Thursday, September 16, 2010

We Are Now In The Money

Event 15: $300 + $50 Seniors No Limit Hold'em

With 29 players left in the field and 27 getting paid, we caught a three way all in on table 2.  At 3k/6k blinds, an early position player had pushed in his stack of about 40k holding KK.  James Boyd called all in for 21k with QQ.  Not realizing the danger he was in, Preston Fouke moved all in over the top holding TT.  Miraculously, the flop came 3AT to put Fouke in the lead.  When the turn and river came 28, Fouke had made two enemies and 26 new friends by getting the field into the money.  Fouke now sits on around 130k.

Dewitt Hooks the Chip Lead

Event 14: $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em

Dewitt Doing Damage

Right before a break, Jason Dewitt has JJ and after a flop of 9 8 3 bets 5500. His opponent shoves 23k with 10 8 for middle pair and Dewitt calls.

When the board bricks out Dewitt uses the pocket hooks to take the chip lead to 191k and says,"I've been hitting hands non-stop."

After the break at the same table, Eric "Pools" Siegel is on the rail with an all-in three bet with K 9 for 28k. Eroc Salinas (Greenwich, CT) calls with AK and the best hand holds.

Level 11 (600/1,200/200 ante) is underway with 98 players remaining as tw0-thirds of the field is gone.

Face the Quads

Event 14: $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em

Good Run for "Good Bet?"

Adam "Good Bet" Ehrlich, who appeared on NBC's Face The Ace, has been holding steady since the dinner break.

Earlier in the day Ehrlich was on both sides of quads. First he wins a big pot with quad jacks, but later he loses a much smaller pot to quad 9s.

A key hand for Ehrlich comes right before the break when he hits a set of 10s to triple-up. "I seriously need it," he says, while sitting on a stack of 45k. "Since then I haven't seen many hands."

Featured Table Breaks

Event 14: $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em

Since the dinner break the featured table is Table 14, but it just broke.

Table 14

Mike Beasley 80k
Nick Binger 46k
Matt Matros 21k
Maria Ho 120k
Jonas Wexler 105k
"Action" Bob Hwang 45k

Hwang moves all-in on Ho who tanks and folds before the floor manager hands out the racks and new seat cards.

Other players we're keeping an eye on include:


Kevin Calenzo 119k
Tyler Patterson 96k
Josh Brikis 87k
Alan Bari 79k
Olivia Busquet 76k
Gavin Smith 73k
Mike Leah 70k
Al Riccobono 62k
Gordon Eng 44k
Eric Siegel 35k
Joanne Monteavaro 32k
Christian Harder 30k
Steve Dannenmann 23k
Jesse Yaginuma 17k
Rob Nguyen 16k

With table 14 down, there's now 130 players left, as blinds are now 500/1k/200 ante.

Controversy with James Boyd

Event 15: $300 + $50 Seniors No Limit Hold'em

James Boyd (left) confuses his opponent

We caught up with this hand preflop, as the floorman was making a ruling.  Two players had limped in for 3k, and James Boyd had made a raised that was ruled a string raise.  He had crossed the betting line with 7k in chips but apparently tried to verbally make it more than that.  The almost minraise of 4k would stand.  The player in the small blind called, as did the two limpers.

As the flop fell, Boyd was chanting, "Deuce, deuce, deuce!"  He went 1 for 3 as the flop fell 2Q3.  All checked to Boyd on the button, who elected to bet 20k.  This put the small blind into the tank, who was up in arms (literally) about his decision.  Eventually, he folded, and the other two players folded as well, awarding Boyd the substantial pot.  As he was being pushed the pot, Boyd told his tablemates that he had pocket kings.

The field has been thinned to 46 players, with 27 making the money.

Post-Dinner Chip Leaders

Event 14: $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em

Returning from dinner break, we discovered that Gavin Smith's stack has taken a hit, and he has now dropped below the 100k.  There are four stacks that are over the 100k mark, though.  Kevin Calenzo, winner of Event 5, is sitting with the chip lead with approximately 120k.  Right behind him is Christopher Bolt from Nashville, TN, sitting on a stack of 118k.  Another final tablist from Event 5 with over 100k is Tyler Patterson, who barely eclipses the cutoff with 101k.  Lastly, on table 5, seat 1 currently has 105k, but the player is late returning from dinner break, so we're not sure who it is.

Dinner Time

Event 15: $300 + $50 Seniors No Limit Hold'em

On a flop of 7 5 3, seat 7 was all-in and Linh Le made the call, showing A7 for top/top. Seat 7 held pocket 6s and was behind with a gutshot. The last two came 8 2 and Linh took the pot, chipping up to ~100k.

As the last few minutes of level 12 ran down, several players made their desperation moves and a couple were eliminated. About 52 were still in as they headed out for a one-hour dinner break. Play will resume at about 8:45pm.

Chipleader: Gavin Smith

Event 14: $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em

We scanned the field during the last break before dinner to find the chipleaders, and the biggest stack belonged to a familiar face -- Gavin Smith.

