is Jennifer Leigh (Wilmington, DE) with 5,900. While she's only returning with 10 big blinds, at least she'll be playing Day 2.

Several big names, including the last two Borgata Poker Open Champions, Dwyte Pilgrim (2010) and Olivier Busquet (2009) are on the rail.

Notable Casualties

Allen Bari
Josh Brikis
Olivier Busquet
Tony Dunst
Chalie Hook
Jamie Kerstetter
Chris Klodnicki
Brian Lemke
Mike Mizrachi
Dwyte Pilgrim
Chino Rheem
Steve Zolotow

Event 20: Chip Counts

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Big Stacks

Jeff Madsen 216,925
Alex Todd 200,000
Edgar Lemus-Argueta 191,925
Larry Abrahams 179,100
Tyng Low 165,875
Dan Wach 164,875
Matt Affleck 160,000
Ronald Pease 156,250
David Williams 153,850
Corey Burbick 146,100

Day 1B Notable Survivors

Patricia Barsanti-Chou
James Boyle
Mike Castaldo
Keith Crowder
Steve Dannenmann
Mike Dentale
Cathy Dever
Scott Eininger
Maurice    Hawkins
Maria Ho
Ron Hunt
Bob Hwang
Kathy Liebert
Matt Matros
Jeremy McLaughlin
Heather Sue Mercer
Greg Merritt
Joanne Monteavaro
Al Riccobono
Jennifer Shahade
Gavin Smith
Jennifer So
Burak Temel
Roberty Varkonyi
Jim Welsh
Jason Young

Event 20: Madsen 220,000

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Everyone keeps asking who the highest chip leader is?

Jeff Madsen up to approximately 220,000 but didn't want to discuss the $5000 bonus if he has the most chips.

Couldn't find a larger stack in the room but we'll know officially soon enough when players shut-in down for the night and bag their totals.

Matt Affleck increased his stack past the 150,000 mark and gearing up for Day 2.

558 players remain. This place has been hopping all day. Very rare to find a quiet or silent table.
A lot of table talk and joking.

Tab just announced we're playing five more hands then calling it a night.

Event 20: High Tech Poker

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH 

Temel (left) Keeping Tabs on Table 15

It's been less than six months since internet poker was shutdown and we've already seen players making adjustments.

Not only are on-line pros forced to play more live games, but they've had to adjust to life without the tools available on the net, unless your Burak Temel (Falls Church,VA).

Temel wasn't fazed by losing things from poker sites like hand histories and note taking, he's simply brought it with him to Borgata.  "I've been tracking hands for the last couple of months," says the full time pro. "It works for me."

Temel enters data from every hand he plays into his iPad with information from one hand looking like this:
+3000 AsQd9d w/ EP raise 2000 flop. V folds.

Translation: Temel wins 3k chips on a board of A♠ Q 9 with A J off suit. He called an early position raise to 800 and 4 players to the flop. Temel bet 2k on the flop and his villain folds.

"I play the table as it is and adjust my game accordingly," he says while treading water at the 30k starting stack."

Temel Tracking the Action

Event 20: Low Is High

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Tyng "Tsunami" Low

Jeff Madsen the 2010 Borgata Winter Poker Open Champion is still among the top of the leaderboard with 170,000.

Madsen has 5,000 more than Tyng Low who won the 2011 Borgata Summer Open Championship. Low trying to defend his title and build upon his already huge Borgata Poker year.

Tyng didn't know about the $5,000 end-of-night chip leader bonus but said he wasn't going to play any differently now that he knows.

Tyng "Tsunami" Low just flopped two pair and let it go to Edgar Lemusargueta, when the turn paired the low card on the flop. The two table leaders tangled but I guess don't want to tangle too much this late in the day.

Lemusargueta has 120,000 and now the 1 seat is filled with a stack over 100,000.

Wow, a ton of chips at Table 34.

Bagging and tagging at the end of this level (8).

Event 20: Eye On Everything

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH  

Kontaratos (left) enjoing Cards, Clock & Collisions

Bill Kontaratos (Montreal, Canada) has one of the best seats in the house. He's not only watching the table action, but has a clean look at the clock and a front row seat for Monday Night Football.

Level 8 (250/500/50 ante), the last level of the night, is underway.  The big stacks are now in striking distance for the $5,000 bonus that goes to the chip leader at the end of Day 1B.

