Friday, September 24, 2010

Borgata Poker Open Championship Recap

Dwyte Pilgrim navigated his way through the largest field in World Poker Tour history to win the 2010 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship. Pilgrim defeated Kia Mohajeri heads up and was the sole survivor of a record 1,042 players.

"It feels surreal right now, a lifetime of hard work was set in stone today," said the 28 year-old Brooklyn, NY native
, who earned $733,802 for the win. "I felt I was in a good spot at all times. Even when I was behind, I felt this guy was going to have to get lucky to beat me."

On the final hand, a coordinated board of K T♠ 9♠ offered a lot of action with 4 million chips going into the pot. The turn was the 7 and Pilgrim led out for 2 million. Mohajeri shoved all-in and Pilgrim snap called.

Mohajeri turned over K♠ 9♣ for two pairs, while Pilgrim had Q J♠ for the nut straight as both players hit the flop hard. When the the 5 hit the river, it was all over and Pilgrim had the title.

“There was nothing I could do,” said Mohajeri, a retired electrical engineer from Florida, “I have two pair and he had a straight, all the chips were going in. I was very tired at the end and I couldn’t concentrate, but I did the best I could.”

Mohajeri, who won $440,945 for second place, finished ahead of Ofir Mor (3rd) Brandon Novena (4th), Daniel Makowsky (5th) and Ben Klier (6th), who all reached the televised final table.

For Pilgrim, this marks his eighth career win, including three WSOP circuit titles, but it didn’t come easy. The five day tournament at the premier East Coast poker destination, located in Atlantic City, NJ, featured many professional players and a lot of compelling subplots.

The event began with a strong field that featured two former WSOP Main Event Champions in Jerry Yang (2007) and Robert Varkonyi (2002), a WSOP Runner-up in Steve Dannenmann (2005) and the third place finisher from 2006 in Michael Binger. Other participants included WSOP Bracelet winners Gavin Smith, Steve Zolotow and Jason Young, and actor James Woods played as well.

But while none of these players staked a claim of the nearly $3.5 million total buy-in, defending champion Olivier Busquet made a second straight improbable run. After beating more than 1,000 players last year, the previous WPT record field, Busquet made his way to the final 3 tables before being eliminated in 25th place.

Another first for the World Poker Tour happened when WPT announcer and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton cashed for the first time. It was only the "fifth or sixth" event Sexton has played in during the shows 9 seasons, but his run came to an end in 20th place.

“It’s nice just to get a cash under your belt one time," says Sexton, who wasn't allowed to play in WPT events until recently. "You wish you had been at the final table, but everybody does. All in all, it was a great week, a lot of fun for me and I enjoyed playing."

As the field thinned, John D’Agostino looked to make another deep run in a Borgata event. The 2006 WPT runner-up and on-line pro, took over the chip lead on Day 2 and was a threat the rest of the way before being knocked out in 14th place.

At the start of the final table, Ofir Mor had the chip lead, but all six players were bunched between 7.3 and 3.3 million chips. The first three eliminations went smoothly as Klier ($148,427), Makowsky ($183,449) and Novena ($223,475) were the first to go, but then things slowed down.

Pilgrim was poised for back-to-back knockouts on consecutive hands, but the deck didn't cooperate. After he eliminated Novena in 4th place, Pilgrim had Mor on the ropes when he flopped two pairs, but Mor went runner-runner for a higher two pairs and stayed alive.

Pilgrim, Mor and Mohajeri traded chips for nearly two and-a-half hours until Mohajeri eliminated Mor in third place, good for $266,835.

When heads up play began Mohajeri had a 3 to 2 chip led by holding 19 of the 31 million chips in play. But after playing 45 hands for more than one hour, Pilgrim nailed the flop and nailed down the WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship.

"I feel like Babe Ruth," said Pilgrim, who fell to the floor in tears after he clinched the title. "He struck out a lot, but he also hit a lot of home runs.

"Up to bat, bottom of the 9th, two outs, two strikes, two balls. This next pitch meant a lot. I kept my eye on the ball and took it out of the park."

As he celebrated with friend and family he added,
"this is the first day of the rest of my life."

WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship Results

Borgata Poker Open 2010
Event 17: $3500 WPT Championship NLH
September 18-23

Entries: 1,042
Total Buy-In: $3,438,600

FINAL RESULTS
1. DWYTE PILGRIM (BROOKLYN, NY): $733,802
2. KIANOOSH MOHAJERI (ROCKLEDGE, FL): $440,945
3. OFIR MOR (WOODMERE, NY): $266,835
4. BRANDON NOVENA (PICKERINTON, OH): $223,475
5. DANIEL MAKOWSKY (ZURICH, SWI): $183,449
6. BENJAMIN KLIER (ASTORIA, NY): $148,427
7. JEFFREY PAPOLA (NEW YORK, NY): $118,408
8. ANDREW YOUNGBLOOD (DEARBORN HEIGHTS, MI): $90,057
9. WILLIAM CHILDS (ALEXANDRIA, VA): $61,706
10. CHRISTIAN IACOBELLIS (RYE, NY): $40,025
11. SEAN NOLAN (LAS VEGAS, NV): $40,025
12. VICHIEN SIPRAJIM (PASADENA, MD): $40,025
13. RICK BORDIAN (MAPLE GROVE, MN): $28,351
14. JOHN DAGOSTINO (EGG HARBOR TWP, NJ): $28,351
15. DAVID GRANA (GRAND ISLAND, NY): $28,351
16. KENT BEAVER (ARLINGTON, VA): $18,345
17. MICHAEL SIMHAI (LOS ANGELES, CA): $18,345
18. EMAD ALABSI (SOLON, OH): $18,345
19. DOUGLAS KIM (HARTSDALE, NY): $15,009
20. MICHAEL SEXTON (LAS VEGAS, NV): $15,009
21. ANTHONY HARB (CANTON, MI): $15,009
22. SACHIN RAMRAKHANI (FORT LEE, NJ): $15,009
23. KYLE LOMAN (HAVERHILL, MA): $15,009
24. ROBERT INFANZON (DOYLESTOWN, PA): $15,009
25. OLIVIER BUSQUET (KATONAH, NY): $15,009
26. MATTHEW KOLODZIEJ (NEW HIDE PARK, NY): $15,009
27. JOHN LEONARD (SPRING VALLEY, NY): $15,009
28. SATURNINO RODRIGUEZ (ROCKLEDGE, FL): $13,008
29. BENJAMIN JOHNSON (BROOKLYN, NY): $13,008
30. ANDREW BADECKER (VERNON, CT): $13,008
31. GIUSEPPE PANTALEO (BIELEFELD, GER): $13,008
32. FRANCIS LAMOTHE (MONTREAL, CAN): $13,008
33. ANDREW KAPLAN (CRANSTON, RI): $13,008
34. ERIC SALINAS (GREENWICH, CT): $13,008
35. BRYAN BINDERT (WENONAH, NJ): $13,008
36. JEFFREY GROSS (BALTIMORE, MD): $13,008
37. DANIEL FISCHER (GLASSBORO, NJ): $11,674
38. NICHOLAS BINGER (LAS VEGAS, NV): $11,674
39. JASON TABACHNICK (COMMACK, NY): $11,674
40. SEAN KNITTER (FOX CHASE MANOR, PA): $11,674
41. KY MACPHERSON (AUSTIN, TX): $11,674
42. ANTONIO CAVEZZA (HUNTINGTON STATION, NY): $11,674
43. DONNY ARIEL (BROOKLYN, NY): $11,674
44. JEREMY SCHWARTZ (NEW YORK, NY): $11,674
45. STAN SINCLAIR (DOUGLAS, GA): $11,674
46. WILLIAM SEYMOUR (GREENVILLE, NC): $10,340
47. LARS BONDING (LAS VEGAS, NV): $10,340
48. BRIAN ALLEN (ENGLEWOOD, NJ): $10,340
49. CONG PHAM (NAPLES, FL): $10,340
50. MICHAEL SHASHO (RAMSEY, NJ): $10,340
51. MARC GOLDMAN (EASTON, PA): $10,340
52. TAHER ALISHEIK (TORONTO, CAN): $10,340
53. PUAN TONG (PU CHONG, MAL): $10,340
54. CHRISTOPHER BACK (VANCOUVER, CAN): $10,340
55. ALLAN LUBIN (WATCHUNG, NJ): $9,339
56. IRVING LORENZO (GLEN OAKS, NY): $9,339
57. SHAHRYAR ESLAMI (VAN NUYS, CA): $9,339
58. ROSS MALLOR (NEW YORK, NY): $9,339
59. JONATHAN LITTLE (PENSACOLA, FL): $9,339
60. DAVE SALVADOR (NIAGRA FALLS, CAN): $9,339
61. LAVIANO THOMAS (UPPERBROOKVILLE, NY): $9,339
62. TUAN GBEHAN (TOMS RIVER, NJ): $9,339
63. COREY SOUTHER (PENSACOLA, FL): $9,339
64. MICHAEL SICA JR (N BRUNSWICK, NJ): $8,339
65. JIA LIU (BROOKLYN, NY): $8,339
66. CARTER GILL (MADRAS, OR): $8,339
67. DANIEL SUIED (BILLERICA, MA): $8,339
68. CHINMAY PATEL (BRIGANTINE, NJ): $8,339
69. ALEZANDER KIM (HATBORO, PA): $8,339
70. JASON ROBERTS (LAS VEGAS, NV): $8,339
71. WILLIAM HALEY (FLORHAM PARK, NJ): $8,339
72. STUART GELWARG (NEW YORK, NY): $8,339
73. ROBERT PALMER (CHERRY HILL, NJ): $7,672
74. GREGORY MERSON (LAUREL, MD): $7,672
75. JEFFREY CHOTIKUL (EGG HARBOR TWP, NJ): $7,672
76. MATTHEW BRADY (HAVERTOWN, PA): $7,672
77. ALLISON SCHULTZ (NEW YORK, NY): $7,672
78. TOM THOMAS (FLORAL PARK, NY): $7,672
79. DMITRIY SHILNIKOV (KATY, TX): $7,672
80. AMIR GENZEL (FRESH MEADOWS, NY): $7,672
81. DANIEL OBRIEN (LAS VEGAS, NV): $7,672
82. MICHAEL CONNOLLY (BRONX, NY): $7,004
83. OMAR TAVERAS (BRONX, NY): $7,004
84. RICHARD MELTON (MORRISTOWN, NJ): $7,004
85. FRANK BONACCI (PITTSBURGH, PA): $7,004
86. KEITH CROWDER (ELKINS PARK, PA): $7,004
87. ALAN HADDY (OAKLAND, NJ): $7,004
88. FRANCIS DOUGHERTY (PHILADELPHIA, PA): $7,004
89. THOMAS TAYLOR (MEDICINE, CAN): $7,004
90. RAVI CHALLA (BETHPAGE, NY): $7,004
91. JEREMY BROWN (MEDFORD, NJ): $6,671
92. RYAN RAYMOND (NORTH SAN JUAN, CA): $6,671
93. JACOBO FERNANDEZ-HERNANDEZ (HOLLYWOOD, FL): $6,671
94. FRED DEGUZMAN (OTTAWA, CAN): $6,671
95. ALBERT RICCOBONO (OSSINING, NY): $6,671
96. FRANK WALKER (ROCKAWAY PARK, NY): $6,671
97. TRAVELL THOMAS (BUFFALO, NY): $6,671
98. ERIC STOCZ (WEST BLOOMFIELD, MI): $6,671
99. CHRIS MCCORMACK (PORT JEFFERSON, NY): $6,671
100. PAYMAN ARJANG (WOODLANDS HILLS, CA): $6,671