Chipleader Gavin Smith

Gavin Smith leads with 103,000, and he is closely followed by Christopher Bolt with 94,700. There are several other players around the 80,000 mark, including local hero and WSOP bracelet winner Brian Lemke (83,000).

Alexander Queen, who won the Borgata Summer Poker Open Main Event this summer (earning $355,535), just busted a player. Queen's AK took the pot against AJ on a board of AK7A9 -- full house over trips. Queen now has about 65,000 in chips.

Gordon Eng was short-stacked before the break, but got it all in preflop against two other players. Eng's A-A held up against A-K and Q-Q on a board of 107674. Gordon busted one player and nearly tripled up to 39,000.

Mike Beasley Back in the POY Chase

Mike Beasley is currently ranked #6 in Card Player's 2010 Player of the Year race, but he still chose to take time off after the World Series. He hasn't given up the chase (Tom Marchese, who busted out of this event earlier today, is the current points leader), but Beasley felt that he could use a few months to relax and recharge. Now that he is playing at the Borgata, he is prepared to play a heavy schedule of events the rest of the year as he tries to accumulate POY points. Good luck, Mike!

Here's a look at the updated chip counts:

Gavin Smith - 103,000
Christopher Bolt - 94,700
Brian Lemke - 83,000
Olivier Busquet - 75,000
Alexander Queen - 65,000
Dale Pinchot - 60,000
Kevin Calenzo - 50,500
Roy Winston - 50,000
Mike Leah - 49,000
Steve Dannenmann - 48,000
Chris Bell - 47,000
Allen Bari - 45,500
Maria Ho - 44,000
"Action" Bob Hwang - 41,000
Josh Brikis - 40,000
Gordon Eng - 39,000
Eric Siegel - 38,000
Matt Brady - 37,500
Jason Dewitt - 35,000
Josh Emerson - 32,500
Chris McCormack - 31,000
Mike Beasley - 29,000
Robert Cheung - 29,000
Adam Ehrlich - 21,000
Matt Matros - 21,000
Dwyte Pilgrim - 20,000
Nick Binger - 16,500
Andy Rosen - 15,000
Mike LaTour - 13,000
Joanne Monteavaro - 13,000
Christian Harder - 12,000
James St. Hilaire - 10,000
Jesse Naginuma - 8,000

Joanne Dorin - Eliminated
Will "The Thrill" Failla - Eliminated
Bastian Fischer - Eliminated
Giuseppe Pantaleo - Eliminated
Jacquelyn Scott - Eliminated
Nancy Todd Tyner - Eliminated

Senior Payouts

Event 15: $300 + $50 Seniors No Limit Hold'em

Finally, here are the official numbers and payouts for the Seniors event:

Number of Entries: 257
Total Buy-In: $77,100

1st: $20,940
2nd: $12,340
3rd: $7,105
4th: $5,759
5th: $4,487
6th: $3,739
7th: $2,991
8th: $2,244
9th: $1,496
10th-12th: $972
13th-15th: $823
16th-18th: $748
19th-27th: $673

Will "The Thrill" Failla eliminated

Event 14: $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em 

Will "The Thrill" Failla was all in preflop for roughly 13k holding KK against Jonas Wexler's AQ.  Failla asked for a king on the flop, but the poker gods frowned upon the greedy request and instead the flop came down 6AQ.  When the turn came the 4, Failla began rooting for a club as well as a king.  The river 2 hit, however, and Failla was eliminated.  As he was walking away from the table, he playfully taunted Wexler, saying, "I bet you don't make the dinner break."  Failla dropped the ribbing, however, when Jonas responded, smiling, "How much?"

Senior Moment

Event 15: $300 + $50 Seniors No Limit Hold'em

As I went by table 1, James 'suits' Salters was back up to 13k.

Adam Varrenti (Westchester, PA) got his last chips in holding A4, only to run into pocket 9s. The board ran out Q 7 4 5 T and Adam was busted. Adam finished 4th in the Spring Open Seniors event here, but won't be repeating that performance today.

Nancy Martin is also out. As I passed back by table 1, James 'suits' Salters' seat was empty, so he's apparently busted out also.

Ed 'Snake' Franklin

Ed 'Snake' Franklin (New Canaan, CT) is the new chip leader with ~143k.

Siegel Runs Good

Event 14: $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em

Pool Man out of Shallow Water

Eric "Pools" Siegel (Melville, NY) has the nickname because of his work in the pool industry, and fortunately for him the river card is a life saver while he's swimming in the deep end.

From UTG Siegel raises with 10 9 and gets a caller from the cut off. The flop is 10 high with one diamond, Seigel leads out for 3,800 and the opponent calls.

The turn is the 5 and Siegel sends in his last 15k, UTG calls and shows Q Q for an over pair.

Siegel's flush draw gets there with the 8 on the river and Siegel quips, "the guy's now at the B Bar wearing his swimmies," as he takes his stack to 40k.

Gavin Smith builds his stack

Event 14: $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em 

After a raise from an early position player, Gavin Smith put in a reraise to 3700.  A third player cold called the 3-bet, and the EP player got out of the way.  The two checked a flop of 453.  When the A hit the turn, Smith check called a bet of 2500.  The river was the K, and both players checked, Smith's opponent tabling AJ.  Smith had his opponent's hand bested, showing AK to take down the pot.

