Saturday, November 19, 2011

Event 18: Big Hand For Bryan

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Bryan Leskowitz (Leominster, MA) knocks out Mikey Dentale and Kim Yuster in one swoop.

On a flop of 6 8 10♣ , Kim ships her last 8 big blinds.
Mikey flats and Bryan jams holding J♣ J.

Mikey calls and tables Q9 while Kim is way behind holding 3 2 .

Turn is the 8 and the river is 2♠.

With that monster pot that knocked out two players, Bryan Leskowitz has sky-rocketed up to 155,000.

44 players remain.

Average stack = 88,636.

Blinds: 1000 / 2000 with 300 antes.

Event 18: Where They're At

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Jake Toole (New York, NY) - 220,000

Jake had A-J in the big blind and didn't think Olivier Busquet had woken up to K-K so he shoved and quickly realized he was far behind. But, you know how cowboys are ace magnets, as Jake hit his three-outter, felted Busquet, build a nice stack, and hasn't looked back.

Looks like Toole is second in chips, gaining quickly on Jason Min.

Jason Min.....230,000
Jake Toole.....220,000
Steve Shankman...200,000
Ian Silverman.......210,000

Noteable stacks:
Sirous Jamshidi......66,000
Josh Brikis..............55,000

Event 16 Recap

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

The bounty hunters were out in force again at the start of the $700 + $70 +$500 Purple Chip Bounty event yesterday.   When all the entries and re-entries were counted, the total was 236.  Total buy-ins generated was $165,200.  There was also a total of $118,000 in bounties to be collected.

Lots of Borgata notables turned out for this event: Adam Lippert, Nachman Berlin, David Zeitlen, Feming Chan, Keith Crowder, Ryan Eriquezzo, George Medrano, Abe Korotki, Lee Childs, Austen Johnson, Bill Blanda, Steve Ryan, Jason Young, Sheree Bykofski, Jesse Yaginuma, David Inselberg, Matthew Maccaroni, Russell Crane, Jamie Kerstetter, Josh Brikis, Ben Klier, Kevin Saul, Jeremy McLaughlin, Alex Nepomnyaschiy, Christian Harder, Arkadiy Tsinis, Johannsy Joseph, Miami John Cernuto, Chris Bell, and Mike 'Little Man' Sica.

The money bubble burst shortly after midnight on day one and four players would cash out before the close of play.  That left 20 players to return on day two.

WPT titleist Kevin Saul (Chicago, IL) led the field with 530,000 chips.  He rode that stack all the way to the final table of seven, but that's where his run ended.  He finished 7th for $6,810.

Rachel Nagy (Mooresville, NC) was the only woman to make it to day two and therefore was the last woman standing.  She busted out in 8th place, earning $4,807.

The final table included two players who had been there before in the previous week.

Michael Michnik (Hollywood, FL) already had two second-place finishes during the Borgata Fall Poker Open.  He finished 2nd in event 1 ($49,868) and 2nd in event 10 ($17,576).  His third final-table appearance of the Open ended in 5th place ($12,018 plus bounties).  Michnik already resides at the top of the Borgata Leaderboard, but this finish will extend his lead.

'Action' Bob Hwang (Barnegat, NJ) returned for day two in 15th place in chips, but made it all the way to 4th place before busted out, picking up $15,223.

Steven Rodriguez (Staten Island, NY) finished in 3rd place, earning $19,229.  This is his second 3rd-place finish during the Borgata Fall Poker Open.  He finished 3rd in event 8, $350 Deep Stack NL ($17,477) just a few days ago.

Leonid Vizirov (Chalfont, PA) was 17th out of 20 returning players, but he parlayed his short-stack into a second-place finish, good for $25,238.  Vizirov has numerous cashes at Borgata and elsewhere, but this is his highest finish and largest cash on record.
Jeff Papola (New York, NY) finished in 1st place, earning $42,469 and the engraved Borgata trophy (along with the 11 bounties he collected along the way, for another $5,500).  "I was running really hot right away" he commented on this event. 
Although he doesn't consider himself a 'short-handed specialist', Papola won his WSOP bracelet in a Six Handed event and also had a 2nd place finish in another Six Handed event in 2010.   This summer, he took 3rd in another Six Handed event at the WSOP. 
When asked how his poker life has changed since online poker's 'Black Friday', he said "I play a lot of smaller buy-in events that I wouldn't have come down for before".

Event 18: Karthik Crushes Kings

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Over at table 4, Karthik up to 75,000 after his A-K crushes Opponent's K-K.

Karthik was all in pre-flop at at risk against a bigger stack. Wasn't looking good until:

Ace on the flop for Karthik followed by another A on the river.

Board: Q-2-A-2-A.

After table seven broke a few minutes ago, Steve Ryan was moved to T-4 in seat 1.

6-tables, 52 players all getting closer to the bubble.

Event 18: Silver-Man-Down

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

More action at Table-2 where Ian Silverman knocks a player out in 63nd place after his JJ holds up against 77. Opponent check raised all in on a flop of 6-6-10. Ian snapped with Jacks.

Turn: 10
River: 5

A couple hands later Ian gets it in against Ryan Eriquezzo. Ryan had a flush draw with two overs on the flop but didn't improve. Ian's 8-7 took down the pot with one pair. Ryan is out in 62nd.

Ian stacks up to 200,000 still short of chip leader Jason Min.

In between the back-to-back Silverman knock-outs Mikey "Unbelievable" Dentale was moved to in the tables last seat (to the left of Min).

Event 18: Numbers Update

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

61 players remain on seven tables in the Signature Room.

Still a ways to go until we reach the bubble at 28th place.

260 entered at 11AM and plunked down $1000 + $90 to take their shot at the $260,000 Total-Buy-In.

