Monday, April 23, 2012

Leaderboard Winners

Borgata Spring Poker Open Leaderboard
By participating in any Borgata Spring Poker Open event (April 4-20, 2012), players earn points based upon the Borgata Poker Tournament Leaderboard Formula.

Winners are:$2,700 entry into Borgata Summer Poker Open Championship event (Play either Day 1A: June 17 or Day 1B: June 18, 2012)
  •  MARK WAHBA
$300 entry into $30,000 Guaranteed Friday poker tournament
(pick a Friday daily tournament through May 30, 2012)
  • MANH NGUYEN
$140 entry into $10,000 Guaranteed Bounty Monday poker tournament (pick a Monday daily tournament through May 30, 2012)
  • PAUL DARDEN, JR
  • SUNGWOO TAE
$120 entry into $15,000 Guaranteed Wednesday poker tournament
(pick a Wednesday daily tournament through May 30, 2012)
  • JEREMIAH MCKENNA
  • DAVID KIM
  • ELLIOTT ZAYDMAN
  • MICHAEL BOROVETZ
  • MICHAEL WOLL
  • JAMES SLOAT 
Below are the top 200 scores for the 2012 Borgata Spring Poker Open Leaderboard:


575.360: MARK WAHBA
463.043: MANH NGUYEN
428.188: PAUL DARDEN JR
417.580: SUNGWOO TAE
410.158: JEREMIAH MCKENNA
397.818: DAVID KIM
395.323: ELLIOTT ZAYDMAN
380.313:  MICHAEL BOROVETZ
379.248:  MICHAEL WOLL
374.088:  JAMES SLOAT
370.063:  RANDALL PFEIFER
361.250:  MICHAEL DENTALE
353.800:  BRIAN LEMKE
339.300:  ERIC DOERR
334.713:  DARYL BLACK
333.420:  YUEBIN GUO
327.550:  TRAVELL THOMAS
325.955:  QING GUO
323.413:  JOSEPH LIBERTA
317.123:  ALEXANDER ROCHA
315.360:  MARK BORGES
309.585:  JEREMIAH CALLAHAN
304.563:  WAHEED GUIRGUIS
302.450:  JIA LIU

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Championship Event Winner - Liu

$2500 + $200 Championship NLH

Jia Liu (Broolyn, NY) 
$312,483

On the final hand Jia Liu puts Larry Abrams all in for his last 750k.

Liu: K♣ 4
Abrams: A♠ J♣

Flop: 7♠ 2♣ K (pair of kings for Liu)

Turn: 6♣

River: 7

Liu dodges the last three aces in the deck and is the Borgata Spring Poker Open Champion.  "It's still not sinking in," says the 25 year-old, who takes down his biggest poker score.  "I'm numb right now."

Liu doesn't consider himself a poker professional, but will now look to play in more tournaments. He considers this win redemption for the 2010 Borgata Spring Open when he cashed in 18th place ($4,000) after holding the chip lead at the bubble.

Liu says two pivotal hands helped win the title.  The first was not going broke with pocket aces against Abrams pocket 10s.

"I was supposed to be out with aces," he says acknowledging that had all the chips gone in preflop, Abrams would have hit a full house on the river to take the title.  Instead a scary board made it easy for him to fold to Abrams' river bet.

The other key hand came when Abrams slow played pocket kings and Liu flopped a flush to take all but 750k of Abrams' chips.

"This is my biggest accomplishment," says Liu, who wins the trophy and $312,483 as the Spring Open champion.

Liu's Crew

Championship Event Runner Up - Abrams

$2500 + $200 Championship NLH

Larry Abrams (Mahwah, NJ) 
$175,700

Larry Abrams is the Borgata Spring Poker Open runner up and is a classy 2nd place finisher to Jia Liu. "Nice kid," says Abrams who loses with A♠ J♣ against Liu's K♣ 4 when a king flops.

"Nice, guy," Liu replies. And a nice friendly heads up match that lasts three hours.

"It was a lot of fun," says the business owner who pockets $175,700 as runner-up. "The final table was great."

Abrams is a regular tournament player when Borgata holds one of it's five series throughout the year.  The 45-year-old family man has two Borgata cashes for ~$9,000 each, including a 75th place finish ($9,644) in the 2011 WPT Borgata Poker Open.

Abrams had 3/4 of the chips in play at the dinner break, but ran into some bad luck later in the evening.  

One pivotal hand came when Abrams flopped top pair, top kicker with AJ, but Liu flopped the joint with Q 10.  The flopped straight gave Liu the much needed double-up and the stacks were virtually even after the hand.

"I played well, I can't complain," says Abrams, "I just couldn't finish it at the end."

Larry Abrams is the second place finisher who earns $175,700 for his four days of poker.

Champ Event Recap

 $2500 + $200 Championship NLH

Jia Liu (Brooklyn, NY) was dead and buried twice at the final table, but each time he kept his composure and survived to win the Borgata Spring Poker Open Championship.  Liu defeated Larry Abrams (Mahwah, NJ) heads up, holding K♣ 4 on the final hand, to win the title, the trophy and the $312,483 first prize.

"It's still not sinking in," said the 25-year-old, who out flopped Abrams' A♠ J♣ to complete the comeback from a 3 to 1 chip deficit. "I'm numb right now, this is sick."

Liu was feeling ill in a different way when he stared across the table at Russ Dykshteyn (Brooklyn, NY), who had 12 million of the 15 million chips in play while three-handed.  But despite holding less than 2 million and being down 6 to 1 in chips, Liu hung around.

"I was looking at second or third," said Liu, but Abrams had a different mindset.

"I was never intimidated by his (Dykshteyn's) stack," said Abrams, who earned $175,700 as runner-up. "You're deep enough (with chips) to keep playing. I knew a couple of double-ups and I'd be right there."

Dykshteyn, not only doubled-up each of his opponents, but his collapse resulted in a third place finish. "It happens," he said on his way to the cage to collect $112,950.

Abrams had a 2 to 1 chip lead when heads up play began and extended it to 3 to 1, but Liu stayed focus and had three key hands that led to the title.

First Liu flopped a straight against Abrams top pair, top kicker to double-up and pull even in chips. He followed that by not going broke with pocket aces.

Liu then flopped a flush when Abrams slow played pocket kings and won a big pot that gave him all but 750k of the chips, setting up the final hand.

It was a roller coaster day for Liu who began the final table as the chip leader with 4.2 million.

The field was quickly thinned with the eliminations of Mike Meskin, Mike Borovetz and Matt Woodward in 10th, 9th and 8th places respectfully.

The most recognizable names at the final table were next to go. Cliff  "Johnnybax" Josephy, a WSOP bracelet holder, finished 7th, followed by WSOP circuit championship Chad Batista in 6th place.

At that point Dykshteyn had half the chips in play.

After Cameron Cornell was eliminated in 5th place by 4th place finisher Robert Pardo, Dykshteyn knocked out Pardo to continue his march to the 12 million chip mark.