Players Remaining: 606   (1B only)
Average Stack: 42k (84 BB)

Event 20: Dad's Lucky Shirt

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Wayne Burgess - 47,000

Wayne Burgess (North Carolina) is wearing a lucky shirt his daughter Tori drew/made for him.

He wanted to give a special thanks to Tori for all the good luck the shirt has brought him today.

Like the shirt says, "POKER ROCKS". Wayne is rocking the Championship Event to the tune of 47,000. Not bad, the shirt is obviously working.

Good Flop For K-10

Event 20: Table Down

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH 

Gelfman Moving on Up

Tables are breaking at a steady clip as 625 of 853 starting players remain. Anthony Gelfman (Reistorstown, MD) is moving for the first time as he goes from table 63 to table 5, which is at opposite ends of the Event Center.

Event 20: Todd Triple Up

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Todd Rosenthal (Charlotte, NC)

Todd Rosenthal is in the finance business and his chip finances just got a triple boost.

Three-way all in between Todd holding A-Q vs. 6-6 vs. K-K.

Todd was a short stack but the other two guys were a little shorter.

The dealer turned each card over very slowly, adding to the drama.

Flop fell: 2-8-5.

Turn: A

Todd was yelling out, "No six, no king".

River: 3.

Two other players claimed to fold ace-rag making Todd's turn the case ace in the deck.

Two players gone while Todd triples to 25,000 and is happy to have some breathing room.

Level 7 continues...blinds 200 / 400.

650 players remain. Started with 853 today.

Event 20: Over 100,000 Club

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

At dinner eight players were over 100,000 and a few more are close.

Jeff Madsen is still tops with 160,000. Player to his right has 97,000.

5...7...Prince Oye Uzebu...105,000
10...4...Paul Brown...95,000
14...6...Harry Frankel...103,000
18...1...David Eilers...107,000
42...2...David Williams...110,000
49...9...Kyle Burnside...99,000

68-1 Jeff Madsen...160,000
25-10...Alex Todd...135,000
21-10...Kevin Lee...125,000

Event 20: Chip & A Chair

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Greg Merritt Extremely Short Stacked

Greg Merritt (New York, NY) had eights full of sevens so he shoved all his chips in. Opponent called and proceeded to river a queen giving him Queens full and the pot.

Merritt thought he was out the door until everyone realized when he pushed his chips in, he accidentally left one tiny, insignificant 25 green chip behind. Since Opponent just called, Greg remained in the tournament.

He took that one 25 chip and re-built to 14,000 through a series of double and triple-ups.

"I just don't want to bubble again like I did last year" said Merritt who got nothing for coming in one player short of the cash in last years 2010 Borgata Championship.

Event 20: Well Fed & Ready To Roll

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Dinner break is over and dealers just got the call to "Shuffle Up & Deal".

8 stacks over 100,000 with Jeff Madsen your chipleader with 160,000.

We're playing until the end of level 8. Two more levels to go without any more breaks.

Brandon Novena - 79,000

Brandon Novena (Pickerinton, OH) finished 4th in the 2010 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship Event and looking to improve.

Event 20: Dinner Time Tweets

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

At the end of level 6, a room full of weary players were rewarded with a 75 minute dinner break.

Play will resume at about 8:20pm.

Here are some of their latest Tweets:

Brent Hanks 
Around 65k at dinner break... And we got ourselves a real beauty who just sat down...sparks are flying!
Tony Dunst 
Dinner break with 21k. Very little happening...
Andy Frankenberger 
Miserable cards at a wonderful table. 7750 at dinner.
Jake Toole 
24k on dinner break
Todd Terry 
73k. Lost 32K pot KK < AA aipf. Picked off a bluff vs .

Eric Haber 
Dinner break .....19925.....was down to 12k then I got back 7925 chips to arrive at my current total.
filipp khavin 
18.2k on dinner break

Kyle Loman 
39,650 at dinner. Going to 200-400/50
Josh Brikis 
Awesome level finally made some hands! 42k at dinner and it feels like 420k! Back after din for 2 levels then done for day 1

Jason Young 
58K on dinner break...2 levels left in the night, feelin good

42.5k @ dinner come back to 200 400

Event 20: Pre-Dinner Snack

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

WSOP Bracelet Holder - David Williams

Every table made a mass exodus for a 1hr-15min. dinner break while David Williams and a player to his immediate right finished out a hand.

