Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Losers Bracket Finale

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

Christian Harder (Annapolis, MD)
3rd - $18,624

After trading chips for more than two hours, Jesse Yaginuma (Silver Spring, MD) beats Christian Harder (Annapolis, MD) in the losers bracket final and now plays for the heads up title.

Harder ships his last 17k with 4 4 vs Yaginuma's Q Q and after he doesn't get any help, Harder finishes in third place. "It was a really fun tournament," says Harder, who finishes the event with a 6-2 record and takes home $18,624. "Jesse's a really good player who got the better of me.

Yaginuma, who's the defending champion, is now in the finals against Jeremy McLaughlin (Washington, D.C.) in a rematch from the winners bracket final earlier in the day.

Justin Cillo Takes the Lead With 50 Players Left

Event 13: $170 + $30 No-Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)

A new chipleader has emerged as the field continues to shed players fairly rapidly -- there are 50 players left. Justin Cirillo of Brooklyn, New York is the first player we've seen over the 500,000-chip mark, and he is already up to 615,000.

Chipleader Justin Cirillo

At Table 3, there was a three-way preflop all-in situation between Tommy K (small blind), Mike Moran (big blind), and Bobby Cheung (middle position).

Bobby Cheung: A3
Mike Moran: A10
Tommy K: 88

The board came K66K5, and the pocket eights held up for Tommy K to nearly triple up to 205,000. Moran was eliminated, while Cheung dropped down to about 200,000 in chips.

A short while later, four players saw a 10-high flop and checked to the button, who moved all in. Bobby Cheung was about to call out of position, when Mike "Little Man" Sica stopped him, indicating there were other players who had to act first. Cheung repeated something he's been saying all day with his thick accent, "I'm a professional! I'm a professional!" Several players at the table laughed, and Cheung was having a good time.

The other players folded, and Cheung called with Q-10 for a pair of tens with a queen kicker. His opponent showed 10-9 for the same pair with a lower kicker, and Cheung gave an over-the-top mock celebration. The turn card was a Q, and Cheung clinched the pot with two pair, saying, "Professional, right here!"

That pot took Bobby Cheung up to about 280,000 in chips. Here's a look at some of the notables and chipleaders still in the field:

Justin Cillo - 615,000
Martin Belous - 490,000
Gina Leone - 475,000
Alex Torres - 398,000
Bobby Cheung - 280,000
Paul Spitzberg - 240,000
Tommy K - 205,000
Gary "Lindell" King - 125,000
Mike "Little Man" Sica - 65,000
Mike LaTour - 80,000

Luke Smith - Eliminated
Mike Moran - Eliminated

We had listed Gary "Lindell" King as being eliminated in our last post, but it turns out he was just out of his seat. He is still in the tournament with 125,000 in chips, as listed above.

Even Stacks

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

Christian Harder and Jesse Yaginuma continue to trade trips. After 75 minutes they're on a quick break as blinds are at 200/400 with 50k chips in play.

Gavin Smith Finds a Tournament To His Liking

7:00 pm Tournament: $150 + $30 No-Limit Hold'em

Gavin Smith returned to the Borgata's tournament room to play in one of the evening tournaments, sitting down to play in the $150 + $30.

Gavin Smith

On his Twitter feed, Gavin had this to say:

@OleGSmith: Playing the 170 at Borgata tonight, I think I have found my perfect level of competition

Most of you know that Gavin won his first WSOP bracelet this summer, finally taking his name off the dreaded "Best Player Without a Bracelet" list. Combined with his 2005 WPT title, he is two-thirds of the way to poker's triple crown -- now he just needs to win a Borgata evening tournament to complete his poker resume.

Losers Bracket Finals

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

Harder (l) vs Yaginuma

The Christian Harder (Annapolis, MD) vs Jesse Yaginuma (Silver Spring, MD) match is underway. The winner advances to play Jeremy McLaughlin (Washington, DC) for the title, while the loser finishes in third place ($18,624).

Bubble Bursts & The Payouts Have Already Jumped

Event 13: $170 + $30 No-Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)

Hand-for-hand play on the money bubble had barely started before it burst. It's always nice to make the money without much of a wait. (Except for those players who like to abuse the short stacks trying to limp into the money.) Within another 20 minutes or so, they had already reached the first jump on the payscale.

Level 17 came to an end with 80 players remaining (the top 90 finished in the money), and they took a 15-minute break that included a color-up. The blinds have increased to 5,000-10,000 with a 1,000 ante.

Here are updated chip counts:

Alex Torres - 445,000
Gina Leone - 250,000
Bobby Cheung - 215,000
Paul Spitzberg - 190,000
Mike "Little Man" Sica - 150,000
Luke Smith - 100,000
Mike LaTour - 97,000
Mike Moran - 80,000
Tommy K - 75,000

Gary "Lindell" King - Eliminated
Andre Boyer - Eliminated

Money Bubble Approaching

Event 13: $170 + $30 No-Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)

The delay with the official numbers meant that the field got down to a little less than 100 players when they found out that the top 90 would finish in the money. (Though most knew that there more than 900 entries, and assumed that 90 would be where the money started.)

Chipleader Alex Torres

There are 93 players remaining, so hand-for-hand play on the money bubble should begin soon. The blinds have just increased to 4,000-8,000 with a 500 ante, and here are updated chip counts for the notables and chipleaders still alive.

Alex Torres - 286,000
Gina Leone - 240,000
Bobby Cheung - 232,000
Andre Boyer - 158,000
Paul Spitzberg - 140,000
Tommy K - 118,000
Mike "Little Man" Sica - 118,000
Mike Moran - 78,000
Gary "Lindell" King - 72,000
Luke Smith - 69,000
Mike LaTour - 33,000

Tommy K had just doubled up with 9c9s against Luke Smith's 7h7s on a board of 8c5c5d5s4d to push him up over the 100,000-chip mark.