The tournament began with 520 entries for a total buy-in of $1.3 million. The field featured 13 WSOP bracelet holders and multiple WPT title holders.  In addition to Josephy, the bracelet holders included 3 time winner "Miami" John Cernuto, and two time winners Matt Matros, "Rep" Porter and Brock Parker*

The well decorated field also included 2010 WPT Borgata Poker Open Champion Dwyte Pilgrim, two time WPT winner Cornel Cimpan and 2005 WSOP Main Event runner-up Steve Dannenmann.

The five days of poker (two Day 1s) started with Woodward (1A) and Steve Saklad (1B) earning a $3,000 bonus as chip leaders at the end of their respective starting days.

Woodward worked his big stack to the final table, while Saklad cashed in 19th place for ($6,903).

By the end of Day 2 the field was trimmed to 54 players as everyone returning for Day 3 was in the money.  Those who cashed included WSOP bracelet holder and WPT titlist Paul Darden, Event 8 Champion Mike Dentale, Ian Palomo, Vinny Pahuja, John Lakatosh and Dave Inselberg.

Four woman made the money. Grace Sun (22nd) was the last woman standing and was joined at the pay window by Stephanie Hubbard, Joanne Monteavaro and Cathy Dever.

The last player to cash on Day 3 was Ofir Mor (in 11th place).  Mor was the third place finisher in the 2010 WPT Borgata Poker Open (he won $267,000 in that event). Mor's elimination sent the final 10 players into Day 4 and the final table.

Liu's thrilling day concluded with his largest poker payday -- which is nearly double his previous career tournament earnings of $182,000.

"This is my biggest accomplishment," says Liu, who joins Russel Crane (2011) and Alex Queen (2010) as Borgata Spring Poker Open Champions.

Final Table Results
1st Jia Liu (Broolyn, NY) $312,483
2nd Larry Abrams (Mahwah, NJ)$175,700
3rd Russ Dykshteyn (Brooklyn, NY) $112,950
4th Robert Pardo (Mount Vernon, NY) $89,733
5th Cameron Cornell (Asbury Park, NY) $70,280
6th Chad Batista (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) $57,730
7th Cliff Josephy (Syosset, NY) $45,808
8th Matt Woodward (Las Vegas, NV) $35,768
9th Michael Borovetz (Pittsburgh, PA) $25,100
10th Mike Meskin (Belmont, MA) $16,315

* Full List of Participants with WSOP Bracelet

Miami John Cernuto - 3 WSOP bracelets
Matt Matros - 2 WSOP bracelets
Ralph "REP" Porter - 2 WSOP bracelets
Brock Parker - 2 WSOP bracelets
Mike 'Little Man' Sica - 1 WSOP bracelets
Ken 'Teach' Aldridge - 1 WSOP bracelet
Kathy Liebert - 1 WSOP bracelet
Gavin Smith - 1 WSOP bracelet, 1 WPT title
Freddy Rouhani - 1 WSOP bracelet
Chris Bell - 1 WSOP bracelet
Jeff Papola - 1 WSOP bracelet
Brian Lemke - 1 WSOP bracelet

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Event 21 Recap

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Twice is nice for Jeffrey Gurfinkel (Hollandale Beach, FL) who wins the final event of the Borgata Spring Poker Open, the second Borgata title of his career.

Gurfinkel, who earned $14,505 for the win, edged out Flavio De Oliveria, Nick Guinto, Al Frampton, Ken Mezaros and Anthony Glante at the final table, who finished in 2nd through 6th places respectively.

"Team Brooklyn wins another," says Gurfinkel while beaming with his New York pride. "It feels great."

Gurfinkel was a force through most of the tournament and continuously had a top five chip stack.

"I always had chips," says Gurfinkel, who won his first Borgata title in the 2010 Summer Open. "I was running over the table and there was only one time that I got my chips in bad."

That key hand came just before the final table when he was behind with J J vs the Q Q of Brian McKane (Holmdel, NJ).  But a jack on the flop knocked out McKane in 12th place and gave Gurfinkel a commanding chip lead.

After the elimination of Stephen Moy (New York, NY) in 11th place, the final table was set and the action was fast and furious.  Thomas Confrey (10th), Tom Squerra (9th) and John Womack (8th) were the first to go before the tournament's quick ending.

The day began with 267 players putting up a total buy-in of $53,400.  The recognizable faces included Joe Liberta, John Del Rossi, Jimmy Wong and Grace Sun, the highest finishing woman (22nd/$6,903) in the Championship Event.

But they all failed to make the money.

The Borgata regulars who did cash included Howard Wolper (22nd), 5th place finisher Mezaros and runner-up De Oliveira who took home $8,547 for second place.

Even though Gurfinkel is a Florida resident, he loves his New York roots and loves winning at Borgata.

Final Table Results

1st Jeffrey Gurfinkel (Hollandale Beach, FL) $14,505
2nd Flavio De Oliveira (Long Branch, NJ) $8,547
3rd Nick Guinto (Brigantine, NJ) $4,921
4th Al Frampton (Maple Shade, NJ) $3,988
5th Ken Mezaros (Freehold, NJ) $3,108
6th Anthony Galante (Bronx, NY) $2,590
7th Mark Becker (New York, NY) $2,072
8th John "JW" Womack (Lauderhill, FL) $1,554
9th Tom Squerra (Old Bridge, NJ)$1,036
10th Thomas Confrey (New Windsor, NY) $673

Event 21: 1st Place - Gurfinkel

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

 Jeffrey Gurfinkel (Hollandale Beach, FL)
 $14,505

Chip leader Jeffrey Gurfinkel closes the deal in a wild and crazy finish.  "I had chips the entire tournament," says the ring holder of a WSOP circuit event.

"I live in Florida, but represent New York and Team Brooklyn," he says.

This is Gurfinkel's second Borgata trophy after winning a title in the 2010 Borgata Summer Poker Open ($19,000). 

With this win Gurfinkel wins the title and $14,505.

Event 21: 2nd Place - De Oliveira

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Flavio De Oliveira (Long Branch, NJ) 
$8,547

Flavio De Oliveira is a Borgata regular who loves the $30,000 guarantee Wednesday tournaments. De Oliveira is originally from Brazil and earns $8,547 for his second place finish.

Event 21: 3rd Place - Guinto

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Nick Guinto (Brigantine, NJ) 
$4,921

Nick Guinto says, "go Flyers," and that they "have" to win game 6 against the Penguins if they're going to win the series. 

For Guinto, third place is an improvement over his 4th place finisher in the penultimate event of the 2011 Borgata Spring Poker Open.

Guinto improves by one spot and earns $4,921 for finishing third.

Event 21: 4th Place - Frampton

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Al Frampton (Maple Shade, NJ)
$3,988

Al Frampton was the calming influence at the final table and is a retired fire captain.  He's a Borgata regular with multiple cashes over the years.  

Frampton earns $3,988 for his 4th place finish.

