Kevin Calenzo, 1st place
While not billed as deep stack tournament, Event 5: $1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em sure played like one. 292 entrants showed up to play, and it took 27 hours to play down to a winner.
Two time WPT final tablist Soheil Shamseddin showed up to take a shot, but fell short of the money. "Action Bob" Hwang was successful in cashing thanks to a four way all in on day 1, his pocket queens holding up against AK and two AQ's. He took 21st place for $2,549. Tyler Patterson, who's resume includes a six figure win at last year's Commerce Hold'em Series and a win earlier this year at the Pendleton Spring Poker Round-Up, got himself to the final table but had to settle for $8,498 for his 8th place finish.
When all was said and done, Kevin Calenzo from New Hartford, NY emerged victorious after an hourlong heads up battle with "Will The Thrill" Failla from Commack, NY. Failla had entered day 2 as the massive chip leader, having almost double the chips as second place, and held the chip lead until he reached heads up play with Calenzo. When the final hand occurred, Calenzo holding a set of eights against the busted flush draw of Failla, neither was sure if Calenzo had ended the tournament or not. After the players and tournament officials meticulously counted down the stacks, Calenzo was declared the winner.
Calenzo was pleased to finally claim his first title after getting close with a third place finish at a $2,500 Venetian Deep Stack in 2009 and a final table appearance at last month's World Series of Poker Circuit $1,500 championship event. Calenzo started playing poker in 2003, but has since given up his past of working odd jobs to play poker professionally. While he may take tomorrow off, Calenzo plans to play all of the remaining events in the Borgata Poker Open, including the $3,500 WPT Championship.