These are some serious tournament players battling the felt for some serious prize money.

At 2AM players will bag and tag chips then return tomorrow at noon for Day-2.

Each level lasts 60 minutes. Players just returned from a brief break and now have begun Level 12 where blinds are 800 / 1600 and antes are 200.

Event 18: Nice Reid

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Mike Reid (Devon, PA)

"Put me on the blog or my boss won't believe I'm really here" said Mike Reid (Devon, PA). Mike works at the Marriot in King of Prussia, PA and was given the day off to play in this Event.

If he makes it to day two, after the tournament concludes he'll have to work tomorrow at 5:00 to 1:00am.

This is Mike's first $1000 tournament thanks to a friend who was confident enough to stake him.

Shout out to his friend's John and John following Borgatapokerblog in PA.

Event 16: 1st Place - Papola

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

On the final hand of the tournament, all the chips went in on the turn.  Leonid Vizirov had trip Aces, but was beat by Jeff Papola's straight. 

Jeff Papola (New York, NY)  

The river was a brick and Jeff Papola had claimed the pot and the tournament.

Jeff Papola finished in 1st place, earning $42,469 and the engraved Borgata trophy (along with the 11 bounties he collected along the way, for another $5,500).

Event 18: Steve X 2

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Steve Shankaman & Steve Ryan

Two Steve's sitting next to each other battling out for the blinds.

Rough start for Borgata regular Steve Ryan who earlier ran into set over set not once but twice in the same level.

He somehow survived those severe blows but admitted it shook him up. "From that point on I figured I would just play super crazy and see if I get there" said Steve Ryan. Steve also commented he's taking a page from his friend Ryan Eriquezzo's playbook whom he gave a nice compliment to. Steve Ryan has 85,000.

The other Steve at the table is among the chip leaders, just south of 200,000.

Event 16: 2nd Place - Vizirov

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Heads-up play began with  Leonid Vizirov holding about 1.7 million chips to Jeff Papola's 3 million.

On the third hand, the board read A A T K and all the chips went in the middle.

Leonid Vizirov (Chalfont, PA)

Leonid had A7 for trip Aces, but Jeff had QJ suited and had turned a straight.  River was a 9 and it was over.
Leonid Vizirov finished in 2nd place, earning $25,238.  Leonid has numerous cashes at Borgata and elsewhere, but this is his highest finish and largest cash on record.

Event 18: Chip & A Scare

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Josh Brikis (Pittsburgh, PA) - 44,000

Josh Brikis scoops a pot and sort of sends his Opponent packing.

Josh raised in the cut-off and Opponent jammed on the button. Josh called and the two heads-up players prepared for a showdown.

Josh, the "Inside the Minds" co-founder/poker instructor had the lead with A-K vs. A-J.

Board ran clean: 4-3-8-10-3.

Opponent collected his things and just made it past the Signature Room exit when the dealer announced he still had one 100 chip left, enough for one ante. We called the kid back to see if he could pull off the miracle "chip and a chair" comeback but he was out on the following hand:

Sirous Jamshidi had 4-3, saw a flop of 4-4-Q with a player betting into him. Runner, runner 6-6 didn't scare Sirous who scooped a healthy pot.

Josh Brikis at 44,000.
Sirous Jamshidi at 40,000.

Joanne Monteavaro busted one level ago leaving three women remaining.

Event 16: 3rd Place - Rodriguez

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE) 

Jeff Papola opened for 80k on the button, Leonid Vizirov called from the small blind, then Steven Rodriguez moved all-in from the big blind. 

Steven Rodriguez (Staten Island, NY)  
 Jeff wasted no time and moved in over the top.  Leonid folded.  Steven held KJ offsuit.  Jeff was way ahead with pocket Queens.  The board came Q J 8 A 4 and Jeff took the pot with a set of Queens.

Steven Rodriguez finished in 3rd place, earning $19,229.  This is his second 3rd-place finish during the Borgata Fall Poker Open.  He finished 3rd in event 8, $350 Deep Stack NL ($17,477) just a few days ago.

Event 16: Chip Counts

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE) 

Leonid Vizirov takes a pot from Steven Rodriguez when they both have an Ace for top pair, but Leonid's kicker is superior.

Blinds are now up to 20k/40k with 4k antes.

Jeff Papola - 2.4 million
Leonid Vizirov - 1.5 million
Steven Rodriguez - 800k

Average is ~1.5 million (37.5 big blinds).

Event 18: The Hulk In The House

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Joe Ferrigno - Proud Grandpa

Grandpa's are representing at the 2011 Borgata Fall Poker Open. Yesterday "Grandpa" Jay Zimmete took down Event 17 Stud and today Joe "The Hulk" Ferrigno (Manchester, NY) is trying to take down Event 18.

Like his cap says, Joe is a proud Grandpa. His Grandson named Braydon is only 9 months old.

Ferrigno was up as high at 120,000 but chipped down to 85,000 after missing a nut-flush draw.

"I had A-7 suited and lost to 4-8" explained Joe. Opponent hit two pair on the flop and Joe bricked out.

A warning to all the young guns out there - don't make Joe angry. You wouldn't like Joe when he's angry.

Event 18: Ladies Night

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Four women remain in Event 18.

Barbara Rogers is riding a short stack at Josh Brikis' and Sirous Jamshidi's table.

"I'm waiting to make a move" said the Poker Player magazine employee. Barbara just flew in from Las Vegas and was happy to learn she was in contention for the Last Woman Standing.

Borgata regular Joanne Monteavero has 25,000.

Then there's Kim Yuster (Bayside, NY) who just tripled up thru Jason Min.

Jason isolated three-players with two black Queens and Kim called off the rest of her dwindling stack.

