Thursday, November 24, 2011

Championship Event Recap


Andrew Badecker 2011 Borgata Fall Poker Open Champion

The inaugural Borgata Fall Poker Open Championship's high caliber field was highlighted with three WSOP bracelet holders at the final table. In the end, it's young pro Andrew Badecker (Vernon, CT), who won the event and the $388,657 first prize.

Badecker outlasted bracelet winners Freddy Rouhani and Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy and the rest of the 670 total entries to take home the coveted Borgata trophy early Thanksgiving morning.

"Borgata is hands down my most run good casino," said the 24 year old, who won a title in the September 2010 Borgata Poker Open, "I've never had a losing trip here."

Badecker defeated Tony Nguyen (McLean, VA) heads up as he started with a 2 to 1 chip lead and never let the rookie poker player double-up. Badecker eliminated Nguyen with king high holding K♠ 2.

"This is my first year playing," said the engineer, who earned $218,531 for his three days of work. "I'm really happy coming in second considering I was short stacked all the way to the final table."

Outside of Rouhani (Brigantine, NJ) 7th/$59,084 and Cliff Josephy (Muttontown, NY) 6th/$73,653, Badecker's biggest final table threat was Ari Albilia (Syosset, NY) who had the chip lead most of the way. But Alibilia went out 3rd/$137,594 after he was crippled by Nguyen's full house before being eliminated by Badecker.

Day 3 began with 63 players fighting for their piece of the $1,675,000 total buy-in, as everyone was in the money. The eliminations were at a steady clip until the final 10 grinded towards the serious turkey.

After Joe Wertz (Mountoursville, PA) finished 10th/$21,044, there were three knock outs on three consecutive hands that started with Tom Maguire (Florham Park, NJ) in 9th/$30,756, followed by Mike Linster (Island Park, NY) 8th/$44,516, and Rouhani.

Play grinded to a halt after Mike Devinksy (Middletown, NJ) was eliminated in 5th/$89,031, as 4-handed play lasted two hours before Peter Park (Jersey City, NJ) busted 4th/$111,694.

Badecker's elimination of Park gave him more than half the chips in play as he controlled the tournament the rest of the way.

The event kicked off Sunday and, after two starting days, the entries totaled 670 and featured lots of recognizable names. WPT title holders Will "the Thrill" Failla, Cornel Cimpan, and Kevin Saul were joined by WPT Season IX Player of the year Andy Frankenberger, but none of them made the money.

Notables who cashed included 2010 Borgata Spring Open Champion Alex Queen 32nd/$7,932, 2010 Borgata Summer Open Champion Billy O'Neil, "Action" Bob Hwang 15th/$15,378, Dave Zeitlin 14th/15,378, and Victor Ramdin 48th/$6,313.

Ramdin, who added to his $3.5 million in career earnings, was impressed with the quality of the field and the turnout.

"East Coast poker showed an impressive display," said Ramdin, who held the chip lead part of Day 2. "This many people willing to play right before Thanksgiving shows we love our poker."

And the most dedicated player was Badecker who, after collecting the biggest payday of his career, got a ride for the five hour trip home to celebrate the holiday.

"It's not too often you get the whole family together at one time," he said. "I'm probably going to be a little late, but I think it will be okay as long as a bring the trophy."

Champion - Badecker


Andrew Badecker (Vernon, CT)

Badecker keeps the pressure on Tony Nguyen and eventually finishes him off with K♠ 2 vs 8♣ 9♣.

The board of A A 6 Q 7 misses both players and Badecker wins with king high to take Nguyen's final 2.3 million chips.

"It feels great," says the 24 year old poker pro. "I've had a really successful year and I'm pretty happy to win it."

Moments after winning the Borgata Fall Poker Open Badecker tweeted:

Andrew badecker
SHIP IT! $388,657 my biggest score ever!

Badecker's Borgata Bounty

2nd Place - Nguyen


Tony Nguyen (McLean, VA)

Nguyen is a short stack ninja most of Day 3, but finds away to navigate the field and final table to finish runner-up in the Championship Event.

Nguyen was at a 2 to 1 chip disadvantage heads up against Andrew Badecker and never got the double-up he needed to extend the match.