Event 21: 5th Place - Mezaros

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Ken Mezaros (Freehold, NJ)
$3,108

Ken Mezaros says that when he finds time between coaching hockey and work you can find him playing Borgata poker.  He's a fire sprinkler systems contractor by day, and on this night he finishes 5th, good for $3,108.

Event 21: 6th Place - Galante

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Anthony Galante (Bronx, NY)
$2,590

Anthony Galante sparred with Flyers fan Nick Guinto throughout the tournament and only has one thing to say, "go Rangers!"

Galante finishes in 6th place for $2,590.

Event 21: 7th Place - Becker

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Mark Becker (New York, NY)
$2,072

The fourth time was not the charm for Mark Becker who is eliminated while holding A K vs pocket queens.  "Ace-king was hot for me until the end," says Becker.  I doubled-up three times with it."

Becker, who is recently unemployed, earns $2,072 for his 7th place finish.

Event 21: 8th Place - Womack

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)  

 John "JW" Womack (Lauderhill, FL)
$1,554

"Ask any of the old-timers, they know who I am," says the fun and brash John Womack, who has more than 70 cashes and $300,00 in his poker career.

"Call me JW," he insists, but JW wishes he didn't simply call with pocket jacks on his final hand.

In a clash of big stacks, Nick Guinto raises, Womack calls and the flop comes ace high.  Womack cold shoves all in and Guinto snap calls with A 6 and now has an overwhelming chip lead.

JW finishes in 8th place and takes home $1,554.

Event 21: 9th Place - Sequerra

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Tom Squerra (Old Bridge, NJ)
$1,036

 "I didn't think I'd ever get this far," says Tom Squerra, who is playing in only his third "big tournament."

Squerra is on the rail when he's beaten by a flush, but proud of making the final table.

Squerra takes home $1,036 as the 9th place finisher.

Event 21: 10th Place - Confrey

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Thomas Confrey (New Windsor, NY)
$673
Thomas Confrey's tournament comes to an end while holding A♣ 10♠ against chip leader Jeffrey Gurfinkel's Q Q♣.  

Gurfinkel flops a queen and at the other end of the table Nick Guinto breaths a sigh of relief.  Guinto folded pocket 5s face up and would've been eliminated set over set.

"I had a great time," says Confrey. "But if you don't like bad beats, don't play poker."

Confrey was referring to a beat he took just before the final table by Guinto. Confrey had pocket queens against the J 9 of Guinto who flopped a straight on a board of K Q 10 to double up and and cripple Confrey who flopped a set.

Thomas Confrey finishes in 10th place, good for $673.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Event 21: Final Table Redraw

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Players are just back from break and four more eliminations set the final table. 

The worst beat comes at the hands of chip leader Jeffrey Gurfinkel (Hallandale Beach, FL) who was behind with J J vs Q Q, but flops a jack to bust Brian McKane (Holmdel, NJ) in 12th place.

Latest Eliminations:

Place-Name-Amount

11th Stephen Moy (New York, NY) $673
12th Brian McKane (Holmdale, NJ) $673
13th Luis Pereira (Millstown Twp., NJ) $570
14th Robert Noble (Philadelphia, PA) $570

Event 21: Chip Leader

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Gurfinkel Running Good

Jeffrey Gurfinkel (Hollandale Beach, FL) has the chip lead with 1.1 million.

The average stack for the 14 remaining players is 381k (19 BB) as blinds are now 10k/20k, 3k ante.

Event 21: Womack Wacks Another

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Eights are Great for Womack

Robert Noble (Philadelphia, PA) puts his last 180k all in with 8 7, but is dominated by the pocket eights of "JW," John Womack.

When asked how many players he's knocked out, JW smiles and says, "a lot."

Womack wins the hand and takes his chip stack to 950k which is second overall behind Jeffrey Gurfinkel (Hallandale Beach, FL).

Noble finishes in 14th place for $570.

Event 21: Flying Fast

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

The eliminations started slowly when the bubble broke, but just after the two table redraw we've seen a steady stream of bustouts.

Here are the latest:

Place-Name-Amount

15th John Froehlich (Bellmore, NY) $570
16th Joseph Zeller (San Diego, CA) $518
17th Mirta Urena (Brooklyn, NY) $518
18th Bill Hearon (New York, NY) $518
19th Jim Bozzuto (Orlando, FL) $466

Event 21: Two with One Blow

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

A big pot has two players all in and a third side pot brewing.  On a board of 2♠ 10 J 8♣ J♠, John "JW" Womack (Lauderhill, FL) puts out a healthy bet and Bill Hearon (New York, NY) reluctantly folds saying, "I missed the world."

Womack shows A♣ J♣ for trip jacks and knocks out Howard Wolper (Atlantic City, NJ) who mucks, and a disappointed Jason Rosenberg (Brooklyn, NJ) who shows K♠ J♣ for trip jacks with a worse kicker.

19 players remain, one more elimination before the two table redraw.

Eliminations

20th Jason Rosenberg (Brooklyn, NJ) $466
21st Howard Wolper (Atlantic City, NJ) $466

Event 21: Good Times at Borgata

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)


Coan Laughing to the Bank, while Howard Wolper (left) 
& John "JW" Womack Play on 

Tom Coan (Hauppauge, NY) is on the rail with pocket 4s against Mark Becker (New York, NY) who's mildly surprised that AK wins a hand when he flops an ace.

Coon laughs it off and is happy with a min. cash of $466.

Place-Name-Amount 

22nd Tom Coan (Hauppauge, NY) $466
23rd Paul Pedretti (Mineoloa, NY) $466
24th James Froehlich (Bellmore, NY) $466

Event 21: Two Down/Blinds Up

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

The first two players to cash have already picked up their $466 at the cage.

Place-Name-Amount

26th Donovan Ellis (Brooklyn, NY) $466
27th Marcus Vera (Hallandale Beach, FL) $466

The purple (500) chips have been removed from play as blinds are now 5k/10k, 1k ante.

Event 21: Fly Guys

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Nick Not Nervous Yet

In addition to watching the blinds and ante, Philadelphia fans are keeping an eye on the Stanley Cup playoffs.  Nick Guinto (Brigantine, NJ) is originally from the City of Brotherly Love and disappointed the Fly Guys are trailing the Penguins in game five 3 to 2 in the second intermission.

His prediction with perfect deadpan, "Flyers 9 to 7, with a late field goal."

Philadelphia leads this offensive series 3 games to 1 and can close it out with a win tonight in Pittsburgh.

Not Much Goaltending on the Big Screen

*****Series Update (10:20 pm)******
Penguins win 3-2 and now trail in the series 3 games to 2; game 6 is Sunday in Philadelphia.

Event 21: Bubble Breaks

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Pedretti Pierces Bubble

Leon Motola (E. Windsor, NJ) wasn't as lucky on his second all in and is the double bubble, out in 29th place.  Just a moment later Paul Pedretti (Mineola, NY) uses his big stack to bust a woman who prefers to be anonymous.