New Senior Chip Leader

Event 15: $300 + $50 Seniors No Limit Hold'em

Playing in Level 9, blinds 500/1,000 with 100 antes.

After the utg player limped, James 'suits' Salters (Lakeview, NY) raised to 1,550 (utg+1). Action folded back to the utg player, who called. The flop came 887 and James bet 5k. His opponent check-raised all-in for 11,700. After a little thought, James said "I'm behind, but I call".

Turns out he was ahead with AJ (Ace-high) against A5 (flush draw). Turn was the 3 and changed nothing, but the 5 on the river gave his opponent a second pair and the double-up. James was left short with only about 2k.

I passed by his table a few minutes later and Suits was back up to about 10k.

WSOP bracelet holder Andre Boyer (Acton Vale, QC, Canada) is in the field. Don't know how I missed him on earlier passes. He's only got about 5k which could mean trouble. He's already cashed twice during this series, finishing 5th ($6,453) in the Deep Stack Turbo and 20th in another No Limit Hold'em event.

Cyrus Samii

Chuck Derosa has stalled and has about the same amount of chips as he did earlier. Cyrus Samii (Cooperstown, NY) has taken the chip lead with about 70k.

11 tables remain with about 108 players.

Official Numbers & Payouts

Event 14: $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em

The official numbers have been released. There were 303 players at the start of the tournament, creating a total buy-in of $454,500. The top 36 players will finish in the money, and first place is worth $119,034.

There will be a one-hour dinner break at 7:45 pm, and remember that this is a two-day tournament.

Here's a look at the payout structure:

1st: $119,034
2nd: $66,130
3rd: $41,000
4th: $33,065
5th: $25,571
6th: $21,603
7th: $17,415
8th: $13,006
9th: $8,818
10th-12th: $5,732
13th-15th: $4,409
16th-18th: $3,747
19th-27th: $3,306
28th-36th: $2,645

A Few More Faces, a Few Bustouts, & Lots of Chip Counts

Event 14: $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em

We've recognized a few more faces in the field. Steve Dannenmann is playing today, as is Nick Binger.

Players who have been eliminated so far include Tom Marchese, Charles Hook, Jeremy McLaughlin, Tiffany Michelle, Todd Terry (busted by Matt Brady), and Joseph Cheong (busted by Olivier Busquett). There are probably a few other notables who have busted, though it's tough to find everyone since the field is still quite large (about 240 players remaining).

Jeremy McLaughlin said it just wasn't his day today, though since he won the double-elimination heads-up title last night, he didn't seem too worried about it. Congrats again to Jeremy for winning the title against a tough field.

November Niner Joseph Cheong may have had a late arrival, but he had an early departure. He wasn't at the table long when he flopped a five-high straight with A-5 on a board of 432x in a limped pot against Olivier Busquet. Unfortunately, Busquet had 92, and another club on the turn gave Busquet a flush to beat Cheong's straight. Cheong is out of the tournament, and Busquett has more than triple his original starting stack (62,000).

At another table, Steve Dannenmann was part of a three-way pot that saw a flop of J108. It checked to the cutoff who bet 5,500, the under-the-gun player folded, and Dannenmann called from middle position. The turn card was the 9, and both players checked. The river card was the 5, Dannenmann bet 7,000, and the cutoff called.

Dannenmann flipped over Q10 for a queen-high straight on the turn to win the pot, and his opponent mucked. That took Dannenmann up to about 44,000, more than double the starting stack.

We mentioned a rumor that Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps might be playing today, but it turned out to be nothing more than a rumor. (Phelps did play in the heads-up event two days ago, but went 0-2 in his matches.)

With the average stack around 25,000 in chips, here's a long list of updated chip counts:

Olivier Busquet - 62,500
Allen Bari - 45,000
Steve Dannenmann - 44,000
Chris McCormack - 42,000
Dale Pinchot - 39,000
Gavin Smith - 37,500
Jason Dewitt - 35,500
Tyler Patterson - 35,500
Will "The Thrill" Failla - 35,000
"Action" Bob Hwang - 35,000
Brian Lemke - 35,000
Robert Cheung - 34,000
Josh Brikis - 33,000
Kevin Calenzo - 31,000
Joanne Dorin - 30,000
James St. Hilaire - 28,500
Roy Winston - 28,500
Matt Matros - 28,000
Matt Brady - 27,000
Gordon Eng - 26,000
Maria Ho - 24,000
Adam "Good Bet" Ehrlich - 23,000
Nick Binger - 22,000
Giuseppe Pantaleo - 21,500
Matt Stout - 21,000
Joanne Monteavaro - 17,000
Josh Emerson - 16,500
Jacquelny Scott - 16,500
Eric Siegel - 14,000
Billy Pilossoph - 13,000
Bill Blanda - 12,000
Christian Harder - 12,000
Andy Rosen - 12,000
Mike Leah - 8,500
Jesse Yaginuma - 7,500
Nancy Todd Tyner - 5,000

Joseph Cheong - Eliminated
Charles Hook - Eliminated
Tom Marchese - Eliminated
Jeremy McLaughlin - Eliminated
Tiffany Michelle - Eliminated
Todd Terry - Eliminated

The blinds are about to increase to 200-400 with a 50 ante.