Ladies were looking good untill Kim hit runner, runner, K-10 to keep her dreams alive.

Board: J-7-8-10-K. Rightfully so, Jason felt sick about the hand, questioning the logic behind Kim's play. Kim defended herself saying, "I'm not proud".

Proud or not she won a nice pot. Yuster is now up around 60,000. She already has a Last Woman Standing title during the Fall Poker Open and is looking to repeat and finish deep.

Event 16: Vizirov Down to 1 Million

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE) 

Leonid Vizirov min-raised to 60k on the button, Steven Rodriguez folded from the small blind, and Jeff Papola announced he was all-in from the big.

Leonid, who has about 1 million behind, gave it some thought, then folded.

Still three players.  Jeff Papola still leads.

Event 18: Min To The Max

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Jason Min has build up a nice tournament chip leading stack right around 300,000 and has left the table to take a break.

Right before departing, Ryan Eriquezzo joined the table and chatted it up with Jason.

Jason was telling Ryan how he got most of his chips with 9-3 off.

Jason 3-bet with 9-3 and Opponent 4-bet causing Jason to flat. "I mean I can't just let him win it there." explained Min.

Flop: 10-7-3 with two diamonds.

"He had that look - I know he's empty" said Jason who hit his three and called down his Opponent.

Turn was a J. Another 6,000 into the pot and Jason called.

On the river 4, Jason watched his Opponent think and think, "He finally builds up the courage and stuffs in his last 12,000 - I snap it off with the three and he has A-K."

Great read, great play, great story.

Even Ryan, a fellow maniac seemed impressed.

Event 16: Stuck at Three

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE) 

The final three are trading pots and pushing chips around the table.  No significant movement yet.

Event 18: A-A-A-A

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Couple of knock-outs as I trolled the floor.

First Mike Armstrong (Neptune, NJ) calls an all in for UTG with A-Q and felts Opponent with K-J.

Pretty standard as 7-10-A-4-J hits the board.

"I've been under the radar all day" said the Construction Estimator.

Then Mike Sabat (New York, NY) really wins his race holding A-K off vs. J-J.

Mike nails an ace on the flop then two more on the turn and river.

Quad Aces for Sabat on a board that reads: 10-Q-A-A-A.

Mike works in the finance industry in NY. His finances here are about 90,000 chips.

Event 16: Play Has Resumed

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

The final three have returned from dinner and resumed play.

Blinds are now 15k/30k with 4k antes. 

Here's a reminder what they're playing for:

1st   $42,469
2nd  $25,238
3rd   $19,229

Event 18: Back On The Felt

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Dinner break is over as the cards are once again in the air.

Started the day with 260 players and we're currently down to 90 on ten tables.

Top 27 get the green stuff with 28th place being the bubble.

Everyone's playing for the $260,000 Total Buy-In.

3,900,000 total chips in play.

Players will bag and tag at 2am so we still have 5 hours of hard-hitting poker left.

Event 18: Dinner Time Tweets

 $1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em     

The latest news from the twitter-verse:

HighlandFox Timothy Finne
42k at 500-1000 after dinner. 95/260 left.

poochpoker Joe Cappuccio
34K 500/1000/100

JBrikis Josh Brikis
25.5k at dinner for an hour. Come back to 500/1000

Event 18: Dinner Time

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em   

Level 9 is done and that means it's dinner time.  The 95 surviving players have been rewarded with 60-minutes away from the felt and a $10 dinner voucher.

Play will resume at 8:35pm.

Jason Min still leads the field with ~140k.

Event 16: Dinner Break Chip Counts

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Players are on a one hour dinner break and Jeff Papola has more than half the chips in play. When play resumes at 8:40 pm blinds are 15k/30/4k ante.

Name-Chip Count

Jeff Papola 2.85 million (95 BB)
Leonid Vizirov 1.25 million (41 BB)
Steve Rodriguez 775k (25 BB)

Event 18: Interesting Tables

 $1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em    

As the field condenses, some interesting tables are developing.

Table 10 is currently home to:
Sirous Jamshidi
Mark Baatz
Ari Albilia
Steve Ryan
John Lakatosh

Table 10 will be the next table to break.

Table 9 is home to:
Sirous Jamshidi
Miguel Borrero
Jesse Yaginuma
Ryan Eriquezzo
Ted Geier

99 players remain and they're anxiously awaiting their dinner break.

Event 18: Goners

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em   

Vinny Pahuja moved in with KQ and got looked up by a player holding AT.  The best hand held up and Vinny headed for the door.

Gordon Eng ran his AK smack into Mike 'Unbelievable' Dentale's pocket Aces.  Gordon reported to the rail.  Mike chipped up to ~95k.

Also gone:
Tony Sinishtaj
Michael Somma
Eugene Todd

Event 16: Nuts vs 2nd Nuts

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

After losing more than half his stack to Jeff Papola, Leonid Vizirov doubles-up Steven Rodriguez and Vizirov has gone from the chip lead to fumes.

The board is 5 A♠ 7♠ 6♠ 4 and Vizirov bets 100k. Rodriguez moves all in for 316k more and Virzirov snap calls.

Rodriguez: K♠ 8♠
Virzirov: Q♠ 10♠

Both players hit the flush on the turn and Rodriguez coyly called the 75k bet with the nuts before moving all in on the river. Virzirov has now lost 1.7 million chips in the last two big pots he's played and is down to just 800k.

Rodriguez is now second in chips with 1.2 million, trailing Jeff Papola's 2.7 million.

Event 18: 110 Remain

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em   

Level 9, blinds 400/800 with 75 antes, is underway.

This will be the last level before dinner break, which will happen at about 7:35pm, for one hour.