Counterfeited - 3 Pair No Good

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

Jack Schanbacher (Pittsburgh, PA)
4th - $12,416

Just three players remain in the heads up tournament after Christian Harder defeats Jack Schanbacher to eliminate him in 4th place ($12,416).

On the final hand Harder opens the betting for 1.7k and Schanbacher comes over the top for 12k leaving only 3k behind. Harder makes it 15k, Schanbacher calls and is all-in.

Schanbacher: A 5
Harder: A 10

Flop: 6 5 4 (Schanbacher leads with a pair of 5s)
Turn: 6
River: A

And with the ace on the river Schanbacher hears a thud as his fives are counterfeited with two pairs on the board. Harder's 10 kicker plays, while Schanbacher's stuck with three pair and is out of the tournament.

Harder now faces Jesse Yaginuma in the losers bracket final. The winner advances to the tournament championship to face Jeremy McLaughlin (5-0) and must defeat him twice to win the title.

Prizepool & payouts

Event 13: $170 + $30 No-Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)

Number of Entries: 948
Total Buy-In: $161,160

1st: $35,173
2nd: $20,713
3rd: $12,506
4th: $10,474
5th: $8,598
6th: $6,957
7th: $5,550
8th: $4,221
9th: $2,892
10th-12th: $1,876
13th-15th: $1,407
16th-18th: $891
19th-27th: $735
28th-36th: $641
37th-45th: $578
46th-54th: $516
55th-63rd: $469
64th-72nd: $422
73rd-81st: $375
82nd-90th: $344

Chip leaders

Event 13: $170 + $30 No-Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)

Bobby Cheung, chip leader

As players return from their dinner break, we have discovered some emerging chip leaders.  Two players are approaching the 200k mark.  Both John Donnelly from Prospect Park, NJ and Gina Leone from Brooklyn, NY both have around 175k.  But the standout chip leader is Bobby Cheung, sitting on around 210k.  His table was joking with Cheung that he is a professional, and Cheung was laughing and taking the ribbing in good nature.  With 119 players remaining, though, it's still a long way to go until a winner is crowned.

Losers Bracket - Semifinals Underway

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

Schanbacher (L) vs Harder as Yaginuma (center) looks on

Jack Schanbacher and Christian Harder are playing in the losers bracket semifinal, with the finishing in 4th place ($12,416).

The winner faces Jesse Yaginuma in the losers bracket final. Yaginuma, who's on hand to watch the start of the match, won this event last year.

Play begins with 25k in chips, levels last 20 minutes, with blinds starting at 25/50.

The losers bracket final begins at approximately 9 pm.

Dinner Break: 121 Players Remaining

Event 13: $170 + $30 No-Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)

The field is down to 121 players as they take their one-hour dinner break. Action will resume about 8:15 pm ET. The official numbers have been delayed a bit because of the extra complexity of the re-entry aspect in this event, but we expect to have prizepool information sometime after dinner.

The Bad-But-Not-So-Bad Luck of Paul Spitzberg

Event 13: $170 + $30 No-Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)

The field is down to 170 players, and we expect to get the official numbers on entrants and prizepool soon. The blinds are currently 1,200-2,400 with a 300 ante in Level 13. The average chip stack is about 55,000.

Paul Spitzberg (left) and Mike "Little Man" Sica

There has been some more turnover at the featured table. We lost Allyn Marshall (seat 1), Joe Mosca (seat 2), and Rob Newman (seat 8). Here's a look at the new lineup, with the most recent chip counts:

Seat 1. Joe Cramer - 11,100
Seat 2. Tommy K - 56,000
Seat 3. Mike Moran - 95,000
Seat 4. Paul Spitzberg - 67,000
Seat 5. Mike "Little Man" Sica - 59,000
Seat 6. Sidney Wells - 35,000
Seat 7. Dan "Mole" Marion - 63,000
Seat 8. Luke Smith - 128,000
Seat 9. Jacquelyn Scott - Eliminated
Seat 10. Chris Mochol - 47,000

As you can see above, Jacquelyn Scott was eliminated. She moved all in from middle position for about 43,000, and Mike Moran moved all in from the cutoff with a nearly identical stack. Everyone else folded, and Jacquelyn showed 77, only to be dominated by Mike's AA. The board came 10933J, and the pocket aces held up. The stacks were counted down, and Mike had Jacquelyn covered by about 1,000, so she was eliminated. And Mike doubled up to a comfortable 95,000.

Shortly before that, Paul Spitzberg ran into what seemed like bad luck at the time, but probably didn't change anything in the scheme of things. When the cards were being dealt, the dealer accidentally flashed a 10 that was headed Spitzberg's way, so it became the burn card and he was dealt a 7 instead. Then Spitzberg's next card was another 10, and what would have been pocket 10s became 10-7 instead.

Spitzberg played the hand from the small blind anyway, against Tommy K in the cutoff. The flop came 1072, and Spitzberg flopped top two pair instead of a set -- still a very strong hand. They got it all in, and Tommy K turned over J9 for a gutshot straight draw. Spitzberg was a 3.5-to-1 favorite, but the cards had other plans.

The turn was the A, the river was the K, and Tommy K won the hand with a spade flush to double up. The pot that would have taken Spitzberg well over the 100,000-chip mark instead knocked him down to about 67,000.

As Spitzberg pointed out, the same thing would have happened even if he had the pocket tens and flopped a set, so in the end, the minor misdeal inflicted no harm. It's a weird situation for Spitzberg, because he's ran into some strange bad luck -- he lost to a royal flush earlier -- but he still has an above-average stack, so there isn't much room to complain.