WPT cameras caught the b-roll footage as his Opponent made a crying call.

"This is a great call if you're bluffing" said the Opponent after tumbling in about 10,000 on a board of J-10-K-Q-8. Wrong time to look up Williams as he rolls over A-4 for broadway and the scoop. No chop as Opponent quickly mucked.

Event 20: Payouts

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Entries: 1,313
Total Buy-In: $4,332,900

Place - Amount

1st   $922,441
2nd  $554,303
3rd   $335,433
4th   $280,925
5th   $230,610
6th   $186,585
7th   $148,848
8th   $113,209
9th     $77,569
10-12 $50,315
13-15 $35,640
16-18 $23,061
19-27 $18,868
28-36 $16,352
37-45 $14,675
46-54 $12,998
55-63 $11,740
64-72 $10,482
73-81   $9,644
82-90   $8,805
91-100 $8,386

Event 20: Full House In Event Center

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Table 71 GONE

The highest numbered table in The Event Center has broken up and Ben Bianco (closest right) is being shipped to a new zipcode.

Currently 680 player remaining.

Level 6: Blinds - 150 / 300 with 25 antes.

Total chips in play today - 25,590,000

Average chip stack is 38,000.

Event 20: Top Three in Chips

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH   

Jeff Madsen, Alex Todd, & Kevin Lee

Jeff Madsen is the current chip leader with ~160k. 

The closest second I could find is Alex Todd, (Manhattan, NY) who has ~135k.

The closest third I could find is Kevin Lee, (Elmwood Park, NJ) who currently has ~125k.

For comparison purposes, Lee Childs had about 130k and was the chip leader approaching dinner on day 1A.

Event 20: I'll Take A Dozen Sets To Go

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

"Lucky" Lee Kirsch & Joe Grodowski

Zero bust-outs at Table 28 even though they've collectively had over a dozen sets at the table.

Joe Grodowski (Staten Island, NY) had 8 of them and didn't knock anyone out.

Even an A-K vs A-A on a flop of K-K-A wasn't good enough to bust out the A-K.

Is it possible this table is too tight or perhaps too good? "Lucky" Lee Kirsch (Cold Spring Harbor, MA) verified how many crazy hands T-28 has had. If he didn't fold A-J against Q-Q he'd be out the door too.

While there Grodowski hits a nut flush on the turn, ships all in and announces, "We might have our first bust-out". After five minutes in the tank, surprise, surprise, Opponent correctly folds.

The camera crew should just stick a tripod here and film this table all day. Plenty of action hands here, just no knock-outs.

Event 20: Yet More Names

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH  

I'm still finding faces in this crowd that I've not seen previously:

Patricia Barsanti-Chou
Rick Rosetti
Joe Brooks
Bobby Suer
Freddy Rouhani - 1 WSOP bracelet
Mark Gregorich
Dan Heimiller
Maria Ho - replay from day 1A
Jason Dewitt - replay from day 1A
Ben Klier
Mike Woods
Mike Somma
Alek Givotovsky - replay from day 1A
Bobby 'Wiz' Wisiak - replay from day 1A
Eugene Fouksman
George Cicak - replay from day 1A
Steven Cho
Sherwin Agard
Barry Leventhal
Cathy Dever
Tam Ly
Allen Bari

 Jennifer Shahade

Jennifer Shahade, two-time American Women’s Chess Champion, is playing today.  She's seated at the same table as WPT's Raw Deal host Tony Dunst.

Event 20: You're Fired!

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Josh Durham (Myrtle Beach)

Josh Durham originally from Myrtle Beach moved here five days ago to start a new job. He was hesitant about playing in last night's satellite for fear he'd win and go deep in the tournament.

A friend talked him into it, he qualified last night, and here he is at Table-2 playing with established pros like Mike "Unbelievable" Dentale.

Josh excited after his A-Q found a queen on the river to bust-up an A-K shove.

As for Dentale, he shipped his short stack all-in, found two shorter stacks and busted them out.

This is what I love about the Championship. You don't have to be a pro to play in it or even win it. Here's to all the Borgata satellite winners like Josh Durham. Have fun and play well!

Josh says hi to The VO group...if he still has a job in a few days.