110 players remain at 11 tables.  Average stack is ~35k (43 big blinds).

Event 16: Papola & Vizirov Tangle

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Jeff Papola and Leonid Vizirov play a two million chip pot, which is nearly half the chips in play.

After being check-raised on the flop of Q5 A♠, Papola check calls the J♣ on the turn.

The river is the A and Vizirov leads out for 200k. Papola reraises to 627k total and Vizirov goes in the tank. After several minutes, Vizirov calls and Papola turns over the nut flush with K 2.

Vizirov mucks his hand and is cut to 1.5 million, while Papola takes his stack to nearly 2.5 million.

A couple of players stop by media row including Papola's good friend Gionni Demers and most agree that this is Papola's tournament to lose.

Papola has a WSOP bracelet in this format and as one person said, "he runs like God. When you're the best in the world and run that good, you're tough to beat."

Event 18: Break

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em    

Level 8 is done and it's time for another break.  Jason Min leads the pack with ~95k.

111 players remain.  Luckily, a handful of them are tweeters:
poochpoker Joe Cappuccio
43K 400/800/75

HighlandFox Timothy Finne
37,975 going to 400-800. Table is a dream.

Flashgordon227 Gordon Eng
21k going to 400 800 #lookingforadblup

Event 18: Latest Action

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em   

Matt Kleckner (Coplay,PA) got his short-stack in good with pocket Kings, getting action from a player holding A3 suited.

The board ran clean, until the river.  An Ace on the river spelled the end for Matt.

Paul Snead has also busted out and departed.

Steve Ryan's AK was racing against Russell Crane's pocket Jacks.  Steve won this race and doubled up to about 35k.

115 players remain.  Average stack is ~34k (56 big blinds).

Event 16: Papola Gets'em Back

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Stephen Rodriguez raises from the SB, Jeff Papola 3-bets in the BB, Rodriguez calls.

Flop: 3♣ 6♠ 5

Rodriguez checks, Papoloa bets 120k, Rodriguez calls.

Turn: 5

Rodriguez checks, Papola bets 190k, Rodriguez moves all in, Papola calls and is at risk.

Rodriguez: A♠ 8♣
Papola: Q Q♣

River: 9

The total river bet double-up for Papola is 608k, as the two player flip positions.

Event 18: Sweatin' the Boys

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em  

Down to 119 players here in the Signature Room.

Average stack is now about 33k (55 big blinds).

 Mike Dentale, Deb, and Bill Blanda

Mike Dentale is doing well today.  He's sitting behind about 75k, more than double the average.

And sitting behind Mike is Deb, watching the game from her vantage point between Mike and Bill Blanda.  Bill's doing fine with an about-average stack.

Event 18: Min Chipping Up

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em  

George Medrano (Rego Park, NY) got his short-stack in holding pocket Jacks and got action from Jason Min, (East Meadow, NY) who had AT off.

 Jason Min

An Ace on the flop was all Jason needed to claim the pot and send George to the rail.

Jason chipped up to about 90k and possibly the chip lead.

Blinds are up to 300/600 with 75 antes (level 8).

Event 16: Hit and Run

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

(l-r) Vizirov, Rodriguez, & Papola

On the last hand of the level (8k/16k/2k ante) Steve Rodriguez is all in and at risk with pocket 9s against Jeff Papola's pocket 10s. Rodriguez has one foot out the door until he spikes a 9 on the turn to double up.

Papola ships 728k to Rodriguez as players head to a 10 minute break

Chip Counts

Leonid Vizirov 2.1 million (21 BB)
Steven Rodriguez 1.6 million (16 BB)
Jeff Papola 950k (9 BB)

Blinds heading up to 5k/10k/3k ante

Event 18: 140 Remain

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em  

Another table gone and they're down to 140 players remaining.

Average stack is almost 28k.  At 250/500 blinds, that's about 56 big blinds.

Steve Ryan was down to only 15 big blinds when he shoved holding 75 suited.

He was up against AT suited and needed to improve to survive...which he did.

He first made a straight, then a flush, and more than doubled up.

Event 16: 4th Place - Hwang

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Bob Hwang (Barnegat, NJ)

Down to 500k, Hwang shoves blind on blind into Leonid Vizirov. Hwangs pocket 7s are dominated by Vizirov's pocket queens, but he picks up a gutterball on the flop.

The turn and river brick out as Bob Hwang finishes in 4th place for $15,223.

Vizirov now has the chip lead with 2.2 million.

Event 18: Tweet-Time

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em  

After another break, 158 players returned to level 7,  blinds of 250/500 with 50 antes.

Break-time Tweets:

poochpoker Joe Cappuccio
38K 250/500/50

MattKleckner Matt Kleckner
23.5k @ break, nothing too exciting...going to 250/500/50 when we resume.

HighlandFox Timothy Finne
50,250 at 250-500.

Flashgordon227 Gordon Eng
17k good for 32bbs for the next 50 mins the most chips I've had all tourney. #grindingallday

Event 18: Payouts

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em  

Entries: 260
Total Buy-In: $260,000

Place - Amount

1st   $70,614
2nd  $41,613
3rd   $23,959
4th   $19,419
5th   $15,132
6th   $12,610
7th   $10,088
8th     $7,566
9th     $5,044
10-12 $3,279
13-15 $2,774
16-18 $2,522
19-27 $2,270

Event 16: Final Four

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Players are back from break as the blinds are up to 6k/12k/2k ante.

