Friday, November 18, 2011

Event 15 Recap

$1500 + $150 Heads Up No Limit Hold'em

A couple of birthday boys battled it out in the heads up championship match before Alex Queen (Bethlehem, PA) beat Darren Elias (Erie, PA), two games to one, to take the title and the 29,098 first place prize.

"It's a breath of fresh air," said Queen about the format just one week before his 23rd birthday, "It's fun to do something different and it's great to win."

For Elias, the runner-up finish wasn't a spoiler on this 25th birthday, as he was glad to celebrate
his $14,550 payday with friends and family over dinner.

"It's more exciting," said Elias about playing heads up, "I enjoy it more than a regular tournament it's a good change of pace.

The NCAA basketball style bracket was a best 2 out of 3 games in each round, featured two WSOP bracelet holders in Jason Young and Brian Lemke. They both missed the money as did 2011 Borgata Poker Open Champion Bobby Oboodi ($922,00) and former heads up champions Christian Harder (Sept. 2011), Jeremy McLaughlin (Sept. 2010), Jesse Yaginuma (Sept. 2009), and Chalie Hook (June, 2009).

After getting a bye in the first round, Queen swept his first three matches against Eracles Panayiotou, Cliff Ziff, and Jamie Kerstetter. The quarterfinal win set up a semis match-up against Olivier Busquet, the 2009 Borgata Poker Open Champion ($926,000).

The match went to a third game and Queen felt fortunate to beat the more experienced heads up veteran. "He's literally one of the best in the world," said Queen, "I tried not to be intimidated and was able run good in a couple of spots."

Elias' trip to the finals started with wins over Adel Shakerian and Dan Pignataro, before staging an epic 5 hour marathon Thursday night against Yaginuma. Elias eventually won the third game after the clock struck midnight, signaling the start of his birthday.

The final eight players returned Friday for quarterfinal action where they played for the $75,000 total buy-in.

Despite losing in the quarters, Anthony Zinno, Denis Gnidash, Jamie Kerstetter, and Michael McNeil all cashed for $3,638, while semifinal losers Busquet and Randy Feder, each earned $7,275.

Kerstetter became the first woman to cash in a Borgata heads up event, while Feder, who lost to Elias in the semis, cashed in this event for the second straight time. He advanced one round further than his quarterfinal loss in September.

This is Queen's second Borgata first place finish. The 2010 Borgata Spring Poker Open Champion ($356,000), is looking to take this momentum into the Fall Poker Open Championship event which gets underway Sunday.

Tournament Results


Alex Queen def Darren Elias

Final Four

Alex Queen def Olivier Busquet
Darren Elias def Randy Feder

Elite 8

Darren Elias def Michael McNeil
Alex Queen def Jamie Kerstetter
Olivier Busquet def Denis Gnidash
Randy Feder def Anthony Zinno

Sweet 16

Darren Elias vs Jesse Yaginuma
Michael McNeil def DJ Mossey
Anthony Zinno def Feming Chan
Randy Feder def Tom Cope
Jamie Kerstetter def Jamil Wakil
Alex Queen def Cliff Ziff
Denis Gnidash def Christian Harder
Olivier Busquet def Dave Inselberg

Second Round

Darren Elias def Dan Pignataro
Jesse Yaginuma def Travis Greenawalt
DJ Mossey def Jacob Toole
Michael McNeil def Jonas Bendikas
Anthony Zinno def Yaron Reuven
Feming Chan def Nick Petrangelo
Tom Cope def Chalie Hook
Randy Feder def Akash Seth
Jamil Wakil def Srinivas Reddy
Jamie Kerstetter def Dan Colman
Cliff Ziff def Adam Gerber
Alex Queen def Eracles Panayiotou
Christian Harder def Thomas Pomponio
Denis Gnidash def Travis Chapman
Dave Inselberg def Orson Young
Olivier Busquet def Bobby Oboodi

First Round

Darren Elias def Adel Shakerian
Yaron Reuven def Jesse Cohen
Orson Young def Ryan Eriquezzo
Chalie Hook def Michael Gagliano
Olivier Busquet def Tim Finne
Travis Greenawalt def Michael Deckard
Jacob Toole def Douglas Lovelace
Anthony Zinno def Jeremy McLaughlin
Eracles Panayiotou def Brian Lemke
Denis Gnidash def Steve Ryan
Dave Inselberg def Matthew Weiss
Jamie Kerstetter def Jesse Rockowitz
Adam Gerber def Jason Young
Randy Feder def Michael Hahn
Jesse Yaginuma def Matt Maccaroni
Travis Chapman def Alon Shahar
Nick Petrangelo def Bill Blanda
Thomas Pomponio def Alan Kornblau


Dan Pignataro
Donald Mossey
Michael McNeil
Feming Chan
Tom Cope
Jonas Bendikas
Akash Seth
Jamil Wakil
Srinivas Reddy
Dan Colman
Cliff Ziff
Alex Queen
Christian Harder
Bobby Oboodi

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