Event 20: Turn Card Rheems Chino

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Chino Checks Out

Chino Rheem's run in the Championship Event is a short one as he busts just after today's second break.
"I decided to come out here last minute," says the inaugural Epic Poker League (EPL) winner, who flew overnight to the U.S. from a tournament in Cannes, France.  "Definitely the good value and all the beautiful fish which apparently at the moment is me."

Rheem has only 6k when he's in a hand with local grinder Jamie Kerstetter. On a board of 4 6♠ 6, Kerstetter checks and Rheem bets 700.  Kerstetter check raises to 2200, Rheem moves all in, Kerstetter snap calls and has Rheem covered.

"I have a flush," says Rheem until he sees Kerstetter turn over A Q and quickly jokes, "I don't have a flush, I have a pair, somehow."

Rheem shows K J for a worse flush draw as Kerstetter is ahead with ace high.  When the A hits the turn, Rheem is drawing dead and says, "nice game," as he hits the rail.

"Am I surprised at the turnout here," asks the 7th place finisher in the 2008 WSOP Main Event. "No because you have a $3,500 buy-in so that's definitely going to attract more people as oppossed to $10ks or $20ks, so not at all.

The former November Niner recently beat Erik Seidel for the $1 million first prize in the EPL inaugural event.

Tweets from @JamieKerstetter

Event 20: Life On Mars

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Mars Callahan (Los Angeles)

Life is good for Mars Callahan (Los Angeles, CA) table-60 who was determined to fit the Championship Event into his busy schedule of TV and film meetings.

Poker is a priority in the writer/director's life especially after he finished 94th in the 2011 WSOP main event.

Callahan and his business partner on the rail, John Hermansen are working on several acclaimed poker related TV and film projects. Remember the film Pool Hall Junkies? Well keep a look out for Poker Junkies in theaters someday in the future.

As for today, Callahan turns a 5-2 diamond bluff into a made hand that ends up cracking a set of sevens. His Opponent couldn't believe when Mars rolled over 5-2 of diamonds after firing every street and going all-in for 10,000 after hitting his flush on the river.

Callahan has since settled down looking to capitalize on his new-found maniac table image.

Event 20: Field Update

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH   

The final entry count is 1,313, creating total buy-ins of $4,332,900.

Jason Young is claiming victory already because he turned up today wearing ARod's jersey.

Jason Young with today's lucky number

"The rest of the field is drawing dead" he said.  We'll see if the local boy can pull this one out.

Event 20: Break-Time Tweets

  $3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH  

Players are currently enjoying their second 15 minute break of the day.  Here are some on their Tweets:
Josh Brikis
Not having much fun but was down to 13k got 21k at break @BorgataAC 

Kyle Loman 
26,350 at break. Going to 100-200/25.

Eric Haber
 End 4.......23250.......going to 150 300
David Zeitlin 
24k at 2nd break. No momentum so far. Table draw is fine though.
Austen Johnson

20k just got set over setted 
Tony Dunst 
22k at second break after quiet couple levels.
David Williams 
Played levels 3 & 4. My 30 starting stack is now up to 70k. The rest appears to be paying off. Playing well. (running well too). 

Jake Toole
17k going to 100/200/25
Matthew Affleck 
Got 59,000 going to 100/200/25. Rly feel in control of my table.
  Jason Young

57K on 2nd break 
Vinny Pahuja 
20k after 4 levels. Sucks cuz I couldn't have asked for a better draw. We play 4 more levels today #typicalday1doldrums

Event 20: Pilgrim & Busquet Busted

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH 

Dwyte Pilgrim 
2010 Champion

The last two Borgata Poker Open Champions are on the rail.  Dwyte Pilgrim, the defending champ ($733,802) and Olivier Busquet, the 2010 Champ ($925,514) are both on the rail as level 4 has been unkind.

It's a disappointing trip for the WPT title holders who both played Day 1A and Day 1B and busted twice.

Level 4 is now complete and players are on a 15 minute break.

Olivier Busquet 
2009 Champion

Event 20: More Familiar Faces

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH  

And still more:

Steven Levy
Blake Purvis
Anthony Caruso
Dean Schultz
Franco Bonacci
Tom Lee
Mars Callahan
Brandon Novena
Hasan Habib - replay from day 1A

Event 20: More, More, More!