Seniors Back From Break

Event 15: $300 + $50 Seniors No Limit Hold'em

The Seniors are just returning from their second break of the day. Now playing in Level 7 with blinds of 300/600 and 75 antes.

Chuck Derosa

Looks like Chuck Derosa (Verona, NJ) is the chip leader with about 47k.

Down to 17 tables now and the board says 167 players remain.

Torpekay "Torpedo" Habashzada (Broomall, PA) who won the $500 Deep Stack No Limit tournament during the Summer Open has already busted out of this event. Torpekay earned her nickname during that event as she torpedoed her opponents all the way to the win. She's also the significant other of poker pro Sirous Jamshidi, which must be where she gets her poker acumen.

They Never Had To Do This On the "Amazing Race"

Event 14: $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em

Tiffany Michelle busted out of the tournament, but she still had some unfinished business to take care of. She wanted to play a prank on her "Amazing Race" partner, Maria Ho.

Tiffany wanted to "ice" Maria.

Maria Ho Gets "Iced"

If you don't know what icing is, you can actually look it up on Wikipedia under "Icing (drinking game)" Basically, you set up a situation where your friend (or friendly enemy?) somehow discovers a bottle of Smirnoff Ice. When they do, you say, "You've just been iced!" and they have to chug the entire bottle.

Okay, so the rules are a bit crude compared to poker or chess. But what do you expect from a drinking game?

Anyway, Tiffany recruited a few other people (who shall remain nameless) to help her prank Maria, and when Maria found the bottle, Tiffany announced to the crowd via microphone, "Maria Ho has just been iced!"

Maria reluctantly chugged the drink in between hands, and now she's feeling the effects of the alcohol. So she has a tough table and a high blood-alcohol level. Good luck with that.

Now that it's over, it's time to do another round of chip counts and find some interesting hands.

Senior Ladies

Event 15: $300 + $50 Seniors No Limit Hold'em

The seniors have moved into level 5, blinds 150/300 with 25 antes. Looks like 21 tables are still in action. Don't yet have final numbers for this event.

Since the Ladies often get overlooked in these large fields of men, I decided to give them a little extra attention. Here's a montage of some of the Ladies playing the Seniors event today. (Click > to play.)

303 Players, 10 Women, and 33 Chip Counts

Event 14: $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em

Tournament Director Tab Duchateau just announced that the unofficial field size for this event is 303 players. An impressive number, that's more players than showed up for last weekend's $1,000 + $90 no-limit hold'em event. Presumably, there are a lot more high-stakes players in town in the final days before the WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship begins on Saturday.

In our unofficial count of women in the field, we've located one more: Jacquelyn Scott. That makes a total of ten women in a field of 303 players, or 3.30% of the field. That's about average for women in a major tournament.

November Niner Joseph Cheong has also showed up in the field, and sure enough, he took the seat two to Maria Ho's left. Her table draw just keeps getting worse. Tiffany Michelle has already built her stack up to 28,000, while Maria has 21,000 at her tough table. (Tiffany also won a sit-n-go here last night.)

And now, for a whole lot of chip counts:

Chris McCormack - 39,500
Olivier Busquet - 35,500
Allen Bari - 28,000
Tiffany Michelle - 28,000
Giuseppe Pantaleo - 27,500
Dwyte Pilgrim - 27,500
Dale Pinchot - 27,000
Gavin Smith - 25,500
Joanne Dorin - 25,000
Andy Rosen - 25,000
Kevin Calenzo - 24,500
Matt Brady - 23,500
Robert Cheung - 23,500
Eric Siegel - 21,500
Maria Ho - 21,000
"Action" Bob Hwang - 21,000
Joseph Cheong - 20,500
Joanne Monteavaro - 20,500
Chris Bell - 18,000
Matt Stout - 18,000
Mike LaTour - 17,500
Jason Dewitt - 17,000
Todd Terry - 17,000
Matt Matros - 16,500
Jacquelyn Scott - 15,500
Jeremy McLaughlin - 14,500
Jesse Yaginuma - 14,500
Bastian Fischer - 14,000
Mike Leah - 14,000
Nancy Todd Tyner - 12,000
Tom Marchese - 5,000
Odette Claire Tremblay - 4,500

Charles Hook - Eliminated

Maria Ho Makes a Bad Decision on the Table Draw

Event 14: $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em

The tournament staff has added a 30th table to the tournament, so the field is approaching the 300 mark as they take their first break of the day. We've found a few more players: Allen Bari, Will "The Thrill" Failla, Dwyte Pilgrim, Mike LaTour, Andy Rosen, and Chris Lindh.

Now that the field has had two levels to mix it up and spread out from their starting stacks of 20,000, we'll begin tracking chip counts when they return. The blinds will be 75-150, so a starting stack would still be worth 133 big blinds.