A few other notable chip stacks from the field:

Gary "Lindell" King - 74,000
Andre Boyer - 105,000

Schanbacher def Lombardi; McLaughlin def Yaginuma

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

And just like that, both matches have ended.

Schanbacher defeats Lombardi

Jack Schanbacher held onto his lead to defeat Matt Lombardi. Matt finished in 5th place, earning $6,209.

Jack advances and will face Christian Harder in his next match.

McLaughlin defeats Yaginuma

Jeremy McLaughlin overcame his chip disadvantage to win his match against Jesse Yaginuma in just under 3 hours. Jeremy is now 6-0 and the only player still undefeated. He is guaranteed at least 2nd place and $31,040.

He will get several hours to relax now as he has to wait for two losers' bracket matches to complete. The winner of the Harder v Schanbacher match will face Jesse Yaginuma for a seat in the final.

Matches in Progress

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

The winner's bracket semi-final match between Jeremy McLaughlin and Jesse Yaginuma has been in progress since about 3:40pm (that's over two and a half hours). Jeremy has been all-in twice and survived both.

The first all-in he had 8,800 in chips and QT suited. Jesse held AT off. A Queen on the flop saved Jeremy and he doubled up to 17,600.

The next time he was all-in he was ahead with A9 against Jesse's QJ. Jeremy's hand held up and doubled up to about 23k.

Jesse has about a 3:2 chip lead on Jeremy.

The losers' bracket match between Matt Lombardi and Jack Schanbacher is still going (since ~4:05pm). Jack has about a 3:2 chip lead over Matt.

Bustouts & Double-Ups at the Featured Table

Event 13: $170 + $30 No-Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)

Well, it's a fast-moving tournament, and the field is already down to 230 players. The packed house from a few hours ago is starting to open up with a lot of empty tables.

Table 3 has not been immune, losing two of the players mentioned earlier. The blinds are at 800-1,600 with a 200 ante.

Craig Rubinstein had been knocked down to just a handful of low-denomination chips when Sidney Wells moved all in from late position. Rubinstein from the big blind without looking at his cards, and Wells turned over KK. Ouch. Wells turned over one card at a time. When he saw the 9, he said, "I'll take the eight of hearts." His other card was the 10, and Rubinstein said that card wasn't bad either.

The flop came A86, and several players pointed out that Rubinstein had picked up a gutshot straight draw. The turn card was the 9, giving Rubinstein a pair and additional outs -- he needed a ten, a nine, or a seven to survive.

But the river card was the 5, and Wells took the pot with his pocket kings. Rubinstein stood up and thanked everyone for being part of a fun table, and that finishes his time at the Borgata. He had a profitable time here, with a 4th-place finish in Event 9 for $7,319, but now he is heading home to his family in New York City.

Joanne Monteavaro was now the short stack at the table, with just a handful of chips. A friend stopped by on the rail and asked her if she was grinding away. She showed him her chips and said, "Not for much longer." He gave her the standard Battle Cry of the Short Stack: "All it takes is a chip and a chair." Monteavaro held up her last four chips and said, "I've got four." The blinds were quickly approaching, but her cards and the betting action in front of her kept her folding a bit longer.

When Monteavaro was in the big blind, Mike "Little Man" Sica and Allyn Marshall faced each other on a flop of J83. Marshall bet 10,000 from middle position, and Sica moved all in from the button for 22,000. Marshall called with 98 for second pair, but Sica showed AJ for top pair. The turn was the A, the river was the 3, and Sica doubled up with two pair, aces and jacks. Sica moved up to 57,000 in chips, while Marshall was crippled down to 3,300.

When Monteavaro was in the small blind, Chris Mochol limped for 1,600 from early position, and Sica raised from the cutoff to 6,800. Monteavaro gave up her blind, and Mochol called. Both players checked to the turn on a board of K104A, Mochol checked, Sica bet 13,500, and Mochol folded. Sica took another pot, moving up to about 68,000 in chips.

Finally, Monteavaro had her chance when everyone folded to her on the button, and she moved all in for 6,300. The Rob Newman raised from the small blind to 12,000, and Jacquelyn Scott moved all in from the big blind for 20,900. Newman called, and it was a three-way all-in situation.

Joanne Monteavaro: Q8
Jacquelyn Scott: KJ
Rob Newman: 1010

The board came J8276, and Scott flopped a pair of jacks to win the pot and more than double up in chips to 50,000. Newman was knocked down to 19,000, and Joanne Monteavaro was eliminated.

Here's an updated list of chip counts for our featured table (Table 3):

Seat 1. Allyn Marshall - 3,300
Seat 2. Joe Mosca - 12,000
Seat 3. Mike Moran - 22,000
Seat 4. Paul Spitzberg - 77,000
Seat 5. Mike "Little Man" Sica - 68,000
Seat 6. Sidney Wells - 42,000
Seat 7. Joanne Monteavaro - Eliminated
Seat 8. Rob Newman - 19,000
Seat 9. Jacquelyn Scott - 50,000
Seat 10. Chris Mochol - 59,000

Craig Rubinstein (formerly seat 10) - Eliminated

Harder Defeats Fortini

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

Harder defeats Fortini

Christian Harder took less than one hour to stop the juggernaut that Hayden Fortini had become. On the final hand, Christian raised to 2,450 from the button on a flop of Q 5 4 rainbow. Hayden check-raised all-in and Christian called, showing QT suited for top pair. Hayden held A4 off for just bottom pair. The turn was an inconsequential 9 and the Queen on the river was overkill.

Hayden Fortini finished in 6th place, earning $6,209.