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH 

More faces in the field:

Wade Woelfel
Aziz Muinde
Manh Nguyen
Tony Cousineau
Sirous Jamshidi
Phong 'VIP' Nguyen
Adam Lippert
Mike Delvecchio
Eric 'sheets' Haber
Wooyang Lin
Travis Greenwalt
Ian Palomo
Eugene Todd

 Roz Quarto and Little Man

Roz Quarto was seated next to Mike 'Little Man' Sica and it appears they are having entirely too much fun.

Event 20: The Eagle Has Landed

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH  

Reigning WPT World Champion Scott Seiver was here at table 10, but has busted out.  Steve 'Bald Eagle' Zolotow has now taken his seat.

 Steve Zolotow

David 'Chino' Rheem has just arrived.  He landed at table 58 with Tom McCormick, Mike Summers, and Jamie Kerstetter.

Victor Ramdin is playing again today after busting out yesterday.  Heather Sue Mercer - ditto.

Steve Dannenmann had some chips at the end of day 1A, but he chose to surrender them and start with a fresh 30k stack today.  Heather Sue Mercer did the same thing.

Event 20: More Familiar Faces

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH 

Blinds are up to 100/200 for level 4.

More recognizable faces:

May Siu
Javier Fernandez
Pierre Deissller
Tony Dunst
Wendell Barnes
Dan O'Brien - replay from day 1A
Dwyte Pilgrim - replay from day 1A
Dan Shak - replay from day 1A
Leonardo Palermo
Tony Antonious - replay from day 1A
Danny Yousefzadeh
Eric Panayiotou
Jeff Madsen - replay from day 1A
Mike Holm - replay from day 1A; also celebrating his birthday today!
Brandon Vargas
Mark Baatz
Jeremy 'The Big Dog' Brown

Event 20: Already a Winner

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

 Lucky Kevin Walsh

Kevin Walsh (Centereach, NY) is the Borgata on-line contest winner who almost blew a chance to play in the Championship Event.  "I was shocked," the winner says about getting the email, "and then thought I missed it."

Walsh was having problems with his email account and stopped checking his inbox for several days until Sunday morning when he got the good news, two days after he was announced as the winner.  "My wife was saying I had to hurry up and go (to Borgata)," he says after reading the email on Day  1A. "But once I found out I could play today (Day 1B), I was relieved."

Walsh plays poker occasionally and when he comes to Borgata from Long Island he plays daily tournaments, sit-and-gos, and cash games.  As a supervisor for Cablevision he has the flexibility to take the day off.

"My boss knows I'm here," he says while hovering around the the 30k starting stack. "I'm keeping him posted and hoping to call out the rest of the week."

Walsh and the 1,300 players with an eye on the WPT Borgata Championship Event title need to clear their calendars through Friday when the final table gets underway.

Event 20: Rubbing Elbows

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH   

Events like this one bring out the amateurs because of the low price tag for an event with a televised final table.

But it also brings out the big guns because of the large guarantee and prize pool.

So it is a great opportunity for 'everyman' to rub elbows with the pros.

Sometimes, though, the pros end up rubbing elbows with each other.

 Miami John Cernuto & Matt Brady

'Miami' John Cernuto (3 WSOP bracelets, over $4 million lifetime earnings) and Matt Brady (6 wins, over $2.5 million lifetime) are seated at the same table and literally rubbing elbows.

Event 20: More Interesting Tables

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH  

 More tables and familiar faces:

Table 1
Jason Young - 1 WSOP bracelet
Brian Lemke - 1 WSOP bracelet

Table 6
Tony Campagna
Jerry Callahan

Table 17
Kate Elliott
James 'Smiley' Chin

Table 24
Ray Shackelford - replay from day 1A
Rick Austin

Also afoot:
Nimer Ltaif
Ken Adams - replay from day 1A
Ron Hunt
Gavin Smith - replay from day 1A
Matt Matros -2 WSOP bracelets
David Zeitlin
Joanne Monteavaro

Event 20: Table 39 a Little Lighter

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH  

Table 39 may have just gotten a little lighter....

During level two, Patrick Halter got all in on a J T 9 x T board holding pocket Jacks for top full house.  Unfortunately for Patrick, Jeremy McLaughlin held pocket Tens for quadzilla.

Will be interesting to see who gets moved into Patrick's empty seat.

Event 20: Triple the Fun

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH 

Jennifer, Senisa, Melissa
Get Level 3 Underway

After a 15 minute break the cards are in the air with blinds at 75/150.