A funny story from the start of the tournament. Amazing Racers and best friends Maria Ho and Tiffany Michelle were in the registration line together. Everything seemed fine until they got into the tournament area, and Maria got a look at the tough lineup at her table. She was seated with Matt Brady, Todd Terry, and last year's WPT Borgata Poker Open champion Olivier Busquet. Ouch. A glance at Tiffany's table showed no recognizable players, so Tiffany seems to have the early advantage in terms of table draws.

Maria Ho's Table Draw, from left to right:
WPT Borgata champ Olivier Busquet (seat 8),
Matt Brady (seat 9), and Todd Terry (seat 1).

Speaking of the women, we did an unofficial count to see how many women were in today's field, and we found nine. With nearly 300 players in the field, that puts the percentage of women right around 3.0% -- about average for a major tournament. The women we know in this group of nine are Maria Ho, Tiffany Michelle, Joanne Monteavaro, Nancy Todd Tyner, Odette Claire Tremblay, and Joanne Dorin.

(Update: Jacquelyn Scott is now the 10th woman in this field, which means they make up about 3.33% of the field.)

Finally, Gordon Eng just stopped by to send out a quick shoutout to Grace Song and James "Smiley" Chin. We'll have updates on Gordon's chip count throughout the day (and hopefully into tomorrow).

Seniors Update

Event 15: $300 + $50 Seniors No Limit Hold'em

James Boyd - Spring Open Seniors Champ

On an early pass through the field, I spotted these seniors:

James Boyd (won the Seniors event during the Spring Open for $18k)
Adam Varrenti (4th in Seniors event during the Spring Open)
George Walther
Ted Geier
Tony "OG" Shurilla
Joe Boatwright
Stan Weiss (won WPT Mirage Poker Showdown in 2006 for $1.4 million)

And these ladies are in the house:
Martha Patella
Nancy Martin
Pat Knoll

They're now playing in level 3 with blinds of 75/150.

This Field is Bursting With Big Names

Event 14: $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em

One hour into the tournament, and there is still a line for registration. There are 29 tables in action, so the current field estimate is a little less than 290 players -- an impressive turnout.

The field features a broad mix of local grinders, East Coast pros, traveling pros, famous players from TV, and recent Borgata winners. Who we've recognized so far:

Gavin Smith, Chris Bell, Matt Stout, Matt Matros, Soheil Shamseddin (busted in the first 10 minutes), Jeremy McLaughlin (won the double-elimination heads-up tournament last night), Christian Harder, Tiffany Michelle, Maria Ho, Mike Leah, Brian Lemke, Nancy Todd Tyner, Josh Emerson, Roy Winston, Dale Pinchot, James St. Hilaire, Robert Cheung, Andre Boyer, Joanne Monteavaro, Matt Brady, Olivier Busquet, Todd Terry, Tom Marchese, Jason Dewitt, Josh Brikis, Gordon Eng, Charles Hook, Jesse Naginuma, Jason Young, Billy Pilossoph, "Action" Bob Hwang, Prinz Olav von Sachsen, Joanne Dorin, Tyler Patterson, Bastian Fischer, Giuseppe Pantaleo, and Kevin Calenzo.

There's a rumor that Michael Phelps is playing today, and even though he tries to keep a low profile by wearing a hood, it's tough to hide when you're 6'4" tall and an international sports star. We'll let you know if we find him in the field.

Seniors Underway

Event 15: $300 + $50 Seniors No Limit Hold'em

The Seniors event is underway with 25 tables already in action. There's still quite a line at registration, so I expect the number of entries may approach 300.

Players began with 10,000 chips and levels last 35 minutes.

Set Over Set Busts Soheil in 10 Minutes

Event 14: $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em

Play hadn't been going for ten minutes when Soheil Shamseddin reraised preflop with pocket tens, and his opponent called. The flop came Q-10-x, his opponent bet, Soheil reraised, his opponent reraised, and Soheil moved all in.

Soheil's opponent called with Q-Q for a set of queens.

Two cards later, Soheil Shamseddin was eliminated from the tournament before a large number of players have even worked their way through the registration line. But Soheil promises to return tomorrow to play in the $1,000 + $90 6-Max No-Limit Hold'em, and of course Saturday's WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship.

Here's a look at the registration line, which looks long but is moving rather quickly:

Line to Register For the Tournament

Haven't even done a full pass of the field yet, but have already noticed Matt Stout, Chris Bell, Mike Leah, Matt Matros, and Nancy Todd Tyner in the field. We expect many more names to show up in the next hour or two.

With 400 big blinds in each starting stack, there is no rush to get here for the first hand of the day.

Thursday's Action Underway

Event 14: $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em

The next three days feature higher buy-in tournaments, and we're expecting a few more of the traveling high-stakes pros to show up early to play an event or two before Saturday's $3,300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship begins.

Today's early event is a $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em tournament, followed by a $300 + $50 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em event at 12 noon. Tomorrow is the $1,000 + $90 6-Max No-Limit Hold'em event, which should attract even more big names.