Pedretti has A 10 against the woman's A K, but flops a ten to knockout the bubble and send the final 27 players into the money for a min. cash of $466.

Table four is now breaking as play is 9 handed on three tables.

Event 21: Shorties Survive

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

After three quick eliminations the short stacks are hanging on for dear life just spots from the money.

First Tom Coon (Hauppauge, NY) doubles 20k with pocket 10s, then it's Leon Motola (E. Windsor, NJ) who's at risk with A 10 for 23k and he spikes an ace against a pocket pair.

Life doesn't get any easier as blinds are moving up to 4k/8k/1k ante.

Event 21: Play Resumes

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

The remaining 32 players are back from the dinner break, but the short stacks may need some pepto if they miss the money.  Five players miss the money, while the 27 who cash are guaranteed at least $466.

We expect play to slow down as we approach the money bubble.  Buckle up!

Event 21: Numbers Game

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Number of Entries:  267
Players Remaining: 32
Chips in Play:  5.34 million

Average Stack: 167,000 (28 BB)

Next Blinds: 3k/6k/500 ante

Total Buy-In: $53,400
First Prize: $14,505
Places Paid: 27

Event 21: Dinner Time

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)     

At the end of level 16, players were sent on a one hour dinner break.  Play will resume at 8:25pm.

32 players remain in the hunt for the top prize of $14,505.  Only 27 get a piece of the pie.

Average stack is 167k.

Event 21: Seven From the Money

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)     

Laura Camuso, winner of event 18, busted out in 36th place.

Ibra Ibraimovic busted out in 35th place.

34 players remain on 4 tables.  Only 27 get paid.

Event 21: New Chip Leader

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)     

Level 16:  Blinds 2,500/5,000, 500 ante

Following a color-up break, 39 players have returned to the felt.  Average stack is 137k.

 Luis Pereira

Luis Pereira (Millstone Twp, NJ) has taken the chip lead with 345k.

Event 21: Kings Good for Ibra

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)     

Ibra Ibraimovic's pocket Kings held up against AQ to bust a shorter stack.  Ibra chipped up to ~250k.

Down to 4 tables now, leaving 40 players still in the hunt.  Average stack is ~134k.

Only 27 get paid.  Thirteen more must go to reach the money.

Event 21: In & Out

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Level 15: Blinds 2k/4k, 400 ante

The big stacks are accumulating on table one. Currently seated there are
Brian McKane
Ken Mezaros
Stephen Moy
Jim Bozutto

Meanwhile, these former big stacks have busted out:
Ricardo Velasco
John Greenwood
Hamilton Dimaya

Event 21: McKane Kuts Two

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)    

Level 14:  1,500/3,000, 400 ante

I only arrived to witness the aftermath of a huge hand on table 1.

Brian McKane

Three players got all-in on the flop and by the river, Brian McKane (Homedale, NJ) had made a flush, busting both his opponents.

Those opponents were Borgata regulars  Eric 'clownfish' Doerr and Gina 'Ginevil' Cannone.

With that pot, Brian chipped up to about 300k.

Table 6 has broken and chip leader Stephen Moy got moved to table 1.  Stephen is up to 360k.

Event 21: Aces Good for Wolper

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)    

Howard Wolper was all-in again, this time in a three-way pre-flop all-in.

Of course he had the nuts, pocket Aces.

His opponents held AK and QT suited.  It was all over with a board of a A K x K x, giving Howard Aces-full.

He more than doubled up to ~100k, busting the short-stack.

60 players remain.  Average stack is 89k.

Howard is one of only four players to hold three Borgata Open titles, and one of only three players to win two titles during a single series.

Event 21: Battle of the Big Stacks

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Level 13: Blinds 1,200/2,400, 300 ante

Stephen Moy

Stephen Moy (New York, NY) has catapulted into the chip lead with about 270k.

Ibra Ibraimovic has rebuilt his stack. He's up to 210k.

Ken Mezaros is up to ~200k.

Jim Bozutto is also stacking about 200k.

Event 21: Break Time

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)      

End of level 12 and time for a break.

Down to 7 tables (70 players).  Average stack is 76k.

During the previous level:

Ricardo Velasco was up to 190k, but then he called a short-stack all-in with AJ.  The all-in player had pocket 2s and they help up when the board fell Q 9 6 7 3.

Ricardo shipped the double across the felt, dropping his stack to ~160k.

Event 21: Payouts

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)     

Entries: 267
Total Buy-In: $53,400

Place - Amount

1st $14,505
2nd $8,547
3rd $4,921
4th $3,988
5th $3,108
6th $2,590
7th $2,072
8th $1,554
9th $1,036
10-12 $673
13-15 $570
16-18 $518
19-27 $466

Event 21: Aces Good for Mezaros

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)    

Ken Mezaros (Freehold, NJ)

Three players were involved in a pre-flop all-in confrontation:

UTG:  AJ
Hamilton Dimaya (cutoff): 99
Ken Mezaros (bb): AA

The board came 8 8 5 6 5 and the Aces held up.  Ken more than doubled up to about 105k.

Hamilton Dimaya was left with about 45k.  The third player was busted.

Happy 4/20!

Event 21: Another New Chip Leader

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Level 11: Blinds 800/1,600, 200 ante

Jim Bozzuto

Before the blinds went up:

Jim Bozzuto (Queens, NY) and chip leader Ibra Ibraimovic got involved in a pot. On the river, the board read 7 6 5 7 T.

Jim was all-in against Ibra. Jim tabled pocket Tens for the rivered full house, beating Ibra's two pair.

Jim doubled up to 180k, taking the chip lead. Ibra was left with ~80k.

About 120 players remain, making the average stack ~44,500.

Event 21: New Chip Leader

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)     

Level 10:  Blinds 600/1,200, 200 ante

Play has resumed after the break.  13 tables remain (130 players max).

Ibra Ibraimovic

In action shortly before the break:

On a flop of 7 6 4 with two spades, one player bet, Ibra Ibraimovic (Brooklyn, NY) raised, a third player shoved, the opener folded, and Ibra called.

The all-in player said "uh-oh" and turned over J2 of spades (flush draw with one overcard).

Ibra had pocket 6s for middle set.  "No spade!" he said as the dealer cranked off the last two.

Ibra was able to successfully fade the last two cards and his set was good to take the pot and the chip lead.  He's up to ~180k.

Event 21: Greenwood Guts Two

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)    

Level 9 is done and players are taking a break while the green 25 chips are colored up.

During the previous level:


John Greenwood

On a flop of K 8 7 with two clubs, a short-stack moved all-in, another player called, then John Greenwood (Long Island, NY) moved in over the top, forcing his second opponent all-in.

The short stack had A2 of hearts (no pair, no draw).
The middle stack held AK of spades (top/top).
John had pocket 7s for the set and the lead.

The last two were bricks and John collected the pot, busting two opponents at once (sorry John, this is not a bounty tournament).   John is up to ~65k.