Event 20: Break Time

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH  

Players are currently enjoying their first 15 minute break of the day.  Here are some on their Tweets:

Josh Mancuso
Down to 20k at first break, got rivered a cpl times then bricked a dbl gutter, bluffed river and got called.. 75-150
Josh Brikis
Losing every hand.24k at first break
David Zeitlin
30k ---> 26.5k at 1st break. Done ver little so far. Almost 1300 entries (!). 

Austen Johnson
Back up to 27k at first break. Got three streets with second pair at the end of the level
Tony Dunst
 20k at first break. Keep making hands but having to fold them.
Kyle Loman
29,150 on break. Going to 75-150

Ken Adams
Level 2 was not kind to me. Down to 17,000. Time to rebuild.
25.5k at first break, couldn't make a hand, feel great tho, goin to 75 150
Jeff Madsen
Amazing table. 43k #Borgatcha

Event 20: Brown not "Duck"ing the Competition

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH 

Brown & Miele

Jeremy Brown, the 2010 Borgata Poker Open Champion runner-up, is off to a good start with quad 2s to knock out Angelo Miele (Fort Lauderdale, FL). His pocket ducks flop quads and Miele called off nearly his entire stack on the river board of A 2 2 K K with A Q.

Unfortunately there's no Day 1C for Miele.  "Little Man" Sica over hears the comment and says "if there was I'd be playing in that too."

Sica and a slew of players taking advantage of the Double Play and playing both Day 1A and 1B.

Event 20: More Tough Tables

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

More interesting tables:

Table 2
'Action' Bob Hwang
Mike Dentale

Nick Frangos
Al Riccobono

Table 15
Tony Sinishtaj - replay from day 1A
Paul Spitzberg

Table 28
'Lucky' Lee Kirsch
Joe Grodowski
Jim Pechac

Event 20: Les Miz

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH  

Two new tables have been added to accommodate late entries.  Among those late-registering players are two of the Mizrachi brothers, Michael and Robert.

 Robert Mizrachi (far left, white shirt) and Michael Mizrachi (aqua hat)

Michael was assigned table 79, seat 4, and Robert was given seat 10 at the same table.

The Mizrachi brothers tore up the 2010 WSOP with all four brothers cashing in the main event.  Michael won his first WSOP bracelet that year in the $50k Players Championship, then went on to make the November Nine and finish the Main Event in 8th place.

Robert finished 5th in the 2010 $50k Players Championship (Michael busted him) and has a WSOP bracelet won in the 2007 Pot Limit Omaha World Championship.

Event 20: Terribly Tough Table

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH 

Table 39 has evolved into a monster.  Currently seated there are

Ryan 'golfa' D'Angelo
Micah Raskin
Patrick Halter
Jeremy McLaughlin
Todd Terry - replay from day 1A
Chris Klodnicki - replay from day 1A

Patrick Halter, Jeremy McLaughlin, Todd Terry, & Chris Klodnicki

Some of the players there were not thrilled to see who they were seated with, as evidenced by these Tweets:

Chris Klodnicki 
Wpt borgata round 2. Surprisingly tough table highlighted by todd fckin terry
patrick halter 
Borg main today, toddterry and golfa here to left sigh

Event 20: Field Update

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH 

It has been announced that this event has set a new record with more than 1,200 entries (460 on day 1A).  The total buy-ins have already exceeded the $4 million mark, crushing the $3 million guarantee.  (It will be a while before we have the official, final numbers.)

Late registration is still allowed through the break after level 4, meaning registration will close at about 4:20 pm. 

Blinds are up to 50/100 for level 2.  78 tables are currently active.

Event 20: TV Time

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

TV Crews Catching the Action

For the second straight season the WPT television crew is grabbing early video coverage that will be part of their Season X broadcast. Last year's Borgata coverage with Dwyte Pilgrim's charismatic personality was arguably the most entertaining final table in WPT history.

This season's broadcast will air in early 2012. Check your local listings for the full WPT tv schedule.

WPT's Jess Welman Interviewing Will Failla (2nd left)
at the End of Day 1A

Event 20: Intersting Table

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH 

In the back corner of the room is table 62, which has turned out to be an interesting rematch.

Salah Siraj is in seat 5.  Salah finished 7th in the Borgata Summer Open Championship in June of this year.

 Salah Siraj and Tyng Low during the Borgata Summer Open Championship

Salah was busted out of that event, in a very rough way, by the eventual winner, Tyng Low.  Tyng is seated two seats to Salah's left.