1st Place - Dwyte Pilgrim - $733,802

WPT BORGATA POKER OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP 

Kia Mohajeri opened for 1.2 million and Dwyte Pilgrim called.  The flop came K T 9.  Dwyte checked, Kia bet 2 million, and Dwyte called. 

The turn was the 7 and Dwyte led out for 2 million.  Kia shoved and Dwyte snap-called.  Kia turned over K9 for two pair.  Dwyte rolled over QJ for the King-high straight and the current nuts.

'Eight percent away from the title, baby!" said Dwyte.  He's referring to Kia's 4 outs to win, needing a full house to beat him.  There was quite a delay as the house was on their feet roaring.

When the dealer finally burned and rolled the river card, it was the 5 and it is OVER!

 Dwyte Pilgrim - 1st place

Dwyte Pilgrim finished in 1st place, earning $733,602, a $25,000 entry in the WPT Championship, the WPT bracelet, and Borgata trophy.

Kia Mohajeri finished in 2nd place, earning $440,945.


Kia Mohajeri - 2nd Place


Lights, Camera.....



WPT BORGATA POKER OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

Mike Sexton & Vince Van Patten

Dwyte Pilgrim and Kia Mohajeri have played more than three dozen hands heads up and on hand to call the action are commentators Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten. Also at Borgata is WPT hostess Kimberly Lansing.

Season 9 of the World Poker Tour begins airing in January, 2011. Keep an eye on your local listings for the air dates of the Borgata Poker Open Championship on an FSN station near you.

World Poker Tour Set