Chip Counts

Leonid Vizirov 2.1 million
Jeff Papola 1.5 million
Bob Hwang 690k
Steven Rodriguez 570k

What's left in the Prize Pool:

Place - Amount

1st $42,469
2nd $25,238
3rd $19,229
4th $15,223

Event 18: Mid-level Tweets

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em  

Some interesting tweets have arrived mid-level:

poochpoker Joe Cappuccio
tripled up AQ vs Q10ss and A9ss all in on Q67ss. 35K 200/400/50

SteveRyanPoker Steve Ryan
Already grinding 20 bigs. Ugh what happened to my 40k At level 2. About 10 k @ 400

Flashgordon227 Gordon Eng
Just called off my stack wit mid pair and was right up to 16k

Event 16: 5th Place - Michnick

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Michael Michnick (Hollywood, FL)

Michnick loses a 1/2 million chip pot to Bob Hwang when his AK is run down by Hwang's AQ, when a queen hits the turn.

Michael Michnick, currently in first place on the Borgata Tournament Leaderboard, finishes in 5th place for $12,018.

Event 18: Gone and Gone

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em 

Lee Childs was left short-stacked when his pocket Aces were cracked by pocket Queens earlier. 

His chips went in with JT suited, but was dominated by AT.  Lee hit the rail and is already signing up for his next event, the Satellite that started at 2pm.

Johanssy Joseph got his last chips in the middle against two opponents.  One folded on the turn and Johanssy's T9 suited (flopped top pair, turned flush draw) had a lot of outs heads-up against pocket Aces. 

None of those outs arrived on the river, however, and Johanssy was busted.

Event 16: 6th Place - Fox

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Matt Fox (Ozone Park, NY)

Event 16: Out-Foxed, Papola Up to 2 Million

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Blinds: 5k/10k/1k ante, each player with ~1 million chips

Matt Fox UTG raises to 25k, Jeff Papola makes it 62k
Fox 4-bets to 160k, Papola 5-bets to 375k, Fox calls

The flop is king high, Fox checks, Papola makes a healthy bet, Fox moves all in for his last 733k, Papola calls.

Papola: A A♠
Fox: A K

Papola's pocket aces take down the 2 million chip pot and Fox is out in 6th place for $8,818.

Event 16: 7th Place - Saul

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Kevin Saul (Chicago, IL)

Blinds 5k/10k/1k ante

On a board of J♠ 9♣ 8 Kevin Saul and Leonid Vizirov are all in with Vizirov at risk in a nearly 1 million chip pot

Saul: A♣ 10♣ (open ended straight draw, over card)
Vizirov 10 10♠ (same draw, pair of 10s)

Turn: 4

River: K

Vizrov's pair holds and he doubles 461k, leaving Saul with just 55k. After one double-up, Saul is out with AK against Matt Fox's A7.

WPT title holder Kevin Saul is out in 7th place for $6,810.

Event 18: Blinds Up, Tables Down

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em 

Blinds are up to 200/400 with 50 antes (level 6).

19 tables remain in action, all in the Signature Room.  That's 190 players remaining out of the 260 who entered.

27 will get paid, so there's a lot of poker left to play.

Event 16: Final Table

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)


1 Michael Michnick
2 Leonid Vizirov
3 Matt Fox
4 Steven Rodriguez
5 Kevin Saul
6 Jeff Papola
7 Bob Hwang

Event 18: Oops I Did It Again

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em 

Missed these familiar faces on my earlier pass through the crowd:

Michael Somma
Shlomi Salant
John Lakatosh
Mark Baatz
Ted Geier
Tony Sinishtaj
Jason Min
Mike Trivisonno
Air Albilia (fresh from his 9th place finish in event 17)

Event 16: 8th Place - Nagy

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Rachel Nagy (Mooresville, NC)

Nagy nursing a short stack all day is in for her last 53k. Matt Fox and Kevin Saul check to the river on a board of 6 4 J 7 10. Saul bets 80k into the side pot, Fox tanks and folds.

Saul shows 8 9 for the rivered straight. Nagy shows pocket 10s for a set that's no good.

Rachel Nagy finishes in 8th place for $4,807.

Event 16: 9th Place - Albilia

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Ariel Albilia (Syossett, NY)

Albilia busts with A6 suited against Jeff Papola's AQ for a 650k pot.

Ariel Albilia finishes in 9th place for $2,804.

PPI Perspective

As expected the Borgata Fall Poker Open tournament series has been a huge success, with massive fields and many familiar faces including Borgata regulars and popular poker pros.  The newest addition to the popular Borgata tournament series schedule offered a wide range of events to quench all poker players interest in a variety of buy-ins and types of tournaments offered.  From re-entry events, bounty, deep stack, Omaha, Seven Card Stud, Ladies event, and Seniors tournaments, there truly has been something for everyone.

Borgata's staff has been on point - as they always are - managing the large fields between The Signature Room and Poker room flawlessly.  With no less than four events running simultaneously several times throughout any given day, the team (including floor personnel, dealers and cashiers) has this event series running like a well oiled machine. 

Borgata's Live Updates Team keeps families, friends, and fans of the players well informed about all the news going on here during the Borgata Fall Poker Open.  From up to the minute chip leaders and human interest stories about the players to informative tournament updates, this crew of reporters adds a high level of excitement for anyone participating or following the events.

With promotions like the Borgata Fall Poker Open Tournament Leaderboard contest, where players receive points based upon participation and tournament results, and vie for a chance to win a Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship Event seat along with other prizes.  Borgata also held an online sweepstakes giving entrants the chance to win a $2700 entry into the Borgata Fall Poker Open Championship Event.  This contest was won by Borgata regular and PPI Pro Matt Mazzeo, who has had his share of success here at Borgata events over the past few years.

PPI (Poker Players International) - the most prolific representation and marketing agency in the world - is well represented here at the Borgata Fall Poker Open tournament series, and many more PPI Players are expected to be coming in for the $1 Million Guaranteed Championship event.  