Christian Harder advances and will play the winner of the Lombardi v Schanbacher match that is currently underway. No clear leader in that match yet.

Jeremy McLaughlin and Jesse Yaginuma are still battling in their semi-final match. They've been at it for over an hour and a half.

Featured Table Developing?

Event 13: $170 + $30 No-Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)

The field is shrinking fast in the no-limit tournament, though we are finding a handful of familiar faces in the crowd. Table 3 has a particularly fun lineup, with Mike "Little Man" Sica, Paul Spitzberg, Joanne Monteavaro, Craig Rubenstein (who finished 4th a few days ago in Event 9), and Sidney Wells (Raleigh, NC).

Most Interesting Table in the Room: Table 3

Earlier today, Spitzberg thought he was doing well when he landed a straight against Wells (who had checked in the dark) on an all-diamond flop. Little did Spitzberg know that Wells had flopped the stone-cold nuts -- a royal flush.

Fortunately for Spitzberg, the pot didn't play too big, and a fourth diamond on the river allowed him to get away from his straight without losing any more chips. (Spitzberg didn't have a diamond in his hand.) Spitzberg doesn't have much room to complain, because he still has a lot of chips in front of him.

Here are some updated chip counts:

Paul Spitzberg - 48,000
Mike "Little Man" Sica - 45,000
Gary "Lindell" King - 27,000
Sidney Wells - 25,000
Dean Schultz - 22,000
Craig Rubinstein - 21,000
Joanne Monteavaro - 15,000

With an interesting lineup at Table 3, at a table that won't be breaking for a loooong time, we may just promote it to featured table status and provide in-depth coverage on the action there for a while.

Fortini Defeats Blanda

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

Hayden Fortini had the chip advantage over Bill Blanda early in their match. At one point, Bill moved all-in on a board of Q T 5 7 A, but Hayden did not call.

Fortini defeats Blanda

After about an hour and a half of play, Hayden had all the chips and Bill was eliminated from the tournament.

Hayden (Vero Beach, FL) is just 21 years old, but cut his teeth playing online and in the Florida cardrooms. At the ripe old age of 19, he won two tournaments at the Isles in Popmano Beach. The first was a $900 tournament which paid him $59k. The other was a heads-up tournament, which earned him $50k.

Fortini advances to the next round and faces Christian Harder. That match will begin shortly.

The Lombardi v Schanbacher match got underway shortly after 4pm.

The semi-final match between Jeremy McLaughlin and Jesse Yaginuma is still in progress. No one yet has a significant lead.

Lombardi Defeats Schwartz

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

In a match that lasted just over two hours, Lenny Schwartz had the advantage until the last few hands.

In a hand that would defy the odds, Matt Lombardi was all-in for 13k holding pocket Kings. Lenny held pocket Aces and it looked like the match was over. It was not, however, as the board came K J J 2 2 giving Matt Kings-full and the double-up to 26k.

Lombardi defeats Schwartz

Players began with 25k each, so Matt took a very slight chip lead. Soon after they were all-in again. Lenny was ahead with A7 off while Matt was dominated with A3 off. The board came Q 6 5 3 K and once again Matt defied the odds to come from behind and take the pot and the match with a pair of 3s.

Lenny Schwartz was eliminated, just missing the money. Matt is now guaranteed to finish no worse than 6th for at least $6,209. He will face Jack Schanbacher in the next round.

Wednesday at Borgata: A Packed House

Event 13: $170 + $30 No-Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)

Today's events at the Borgata Poker Open have filled the room to capacity. Event at 3:00 pm, four hours after the big-field no-limit hold'em event started, the room was still buzzing with activity.

Wednesday at the Borgata Poker Open

We'll be providing regular reports on the action from this event going forward, from a full room to the final table.

Yaginuma def Harder; McLaughlin def Schanbacher

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)
Yaginuma defeats Harder

Jesse Yaginuma beat Christian Harder, so Harder drops into the losers' bracket with a 4-1 record. He will face the winner of the Blanda v Fortini match (beginning at 2:40).

McLaughlin defeats Schanbacher

Jeremy McLaughlin finally bested Jack Schanbacher, sending him into the losers' bracket. He will face the winner of the Lombardi v Schwartz match (underway).

Yaginuma and McLaughlin are both undefeated through 5 matches and are guaranteed to finish no worse that 3rd place, cashing for at least $18,624. They will begin their semi-final match shortly.

No More Entries

Event 13: $170 + $30 No Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)

Today's main event is still consuming most of the Event Center, except for a handful of tables being used by the heads-up tournament. They have freed up some tables in the back for the 1pm Survivor tournament that got started fairly late.

The re-entry and registration period is over so it should be downhill from here.

Blanda Defeats Rouhani

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

The Matt Lombardi v Lenny Schwartz match got underway at about 1:45pm.

Freddy Rouhani was all-in holding AT suited against Bill Blanda's pocket 6s. The board came T 9 4 A 3 and Freddy doubled up.

Blanda defeats Rouhani

Freddy's next all-in was with A3 off and he ran into Bill's pocket Jacks. This time Freddy got no help from the board of 8 6 4 5 5 and it was over. Bill Blanda advances to the next round and Freddy is eliminated.

Hayden Fortini was taking advantage of the extended match and observing the last half-hour or so. It remains to be seen if this will help in his upcoming match against Bill Blanda. That match will begin at about 2:40pm.

Over in the quarter-finals, Jesse Yaginuma has about a 4 to 1 chip lead over Christian Harder.

Schanbacher and McLaughlin seem to still be close to even.

Lombardi Defeats Young

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

Lombardi defeats Young

After a two-hour battle, Matthew Lombardi got the best of WSOP Bracelet holder Jason Young. Since this is his second loss, Jason has been eliminated two matches short of the money.

