Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Black Chip Leader

$350 + $50 NL Deep Stack

The color-up break comes with 200 players left at an average stack of 121k.

Kobi Waldfogel (Philadelphia, PA) is the clear leader in black chips as the 100s are removed from the table.

"Hide your big blinds, hide your small blinds," says Waldfogel with tongue in cheek. "I'm stealing everybody's blinds, how do you think I got all these black chips?"

Waldfogel's obviously doing something right as he's twice the chip average with 250k.

When play resumes blinds are 3k/6k/500 ante as we move on to Level 16.

Setting a Record

$350 + $50 NL Deep Stack

Players can expect to flop a set 12% of the time while holding a pocket pair, but today at Table 9 the number seems to be a lot higher than that.

On a board of 4-8-K all the money gets in and when Pedro Munoz (Elizabeth, NJ) turns over his pocket aces he's up against not one, but two sets. Munoz gets a lot of help when he hits a two outer on the river for a set of aces to take care of the set of 10s and 8s to win a 180k pot.

A few hands before that, Steve Kingsley (New York, NY) needs an ace on the river to complete his set when his opponent flops a set of jacks. Kingsley's now up to 244k.

But while pocket rockets end up winning both hands, they're not as fortunate the second time around for Munoz. His aces are cracked by KK when Paulie "Peru" Valenzuela (Staten Island, NY) hits a four flush on the river. Valenzuela doubles to 140k, while Munoz takes a 65k hit.

The river has been the key for Table 9, prompting Brandon Mueller (York, PA) to say, "your going to need another tablet for this table," as the Gorilla has taken 4 pages of notes here in the last 30 minutes.

Level 15 (2k/4k/400 ante) is winding down.

Ten-acious Call

$350 + $50 NL Deep Stack

Hubbard Has the Goods

Stephanie Hubbard (Hazlet, NJ) has had success in the last two Borgata Ladies Tournament, but since she can't play in this Sunday's Ladies Event she's making noise in Event 1.

Hubbard checks her option in the big blind as 4 players see a flop of Q 2 3. The small blind leads out for 8k and two players, including Hubbard, come along.

The turn is the 2 and the three players check around.

The river is the 10
and the SB leads out for 21k. Hubbard makes the call and shows A 10 for a pair of 10s as the SB mucks.

"I knew you didn't have the queen because you checked the turn," says Hubbard, who was happy to get a free card with the nut flush draw.

Hubbard is close to 250k and looking for a deep run, saying, "no more 9th place finishes." This after she finished 9th in both Ladies Events in the Spring and Summer Opens.

Other women still in the field include Nicole Miller (Columbus, OH) who's come back to the pack after tripling-up early. Nancy Martin (Washington Crossing, PA) has been low on chip most of the day, saying, "I can grind a short stack with the best of them."

Level 14 (1500/3k/400 ante) winds down.

Head Count

$350 + $50 NL Deep Stack

More than half the field is gone as 380 of the starting 964 remain. That puts the average stack at 64k.

Play resumes with the last 10 minutes of Level 12 (1k/2k/300 ante).

Don't Bust Now

$350 + $50 NL Deep Stack

Hope & Scarpa

With the clocking winding down, the remaining players are on the "dinner break" bubble. "Don't bust now," says Tournament Director Tab Duchateau, as the dinner vouchers are handed out.

A quick look around the room and survivors include Steve Dannenmann (Baltimore, MD) who's main goal is to use the voucher and needle John Lakatosh (Red Lion, PA). "He's really Amish," says Dannenmann, "he's just not wearing the beard."

Greg Scarpa (Staten Island, NY) shoves 17k all-in after a raise from Jason Hope (Mantua, NJ). Hope makes the call and is away ahead with AJ vs A2 until the flop is 2-2-8 and Scarpa gets the double-up.

"I thought I could get him to fold," says Scarpa, "I didn't know he'd have ace-jack," he says with fortunate relief. Hope can afford the hit as he's at 160k.

Mirsad Kovaci (Brooklyn, NY) is sitting on 180k and points out a couple of other big stacks as the room empties out for the one hour dinner break.

Don't Call Me Francis

$350 + $50 NL Deep Stack

Francis Liong (Toms River, NJ)

I approached the table to see a board of K
7 Q 5 Q♠ and an "all in" announced from Francis Liong (Toms River, NJ).

One Opponent folds while the other says, "If you got a boat you win bro. I call!"

Francis casually responds, "Of course I have a boat" and tables 5-5.

Opponent is covered and angrily throws down A
Q for the nut flush.

Francis scoops the 100,000 pot and is gaining on 200,000 for his stack.

One Hour Dinner Break was announced and vouchers were handed out.