John cashed in the $350 Deep Stack event last week, so he's looking for his second cash of the series today.

Event 21: New Chip Leader

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)     

Level 9:  Blinds 500/1,000, 100 ante


Ricardo Velasco

 Ricardo Velasco (Las Vegas, NV) may have taken the chip lead.  He's up to about 130k.

Ricardo has two cashes during the Spring Open and he's going strong for number three today.

Event 21: Goners

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)   

Approaching the end of level 9 and they're dropping like flies.

Reporting to the rail:

Jeremiah McKenna
Gil Sacks
Andrew Klein
Steve Scales

Down to 16 tables (160 players max).

Event 21: Wolper Doubles

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)   

Level 8:  Blinds 400/800 with 75 ante

Howard Wolper & Gil Sacks

 Howard Wolper was all-in for 19,400 on a flop of J T 9 with two diamonds.  One opponent folded what he later said was two pair.  The third player called, showing QT off for middle pair with open-ender

Howard had KQ for the flopped straight, leaving his opponent needing a King to chop or runner-runner for a full house.

An Ace on the turn improved Howard's straight to Broadway.  His opponent could now only chop with a King on the river. 

River was a 3 and Howard doubled up to ~40k.

Event 21: Just Spotted

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)  

Laura Camuso, (Boston, MA) winner of the $400 Deep Stack Semi-Turbo No Limit event ($17,110) has turned up in the field.

Also just spotted Jeremiah McKenna (Norwalk, CT).

Gil Sacks was all-in for 5,650 on a flop of K 7 2 with two clubs.  After a couple of minutes in the tank, his opponent let it go.

Event 21: Registration Closed

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) 

Level 7:  Blinds 300/600, 75 ante

The break after level 6 is over, which means no more re-entries.  It will be a while before the numbers are official, but there are approximately 267 entries in today's event.

That includes Paul Darden, who turned up late.

19 tables are still active (190 players max).   These tables will start breaking quicky now.

Event 21: Brothers of the Felt

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) 

Level 6:  Blinds 200/400, 50 ante

Joe Liberta (Berlin, NJ) took 3rd in event 20 yesterday (actually at about 2am this morning) good for $3,953.

That was his third cash and second final table of the Spring Open.

John Del Rossi (Mantua, NJ) has two cashes during this series, one of them a final table. 

These two guys aren't related at all, but look enough alike that they could be brothers:

Joe Liberta & John Del Rossi

John has already fired his second bullet today.

Level six (plus the following break) will be the end of the registration and re-entry period (about 1:55pm).

Event 21: Re-Entries Abound


$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Approaching the end of level five and familiar faces are turning up at the re-entry window.

Chris Edwards fired his second bullet after making a desperation shove with an up-an-down straight draw, only to find that his opponent flopped the straight.

Gil Sacks has also fired his second bullet.

Event 21: Early Chip Leader

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) 

Level 5:  Blinds 150/300, 25 ante 

Hamilton Dimaya

Hamilton Dimaya (Saddle Brook, NJ) has jumped into an early chip lead.  He's up to about 110k.

According to Hamilton (and his tablemates verifiy) he's had Aces three times already, and once against pocket Kings.  He's also had pocket Jacks three times.  He's made two boats and hit quads once.

And that's just during the first four levels.

Event 21: Bullet #2

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)  

Level 4:  Blinds 100/200

Joshua Supsak

Joshua Supsak (Linwood, NJ) has relocated to a new table, in the 10 seat (held for re-entries).  He told me he's on bullet #2 after an interesting hand:

After a raise and 3-bet, four players paid 2,500 to see a flop of 6 3 2 with two diamonds.  Joshua had pocket 6s for top set, another player had pocket Aces, another player had pocket 9s, and the last had T9 suited in diamonds.

Joshua got all-in with top set against the flush draw and a diamond came on the river while the board failed to pair.  The flush took the pot and Joshua hit the re-entry window.

Event 21: Break Time

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) 

End of level 3 and time for their first break of the day.

Smoke 'em if you got 'em (but only in designated smoking areas).

Event 21: More Familiar Faces

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Level 3:  Blinds 75/150

Table 21 is about to get started as players continue to pile in for this event.  The latest sightings:

Daniel Chan
Gina Cannone
Chris Edwards
Gil Sacks
Tom McGarry
Joe Loguidice
Joe Liberta
Anthony Zinno
John Del Rossi
Mikhail Volfson

Event 21: More Regulars Turn Up

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

Level 2:  Blinds 50/100

Table 19 is getting underway as more players arrive and fill the empty seats.

Among the new faces are:
Pierre Diessler
Steve Scales
Benjamin Chan

Event 21: Borgata Regulars

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

It's their last chance to take home a trophy this series, so they're out in force today.  Here are the Borgata regulars I spotted on the 18 tables already in action:

Howard Wolper
Joshua Supsak
Jimmy Wong
Grace Sun
Sungwoo Tae
Andrew Klein
Ibra Ibraimovic
Eric Doerr
Ricardo Velasco
Neville Darrell

Event 21: Final Main Event Underway

$200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

The final main event of the 2012 Borgata Spring Poker Open is underway.

This is a Big Stack, so players began with 20,000 chips.

The first 6 levels are 25 minutes long and also represent the entry and re-entry period.  Players can register late through the end of level 6 and if they bust out, they can re-enter as many times as they want, until the end of level 6.

Beginning with level 7, they extend to 30 minutes.

Level 1 blinds are 25/50 and cards are in the air.

This is a one day event, so they'll play all night until a winner is determined.

Leaderboard Update (4/20)

Borgata Spring Poker Open Leaderboard
By participating in any Borgata Spring Poker Open event (April 4-20, 2012), players earn points based upon the Borgata Poker Tournament Leaderboard Formula.

Below are the top scores for the 2012 Borgata Spring Poker Open Leaderboard*
(Final Results from Main events: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 
Qualifiers and Secondary events: 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45)

575.360:  MARK WAHBA
463.043:  MANH NGUYEN
419.375:  PAUL DARDEN  JR
399.955:  SUNGWOO TAE
395.323:  ELLIOTT ZAYDMAN
392.533:  JEREMIAH MCKENNA
380.313:  H MICHAEL BOROVETZ
379.248:  MICHAEL WOLL
370.063:  RANDALL PFEIFER
361.250:  MICHAEL DENTALE
356.463:  JAMES SLOAT
353.800:  BRIAN LEMKE
334.713:  DARYL BLACK
333.420:  YUEBIN GUO
330.488:  ERIC DOERR
327.550:  TRAVELL THOMAS
317.143:  QING GUO
317.123:  ALEXANDER ROCHA
315.360:  MARK BORGES
309.585:  JEREMIAH CALLAHAN
305.788:  JOSEPH LIBERTA
304.563:  WAHEED GUIRGUIS
302.450:  JIA LIU