Lombardi advances to face Lenny Schwartz in the next match, which is the 7th-round of the losers' bracket. The winner of that match will be guaranteed at least 6th place money ($6,209).

Freddy Rouhani and Bill Blanda are still knotted up in their 6th round match. Bill has the chip lead, but it could still go either way.

Both of the winners' bracket quarter-final matches are still in progress with no one holding a significant lead.


Event 13: $170 + $30 No Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)

They are still seating and re-seating players in this event during level four. About 78 tables are in action. The re-entry period was extended through level 5, which will end at about 1:45 pm.

The Survivor event that was supposed to start at 1 pm has been pushed back to 1:30.

Schwartz Defeats Sackler

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

At one point earlier in the match, Sackler was all-in for 6,350 holding AK. Schwartz looked him up with AJ. The board came K J 7 K 5 and Sackler doubled up to survive.

Sackler defeated by Schwartz

It wasn't enough, however, as Schwartz eventually prevailed and won the match. He will face the winner of the Lombardi vs Young match.

The next round was scheduled for 1 pm, but two of the 11am matches are still in progress.

Fortini Defeats Taylor

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

Taylor defeated by Fortini

The 6th-round match between Taylor and Fortini has concluded with Fortini the victor. He will return at 1 pm to face the winner of the Blanda vs Rouhani match.

Both winner's bracket quarter-final matches are underway.

Registration and Re-Entry Mania

Event 13: $170 + $30 No Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)

The lines for entering and re-entering this event are so long, they have extended the re-entry period through level 5. After level 3, they will take a break in hopes of getting caught up.

The main section of the event center (70 tables) are all in use and they've overflowed into the sit-&-go area.

It is very difficult to move around on the tournament floor with all the bodies in motion, but I did make a quick pass and saw these folks:

Mike "Little Man" Sica
Paul Spitzberg
James "suits" Salters
Dean Schultz
Abe Korotki
Odette Clair Tremblay
Tony "OG" Shurilla
Mike Castaldo
Al Riccobono
Ylon Schwartz

Heads-Up Update

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

Heads-Up Bracket

Two of the four 6th-round matches (loser's bracket) are underway:

Schwartz vs Sackler
Taylor vs Fortini

The other two matches have not begun because Jason Young and Bill Blanda have not yet appeared, possibly due to confusion over start-time:

Blanda vs Rouhani
Lombardi vs Young

These winner's bracket matches are set to begin at noon:

Schanbacher vs McLaughlin
Yaginuma vs Harder

Event Center Humming

Event 13: $170 + $30 No Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)

The $170 + $30 No Limit Hold'em event is now underway. This event includes the option for 2 re-entries if a players busts out during the first four 30-minute levels. That's the first two hours of play.

The ten seats at all tables are starting out empty as those seats will be filled with re-entering players. 66 of the 70 tables in the main section of the room are in use already, with players still waiting in line to register (there's a separate line for re-entries).

The buzz in the room is that some players will be gambling it up during the re-entry period, trying to accumulate chips while knowing they can start over with a fresh 10k stack if they bust (twice). In addition, if a player exhausts his/her re-entries and busts out a third time, they can play a $500 + $50 Survivor tournament at 1pm.

The cry of "Seat Open" has already been heard. Saddle up, players, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

Event 12 Final Results

Borgata Poker Open 2010
Event 12: $300 + $50 No Limit Hold'em
September 15

Entries: 374
Total Buy-In: $112,200


Recap of Event 12: $300 + $50 No-Limit Hold'em

Mike Sheldon, 1st place

While many eyes were focused on the $2k Heads Up tournament that started at 11am, the 12pm $300 + $50 No-Limit Hold'em tournament nearly matched the total buy-ins.  A healthy field of 374 players ponied up their buyin, attempting to be the player to win Event 12 and the $29,386 that comes along with it.

Tiffany Michelle made her first appearance at the Borgata Poker Open, but was unable to make anything happen and was out the door after a few hours of play.  Peter Capuano caught an early lead when his king queen cracked two opponents' pocket aces, but he was unable to parlay that big pot into a win.  Another player that had an early lead was Colin Maneval, who is coming off of two deep runs here at Borgata, finishing third in Event 3 on Saturday, and bubbling yesterday's Omaha Hi-Lo tournament.

After the third break, an unattended chip stack of 218k was verified to be the tournament chip leader.  After 15 minutes of being blinded off, Mike Sheldon from Dresher, PA returned to his seat.  We're not quite sure what cause Sheldon to return late from break, but whatever he was doing seemed to have worked.  His chip lead lasted all the way through dinner break.  Through he briefly relinquished the chip lead to Cuong Phong, who got 2nd place in Event 3, he regained it when the final table was set.  Sheldon was the lone player with over a million chips with 1.1M, while Phung was hot on his heels with 762k.  Meanwhile, the average stack was closer to 550k.

Within an hour of reaching the final table, five players had been eliminated.  Five handed, action slowed down.  There had been a lot of preflop shoving, but not so much calling.  JT Davis crippled Phung when Davis' pocket aces dodged Phung's pocket nines, and Phung exited shortly thereafter in 5th place.  After Andrew Gilano (Bronx, NY) bowed out in 4th place, Dan Couzens (Hartford, CT) began to make his moves to take over the chip lead from Sheldon.  Unfortunately for Couzens, his chips ended up going back to Sheldon's stack, who ended up taking the rest of them when his ace jack bested Couzens' pocket tens.

Davis admitted that he felt as if Couzens was outplaying both of them when three handed, so he breathed a sigh of relief when it was Sheldon he needed to face in a heads up battle.  It didn't take long though before Davis found himself all in with ace three against the superior ace queen of Sheldon.  No three fell, and Davis headed to the rail in 2nd place, good for $16,326.