Today's $1,500 + $150 event is a two-day tournament, and the players start with 20,000 in chips and opening blinds at 25-50. (Levels last 60 minutes.) There are still some empty seats as the tables begin dealing cards, but there are quite a few players in line for registration, so we expect the room to get busier over the next hour.

Event 13 Recap

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

Justin Cillo (Princeton, NJ) rallied from a 7 to 1 chip deficit in heads up play to defeat Paul Spitzberg (Tenafly, NJ) to win Event 13.

"It's my first final table of any decent tournament," says Cillo, who took home $35,173 and the trophy. "This is pretty big for me."

Spitzberg dominated the final table with 7 straight knock outs to get heads up with 8.3 of the 9.5 million chips in play. After Cillo doubled-up, the two played a pivotal hand that gave Cillo two pairs, while Spitzberg had one pair and an open ended straight draw after the turn.

When Spitzberg wiffed on the river, Cillo drew even in chips as they headed towards the final hand. Cillo completed the comeback when Spitzberg was surprisingly at risk with J K vs Q 9. When a 9 hit the flop it was over as Cillo's pair of 9s won him the title.

"Heads up play is anybody's game," said Spiztberg, who collected $20,713 for second place. "It only takes a couple of hands. I don't feel bad."

The 19 hour marathon began Wednesday with 948 entries and finished at 6 am Thursday morning. When the double re-entry period ended after five levels, there was a concentration of recognizable players at Table 3.

Spitzberg was joined by Mike "Little Man" Sica (New Brunswick, NJ), Craig Rubinstein (New York, NY) and Joanne Monteavaro (Bronx, NY).

Throughout the day the chip lead seemingly changed hands every level after the dinner break and into the money as the top 90 players got a crack at the $161,160 total buy-in. Temporary chipleaders included Bobby Cheung (New York, NY), Gina Leone (Brooklyn, NY), Alex Torres (Fairview, NJ), and Billy Meehan (Staten Island, NY)

Cheung (13th / $1,407), Meehan (7th /$5,550) & Leone (3rd / $12,506) all managed their stacks and finished high on the pay sheet. But it's Cillo who finished on top.

He said he used small ball early in the tournament and patience at the final table. "I picked up a lot of small pots and got a few big hands at the right time," he said.

Champion - Cillo

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

Justin Cillo (Brooklyn, NY)
1st - $35,173

After watching Paul Spitzberg knockout 7 straight opponents at the final table, it only takes Justin Cillo three big hands to rally and win the tournament.

"Heads up play is anybody's game," says Spiztberg, who collects $20,713 for second place. "It only takes a couple of hands. I don't feel bad."

Cillo's was out-chipped 7 to 1 when they begin heads up play, but after one double-up he wins a pivotal hand. Cillo turns two pairs, while Spitzberg has one pair and an open ended straight draw. Spitzberg wiffs on the river and Cillo draws even heading towards the final hand.

After dominating the final table from the start, Spitzberg's surprisingly at risk with J K vs Q 9. When a 9 hits the flop, it's all over as Cillo's pair of 9s wins him $35,173 and the trophy.

"It's my first final table of any decent tournament," says Cillo, "This is pretty big for me."

Paul Spitzberg (Tenafly, NJ)
2nd - $20,713

3rd - Leone

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

Gina Leone (Brooklyn, NY)
3rd - $12,506

Gina Leone is latest victim of Paul Spitzberg as she's all in with A 2 vs 3 3. Spitzberg's pocket 3s hold and Leone's out in 3rd place.

Spitzberg begins heads up play against Justin Cillo and has a 8.3 of the 9.5 million chips in play.

4th - Kim

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

Jong Kim (Bethesda, MD)
4th - $10,474

With blinds at 100k/200k Jong Kim only has 300k and is all-in with Q 6 vs the pocket 7s of Paul Spitzberg. On the turn Spitzberg hits a 7 and Kim's drawing dead and eliminated in 4th place.

5th - Naidrich

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

Michael Naidrich (Brooklyn, NY)
5th - $8,598

Michael Naidrich shoves from the button with A 4 and the big stack Paul Spitzberg makes the call with 9 6. Spitzberg spikes a 6 on the turn to take Naidrich's last 350k and eliminate him in 5th place.

6th - Garcia

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

Celso Garcia (Charlotte, NC)
6th - $6,957

Celso Garcia's been running on fumes for the last hour and after posting the big blind of 120k, he only has 100k behind. Gina Leone & Paul Spitzberg check down the flop of J 6 6 10 4♣.

After Spitzberg show's down a pair of 10s, Garcia slowly turns over his cards as he's literally all-in blind and sees his cards for the first time.

Garcia tables 7
2, the "hammer," which delivers the final nail to his coffin, as he finishes in 6th place.

7th - Meehan

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

William Meehan (Staten Island, NY)
7th - $5,550

Bill Meehan and Paul Spitzberg see a flop of 9 6 3 and Meehan check-raises Spitzberg all-in for his last one million chips.