Nguyen finishes in second place and earns $388,657.

Heads Up


Trophy (& Turkey) Time!

670 entries in the inaugural Borgata Fall Poker Open Championship Event and we're down to two players. Andrew Badecker (Vernon, CT) and Tony Nguyen (McLean, VA) are heads up for the $388,657 first place prize.

Badecker has nearly a 2 to 1 chip lead as he has 13 million to Nguyen's 7.1 million.

Blinds are 75k/150k/25k ante. The antes are now almost as much as the starting stacks of 30k when the tournament began four days ago.

We're only a few hours away from a Thanksgiving turkey dinner, but who knows how long we'll be from crowning a champion.

3rd Place - Albilia


Ari Albilia

Albilia gives his final chips to Andrew Badecker, but it's a devastating blow by Tony Nguyen that helps send Albilia to the rail.

On a board of 2 5 J J 3 Nguyen bets 1.2 million, Albilia moves all in for 3.8 million total and Nguyen snap calls.

He shows 2♠ 2♣ for a full house and Albilia doesn't show. The hand leaves Albilia with only 500k and is out a few hands later.

Ari Albilia is out in 3rd place earning him $137,594.

5 Million Chip Pot to Andrew Badecker


Blinds: 75k/150k/25k ante

With 5 million chips in the pot and the board showing 9♠ 9 3 7 4, both Ari Albilia and Andrew Badecker check the river

Badecker shows 3 Q for two pairs, 3s and 9s, Albilia studies the board one last time before folding.

Badecker wins the hand and drops to 2.6 million.

4th Place - Park


Peter Park (Jersey City, NJ)

After two hours of four-handed play there's finally an elimination. On a board of Q♣ 9♣ 5♠ 7♠ Peter Park bets 275k. Andrew Badecker raises to 700k and Park quickly moves all in.

Badecker gets the count of 3.6 million, a little less than half his stack, and makes the call.

Park: 5♣ 4♣ (pair of 5s, flush draw)
Badecker: J♠ 8♠ (flush draw, gutshot straight draw, two overs)

River: K♠

The river gives Badecker the flush and a he now has 12 million of the 20 million chips in play.

Park is out in 4th place and takes home $111,694.

Nguyen Doubles Through Badecker


Tony Nguyen just won't go away as he doubles 2.2 million through Andrew Badecker. Nguyen holds K Q against Badecker's A 4, and hits trip queens to stay alive.

The four players are now very even in chips with Badecker still holding the lead:

Andrew Badecker (Vernon, CT) 8.2 million (68 BB)
Tony Nguyen (McLean, VA) 4.5 million (38 BB)
Ari Albilia (Syosset, NY) 4 million (33 BB)
Peter Park (Jersey City, NJ) 3.8 million (32 BB)

Blinds 60k/120k/20k

Badecker Chipping Up Through Albilia


Andrew Badecker has taken a couple of decent pots from Ari Albilia who folded to river bets. The two have flipped positions as Badecker is at the the 10 million mark, while Albilia is in the 5 million range.

Tony Nguyen and Peter Park continue to be the short stacks with blinds at 60k/120k/20k ante.

Nguyen Clubs Albilia on River


Tony Keeps an Eye on the Prize

Tony Nguyen is all in for 1.1 million with A♣ 5 vs the 3♣ 3 of Ari Albilia.

Flop: K♣ Q 8♣ (Alibila leads with pair of 3s)

Turn: 4♣ (Nguyen picks up flush draw)

River 3♣

Nguyen hits his flush on the river and says, "you know what this is? The nuts," he says with a hearty laugh.

Nguyen stays alive while Albilia continues to hold the chip lead at ~10 million.

Event 21 Recap

$250 + $30 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Event 21 is in the books and your champion is accountant/cellist Daniel Penrith (Washington, DC). Daniel just beat out 257 entries and took home $17,450 along with the Borgata Fall Poker Open trophy.

Event 21 was playing alongside the Championship Event and was a nice final Fall Poker Open tournament for players who busted. Everyone loved the affordable buy-in and generous 20,000 starting stacks. Not to mention if you busted out, you could re-enter within the first six levels.

From 11am all the way to the heads-up, John Almanzar held the chip lead. He shot up to 45,000 early on with AA then never looked back.