While the Fall Open's Event 6 Deep Stack Turbo unfolded, an interesting story developed between PPI and one of its biggest supporters through the years.  As Craig Feldherr, an attorney and avid poker player from Long Island, made his way to the final table many eyes were following him on the Borgata Poker Blog and other social media sites.  Craig is much more than a poker player, he is truly an asset to the entire poker community and represents all the reasons millions of people around the world are passionate about the game. He supports and roots for the success of his friends within the game, participates in forums, conducts interviews with media and provides support to players.  He also processes the skills to compete with the best players in the world while finding the balance between his family, children and career.  

As I enthusiastically followed Craig's journey to becoming a Borgata Champion through Borgata's Live Updates and Craig's posts on FaceBook, I was reminded of the numerous times he would send me words of encouragement during events in which I have played in through the years. Scores of other Long Island-based players can say the same thing about Craig and the support he conveys to poker players during their tournament play. When Craig got heads up in the Fall Open's Event 6, he contacted me and asked,  "If I take this down, am I PPI material?" 

I was honored that he would want to be part of our organization that includes players from around the world representing WSOP and WPT Champions, accomplished poker authors, ambassadors to the game, and a wide range of players with success both on and off the felt.  Like many, I am proud of Craig and his poker accomplishments that I know he has worked so hard to achieve.  It was a pleasure to include him on the PPI roster with his Borgata Champion trophy picture.

Recently the partners at PPI teamed up with a new and innovative technology to develop and launch  With Bubble Protection, poker players can now purchase protection on their tournament buy-in and poker site fees for a modest premium.  A player’s buy-in and tournament site fees will be “Paid Back” to the player’s account upon finishing in the “Bubble” with instant verification and settlement of claims.  Unique in the industry, with Bubble Protection, the player doesn’t need to make a claim, or engage in any additional money requests. Player accounts are settled automatically. With Bubble Protection, online players worldwide can now preserve their bankroll and enjoy more tournaments, without the hassle or distraction of excessive losses or long forms.

“Bubble Protection’s genesis was the asking of a simple question, what is the single most effective way to help online poker players improve their poker results?” said Eugene Castro, Bubble Protection Creator and Company CEO. “We want to give players the ability to enjoy the game they love more often and more profitably through bankroll preservation, and variance reduction through the use of our proprietary Bubble Protection technology.”

Bubble Protection utilizes revolutionary technology created by Poker Pro Labs (, an industry leader in poker tracking technology. Bubble Protection will be available to all non-U.S. players for all regularly scheduled tournaments on PokerStars, Party Poker and iPoker Networks.

“Bubble Protection will be offered only in jurisdictions that permit online poker,” said Randall Kasper, CIO and Director of Legal Affairs. “Due to current regulations relating to online poker, Bubble Protection is currently not available in the United States. Although, we are anxiously awaiting the future opportunity to offer this sensible bankroll management tool to U.S. players.”

Chris Moorman the all-time leader in online poker earnings, utilizes the BubbleProtection technology. He can be seen endorsing and explaining the service through unique interactive video appearances at

As the Borgata Fall Poker Open series concludes with its Championship event this week, we wish all participants the best of luck and thank the Borgata for yet another exciting and successful tournament series.

Eric Siegel
Co-Founder, Director of Marketing PPI

Event 18: Familiar Faces

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em 

These folks are hard at work on the felt in the Signature Room:

Paul Snead
Jesse Cohen (fresh from his 13th place finish in event 17)
Steven Levy
Steven Cho
Eugene Todd
Jesse Yaginuma
Vinny Pahuja
James van Alstyne
Feming Chan (fresh from his 10th place finish in event 17)
Miguel Borrero
Josh Brikis
Johanssy Joseph (winner of event 14)
Frank Vizza
Mike Dentale
Barbara Rogers
Eric Panayiotou
Bill Blanda
Chris Bell
Russell Crane
Ben Klier
William Dugan

Event 16: 10th Place - Chan

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Feming Chan (West Windsor, NJ)

Chan (West Windsor, NJ) is down to 116k when he's knocked out by Bob Hwang who's AJ holds against KQ.

Chan finishes in 10th place for $2,003.

Event 18: Back From Break

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em 

Play has resumed after the break with blinds of 150/300 and 25 antes.

Registration is now closed. 

Unofficial player count is 260.

Event 16: 11th Place - McGuinness

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

John McGuinness (Toms River, NJ) and his pocket 2s don't connect against Matt Fox's pocket 9s for his last 120k.

McGuinness is out in 11th place for $2,003.

Event 16: 12th Place - Savitsky

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Thomas Savitsky (Abescon, NJ) is out for his last 95k when his Q 10 doesn't outrace Bob Hwang's pocket 3.

Savistsky finishes in 12th place for $2,003.

Event 18: It's Tweet Time!

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Second break of the day is underway, so it's time to check the tweets!

leechilds Lee Childs
6k. Going to 150/300/25. Grind time. @JCohen130 joined the table. Great run in 6max bud. Know you're disappointed but keep beastin.

HighlandFox Timothy Finne
17,375 at 150-300 25

Flashgordon227 Gordon Eng
Sitting at 11k ish. 2nd break grinding my life away

MattKleckner Matt Kleckner
23k goin to 2nd break...150/300/25 when we resume

BeatByRags Tim Byrd
Better round , up to 25k or so finally got my feet on the ground ,

poochpoker Joe Cappuccio
15K 150/300/25

Event 16: Final 12 Redraw

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Table 1

Matt Fox
Kevin Saul
Rachel Nagy
John McGuinness
Michael Michnick
Leonid Vizirov

Table 2

Aril Albilia
Feming Chan
Jeff Papola
Bob Hwang
Steven Rodriguez
Thomas Savitsky

Event 16: 13th Place - Cohen

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Jesse Cohen (Ardmore, PA) ships his last 117k to Steven Rodriguez when his Q 10 doesn't hit against A 6.