Play resumes at 9:00 PM.

Great Call Pays Off

$350 + $50 NL Deep Stack

Ed McCarthy Makes A Great Call!

"A hell of a call" exclaimed one of Ed McCarthy's tablemates.

What would you do? You're holding pocket sevens and C-bet 16,000 on a rainbow board of 3-3-J then your opponent shoves all in, practically covering you.

Ed McCarthy (Souderton, PA) went in the tank for a bit, then confidently called. "I called because when he shoved he had this disgusted look on his face" explained Ed.

Opponent stood and sighed, "I got nothing" as his A-8 of clubs was tabled and didn't hit.

Before Ed could stack all his chips, on the very next hand I watched him hit two pair with A-2, up against Opponent's A-J.

After those two hands, Ed is now sitting on ~200,000.

Event 23 Underway

$150 + $30 NLH

Ready to Rumble!

Cards are in the air as Event #23 - 7PM Cash Tournament has officially begun.

Players start with 10,000 chips.

Blinds begin at 25 /50.

Hand Of The Tournament...So Far

$350 + $50 NL Deep Stack

Table 31 - Three Players All-In

Now we're having some fun. Remember Table 31 had quads twice earlier? Well they're at it again. This time three players (almost four) ship it all in pre-flop.

UTG raises 4,800.
UTG + 1 shoves to 26,000.
UTG + 2 flat calls 26,000.
Button jams all in for 38,000 and UTG folds.
UTG + 2 calls.

Everybody flips then everybody stands and cheers as the cards fly.

UTG + 1 has Q-Q.
UTG + 2 has 10-10.
The Button has K-K.

Board of 2-5-7-7-10 gives Allen Chang (Brooklyn, NY) the miracle river and a huge triple up from 26,000 to 80,000 plus the blinds. "Everyone calls me LBC or Luck Box Chang."

"This was one for the ages. I would have quadrupled up if Under The Gun called - he had pocket nines" - explained Allen.

Allen "Luck Box" Chang Triples Up

On the Button, Rob Crutchluy (Lumberton, NJ) scooped the side pot with his K-K and is still alive with 25,000 chips.

"I saw that river and felt like I was stabbed right through my heart" cried Crutchluy.

Gotta thank John Patane (NY) who wasn't in the hand but helped provide the details.

Level 11 continues...800 / 1600 blinds 200 antes

Lucky Tucker Passes 200,000

$350 + $50 NL Deep Stack

Among the Chip Leaders - Samuel Tucker 210,000

Samuel Tucker (Odenton, MD) admits he's been on a lucky run at table 30.

"You gotta be lucky in this tournament" said Samuel, an engineering manager by day.

This is Tucker's first Borgata deep stack and the poker Gods are smiling.

Samuel told me with a guilty grin that he's been gambling a lot - chasing and hitting.

Whatever he's doing, it must be working.

Level 10 continues...600 / 1200 blinds 200 antes

15 Minute Color Up Break

$350 + $50 NL Deep Stack

Love the hat Myron!

Moments before a fifteen minute color-up break Myron Rosenbaum (Philadelphia, PA) gets his K-J all in on a heart heavy flop of Q-J-J.

The table raises an eyebrow when Myron's opponent calls with only 5-5.

Board bricks out, Player busts out, and Myron doubles up to 85,000.

25 dollar green chips are now off the tables.

Remaining tables from downstairs have been brought up to the Event Ball Room.

After the break: Level 10 - 600 / 1200 blinds 200 antes

30 DS Players Boolka From Brooklyn

$350 + $50 NL Deep Stack

Onofrio "Frank" Reina rivers set & triples up to 30,000

James B. (Brooklyn, NY) wanted to get on the blog, but not this way.

A short 10,000 stack shoves all in.
James calls and next to act comes over the top all in.
James is covered and calls holding pocket nines.

Everybody flips over a pair.
9-9 vs J-J vs. Q-Q.

Board of 3-K-3-5-J gives a much needed triple-up to Onofrio "Frank" Reina (Cartaret, NJ) and sends James B. to the rail.

James took it as well as you could parting a shout out to, "Boolka" the thirty person posse he traveled down with from Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn, NY to play in today's Borgata deep stack.

We'll try to keep you posted if any of the other "Boolka" make a run.

Level 9 continues...500 / 1000 blinds 100 antes.

Defending DS Champ Is Hijacked

$350 + $50 NL Deep Stack

Jim Stenella - 2009 Event #1 Winner

The 2009 Borgata Poker Open Event #1 Deep Stack winner, Jim Stenella (Pipersville, PA) is jacked up as the table confirms he's had pocket jacks eight to ten times.

"He also had A-A four times" another player chimed in.