Some Borgata familiar faces who entered the field included: Andrew Interdonato, Cuong Phung, Kalid Ali, Matthew Piccolo, Micky Woll, and Ta Wey.

Top 27 were happy to win their share of the $64,250 Total Buy-In.

An interesting final table consisting of Michael Miller, John Almenzar, Patricio Trejo, Moshe Dahari, Brian Spencer, Thomas McGarry, Arturas Tamosiunas, Pavel Krapivin, Daniel Penrith, and Marco Huijgen. Pavel Krapivin finished 3rd for $5,921 after knocking out everybody at the final table. Everytime I looked up Pavel had either K-K or A-A.

Our almost wire to wire chip leader fell heads up in two key hands. First Daniel flopped a set of fives then followed up with a flush. 2nd Place of $10,283 was awarded to John Almenzar.

But your big Thanksgiving Day winner once again was Daniel Penrith who is heading into Philadelphia later today to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with his family. Congratulations on your huge payday of $17,450. Not a bad day at the office.

Park & Badecker Trade Double-Ups


Peter Park and Andrew Badecker trade 2.3 million chips as they double-up each other. First Park's pocket aces hold against 10♣ 9♣, but Park ships it right back when Badecker hits a full house with K7 against Park's AK.

4-handed play continues with blinds 50/100k/15k ante.

Event 21: 1st Place - Penrith

$250 + $30 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Daniel Penrith (Washington, DC)

A happy Thanksgiving for Daniel Penrith who just took down Event 21 to the tune of $17,450.

Daniel lives in DC but is home for the holidays in Philadelphia with his family. He thanks all his family and friends for their support and for being the best.

In addition to poker, Daniel is an accountant and plays the cello.

"It was a long-winded journey" said the tired Champion who has been playing holdem since 11am. Daniel was behind when the heads-up started. In just a few hands it was over.

Daniel's set of fives followed by a flush was enough to chop down the perennial chip lead of John Almanzar.

Daniel takes home the Borgata Fall Poker Open trophy in addition to the $17,450 worth of pumpkin pie. Great job!

Daniel Penrith finished in 1st Place earning $17,450.

Final Four Chip Counts


Park, Albilia, and Badecker

Blinds 50k/100k/15k ante

Name-Chip Count (in millions)

Ari Albilia (Syosset, NY) 9.6
Andrew Badecker (Vernon, CT) 5.2
Tony Nguyen (McLean, VA) 2.6
Peter Park (Jersey City, NJ) 2.5

Nguyen Doubles Through Park


Tony Nguyen's KQ catches two pairs on the flop and he doubles through Peter Park's pocket 9s.

Nguyen doubles 1.2 to 2.4 million, while Park drops to 2.5 million.

Event 21: 2nd Place - Almenzar

$250 + $30 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

John Almenzar (North Bergen, NJ)

John Almenzar was basically the chip leader from wire to wire, except for the last two hands.
Think about how difficult that is to accomplish.

What a great tournament run for John Almenzar who captured the chip lead from the get-go when he limped with AA, found 3 callers and shot up to 45,000.

From that point he never looked back.

Got unlucky heads up as Daniel flopped a set of fives and took down a big pot against him.

John's final hand was 6-7 vs. 7-9. Both guys were suited but only Daniel found his flush.

Great job to John Almenzar and his incredible run.

John Almenzar finished in 2nd Place earning $10,283.

5th Place - Devinsky


Mike Devinksy (Middletown, NJ)

Devinsky ships his last 1.1 million to Ari Albilia when his pocket jacks loses the race to AQ.

An ace hits the flop to send Devinsky home in 5th place, earning him $89,031.

Event 21: 3rd Place - Krapivin

$250 + $30 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Pavel Krapivin

Pavel had an amazing final table. He literally knocked out all of the other players.

Maybe he was doing the dirty work for John and Daniel who still remain and will play heads-up.

Pavel had K-K twice and A-A. His hands were holding up like a champ.

The hand that crippled him was when he lost a race to Daniel. Pavel had K-Q suited and Daniel had A-4. Daniel shoved pre-flop. Pavel thought hard then called. They both had practically the same amount of chips. Daniel at risk.