April 20

TODAY'S EVENTS (POKER ROOM)
REGISTER IN POKER ROOM


11AM:  Event 21- $200 + $30 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)
  • Players start with 20,000 in tournament chips
  • Levels 1-6: will last 25 minutes each | Levels 7+: will last 30 minutes each
  • Players that "bust" within the first 6 Levels may Re-Enter (unlimited re-entries)
  • 1-Day event


6 PM:  Event 46 - $150 + $30 + $20 Yellow Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)
  • Players start with 12,000 in tournament chips 
  • Levels will last 20 minutes each
  • Players that "bust" within the first 6 Levels may Re-Enter (unlimited re-entries)
  • 1-Day eventt

      Event 20 Recap

      $260 + $40 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)

      Our winner, who would like to be known only as "Jim S" - has just won the first major tournament he's ever played in after taking out Matt Burnitz (Paoli, PA) heads up.  Jim S added Burnitz's $100 Bounty chip, the Borgata winner's trophy, and $12,485 cash.
      Our winner wouldn't go so far as to call himself an amateur.  "I'm just a guy who was eating dinner and decided to jump into a tournament."  No matter how you define it, Jim S definitely made several pro moves to amass all 2,500,000 chips in play.  "I had to be patient.  I picked my spots and it worked out well."

      Part of his strategy was to show a lot of hands. Players became afraid of him - as in afraid that he always had the goods.

      Pocket Kings holding up three times this afternoon helped Jim S to make the final table. It was there that Borgata poker legend Howard Wolper (Atlantic City, NJ) ended in 9th for $936.  And where poker pro Joe Liberta (Berlin, NJ) had his wired three's counterfeited by Jim's A-10 for a 3rd place ($3,952) finish.

      The prize pool totaled $42,900 thanks to the 165 bounty hunters who faced the felt. Familiar Borgata names such as "Miami" John Cernto, Paul Darden, Eric "Clownfish" Doerr, Ben Geller, Andrew Interdonato, and Mark Wahba all battled today.  When the dust settled, the gunslinger with the most bounties was Matt Burnitz with 13.

      Congratulations again to Jim S for taking out the pros while cruising to a Borgata Spring Poker Open victory and taking home $12,485.

      Final Table Results
      1. Jim S. - $12,485
      2. Matthew Burnitz (Bear, DE) - $6,867
      3. Joe Liberta (Berlin, NJ) - $3,953
      4. Donald Brown (Westbury, NY) - $3,329
      5. Harold Stickel (Waretown, NJ) - $2,497
      6. Elliott Zaydman (Glen Rock, NJ) - $2,081
      7. Mark Borges (Hoboken, NJ) - $1,665
      8. Eric Netishvili (Hoboken, NJ) - $1,248
      9. Howard Wolper (Atlantic City, NJ) - $936
      10. James Giura (Dover, NJ) - $832

      Event 20: 1st Place - Jim S.

      $260 + $40 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)


      Way to go to Jim S. who just won the first Borgata tournament he ever played in.

      "I had to be patient...I picked my spots and it worked out" said Jim.

      Part of Jim's strategy was to show a lot of hands. Players became afraid of him...afraid he always had the goods. Jim confessed he was setting up a couple key bluff's he wanted to implement at the final table. Those successful bluffs made him the chipleader with three players left.

      A good mix of skill and luck for Jim who caught his share of lucky cards when needed.

      He reached the final table with 120,000 and ended the night with 7 bounties.

      The final winning hand of the night showdowned Jim's A-2 vs. Matt Burnitz (Paoli, PA) K-2.

      Both players hit top pair on a flop of K-A-3.

      Turn brought a 4 and the river a J for the victory.

      Jim takes home the trophy and $12,485.

      Event 20: 2nd Place - Burnitz

      $260 + $40 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)

      Matt Burnitz (Paoli, PA)
      $6,867

      Under ten hands of heads up play before Jim S. takes out Matt Burnitz (Paoli, PA). Matt took out thirteen players throughout the day for and extra $1300 in bounties.

      Out of the 165 entries, amazingly Matt felted 13.

      "This was the first bounty tournament I ever played in" said Matt.

      Matt was happy to finish in 2nd especially after having only 43,000 with 29 Players remaining. He was card dead and hanging on for 2 1/2 hours - fortunate to even make the money.

      He's probably kicking himself for folding middle pair on the board, especially since Jim S. showed a bluff. Matt would have won that hand and crippled Jim - instead he had to battle from the short stack.

      Burnitz is not a nit - he is a superior Borgata Bounty Hunter!

      Event 20: 3rd Place - Liberta

      $260 + $40 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)

      Joe Liberta (Berlin, NJ)
      $3,953

      Borgata regular Joe Liberta takes home 11 $100 bounty chips but loses his own to Jim S.

      Jim calls from the small blind and Joe stuffs all-in from the big.

      Jim quickly calls and shows A-10 vs. Joe's 3-3.

      Board ran 7-8-5-5-8 counterfeiting Joe's pair giving Jim the pot using his Ace.

      Runner, runner counterfeit knocks out Liberta and sends short stack Matt Burnitz up at least one spot on the money chart.

      Joe also took 9th place in Event 5 during this series.

      Event 20: Patient Poker

      $260 + $40 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)

      It's anybody's tournament.

      Our final three have about the same amounts in chips.

      Jim has 800,000 vs. Joe Liberta's 900,000 vs. Matt Burnitz' 700,000.

      Jim in seat one has a poker injury. He has a bad back and it is acting up after playing all day. This is his first tournament so he's asking questions and sort of learning on the job. All in all he's doing fantastic for his first effort.

      Blinds are a whopping 25,000 / 50,000 with 5,000 antes.

      Evenet 20: 4th Place - Brown

      $260 + $40 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)

      Donald Brown (Westbury, NY)
      $3,329

      Donald Brown says his good-byes to what has been deemed the "nicest" final table of the 2012 Borgata Spring Poker Open.

      Cooler for Brown four-handed who picks up A-K for the first time today and is up against KK of chip leader Matt Burnitz (Paoli, PA).

      "I'd love to get cards in one of these things" said a frustrated Donald Brown fresh off the loss.

      Three $100 bounties for Brown.

      Donald says hi to his wife Lee Ann and son Patrick who is following Borgatapokerblog at home.

      Event 20: 5th Place - Stickel

      $260 + $40 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)

      Hal Stickel (Waretown, NJ)
      $2,497

      Hal gets his chips in good with J-J up against Jim's 10-10.

      Jim nails a ten on the flop for a set and the knock-out bounty chip.

      Board: 3-20-4-2-4

      Hal congratulated Jim who is playing in his first ever poker tournament.

      "He's had his share of beginner's luck but I'm rooting for him" said Hal.

      Hal is 71 and retired. Great stamina for Hal as he played great throughout this one day tournament against all the youngsters.

      Event 20: 6th Place - Zaydman

      $260 + $40 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)

      Joe Liberta strikes again. He knocks out the man only known as "Comrade" and earns his 11th $100 bounty.