Spitzberg: 3 3
Meehan: 10 10

Spitzberg's flopped set of 3s is way ahead and holds as Meehan's out in 7th place. Meehan now has nearly half the chips in play with 4.3 million.

8th - Behar

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

Eric Behar (Charlotte, NC) is all-in against Paul Spitzberg with a better ace, A Q vs A 10. The board runs out with a jack on the river to give Spitzberg a straight, eliminating Behar in 8th place.

Despite the frustrating result, Behar collects $4,221.

9th - Senape

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

Christopher Senape (Manhattan, NY)
9th - $2,892

Christopher Senape raises preflop to 225k and gets two callers. On a king high board Senape ships his remaining 400k and is called by Paul Spitzberg (Tenafly, NJ).

Senape's pocket 9s are dominated by Spitzberg AK and he can't hit a set to finish the day in 9th place.

10th - Tranberg

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

Donald Tranberg (Howell, NJ)
10th - $1,876

Donald Tranberg pushes in his last 300k with Q 10 and is in trouble against the A K of Gina Leone. The board is no help and Senape's out in 10th place.

Final Table

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

Final Table Redraw

Seat-Name-Chip Count

1 Celso Garcia (Charlotte, NC) 515k
2 Donald Tranberg (Powell, NJ) 490k
3 William Meehan (Staten Island, NY) 1.7 million
4 Gina Leone (Brooklyn, NY) 1.7 million
5 Jong Kim (Bethesda, MD) 1 million
6 Christopher Senape (Manhattan, NY) 500k
7 Michael Naidrich (Princeton, NJ) 500k
8 Justin Cillo (Brooklyn, NY) 850k
9 Paul Spitzberg (Tenafly, NJ) 1.8 million
10 Eric Behar (Charlotte, NC) 480k

Bust Outs

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

18 John Donnelly (Prospect Park, PA) $891
17 Tom Jones (Mt. Ephraim, NJ)$891
16 Andrew Caldarelli (Philadelphia, PA)$891
15 Woody Rodgers (Glen Burnie, MD) $1,407
14 David Miles (Whitestone, VA)$1,407
13 Bobby Cheung (New York, NY) $1,407
12 Mike Latour (Clay, NY)$1,876
11 Mike "Little Man" Sica (New Brunswick, NJ)$1,876

Final 2 Tables

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

The remaining 18 players are drawing for their seats at the final two tables.

Table 1

Seat - Name

1 Tom Jones (Mt. Ephraim, NJ)
2 Mike "Little Man" Sica (New Brunswick, NJ)
3 Justin Cillo (Brooklyn, NY)
4 Celso Garcia (Charlotte, NC)
5 Bobby Cheung (New York, NY)
6 Christopher Senape (Manhattan, NY)
7 Eric Behar (Charlotte, NC)
8 William Meehan (Staten Island, NY)
9 Donald Tranberg (Powell, NJ)

Table 2

Seat - Name
1 Mike Latour (Clay, NY)
2 Woody Rodgers (Glen Burnie, MD)
3 Paul Spitzberg (Tenafly, NJ)
4 Gina Leone (Brooklyn, NY)
5 David Miles (Whitestone, VA))
6 Jong Kim (Bethesda, MD)
7 John Donnelly (Prospect Park, PA)
8 Andrew Caldarelli (Philadelphia, PA)
9 Michael Naidrich (Princeton, NJ)

Sign Up for the 7

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

"Nicky Trips" Pulls a Double

After signing up for this tournament Tuesday night, Nick Curattalo (Brooklyn, NY) decided to play in the 7 pm ($150 + $30) since he was already at Borgata. "The Yankees were coming on, they've got the big screens here, so I said why not?"

Curattalo made the most of the spur of the moment decision and won the tournament. A few hours later he returns to the Event Center to play in Event 13, and after another another 12 hours of poker Curattalo navigates a field of 948 entries to finish 25th.

Curattalo says he was inspired by two friends who made deep runs in Event 1. Rich "Migs" Migliorisi (11th) and James "The Gobbler" Nilsen (25th), who both cashed and were railing Curattalo at the end of this event.

If Curattalo plays the Championship Event and cashes, he'll be 3 for 3 and can live up to his nickname, "Nicky Trips."

Checking Out the Stacks

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

More than 3 million chips are at table two as the field continues to shrink. Billy Meehan leads the way with 1.4 million chips and is joined by Gina Leone who's closing in on half a million

Billy Meehan 1.4 million
Woody Rodgers 990k
Paul Spitzberg 745k
Justin Cillo 495k
Bobby Cheung 380k
Mike Sica 345k
Gina Leone 490k
Mike LaTour 270

HU Final Results

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

Field of 64

Money Matches

Jeremy McLaughlin (1st place - $49,662) def Jesse Yaginuma (2nd place - $31,040)
Jesse Yaginuma def Christian Harder (3rd place - $18,624)
Christian Harder def Jack Schanbacher (4th place - $12,416)
Jack Schanbacher def Matthew Lombardi (5th/6th place - $6,209)
Christian Harder def Hayden Fortini (5th/6th place - $6,209)