Back in the summer, Salah got his chips in with the best of it, holding AQ versus Tyng's AJ of clubs.  Tyng made a flush to bust Salah. 

It will be interesting to see who comes out on top in this rematch.

Event 20: Tough Tables

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

As happened on day 1A, some interesting tables are shaping up.

Table 23
Al Grimes
Robert Varkonyi
Vinny Pahuja

Table 30
Mike Castaldo
Ed Walsh
James Boyle
Nancy Martin
Kevin Walsh - web site contest winner

Table 39
Ryan D'Angelo
Jeremy McLaughlin
Todd Terry - replay from day 1A

Table 56
David Diaz - replay from day 1A
Frank Gangemi
Hiep Nguyen
Sheree Bykofsky
Kathy Liebert - replay from day 1A

Table 78
John Myung
Olivier Busquet - replay from day 1A
Benny Bianco - replay from day 1A

Event 20: Familiar Faces

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH 

Here are some of the early birds I've spotted, already in action today:

Tom McCormick
Mike Dentale
Paul Spitzberg
Jason Young -1 WSOP bracelet
David Zeitlin
Ken Alridge - replay from 1A
James Boyle
Dan Shak - replay from 1A
Tony Dunst
Austen Johnson (won his seat in the Borgata Leaderboard Contest during the Summer Open)
Kyle Loman
Javier Fernandez
Robert Varkonyi - 2002 WSOP Main Event winner
Ray Shackelford - replay from 1A
Rick Austin
Mike 'Little Man' Sica - replay from 1A
'Lucky' Lee Kirsch
Matt Brady
Fred Goldberg - replay from 1A
Matt Afflek - replay from 1A

Event 20: Cards Fly on Day 1B

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Day 1B of the WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship event is underway.  The first wave of hopefuls are still arriving and locating their seats here in the event center.

Players began with 30,000 chips each and levels are 75 minutes long.

Level 1 blinds are 25/50, so the starting stack contains 600 big blinds.  With such large stacks and small blinds, some players will take the opportunity to sleep late and skip the first level, letting their stack get blinded off.

Nevertheless, Mike Sexton has issued the directive to "Shuffle Up and Deal!"

Eight levels will be played today, wrapping up about 10:45pm. 

Event 20: Deja Vu

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Today is day 1B of the WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship event -- not day two.  This means it will look a lot like yesterday, except with about twice as many players.

Several players who busted out on day 1A will opt to try again today.  Here are some who have already announced their intentions to do just that:

Andy Frankenberger
Chris Klodnicki
Todd Terry
Ken Adams
Dwyte Pilgrim (defending champion)
Eric Wasserson
Jeff Forrest
Kathy Liebert
Jake Toole
Brent Hanks
Dan Buzgon
Jeff Madsen

Monday, September 19

Today's Events (Event Center)

11AM: Event 20 - $3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH (Day 1B)
  • $3,000,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool
  • Players start with 30,000 in tournament chips 
  • Day 1 Levels: will last 75 minutes
  • 5-Day event (with two Day 1 starting days)
  • Day 1 ends after Level 8
  • Chip Leader at end of Day 1A and Chip Leader at end of Day 1B each will win $5,000 CASH

3PM: Event 52 - $270 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH
  • Players start with 15,000 in tournament chips 
  • This is a Bounty tournament.  Players must have their Bounty Chip clearly displayed on the table in order to remain in the tournament.
  • Levels will last 30 minutes each 
  • 1-Day event
6PM: Event 53 - $150 + $30 No Limit Hold'em
  • Players start with 10,000 in tournament chips 
  • Levels will last 20 minutes each 
  • 1-Day event

      Event 19: Recap

      $1000 + $90 Six-Max NLH

      For almost everyone who plays the 6-Max it's their favorite tournament and format. And for one man, Spiros Markatos (Long Island) this tournament was two-days he'll never forget. That's because he just took home $93,259 for his first place victory.

      Let's rewind to September 17, 2011 when Event 19 kicked off with 410 entries all vying for a slice of the $410,000 Total Buy-In cake.

      It felt like each table had familiar names and faces playing poker at the highest level.