Cohen takes home $1,502 for his 13th place finish.

Event 16: Fox Doubles Through Chan

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Matt Fox is all in and at risk vs Feming Chan.

Fox: 88
Chan: AQ

Fox hits a set on the turn and doubles to 625k, Chan drops to 125k

Event 16: Chip Counts

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

Jeff Papola is the chip leader as blinds are now 4k/8k/1k ante.

Table 1

Steven Rodriguez 588k
Leonid Vizirov 363k
Rachel Nagy 144k
Jesse Cohen 437k

Table 2

Bob Hwang 480k
Kevin Saul 366k
Ariel Albilia 290k
Jeff Papola 688k

Table 3

Michael Michnick 312k
John McGuinness 126k
Feming Chan 350k
Thomas Savitsky 195k
Matthew Fox 320k

Event 16: 3 More Down

$700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

The 13 remaining players are on a 15 minute color-up break.

Place-Name-Amount (Bust-out)

14 Ron Spain (Plymouth, MN), Papola, last 100k
15 Jeremy McLaughlin (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), Cohen AK vs KQ, last 85k
16 Alex Cardinali (Nashville, IN), crippled by Vizirov JJ vs 10 10, 450k pot

All three players take home $1,602.

Event 18: Twitter-verse

$1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

leechilds Lee Childs
First break. Just over starting stack. 15,500. 75/150 next. Interesting table.

Steve Ryan
Whole table thinks im an absolute fish. Who can blame them :)

poochpoker Joe Cappuccio
' @BorgataPoker $1K still on 15K statting stack 75/150

Flashgordon227 Gordon Eng
1st break sitting at 12500

Leaderboard Update (11/19)

Borgata Fall Poker Open Leaderboard Update

By participating in any Borgata Fall Poker Open event (November 9-23, 2011), players will earn points based upon the Borgata Poker Tournament Leaderboard Formula.

Winners will be announced Monday, November 28:
  • 1st Place: $3,500 entry into Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship event (January 29 - February 3, 2012) 
  • 2nd - 4th Place: Apple iPod Touch 
  • 5th - 7th Place: Keurig coffee maker 
  • 8th - 10th Place: Nikon digital camera
    Below are the top scores for the Borgata Fall Poker Open Leaderboard contest through November 18th events* (Final Results from events 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38)

    296.348 PTS:  MARK SYKES (HAMDEN, CT)
    275.850 PTS:  ERIC DOERR (NEWARK, DE)

    Event 18: More Arrivals

    $1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

    In the Field

    Steve Ryan
    Ryan Eriquezzo
    Sirous Jamshidi
    Dave Inselberg
    Jamie Kerstetter
    Gordon Eng

    Players are on a 10 minute break and several players, including Adam Lippert and Russell Crane, have walked across the hall to the Poker Room to check out the 6-max.

    Event 16: Set Over Set, Huge Pot

    $700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

    Bob (left) Bringing the Action to Saul

    On a board of A 9 5, Kevin Saul and "Action" Bob Hwang are all in with set over set. Hwang's set of 9s doubles his all-in count of 306k and he now has nearly 700k.

    Saul is cut in a half and is down to 325k.

    Blinds are up to 3k/6k/600 ante.

    Event 16: Saul-ing Along

    $700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

    Chip leader Kevin Saul eliminates back to back players.

    First it's Alon Shahar, who's AK doesn't outrace Saul's pocket 4s, then he flops a straight with Q9 vs the K9 of Peter Ippolito. The field is now down to 16 players and tables have been balanced with moving from table 3 to Saul's table 2.


    17th Alon Shahar (Flushing, NY) $1,602
    18th Peter Ippolito (E. Meadow, NY) $1,602

    Event 16: Table for Six

    $700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

    Table 1

    Steven Rodriguez
    Leonid Vizirov
    Rachel Nagy
    Jesse Cohen
    Alex Cardinali
    Jeremy McLaughlin

    Table 2

    Bob Hwang
    Kevin Saul
    Alon Shahar
    Ariel Albilia
    Peter Ippolito
    Jeff Papola

    Table 3

    Michael Michnick
    John McGuinness
    Feming Chan
    Thomas Savitsky
    Matthew Fox
    Ron Spain

    Event 16: Late Arrival

    $700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

    Rachel Nagy (Mooresville, NC), the last woman standing, is the last person to arrive, a few hands into play. She's a bit flustered after having problems on the way to the casino.

    Two quick eliminations means we're down to 18 players on three tables.


    20th Cory Litke (Primrose, PA) $1,202
    19th Mark Scellato (Jackson, NJ) $1,202

    Event 16: Ready to Roll

    $700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

    The 20 returning players return to the Poker Room for their shot at the first prize of $42,469.

    WPT title holder Kevin Saul is the chip leader with 530k and the two other big stacks, Matthew Fox (488k) and Jesse Cohen (421k) are each at different tables.

    As the four tables merge it will be interesting to see how the big stacks are positioned the rest of the day.

    Play resumes with blinds at 2,500/5k/500 ante.

    Event 18: Early Arrivals

    $1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

    With long levels and a deep structure, players can take their time registering as some prefer not to play the early levels.

    Those already here include:

    Adam Lippert
    Lee Childs
    Matt Maccaroni
    George Medrano
    Olivier Busquet
    Dan Pignataro
    Tim Finne

    Making their Borgata Fall Poker Open debuts: Ian Palomo & Joanne Monteavaro.