Jeremy McLaughlin def Jesse Yaginuma

Winner's Bracket


Jeremy McLaughlin def Jesse Yaginuma


Jeremy McLaughlin def Jack Schanbacher
Jesse Yaginuma def Christian 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

Loser's Bracket


Jesse Yaginuma def Christian Harder (3rd place - $18,624)

9th Round

Christian Harder def Jack Schanbacher (4th place - $12,416)

8th Round

Jack Schanbacher def Matthew Lombardi (5th/6th place - $6,209)
Christian Harder def Hayden Fortini (5th/6th place - $6,209)

7th Round

Matthew Lombardi def Lenny Schwartz (eliminated)
Hayden Fortini def Bill Blanda (eliminated)

6th Round

Bill Blanda def Farzad Rouhani (eliminated)
Hayden Fortini def Thomas Taylor (eliminated)
Matthew Lombardi def Jason Young (eliminated)
Lenny Schwartz def Jason Sackler (eliminated)

5th Round

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

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)

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)

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)

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

Heads Up Recap (Event 11)

Double Elimination ($2000 + $150)

Heads Up Champ Jeremy McLaughlin

In a rematch from earlier in the day, Jeremy McLaughlin (Washington, DC) defeated defending champion Jesse Yaginuma (Silver Spring, MD) to complete a perfect 6-0 run to win the heads up tournament. The final hand is anticlimactic after McLaughlin built an early chip lead and won the title with AK against K 7.

"This is one of my most proud moments in poker," said McLaughlin, who took home $49,662, "especially with this field."

The key to the win came early in the match when Yaginuma missed a flush draw that dropped him to 10k. Shortly after that, McLaughlin completed a gut shot straight draw on the turn that kept the pressure on.

"I'm slightly disappointed," said Yaginuma, who was in the finals for the second straight year after winning the title in the 2009 Borgata Poker Open, "but I can't complain. I've run pretty hot in the tournament the last two years and I've played pretty well."

The tournament began with 64 players including 14 time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps.

WSOP bracelet winner Gavin Smith, 2009 Borgata Poker Open Champion Olivier Busquet & Nick Binger were just some of the other headliners in one of the most anticipated events of the this series.

Busquet, an on-line heads up specialist who cashed in this event last year, was a disappointing 0-2, as was Phelps who just missed the money in January during the Borgata 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."

Something that was more difficult was navigating the losers bracket. Smith (2-2) and Binger (1-2) were both ousted early. Six players made the money as they got their piece of the $128,000 total buy-in.

In addition to McLaughlin and Yagiuma, who met in the winners bracket final, those who cashed included Christian Harder (Annapolis, MD), Jack Schanbacher (Pittsburgh, PA), Matthew Lombardi (Edison, NJ) and Hayden Fortini (Vero Beach, FL).

Money Matches

Jeremy McLaughlin (1st place - $49,662) def Jesse Yaginuma (2nd place - $31,040)
Jesse Yaginuma def Christian Harder (3rd place - $18,624)
Christian Harder def Jack Schanbacher (4th place - $12,416)
Jack Schanbacher def Matthew Lombardi (5th/6th place - $6,209)
Christian Harder def Hayden Fortini (5th/6th place - $6,209)

One on One Champion

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

Jeremy McLaughlin (Washington, DC)
1st - $49,662

In a rematch from earlier in the day, Jeremy McLaughlin defeats defending champion Jesse Yaginuma to complete a perfect run to win the heads up tournament. The final hand is anticlimactic as McLaughlin builds an early chip lead and wins the title with AK against K 7.

"This is one of my most proud moments in poker," says McLaughlin, who takes home $49,662, "especially with this field."

The key to the win comes early in the match when Yaginuma misses a flush draw that drops him to 10k. Shortly after that, McLaughlin completes a gut shot straight draw on the turn to keep the pressure on.

"I'm slightly disappointed," says Yaginuma, who's in the finals for the second straight year after winning the title in the 2009 Borgata Poker Open, "but I can't complain. I've run pretty hot in the tournament the last two years and I've played pretty well."

Both players agree that this was a tough field of 64 players and have mutual respect for each others game. "You couldn't draw up a tougher final 4," says McLaughlin, referring to Christian Harder (Annapolis, MD) and Jack Schanbacher (Pittsburgh, PA), the third and fourth place finishers.

"Excellent, excellent players and Jesse's record speaks for itself."

"Jeremy was a good challenge," says Yaginuma, who lost to McLaughlin in the winners bracket championship. "I give him all the credit."

Jesse Yaginuma (Silver Spring, MD)
2nd - $31,040

McLaughlin & his Rail Birds

Title Match Underway

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

McLaughlin (L) vs Yaginuma

Jeremy McLaughlin (Washington, DC), who is 5-0 in the winners bracket, only needs to beat Jesse Yaginuma (Silver Spring, MD) once to win the Borgata Poker Open Heads Up title (Event 11).

As the sole survivor of the losers bracket, Yaginuma has to win twice to win the crown and the $49,662 first place prize. This is a rematch from earlier in the day when McLaughlin beat Yaginuma to drop him to the losers bracket.