      The only player remaining with more is Matt Burnitz (Paoli, PA) with 12.

      Comrade got his short stack in with K-10 and couldn't believe Joe had yet another Big Slick.

      Board ran: J-3-J-3-K

      Elliott Zaydman (Glen Rock, NJ) earns $2,081 for his 6th Place finish.

      Event 20: Double Busto

      $260 + $40 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)

      Mark Borges (Glen Rock, NJ)
      7th Place - $1,665

      Joe Liberta catches lucky and knocks out Mark Borges in 7th Place and Eric Natishvili in 8th Place for two $100 Bounty Chips giving him 10 total.

      A three way all-in pre-flop battle with Joe's A-J vs. Eric's 5-5 and Mark's A-K.

      Board ran: 3-J-Q-2-8

      Eric Natishvili (Hoboken, NJ)
      8th Place - $1,248

      Event 20: 9th Place - Wolper

      $260 + $40 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)

      Howard Wolper (Atlantic City, NJ)
      $936

      Borgata Poker Legend and author Howard Wolper cashes for $936.

      Every time Howard shoved at the final table it appeared that nobody called. The blinds and antes began to devour his stack and he made a move with K-7.

      Small blind, Hal Stickel called with 2-2 and hit a third deuce on the flop.

      Board: 8-2-A-8-K

      Thursday, April 19, 2012

      Event 20: 10th Place - Giura

      $260 + $40 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)

      James Giura (Glen Ridge, NJ)
      $832

      End of the road for James Giura who 3-bet Matt Burnitz who then felt priced in.

      James tabled Q-9 and was way behind against Matt's 9-9.

      Board ran: 8-8-10-K-K

      It was only 186,000 more for Matt to call and he had the made hand.

      Event 20: Chip Updates

      $260 + $40 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)

      Here are some chip count updates grabbed during the break.

      1. Eric Natishvili - 220,000
      2. Jim - 283,000
      3. Joe Liberta - 700,000
      4. Comrad - 120,000
      5. Howard Wolper - 215,000
      6. Mark Borges - 180,000
      7. Hal Stickel - 215,000
      8. Donald Brown - 130,000
      9. Matt Burnitz - 300,000
      10. James Giura - 225,000

      Next Blind is 10,000 / 20,000 with 3,000 antes.

      Event 20: Top Ten Take Ten

      $260 + $40 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)

      In the second hand before the break Donald Brown (Westbury, NY) ships 210,000 with wired eights.

      Short stack at the table, Eric Natishvili (Hoboken, NJ) calls with A-K.

      Eric wins the race after hitting a King on the turn.

      Board: 7-10-2-K-3

      He doubles thru Donald and now has 230,000.

      Champ Event Recap

       $2500 + $200 Championship NLH

      Jia Liu (Brooklyn, NY) was dead and buried twice at the final table, but each time he kept his composure and survived to win the Borgata Spring Poker Open Championship.  Liu defeated Larry Abrams (Mahwah, NJ) heads up, holding K♣ 4 on the final hand, to win the title, the trophy and the $312,483 first prize.

      "It's still not sinking in," said the 25-year-old, who out flopped Abrams' A♠ J♣ to complete the comeback from a 3 to 1 chip deficit. "I'm numb right now, this is sick."

      Liu was feeling ill in a different way when he stared across the table at Russ Dykshteyn (Brooklyn, NY), who had 12 million of the 15 million chips in play while three-handed.  But despite holding less than 2 million and being down 6 to 1 in chips, Liu hung around.

      "I was looking at second or third," said Liu, but Abrams had a different mindset.

      "I was never intimidated by his (Dykshteyn's) stack," said Abrams, who earned $175,700 as runner-up. "You're deep enough (with chips) to keep playing. I knew a couple of double-ups and I'd be right there."

      Dykshteyn, not only doubled-up each of his opponents, but his collapse resulted in a third place finish. "It happens," he said on his way to the cage to collect $112,950.

      Abrams had a 2 to 1 chip lead when heads up play began and extended it to 3 to 1, but Liu stayed focus and had three key hands that led to the title.

      First Liu flopped a straight against Abrams top pair, top kicker to double-up and pull even in chips. He followed that by not going broke with pocket aces.

      Liu then flopped a flush when Abrams slow played pocket kings and won a big pot that gave him all but 750k of the chips, setting up the final hand.

      It was a roller coaster day for Liu who began the final table as the chip leader with 4.2 million.

      The field was quickly thinned with the eliminations of Mike Meskin, Mike Borovetz and Matt Woodward in 10th, 9th and 8th places respectfully.

      The most recognizable names at the final table were next to go. Cliff  "Johnnybax" Josephy, a WSOP bracelet holder, finished 7th, followed by WSOP circuit championship Chad Batista in 6th place.

      At that point Dykshteyn had half the chips in play.

      After Cameron Cornell was eliminated in 5th place by 4th place finisher Robert Pardo, Dykshteyn knocked out Pardo to continue his march to the 12 million chip mark.

      The tournament began with 520 entries for a total buy-in of $1.3 million. The field featured 13 WSOP bracelet holders and multiple WPT title holders.  In addition to Josephy, the bracelet holders included 3 time winner "Miami" John Cernuto, and two time winners Matt Matros, "Rep" Porter and Brock Parker*

      The well decorated field also included 2010 WPT Borgata Poker Open Champion Dwyte Pilgrim, two time WPT winner Cornel Cimpan and 2005 WSOP Main Event runner-up Steve Dannenmann.

      The five days of poker (two Day 1s) started with Woodward (1A) and Steve Saklad (1B) earning a $3,000 bonus as chip leaders at the end of their respective starting days.

      Woodward worked his big stack to the final table, while Saklad cashed in 19th place for ($6,903).

      By the end of Day 2 the field was trimmed to 54 players as everyone returning for Day 3 was in the money.  Those who cashed included WSOP bracelet holder and WPT titlist Paul Darden, Event 8 Champion Mike Dentale, Ian Palomo, Vinny Pahuja, John Lakatosh and Dave Inselberg.

      Four woman made the money. Grace Sun (22nd) was the last woman standing and was joined at the pay window by Stephanie Hubbard, Joanne Monteavaro and Cathy Dever.

      The last player to cash on Day 3 was Ofir Mor (in 11th place).  Mor was the third place finisher in the 2010 WPT Borgata Poker Open (he won $267,000 in that event). Mor's elimination sent the final 10 players into Day 4 and the final table.

      Liu's thrilling day concluded with his largest poker payday -- which is nearly double his previous career tournament earnings of $182,000.

      "This is my biggest accomplishment," says Liu, who joins Russel Crane (2011) and Alex Queen (2010) as Borgata Spring Poker Open Champions.