For his win, Sheldon will pocket $29,386.  He wasn't awarded the trophy until after his winning picture was taken, but he said he wasn't worried as he planned to win another one.  Sheldon says he plays a lot of tournaments, so he is sure to be back in action soon at the Borgata Poker Open.

1st Place - Mike Sheldon (Dresher, PA) - $29,386

Event 12: $300 + $50 No-Limit Hold'em

Mike Sheldon, winner

It was a quick heads up battle, with short stacked JT Davis finding a good enough A3 to get his stack in with.  Unfortunately for him, Mike Sheldon had him dominated when he showed his AQ.  Davis did not find his three outer on a AK8 flop.  The K on the turn gave him three additional chop outs, but when the 2 hit the river, Davis was headed to the rail in 2nd place, good for $16,326.

Sheldon entered the final table as the chip leader, and carried that chip lead to the win.  For his efforts, Sheldon will bank $29,386 and the title.

3rd Place - Dan Couzens (Hartford, CT) - $10,122

Event 12: $300 + $50 No-Limit Hold'em

Dan Couzens, 3rd place

Dan Couzens from Hartford, CT was all in preflop holding TsTh against the AcJh of Mike Sheldon.  Couzens mimed flipping a coin to indicate to his rail what was happening.Couzens' tens were good through a 8dQdQh flop, but it all fell apart when the Ad hit the turn.  The foretelling 3d on the river meant that Couzens was eliminated in 3rd place, good for $10,122.

4th Place - Andrew Gilano (Bronx, NY) - $8,163

Event 12: $300 + $50 No-Limit Hold'em

Andrew Gilano, 4th place

Andrew Gilano from Bronx, NY pushed his last ~700k in with Kc8c and was called by the pocket sevens of Dan Couzens.  Couzens flopped a set on a 973 flop, and Gilano was drawing dead by the turn.  He will exit the tournament in 4th place, earning $8,163 for his finish.

5th Place - Cuong Phung (Atlantic City, NJ) - $6,312

Event 12: $300 + $50 No-Limit Hold'em

Cuong Phung, 5th place

After being crippled by JT Davis, Cuong Phung was short stacked and ended up pushing his ~300k stack in the middle.  He had a good chance of more than tripling up when he found a call in both JT Davis and Mike Sheldon.  The two checked down the entire board.  Sheldon tabled A8 for a pair of aces, and JT Davis mucked his KJ, which had hit a pair of kings.  Phung eventually showed pocket nines (again), and was eliminated in 5th place.  He will earn $6,312 for his finish.

As he was at the cashout desk, Davis was jumping up and down saying, "Why can't a king be good?!"

Davis Doubles Through Phung

Event 12: $300 + $50 No-Limit Hold'em

JT Davis

There had been a lot of preflop shoving, but not so much calling.  When JT Davis pushed his stack the second time in two hands, Cuong Phung made the call from the big blind.  Davis joked that Phung had "finally picked off aces" as he flipped up AA.  Phung showed 99 and gave Davis a little bit of a sweat when the flop came Q8T, but he failed to find a nine or a jack when the turn and river fell Q6.  Davis now has almost 1.5M in chips.

6th Place - Paul Fayngersh (Brooklyn, NY) - $5,333

Event 12: $300 + $50 No-Limit Hold'em

Paul Fayngersh, 6th place

At 30k/60k blinds, Andrew Gilano open shoved from middle position for 566k and was called Paul Fayngersh.  Everyone else folded, and the hands were revealed:

Gilano A7
Fayngersh TT

Fayngersh was muttering, "No ace, no ace," as the flop fell 442.  His wishes stayed true through a 7 turn, but the poker gods smiled upon Gilano when the A hit the river.  Gilano has doubled up to over 1.1M chips, while Fayngersh was left crippled.  He was eliminated shortly thereafter in 6th place, good for $5,333.

7th Place - Marco LaViola (North Bergen, CT) - $4,299

Event 12: $300 + $50 No-Limit Hold'em

Marco LaViola, 7th place

In the small blind, Dan Couzens moved all in, having Marco LaViola covered.  LaViola made the call with K9, and was in great shape to double up against Couzens' Q9.  Unfortunately for LaViola, a queen hit the board, and he was sent to the rail in 7th place.  LaViola will pick up $4,299 for his efforts.

10th - Smith, 9th - Gimble, 8th - Fisher

Event 12: $300 + $50 No-Limit Hold'em

Scott Fisher, 8th place

While Kevin Gimble from Philadelphia, PA was eliminated in 9th place for $2,177, he had a smile on his face after he collected his money.  Here's why:

In his penultimate hand, Gimble shoved in with A7 and was called by pocket queens.  Gimble was crippled, with only 40k and three hands to go until he was to be the big blind.  When he was UTG, Gimble folded his hand, and Ken Smith from Brigantine, NJ pushed all in.  JT Davis from Cary, NC made the call, and it was a race with Davis's AK vs Smith's 77.  Davis hit a king on the turn, sending Smith to the rail in 10th place for $1,415.  This unexpected race allowed Gimble to claim 9th place money, hence his happy demeneaor.

Shortly thereafter, Scott Fisher from Little River, SC was eliminated in 8th place for $3,211.

Two Former Champs Still Alive

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

Fong (center) & Rouhani Staying up Late

A long day of heads up play is finally over as Farzad Rouhani defeats Michael Fong on back to back hands with pocket queens. "It's always the ladies," says Fong, who's out of the tournament.

On the penultimate hand of the night, Rouhani beats Fong's A J and cripples him to 2k. On the final hand it's QQ vs 6 9 and Rouhani moves on.