The real story here is that almost every time his jacks actually held up.

How about Jim's J-J on a board of J-Q-Q up against A-Q for a healthy double up?

"The only time I folded Jacks pre-flop was when this guy whose out now jammed my raise all-in." And what did he jam with? You guessed it - pocket Jacks.

So after all these wired jacks and aces you'd figure Jim is in position to repeat.

Well, not quite yet, but I'm sure he's looking to jack up his current 43,000 stack.

Level 8 continues... 400 / 800 blinds - ante 75.

Bricked Out

Josh Brikis
(File Photo)

The players at Table 41 may have recognized Borgata regular Josh Brikis after he got some airtime last night on ESPN's coverage of the WSOP Main Event.

The Pittsburgh native finished 55th out of more than 7,300 players and will continue to get more exposure as the series unfolds over the next couple of weeks.

As for Event 1, Brikis, who considers Borgata "home court," runs into some bad luck and is on the rail.

Early on Brikis has top two pairs and his opponent is all-in and dominated until the player hits the turn to survive, dropping Brikis to 9k.

After grinding his chip stack back to his starting 25k, Brikis is all-in with JJ vs AJ and the guy "runs out the nuts," to eliminate him.

This is just the first of many events for Brikis as you'll be hearing more about him as the Borgata Poker Open continues.

A Couple Of Early Chipleaders

$350 + $50 NL Deep Stack

Mike Manfredi (Atlantic City, NJ) 115,000

All part of a day's work for Borgata regular and AC native Mike Manfredi who is amongst the deep stack chipleaders at 115,000.

Terece Jones (Piscataway, NJ) 103,000

Terece is sitting on 103,000 after filling out with a straight flush early on.

Level 8 continues: Blinds 400 / 800 ante 75


$350 + $50 Deep Stack

Entries: 964
Total Buy-In: $337,400


1 $73,638
2 $43,364
3 $26,182
4 $21,928
5 $18,000
6 $14,564
7 $11,618
8 $8,837
9 $6,055
10-12 $3,927
13-15 $2,946
16-18 $1,865
19-27 $1,538
28-36 $1,342
37-45 $1,211
46-54 $1,080
55-63 $982
64-72 $884
73-81 $785
82-90 $720

Flopping Quads Twice In Four Hands

$350 + $50 NL Deep Stack

Quadballers Chris Lyon & Anthony Diorio

Borgata regular Chris Lyon (Brick, NJ) flops quads and felts a player in the process.

Chris raised UTG with 5-4 off suit (said he hadn't played a hand in a while) and is flat called by Opponent's Q-Q.

Miracle flop of 5-5-5 gives Lyon quads. Whoo-Hoo!

Opponent shoves all in for 14,000 on the turn and Chris insta-calls.

Two hands later at the same table... Anthony Diorio (Staten Island, NY) goes all in pre-flop with wired sevens.

He's up against two players holding K-J and 8-8.

Diorio knows he's good after 7-7-6 flops down. Whoo-Hoo again!

"It was hard for me to keep quiet and not celebrate once I saw it come down BOOM BOOM." said Diorio.

Opponents checked it down then the show began.

Anthony flipped his cards over, leaped up, yelled out and high-fived his tablemates.

You'd be happy too if your tournament life were at stake and you tripled up to 20,000 with quads - I know I would.

By the way, Anthony is standing on a chair trying to "level" the playing field against Chris Lyon.

Level 7 continues: 300 / 600 antes 75.

Take That Phil Hellmuth

$350 + $50 NL Deep Stack

Keith "KID" DeAngelis

I found this funny.

Keith DeAngelis (Conshohocken, PA) takes a shot at Phil Hellmuth.

Keith used his initials, K.I.D, to fashion a logo similar to that of the Poker Brat's.

Whereas Phil has an 11 on the side of his cap representing 11 WSOP bracelets, Keith humbly stitched on a zero "0".

DeAngelis dropped down early but has fought his way back to even, ready to make a move.

Sidenote: While I was at the table I watched a monster 20,000 bluff work to perfection.

On a board of 7-4-8-5-3, Player re-raised the river.

Opponent folded and Player proudly flipped over K-9 to get a reaction.

The player wanted to remain anonymous since he feels us mentioning him on the blog will jinks him.

Level 6 is winding down as players get ready for a fifteen minute break.

More Poker

In addition to the 21 Main Events, there's a plethora of Super Satellite and Second Chance Tournaments.

Just underway is a $150 + $30 Survivor Tournament (~1 in 10 wins $1,500).

At 7 pm there's a $150 + $30 NL tournament. Check the full schedule here as most days there's a mid afternoon tourney followed by one in the early evening.

