Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 1A Select Chip Counts


Giuseppe Pantalo, 2nd in chips

With ten minutes left in the level, a card was drawn, and that many hands would be played.  Bill Gazes drew the card, and the number of hands left were six.  We were able to collect select chip counts and had rough estimates for a few others.  Giuseppe Pantalo, who finished 3rd in Event 2, held the chip lead for most of the day, but ended the day in 2nd place as Jeffrey Papola had him slightly outchipped.  The field of approximately 195 players will return on Monday at 11am to continue play, and a fresh batch of players will arrive tomorrow at 11am to play Day 1B.

Jeffrey Papola - 156,200
Giuseppe Pantaleo - 148,300
Allen Bari - 127,300
Francis Lamothe - 110,725
Justin Scott - 110,700
Behzad Manshoory - 105,300
Thomas Manning - 100,125
Matt Lombardi - 100,000
Nick Binger - 96,975
John Myung - 77,000
Steve Zolotow - 72,000
Mike Sexton - 70,400
Dan O'Brien - 66,975
Brian Lamke - 65,525
Tom Dobrilovic - 63,525
Blake Buffington - 62,400
Roy Winston - 61,000
Billy Gazes - 58,325
Tom Marchese - 55,500
Cornell Andrew Cimpan - 48,825
Andrew Badecker - 48,400
Al Riccobono - 47,025
Matt Stout - 47,000
Maria Ho - 43,150
Steve Brecher - 35,725
Matt Brady - 30,000
Olivier Busquet - 29,100
Darryl Fish - 23,575
Tiffany Michelle - 22,000
Adam "Roothlus" Levy - 9,625

Come Back, Stan!


Day 1a has concluded and players are bagging and tagging their chips.

Stan Weiss

An unusual situation has arisen with Stan Weiss. Near the end of the day, he was involved in an all-in and lost the hand. He left the tournament area although he still had some chips left. His stack was blinded down and at the end of the night, they bagged up 3,600 chips for him. If he learns that he still has chips left, he can return on Monday at 11am for day two and continue play.

We'll have a sampling of chip counts for the big stack and some notable players shortly.

Day 1B begins Sunday at 11am with a fresh batch of players.

About 195 players survived day 1A and will return Monday at 11am for day 2.

Busquet Chips Up; Todd Terry Tossed


On the turn the board read 8 6 5 9 and Olivier Busquet (button) bet 2,400. Natale Kuey called and the river was a King. Both players checked and Olivier showed pocket Queens. Natale mucked.

On the river the board was A J 5 3 5 and Ryan D'Angelo (hijack) moved all-in for 21,600. The player on his left (cutoff) tanked for a few minutes before making the call. Both players rolled over AQ suited for Aces-up to split the pot.

Todd Terry

Todd Terry's pocket Tens were ahead of his opponent's AK...until the river, that is. An Ace on the river shipped the pot to his opponent and Todd was left short. He busted out soon after when he got all-in on the flop with a flush draw against bottom set. His draw didn't come through and he reported to the rail.

Tales of Two Matts


After a player opened for 1,050, Matt Lombardi three-bet to 3k. His opponent called and the flop came 7 4 4. Both players checked. Turn was the T and again both checked. River was the K and seat 8 fired 3k. Matt made the call and got shown KQ for a rivered pair of Kings. Matt mucked.

Matt Lombardi finished 5th ($6,209) in the $2k Heads-Up Double-Elimination event a couple of days ago.

On an Ace-high flop, Matt Brady had a shorter stack all-in. At the river, Matt's AK (top/top) was good to take the pot and bust his opponent. Matt chipped up to about 45k.

Hey E-Tay and Kayla! (in case you're following the action)

Chip Counts at Dinner Break


The players are back from their 75 minute dinner. Here are updated chip counts for notable players and chip leaders:

Giuseppe Pantaleo - 124,675
Matt Lombardi - 105,475
Mike Sexton - 84,350
Nick Binger - 84,250
Albert Strickland - 82,900
Al Riccobono - 80,000
Steve Zolotow - 72,400
Rich Melton - 70,000
Matt Stout - 69,075
Tom Marchese - 65,375
Allen Bari - 64,950
Maria Ho - 60,650
Roy Winston - 59,450
Dan O'Brien - 55,975
Tiffany Michelle - 54,250
Blake Buffington - 48,900
Cornell Andrew Cimpan - 40,375
Adam "Roothlus" Levy - 39,575
Billy Gazes - 38,875
Andrew Badecker - 33,400
Darryl Fish - 32,850
Steve Brecher - 31,725
Matt Brady - 30,700
Todd Terry - 29,350
Olivier Busquet - 21,700
Chris Klodnicki - 21,100
Michael Binger - 18,650
JC Moussa - 16,250
Will "The Thrill" Failla - eliminated
Jason Dewitt - eliminated

More Notables and Some Poker Action


Quite a few well-known players still alive today. Here are a few that I spotted on my last pass.