"This is way tougher than before," says Rouhani, who won the heads up title in the Borgata Winter Open going undefeated.

Rouhani is one of 8 players in the losers bracket who are still alive for the heads up title and return Friday morning in another elimination match.

It will take two more wins in the losers bracket for any of the remaining players to cash in at least 6th place.

Meanwhile in the winners bracket, the 4 remaining players Jesse Yaginuma, Christian Harder, Robert McLaughlin and Jack Schanbacher are all 4-0 in the tournament and guaranteed at least $6,209.

Yaginuma won this event during the Borgata Poker Open in 2009 and is looking to defend his title.

Rouhani Looking for April Repeat

Jesse Just Keeps Winning

Winners Bracket Update

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

Christian Harder (center) plays his quarterfinal match
in the winners bracket against Jason Young (right)

Approx. 2 pm

Schanbacher/McLaughlin winner vs Yaginuma/Harder winner

Wednesday, 12 pm
Guaranteed minimum 6th place ($6,209)

Schanbacher vs McLaughlin
Yaginuma vs Harder


Schanbacher def Fortini
McLaughlin def Blanda
Yaginuma def Sackler
Harder def Young

3rd Round

Fortini def Schwartz
Schanbacher def Shamseddin
McLaughlin def Gross
Blanda def Bolt
Yaginuma def Coutroulis
Sackler def Taylor
Young def Castaldo
Harder def Rouhani

2nd Round

Fortini def Rossetti
Schwartz def St. Hilaire
Shamseddin def Smith
McLaughlin def Mandavia
Gross def Savage
Bolt def Failla
Coutroulis def Pilgrim
Taylor def Vance
Bill Blanda def Chan
Schanbacher def Moore
Yaginuma def Affa
Sackler def Finke
Castaldo def Santiago
Young def Lombardi
Harder def Corcione
Rouhani def Neiman

1st Round

Lenny Schwartz def Mike Leah
James St. Hilaire def John Suglia
Hayden Fortini def Gregory Joslyn
Richard Rossetti def Darren Elias
Gavin Smith def Adam Gerber
Soheil Shamseddin def Alexander Kim
John Moore def James Giordano
Jack Schanbacher def Sirous Jamshidi
Ankush Mandavia def Marc Davis
Jeremy McLaughlin def Nick Binger
Trevor Savage def Michael Phelps
Jeffrey Gross def Jesse Rockowitz
Christopher Bolt def Herbert Cheng
Will Failla def Al Riccobono
Bill Blanda def Olivier Busquet
Feming Chan def Joshua Hillock
Jesse Yaginuma def Davis Diaz
Michael Affa def William Kakon
Jeff Coutroulis def Mark Tyson
Dwyte Pilgrim def Jesse Chinni
Matthew Vance def Joseph Stiers
Thomas Taylor def Michael Fong
David Finke def Randy Feder
Jason Sackler def Tyler Patterson
Matthew Lombardi def Scott Baumstein
Jason Young def Leonard Santagelo
Michael Castaldo def Francis Lamothe
Alex Santiago def. Matt Stout
Farzad Rouhani def Jason Lufkin
Joseph Neiman def Paul Cheung
Christian Harder def Dale North
Robert Corcione def Tom Dobrilovic

Losers Bracket Update

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

Losers 7th Round

Approx 1 pm

Lomardi /Young winner vs Schwartz/Sackler winner
Taylor/Fortini winner vs Blanda/Rouhani winner

Losers 6th Round
Approx 11 am

Blanda vs Rouhani
Taylor vs Fortini

Lomardi vs Young
Schwartz vs Sackler

Losers 5th Round

Lombardi def Bolt (eliminated)
Schwartz def Shamseddin (eliminated)
Rouhani def Fong (eliminated)
Taylor def Coutroulis (eliminated)

Losers 4th Round

Bolt def Neiman (eliminated)
Lombardi def Gross (eliminated)
Shamseddin def Fink (eliminated)
Schwartz def Pilgrim (eliminated)
Najafabadi def Chan (eliminated)
Fong def Castaldo (eliminated)
Taylor def Lamothe (eliminated)
Coutroulis def Cheung (eliminated)

Losers 3rd Round

Neiman def Corcione (eliminated)
Lombardi def Santiago (eliminated)
Fink def Rockowitz (eliminated)
Pilgrim def Affa (eliminated)
Chan def Tyson (eliminated)
Fong def Patterson (eliminated)
Lamothe def Baumstein (eliminated)
Cheung def St. Hilaire (eliminated)

Losers 2nd Round

Corcione def Leah (eliminated)
Neiman def Elias (eliminated)
Santiago def Gerber (eliminated)
Lombardi def Jamshidi (eliminated)
Finke def Binger (eliminated)
Rockowitz def Vance (eliminated)
Pilgrim def Riccobono (eliminated)
Affa def Hillock (eliminated)
Chan def Diaz (eliminated)
Tyson def Failla (eliminated)
Fong def Savage (eliminated)
Patterson def Mandavia (eliminated)
Baumstein def Moore (eliminated)
Lamothe def Smith (eliminated)
Cheung def Rossetti (eliminated)
St. Hilaire def North (eliminated)

Losers 1st Round
(Losers Eliminated with 0-2 record)

Leah def Suglia
Elias def Joslyn
Gerber def Kim
Jamshidi def Giordano
Rockowitz def Phelps
Riccobono def Cheng
Diaz def Kakon
Tyson def Chinni
Fong def Stiers
Lufkin def Cheung
North def Dobilovic
Hillock def Busquet
Patterson def Feder
Baumstein def Santangelo
Lamothe def Stout