Women Representing

$350 + $50 NL Deep Stack

Lisa Vanlandingham

If you follow the blog from Borgata Poker Open to Open you might recognize Lisa Vanlandingham (Nashville, TN), or maybe you won't since she's sporting a bit of a poker make-over - trying out some new sunglasses for the first time.

Lisa is looking forward to Friday's PLO and will play in the main event if she cashes during the week.

For now things are pretty quiet at her all male table.

Blinds continuing at Level 6: 200 / 400 with 50 antes.

Early Returns

$350 + 50 NL Deep Stack

The unofficial numbers have 965 players in Event 1 of the Borgata Poker Open.

The top prize will be close to $74,000 with 90 places paid

Level 6 (200/400/50 ante) is underway.

Sears Tower Of Chips

$350 + $50 NL Deep Stack

Charles Sears & Julian Park

Couple of rams are bucking horns early in the deepstack but do so with kindness.

Julian Park (Staten Island, NY) drops from 36,000 to 12,000 after his set of fives gets rivered by Charles Sears' (Virgina Beach, VA) straight. "It happens. I don't mind that call" said Park.

These two were very civil and polite with each other despite raises and re-raises with each card.

Julian's 5-5 vs. Charles' 8-8

Board of J-5-7-6-4.

It's always tough when you flop a set and get rivered by a straight but Park is prepared to build back. That's the glory of the deepstack.

"I'm staying here and got a good night sleep last night and I'm ready for the grind" said a visibly excited Sears in his first big Borgata tournament and deepstack.

Charles is up to 48,000 after hitting his man on the river.

Level 5 continues 150 - 300 with a 25 ante.

Side By Side

$350 + 50 NL Deep Stack

Eng & Boyle

The luck of the draw has some heavy hitters sitting side by side. Joey "The B" Brooks is to the left of Matt "Muffins" Mazzeo at Table 3.

Table 26 has James Boyle sitting to the left of Gordon Eng, while another successful Borgata player Keith Crowder is also at the table.

Tables 41 and 42 are side by side, allowing poker pros and good friends Josh Brikis (41) and Jason Young (42) the chance to needle each other.

Level 4 (100/200) continues.

Mazzeo & Brooks

Role Call

$350 + 50 NL Deep Stack

An alphabetical list of some familiar faces in the field.

James Boyd
James Boyle
Josh Brikis
Joey "The B" Brooks
Sheree Bykofsky
Keith Crowder
Steve Dannenmann
Mikey "Unbelievable" Dentale
Eric "Clown Fish" Doerr
Gordon Eng
Ted Geier
Michele Hughes
Johanssy Joseph
Mike Leah
Nancy Martin
Joanne Monteavaro
Rob Nguyen
Ian Palomo
Dwight Pilgrim
Jason Young

Level 3 winding down as players are set for a 15 minute break.

Royal Wedding

$350 + 50 NL Deep Stack

No Bridesmaid Today

Nicole Miller (Columbus, OH) is making the most of her first trip to Borgata. She's already hit a royal flush (12k pot), won an 80k pot and has more than tripled her starting stack of 25k.

"I have a bachelorette party this weekend and decided to come out a few days early," she says while winning another hand to build her stack to nearly 90k.

Her biggest pot came against David Young (Egg Harbor Twp., NJ) who turned two pairs versus Miller's flopped set of 9s. "It happens," he says after losing 39k on the hand, "come back later when I have more chips," as he's down to 10k.

"So far, so good," adds Miller, who will be a bridesmaid in the upcoming nuptials. "We'll see about the rest of the day."

Level 3 (75/150) is underway.

Lost Already

$350 + 50 NL Deep Stack

As the registration line shrinks players continue to fill in the empty seats. With 90 tables in the Event Center and more than 900 players in the field, tournament tables are opening in the Poker Room.

One player who was trying to find table 51 said, "I'm lost already." Players from all over the country will be at Borgata for the next two weeks. There's a strong New York invasion and familiar faces James Boyd and Michele Hughes from West Virginia are also in the field.

Blinds are up as Level 2 (50/100) is underway.

Off & Running

$350 + 50 NL Deep Stack

Sea of Players

The Borgata Poker Open is underway as hundreds of players fill the Event Center. Lots of familiar faces have already stopped by Media Row.

Josh Brikis, Jason Young and Nancy Martin are just some of the players you'll be hearing about over the next couple of weeks.

In 16 days there will be 21 Main Events, capped by the $3,500 ($3,300 + $200) WPT Championship Event which will be televised.

Kicking things off is the Event 1 ($350 + $50) Deep Stack. Players get 25,000 chips and the levels are 40 minutes long.

The button is in the 6 seat as the dealers have been told to, "shuffle up and deal!"