    Event 18: Straight Up Hold'em

    $1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

    On the day before the Championship Event, things warmup in the straightforward $1000 NL tournament. No bounties, no re-entries, just one shot at winning a Main Event trophy.

    Players start with 15k in chips and levels are 50 minutes long for the
    first 10 (11+/60 min.).

    This is a 2-day event and the cards are in the air!

    Saturday, November 19

    Today's Events (Poker Room/The Signature Room)

    10AM: Event 39 - $270 + $30 Championship Qualifier NLH
    • Players start with 12,000 in tournament chips 
    • Levels will last 25 minutes each
    • Approximately 1 in 10 will win entry into Borgata Fall Poker Open Championship event
      (Nov 20-23, 2011)
    • 1-Day event

    11AM: Event 18 - $1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em
    • Players start with 15,000 in tournament chips 
    • Levels 1-10: each will last 50 minutes | Levels 11+: each will last 60 minutes 
    • 2-Day event

      2PM: Event 40 - $540 + $60 Championship Qualifier NLH
      • Players start with 15,000 in tournament chips 
      • Levels 1-10:  each will last 30 minutes | Levels 11+: each will last 40 minutes
      • Approximately 1 in 10 will win entry into Borgata Fall Poker Open Championship event
        (Nov 20-23, 2011)
      • 1-Day event

      7PM: Event 41 - $270 + $30 Championship Qualifier NLH
      • Players start with 12,000 in tournament chips 
      • Levels will last 25 minutes each
      • Approximately 1 in 10 will win entry into Borgata Fall Poker Open Championship event
        (Nov 20-23, 2011)
      • 1-Day event

          Event 16: End of Day Chip Leaders

          $700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

          Player.....................Chip Count
          1. Kevin Saul.....................530,000
          2. Matt Fox.......................488,000
          3. Jesse Cohen..................421,500
          4. Jeff Papola....................387,000
          5. Steven Rodriguez.........339,000
          6. Ari Albilia......................324,000
          7. Michael Michnik...........310,000
          8. Peter Ippolico................282,500
          9. Feming Chan...................279,000
          10. Alex Cardinal..............187,000
          11. Alon Shahar.................171,500
          12. Jeremy McLaughlin.....170,500
          13. Ron Spain.....................170,000
          14. John McGuiness..........149,000
          15. Action Bob Hwang........143,000
          16. Rachel Nagy....................121,500
          17. Len Vizirov.......................97,000
          18. Cory Litke.........................85,000
          19. Mark Secuato....................74,000
          20. Tom Savitsky....................51,000

          Players just finished bagging and tagging their chips. Every $500 bounty chip is tucked away inside each individual's bag.

          This tournament will have Leaderboard implications as Michael Michnik currently occupies the top spot while John McGuiness is in 4th.

          Jesse Cohen has 4 bounties while Action Bob has 5 bounties.

          But Kevin Saul has the most chips in the room with 530,000 and the most bounties at 6.

          Play resumes tomorrow at noon. Should be an exciting high-action finish amongst these Borgata All-Star heavy hitters. Everyone is going for the $42,469 first place prize - not to mention the Event 16 engraved trophy.

          See you tomorrow!

          Event 16: Busted

          $700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

          24th Place....$1,202....John Delio (Garnett Valley, PA)
          23rd Place....$1,202....Jamie Kerstetter (Monroe Township, NJ)
          22nd Place....$1,202....Jeremy Druckman (Portland, OR)
          21st Place.....$1,202.....Jason Young (Suffern, NY)

          Jason knocked-out five players earning an extra $2500.

          Event 16: Jeff With Chips

          $700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

          Jeff Papola - 430,000

          WSOP bracelet winner Jeff Papola is logging some hours here at Borgata. After winning a 10-10 vs. A-Q flip (Jeff had tens), his stack has now soared to one of the largest in the room.

          Also at Table 3 is Alon Shahar (Queens, NY). He doubled up to just south of 100,000 after his A-Q of clubs found the nut flush against Opponent's A-7 of diamonds.

          21 players remain. Bagging and tagging at 1:44 AM.

          Event 16: Last Woman Standing

          $700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

          Rachelle Nagy (Lake Norman, NC) - 200,000

          Rachelle Nagy and Jaimie Kerstetter were at the same table for hours. They were the last two women battling the guys on the felt.

          Jaimie just went out inn 23rd place which makes Rachelle Nagy our Last Woman Standing.

          Not bad considering this is Rachelle's first ever Borgata tournament. Of course she's played tournaments elsewhere but decided to make the trip up to AC from NC and give Event 16 a shot.

          Jaimie 4-bet her 9-9 and lost a coin flip to A-K.

          Congratulations again to Rachelle Nagy, a Real Estate Company owner from North Carolina.

          Event 16: Top Three In Chips

          $700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

          Kevin Saul - 455,000

          Matt Fox - 380,000

          Steven Rodriguez - 380,000

          Right now it's Kevin, Matt, and Steven, vs. the rest of the field.

          Each monster stack is at a different table.

          23 players remain.

          Event 16: Bounty Bubble

          $700 + $70 + $500 Six-Max Purple Chip Bounty NLH (RE)

          The good news is Finian Anuforo had a $500 bounty chip in his pocket. The bad news is he just bubbled out of the tournament in 25th place.

          After fifteen minutes of hand for hand action, Jaimie Kerstetter's A-J got the job done as she rivered a wheel against Finian's K-Q.

          Jaimie raised on the button, Finian jammed, then Jaimie called.

          Finian caught a king on the flop and was disappointed when the 3 hit and made Jaimie's straight.

          Board: 5-4-K-2-3.

          Congratulations to the final 24 players who have all made the cash.

          24th place pays $1,202.