      Final Table Results
      1st Jia Liu (Broolyn, NY) $312,483
      2nd Larry Abrams (Mahwah, NJ)$175,700
      3rd Russ Dykshteyn (Brooklyn, NY) $112,950
      4th Robert Pardo (Mount Vernon, NY) $89,733
      5th Cameron Cornell (Asbury Park, NY) $70,280
      6th Chad Batista (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) $57,730
      7th Cliff Josephy (Syosset, NY) $45,808
      8th Matt Woodward (Las Vegas, NV) $35,768
      9th Michael Borovetz (Pittsburgh, PA) $25,100
      10th Mike Meskin (Belmont, MA) $16,315

      * Full List of Participants with WSOP Bracelet

      Miami John Cernuto - 3 WSOP bracelets
      Matt Matros - 2 WSOP bracelets
      Ralph "REP" Porter - 2 WSOP bracelets
      Brock Parker - 2 WSOP bracelets
      Mike 'Little Man' Sica - 1 WSOP bracelets
      Ken 'Teach' Aldridge - 1 WSOP bracelet
      Kathy Liebert - 1 WSOP bracelet
      Gavin Smith - 1 WSOP bracelet, 1 WPT title
      Freddy Rouhani - 1 WSOP bracelet
      Chris Bell - 1 WSOP bracelet
      Jeff Papola - 1 WSOP bracelet
      Brian Lemke - 1 WSOP bracelet

      Championship Event Winner - Liu

      $2500 + $200 Championship NLH

      Jia Liu (Broolyn, NY) 
      $312,483

      On the final hand Jia Liu puts Larry Abrams all in for his last 750k.

      Liu: K♣ 4
      Abrams: A♠ J♣

      Flop: 7♠ 2♣ K (pair of kings for Liu)

      Turn: 6♣

      River: 7

      Liu dodges the last three aces in the deck and is the Borgata Spring Poker Open Champion.  "It's still not sinking in," says the 25 year-old, who takes down his biggest poker score.  "I'm numb right now."

      Liu doesn't consider himself a poker professional, but will now look to play in more tournaments. He considers this win redemption for the 2010 Borgata Spring Open when he cashed in 18th place ($4,000) after holding the chip lead at the bubble.

      Liu says two pivotal hands helped win the title.  The first was not going broke with pocket aces against Abrams pocket 10s.

      "I was supposed to be out with aces," he says acknowledging that had all the chips gone in preflop, Abrams would have hit a full house on the river to take the title.  Instead a scary board made it easy for him to fold to Abrams' river bet.

      The other key hand came when Abrams slow played pocket kings and Liu flopped a flush to take all but 750k of Abrams' chips.

      "This is my biggest accomplishment," says Liu, who wins the trophy and $312,483 as the Spring Open champion.

      Liu's Crew

      Championship Event Runner Up - Abrams

      $2500 + $200 Championship NLH

      Larry Abrams (Mahwah, NJ) 
      $175,700

      Larry Abrams is the Borgata Spring Poker Open runner up and is a classy 2nd place finisher to Jia Liu. "Nice kid," says Abrams who loses with A♠ J♣ against Liu's K♣ 4 when a king flops.

      "Nice, guy," Liu replies. And a nice friendly heads up match that lasts three hours.

      "It was a lot of fun," says the business owner who pockets $175,700 as runner-up. "The final table was great."

      Abrams is a regular tournament player when Borgata holds one of it's five series throughout the year.  The 45-year-old family man has two Borgata cashes for ~$9,000 each, including a 75th place finish ($9,644) in the 2011 WPT Borgata Poker Open.

      Abrams had 3/4 of the chips in play at the dinner break, but ran into some bad luck later in the evening.  

      One pivotal hand came when Abrams flopped top pair, top kicker with AJ, but Liu flopped the joint with Q 10.  The flopped straight gave Liu the much needed double-up and the stacks were virtually even after the hand.

      "I played well, I can't complain," says Abrams, "I just couldn't finish it at the end."

      Larry Abrams is the second place finisher who earns $175,700 for his four days of poker.

      Champ: Liu Continues the Momentum

      $2500 + $200 Championship NLH

      Blinds 60/120k, 10k ante

      Larry Abrams and Jia Liu go to the flop in a limp pot.

      Flop: Q♠ 5♠ 4♠

      Abrams check-calls Liu's 300k bet

      Turn: 5♣

      Abrams check-calls Liu's 500k bet

      River: J

      Abrams checks, Liu bets 800k, Abrams raises to 1.6 million, Liu calls

      Abrams: K K♣ (pair of kings)
      Liu: 10♠ 9♠ (flopped flush)

      Liu's winning flush gives him all but 750k of the 15.6 million chips in play.

      Event 20: Stuck On Ten

      $260 + $40 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)

      There's a shove every other hand but nobody wants to call or mix it up.

      Finally Matt Burnitz (Paoli, PA) an Joe Liberta (Berlin, NJ) make it to the river.

      Joe from the small blind with 10-J suited calls from the small blind. He hits a ten on the flop.

      Board double pairs Kings and has a club flush possibility.

      Joe checks the river and Matt fires away. Joe tanks and comes to the correct conclusion with a good call.

      Board: 5-K-10-7-K

      Pair of tens was good as Matt claimed to fold J-Q for the busted straight.

      Joe increases his chip lead with 700,000.

      Blinds are 8,000 / 16,000 with 2,000 antes.

      Event 20: Final Table

      $260 + $40 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)

      Final Table of Ten

      1. Eric Natishvili - 200,000
      2. Jim - 120,000
      3. Joe Liberta - 600,000
      4. Comrad - 250,000
      5. Howard Wolper - 230,000
      6. Mark Borges - 120,000
      7. Hal Stickel - 230,000
      8. Donald Brown - 110,000
      9. Matt Burnitz - 300,000
      10. James Giura - 120,000

      Blinds: 6000 / 12,000 with 2000 antes.

      Total Buy In - $42,900

      First place - $12,485

      Event 20: 11th Place - Kressel

      $260 + $40 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)

      David Kressel (Brooklyn, NY)
      $832

      David Kressel ran into a flopped straight of Matt Burnitz (Paoli, PA).

      David proudly showing his bounty chip of which he just lost.

      Event 20: 12th Place - Cotcamp

      $260 + $40 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry)

      Dustin Cotcamp (Hopewell Junction, NY)
      $832

      Dustin dusted off a ton of chips to Joe Liberta (Berlin, NJ) on a board of 4-4-J-10-10.

      Joe tabled K-K and Dustin declined showing.

      With only a few thousand let, Dustin went all in a couple hands later and failed to connect.

      Champ: Ace on the Turn Closes the Gap

      $2500 + $200 Championship NLH 

      Blinds 60k/120k, 10k ante

      Larry Abrams and Jia Liu are all in preflop and Abrams is at risk for 3.175 million.

      Liu: 10♠ 10♣ 
      Abrams: A♣ 8

      Flop: 6 8♠ 4♠

      Turn: A(Abrams pair of aces)

      River: 5

      Abrams' pair of aces gets the double up and he's back to 6.4 million while Liu has 9.2 million.