      With only 6 players at each table, notables such as: Chris Bell, Jeff Papola, Jeff Madsen, Matt Affleck, Todd Terry, Franco Bonacci, Mike Dentale, Joey "The B" Brooks, John Lakatosh, Adam Lippert, Victor Ramden, and Bobby Suer battled it out hand after hand.

      There were 8,200,000 chips in play and after day 1, Mark Epstein had 459,600, boasting the most in the room.

      Only the top 42 made the money with a min cash of $1,790 that was awarded at the start of our second day.

      The final table of seven included: Vinny Pahuja, Anthony Ruberto, Jeremy McLaughlin, Will Jaffe, Joseph Couden, Spiros Markatos, & Maksim Kvitko.

      2nd place for $57,667 went to Maksim Kvitko while 3rd place went to Borgata regular Will Jaffe in the amount of $45,338.

      But the big winner of one of, if not the toughest tournament Borgata offers, was Long Island Cinderella Story Spiros Markatos who took home the trophy and $93,259 to his wife Hope and friends Iris & Eddie.

      Spiros might play in the Championship tomorrow and he hopes to defend his 6-max title in the 2011 Borgata Fall Poker Open or at least next year.

      Event 19: Spiros Markatos - 1st Place

      $1000 + $90 Six-Max NLH

      Spiros Markatos - 1st Place - $93,259

      Spiros Markatos (Long Island) is your 6-Max Champ.

      His key hand yesterday was when his K-K crippled Jeff Papola holding A-J off.

      Spiros took those chips and kept building all day today.

      He was at risk against Jeremy McLaughlin and won an important A-Q vs. 8-8 race after spiking a queen in the door.

      Both players had ~1.3 million when Markatos flopped a set of fives against McLaughlin's nut flush draw. Fives held, Spiros became chip-leader, then took care of business.

      This is his largest Borgata cash and he thanks his wife Hope for giving him the opportunity to play both days.

      "I'm basically a social poker player who got some luck today" said our humble winner.

      "Finally one for the good guys" exclaimed railbird friend Iris.

      Eddie showed his support as well comparing the win to something out of a Rocky movie.

      Congrats again to our 6-max champ on his impressive victory over a field of seasoned professionals and heavy hitters.

      Tonight Spiros Markatos carries home, the Borgata trophy, the Blue Shark Optics sunglasses, and $93,259 - well done!

      Iris - Hope - Spiros - Eddie

      Event 19: Maksim Kvitko - 2nd Place

      $1000 + $90 Six-Max NLH

      Maksim Kvitko - 2nd Place - $57,667

      Bronze goes to Maksim Kvitko who had the chip lead for a good percentage of the tournament until Spiros Markatos knocked out Jeremy McLaughlin and confiscated his stack.

      Maksim takes home $57,667 for his two-day effort in Event 19.

      He's a little camera shy so no picture available.

      Event 19: Will Jaffe - 3rd Place

      $1000 + $90 Six-Max NLH

      Will Jaffe -3rd Place - $45,338

      Not getting any sleep last night proved to work out for Will Jaffe who just took 3rd place in the 6-Max.

      Will ran good and won every all-in except the last one heads up against Spiros Markatos.

      Jaffe loves the 6-Max and calls it his favorite because it's more fun and he can play more hands.

      Congratulations to Will Jaffe who collects $45,338 for his runner-up prize.

      Event 19: Joseph Couden - 4th Place

      $1000 + $90 Six-Max NLH

      Joseph Couden - 4th Place - $35,793

      A great tournament for Joseph Couden comes to conclusion with 7-7 running into J-J of Will Jaffe.

      Board ran out: 8-3-3-A-6.

      Joseph adds $35,793 to his Borgata Bankroll.

      Down to three players.

      Spiros Markatos is your chip leader with 3.25 million.

      Event 19: Jeremy McLaughlin - 5th Place

      $1000 + $90 Six-Max NLH

      Jeremy McLaughlin - 5th Place - $27,839

      End of the night for Jeremy McLaughlin who began the day when his cell phone alarm clock didn't go off and he was late for the tournament.

      He made it after hand for hand and had enough chips to survive. After losing a race to Spiros Markatos both players had 1.3 million chips.

      The two tangled again and this time Jeremy was felted in 5th place.

      Spiros 5-5 vs. Jeremy's A-8 clubs.

      Spiros flopped a set and Jeremy the nut flush draw - all the chips went to the middle and Jeremy missed.

      McLaughlin adds $27,839 to his already impressive career earnings total.