Final table reached

Event 12: $300 + $50 No-Limit Hold'em

Mike Sheldon, final table chip leader

With the elimination of our 11th place finisher, our final table is now set.  Mike Sheldon continues his dominating chip lead as he is the only player over one million in chips.  Everyone is guaranteed at least $1,415, with the winner taking home $29,386.  Here are the seating assignments and rough chip counts:

Seat 1 - Scott Fisher (Little River, SC) - 480k
Seat 2 - J.T. Davis (Cary, NC) - 422k
Seat 3 - Mike Sheldon (Dresher, PA) - 1.1M
Seat 4 - Kevin Gimble (Philadelphia, PA) - 420k
Seat 5 - Ken Smith (Brigantine, NJ) - 338k
Seat 6 - Dan Couzens (Hartford, CT) - 445k
Seat 7 - Marco LaViola (North Bergen, CT) - 640k
Seat 8 - Cuong Phung (Atlantic City, NJ) - 762k
Seat 9 - Andrew Gilano (Bronx, NY) - 665k
Seat 10 - Paul Fayngersh (Brooklyn, NY) - 320k

Still Going

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

The long road through the losers bracket is slowly coming to an end as one of the final two matches of the night has wrapped up.

Thomas Taylor beats Jeff Coutroulis after a 2 hour and 20 minute match.

"I'm tired," Coutroulis who's out of the tournament, "I'm glad I did it, but my heads up game is rusty."

Coutroulis is looking to play in Thursday's $1500, Friday's 6 max and the Championship Event.

The lone remaining losers bracket match that's still ongoing is Farzad Najafabadi vs Michael Fong.

Gimble cracks aces

Event 12: $300 + $50 No-Limit Hold'em

Kevin Gimble (Philadelphia, PA) raised to 75k on the button, and Dan Guzens (West Harbor, CT) moved all in from the big blind.  Gimble made the instacall and tabled KK, but Guzens had the superior AA.  Guzens was in great shape to double up when the board read 3697 on the turn, but when the K hit the river, the table erupted.  After the stacks were counted down, it was confirmed that Guzens was eliminated.  Gimble now sits on a stack of over 600k.

Half million mark reached

Event 12: $300 + $50 No-Limit Hold'em

Mike Sheldon, chip leader with 18 left

With the field condensed to the final 18 players, the tournament staff has redrawn seats for the remaining players.  Three players have passed the half million chip mark.  Cuong Phung from Atlantic City, NJ, second place finisher in Event 3, has 530k, and Andrew Gilano from Bronx, NY has 665k.  But the overwhelming chip leader is Mike Sheldon from Dresher, PA, leading the pack with 890k.

Field Shrinking Rapidly; Rivered Flush Beats Flopped Set

Event 12: $300 + $50 No-Limit Hold'em

Once the bubble burst, the short stacks have been busting quickly. Heck, even some of the former big stacks have been busting quickly. Celso Garcia, who was second in chips not too long ago, has been eliminated. Here are a handful of updated counts:

Mike Sheldon - 325,000
Cuong Phung - 275,000
Dan Couzens - 250,000
Andre Boyer - 70,000

Peter Capuano - Eliminated
Emmanuel Desmanais - Eliminated
Eric Doerr - Eliminated
David Filippi - Eliminated
Celso Garcia - Eliminated
Ali Soleimanlov - Eliminated

There was one particularly interesting double-up. Mike Sheldon limped from early position for 12,000, Dan Couzens (West Harbor, CT) moved all in from late position to 110,000, and the button moved all in over the top. Sheldon folded.

Couzens turned over A6, but the button showed 1010. The flop came J 10 9, giving the button a set of tens, and Couzens stood up and prepared to leave. Another player pointed out that spade on the board and said he still had a backdoor flush draw. The turn was the 2, and the same player said, "See? Now you've got outs."

The river card was the 7.

The entire table reacted to the reversal of fortune as Dan Couzens won the pot with his ace-high spade flush. Couzens doubled up to about 250,000 in chips.

Meddling in Poker

Heads Up - Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

Phelps Feeling Good at Borgata

Gold medalist Michael Phelps was back at the Poker Open for the heads up tournament, one of his favorite Borgata events. Even though he lost both of his matches in the double elimination format, the 14 time Olympic champion isn't a fish out of water when it comes to poker.

"I played two good players," he says after losing to Trevor Savage & WSOP bracelet winner Jesse Rockowitz, "I got it in good (against Rockowitz), he just hit a queen on the turn."

Phelps' day came to an end when he's all in with AK against KQ on a king high flop, but Rockowitz hits his second pair for the win.

In January Phelps was 4 and 2 in this event, including a win over Paul Wasicka (2007 NBC Heads Up Champion) before just missing a top 6 finish cash in the Winter Open. "It's perfect, the guys up here run the poker room great," says the Baltimore native, "They're all amazing guys, it's a two and-a-half hour car ride up here so it's easy."

Phelps isn't sure how long he'll stay in Atlantic City, but hasn't ruled out playing in Thursday's $1500 tournament or the WPT $2 Million Guaranteed Championship Event which starts Saturday.

"I really need to get back to training and start doing my real profession and stay out of these guys world," he said.

As for swimming, Phelps admitted that he was unhappy with his performance this past summer. He won only two individual gold medals in the Pan Pacific Championships in August, compared to the 5 he won in the 2004 Olympic games.

Phelps will soon begin training for the 2011 World Championships in China and has less than two years before for the 2012 Olympic Games. "I know what I'm doing," he says while crafting a London game plan. "My coach and I know exactly what I'm doing and that's what we're going to prepare ourselves for."

As for which events he'll compete in, Phelps is keep those cards close to the vest.