Flop gave Daniel a pair of fours. The turn gave Pavel an open-ended draw. Blank on the river.

Board: J-4-6-10-5.

Pavel played well and just came up short. Congratulations on a great cash prize.

Pavel Krapivin finished in 3rd Place earning $5,921.

Badecker Straightens Out Devinsky


The board shows 9 8♠ J 9 K and Andrew Badecker moves all in for 1.6 million.
Mike Devinsky makes the call and Badecker shows him Q♠ 10 for a flopped straight.

The healthy pot goes to Badecker and takes him to 5 million, while Devinsky is down to 900k.

"It's okay," says Devinsky, "I'm down to 10 bigs, I know what to do with that."

Devinsky Doubles Through Badecker


Mike Devinsky is all in for 1.9 millioin with Ah 6♠ vs the A♠ K♠ of Andrew Badecker.

Flop: 5♣ 6 7♠ (Devinsky pair of 6s)

Turn: 2

River: 3♣

Devinsky's pair of 6s hold and he doubles up to 4 million, while Badecker drops to less than 2 million.

Event 21: 4th Place - Spencer

$250 + $30 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Brian Spencer - (Tinton Falls, NY)

Brian Spencer was short stacked and managed to double up with J-2 when John Almenzar called him in the bb without looking. John's 6-4 did not improve and Brian's J high played.

A couple orbits later our CPA from Tinton Falls was short again so shoved with 4-3 of hearts.

Two callers who were more than willing to check it all the way down to knock out a player.

Sure enough they both ended with better hands.

Pavel's A-3 won on a board of 6-J-9-7-A. Other Opponent had 6-3.

Good couple of days for Brian Spencer who finished 23rd in yesterdays $100 Bounty Event.

Hi to Brian's parent's, sister, and nephew. Congratulations on back to back cashes!

Brian Spencer finished in 4th Place earning $4,799.

Event 21: 5th Place - Dahari

$250 + $30 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Moshe Dahari (Long Beach, NY)

Moshe Dahari has been trying to cash and get on the Borgata board for quite a while. Tonight persistence paid off. The engineer took a gamble with 8-6 clubs and ran into Pavel's A-A.

Board ran: 10-2-2-9-4.

"I got killed on that hand" said Moshe who is gonna rest up for tomorrow.

Moshe gives a shout out to Heather who is following the borgatapokerblog at home.

This is Dahari's biggest cash and he was very excited.

Moshe Dahari finished in 5th Place earning $3,739.

6th Place - Josephy


Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy (Muttontown, NY)

Blinds 40k/80k/10k ante

JohnnyBax is short stacked and moves all in with J 9 and trails the J J♣ of Tony Nguyen.

Flop: 2♣ 9♣ 4 (JohnnyBax trails with a pair of 9s)
Turn: 3
River 4♣

Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy dosen't hit trip 9s and is out in 6th place, as the WSOP bracelet holder takes home $73,653.

Event 21: 6th Place - McGarry

$250 + $30 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Thomas McGarry (Hazlet, NJ)

It was pocket tens that did Thomas McGarry in - twice. First he folded tens and if he hadn't folded he would have ended up with a full house and a monster scoop.

Then he shoved with 10-10 and ran into K-K of Pavel Krapivin.

There was plenty of drama on the hand as Pavel hit a King in the window then Thomas nailed a ten on the turn. Set of kings over a set of tens crippled McGarry.

He did manage to quad up on the next hand as he picked up QQ and hit a Queen on the flop.

Alas he was still very short and got it in with A-3. Wouldn't you know it, Pavel picked up Cowboys again. KK held on a board of Q-3-7-Q-6.

Thomas will be heading home for Thanksgiving and said the turkey will taste that much better since he'll be bringing home $3,116 worth of gravy.

Thomas McGarry finished in 6th Place earning $3,116.

Devinsky Doubles Through JohnnyBax


Mike Devinsky is all in and at risk for 1.3 million with A♣ J vs the K♠ K of Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy.

Flop: 2 5♣ 3♠ (Devinsky with wheel draw)

Turn: 8

River: A♠

An ace on the river gives Devinsky the double up to 2.7 million and drops JohnnyBax to 400k.

7th Place - Rouhani


Freddy Rouhani (Brigantine, NJ)

Rouhani shows a lot of patience and was the short stack all day. The WSOP bracelet holder raises to 250k, leaving himself just 60k behind.

Tony Nguyen calls, thinks Rouhani is all in, and exposes his hand. Once he realizes Rouhani still has chips the two see a flop of 9 4♠ 4.

Rouhani checks, Nguyen moves all in and Rouhani says, "what do you have down there, ace-king of spades," as he throws in his 12 blue chips.

Nguyen: A♠ K♠
Rouhani: Q♠ J♠

Rouhani is in a world of hurt and doesn't connect on the turn or river to finish in 7th place for $59,084.

Event 21: 7th Place - Huijgen

$250 + $30 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Marco Huijgen (New York, NY)

Marco jammed his short stack holding A♣ J. Daniel Penrith thought long and hard then decided to call tabling KQ of hearts.

Board ran: 10 J 4 5 5♣ . Penrith's flush sent Marco to the rail.

Marco was happy with his one day's worth of work (even though he would have liked to finish higher). He also wanted to thank Ricky T, a friend who has mentored him in the poker world.

Marco Huijgen finished in 7th Place earning $2,493.

8th Place - Linster


Mike Linster (Island Park, NY)

The Mike and Mike show concludes with Mike Linster losing his last 500k with AQ vs the pocket kings of Mike Devinsky.

Linster, who was twice coolered at the final table, finishes in 8th place and takes home $44,516.

Event 21: 8th Place - Trejo

$250 + $30 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Patricio Trejo (Chille)

The dream ends for Patricio Trejo who shoved with K-10 off-suit on the button but ran into Brian Spencer's A-A.

Board ran: 8-8-7-2-A.

Patricio Trejo finished in 8th Place earning $1,870.

Event 21: 9th Place - Tamosiunas

$250 + $30 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Arturas Tamosiunas (Lithuania)

Rough way for Arturas Tamosiunas to go out. He got his last 180,000 chips in with the best hand - KK. Arturas raised 75,000 on the button and was called by the small blind and big blind.

Flop came J-10-5 so Arturas shoved the rest of his 180,000. Small blind isolated and tabled 5-5 for a set.

To make matters worse, another five hit the river giving Pavel Krapivin quads.

Arturas is a student back home in Lithuania. He was sad to leave the final table but happy to earn $1,246.

Arturas Tamosiunas finished in 9th Place earning $1,246.

9th Place - Maguire


Tom Maguire (Florham Park, NJ)

Maguire ships his last 1.25 million with pocket jacks but runs into the pocket kings of Ari Albilia.

The kings hold and Maguire is out in 9th place for $30,756.

Albilia extends his chip lead and is now up to 8 million.

Event 21: 10th Place - Miller

$250 + $30 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Michael Miller

Michael Miller was short stacked at the final table and lost a coin flip.

Michael Miller finished in 10th Place earning $810.

Jacks Cooler Linster, Park Doubles


Blinds 30k/60k/5k ante

Tony Nguyen opens from the button to 130k
Mike Linster 3-bets to 250k
Peter Park 4-bet shoves to 1.25 million
Nguyen folds
Linster tanks and says, "this is a cooler," and calls with slightly more than Park.

Linster's worst fears are realized when is JJ is against Park's QQ.

The board is clean and Park doubles to 2.5 million, while Linster drops to 200k.

Event 21: Final Table Set

$250 + $30 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Final Table of Ten is set in the Poker Room

Seat Pos.....Player
1. Michael Miller
2. John Almenzar
3. Patricio Trejo
4. Moshe Dahari
5. Brian Spencer
6. Thomas McGarry
7. Arturas Tamosiumas
8. Pavel Krapivin
9. Daniel Penrith
10. Marco Huijgen

John Almenzar is the massive chip leader. For now the other nine will have to battle it out.

Quacked Up, Ducks on the River


The Mike and Mike show go to a river on a board of 6-J-10-10-2. Mike Linster checks, Mike Devinsky bets 985k and Linster tanks.

Linster finally calls and Devinsky says, "full house," turning over 2♠ 2♣ .

Linster who check-called every street can't believe he loses on the river as he shows two red eights.