WPT title holders:
Roy Winston
Olivier Busquet
Stan Weiss
Steve Brecher
Cornell Andrew Cimpan (2)

WSOP Bracelet holders:
Andre Boyer
Robert Cheung
Steve Zolotow (2)

On the river with a board of A 5 2 9 J, Maria Ho faced a 4,500 bet from the player on the button. After a bit of thought, she made the call. Her opponent showed AJ for top/top. Maria mucked, surrendering the pot.

Al Riccobono

Across the room, Al Riccobono faced a similar challenge. He had turned a ten-high flush and called a 5k raise from his opponent. On the river, his opponent fired 15k and Al was afraid of the higher flush. He decided to call and it was the right move. His flush was good and he chipped up to over 80k.

Players have been sent on a 75-minute dinner break. Play will resume at about 8:20pm.

Chip Counts


Rich Melton

Rich Melton (Miami Beach, FL) is flying below the radar, but through steady play has taken his stack to 73k.

Other stacks of interest:

Guiseppe Pantaleo 81k
Rich Melton 73k
Michael Binger 60k
Roy Winston 50k
Maria Ho 48k
Al Riccobono 45k
Mike Sexton 45k
Bill Seymour 44k
Stephen Zolotow 43k
Matt Brady 42k
Olivier Busquet 42k
Tom Dobrilovic 33k
Will Failla 28k
Will Jaffe 28k
Nick Binger 19k
Joseph Johanssy 7k

Sexton & O'Brien In Action


Mike Sexton

On a flop of KJ7, Mike Sexton bet 1,500 into his opponent and was raised to 4k.  Sexton made the call, and the two saw the Q on the turn.  Sexton checked, and his opponent bet 6k.  After some deliberation, Sexton moved all in, and his opponent quickly mucked pocket tens face up.

Dan O'Brien

On another table, Dan O'Brien called a preflop raise and saw an 838 flop heads up.  O'Brien called another bet from his opponent on the flop.  When the 2 hit the turn, O'Brien bet 1,700 and forced his opponent to fold.

Matros Hits the Mat


Matt Matros

The best place to catch recent eliminations is at the top of the escalators just outside the Event Center doors.

The most recent bust out is Matt Matros who is short most of the day after his trip 4s are beaten by queens full of fours with his opponent holding QQ.

Pocket queens is a hand Matros won't like to see for awhile, as it's also the hand he goes out on when it's blind vs blind, his pocket 6s going up against QQ again.

Updates via Twitter


With such a large field, Twitter is very helpful in learning interesting hands and chip counts at the break.  If the players are to be believed, here's the news coming back from break and into 100/200 with a 25 ante:

Michael Binger: "40k on 2nd break. I'm playing good so far... Great structure event."

Adam Levy: "Value towned myself twice. One for a huge pot with nut straight vs low flush an other top pair vs bottom 2. 13k at 100/200 25" 

Olivier Busquet "2nd break of day 1a @wptliveupdates wpt main event @BorgataPoker. Have 56k played a crazy hand where I 4 bet all in with J10 off on q43"

Matt Matros: "15K, second break. Slowly but surely, I guess. #borgatamain" 

Todd Terry: "39350 at 2nd break." 

Matt Stout: "Playing day 1a of the WPT Borgata $3500 main event today. Played ~1500 bb pot in 1st level w KT=KT>99 on KhThTx9h3x n chopped a guy's stack"

Adam Junglen: "Out in 3 hours of Borgata. Just not my day at all. Mind wasn't in it after waking up and finding my roomie (@realthuydoan) in the ER. Ugh."

Prime Time


Mixed within the sea of tables, the WPT television crew is grabbing shots for it's 9th season of coverage. Commentator Mike Sexton is playing while reporter Kimberly Lansing is working hard.

In addition to the final table coverage, the WPT is shooting video from all tournament days. The deeper players go in the event, the better chance they have of getting some air time.

You can bet the players from day 1A will be checking out the broadcast set to air sometime in 2011.

Kimberly Lansing (middle) interviews Maria Ho

Brothers Levy


Justin Levy (left) with Adam Levy (right)

We were taking pictures of Adam "Roothlus" Levy when he informed us that that the man to his left was his brother, Justin.  When asked who was going to bust who, Adam explained that it's not like that, and they were more interested in the other stacks at the table.  And with that, the dealer pushed (half) a pot Justin's way when he turned broadway against an all-in opponent.  We'll check in with the Levy brothers to see if both can survive Day 1A.

Day 1A Numbers


Our tournament director Tab has just come over the microphone, announcing that Day 1A has received 315 entrants.

Mike Leah eliminated


Mike Leah just described to us his elimination hand, which was,  as he put it, "one of the sickest hands ever."  It all started when four players called a preflop raise, Leah being one of them, holding 75.  On a K64 flop, Leah bet 825 and was raised by the button to 2,600.  Everyone else got out of the way, and Leah called.  The 8 hit the turn, giving Leah the nuts, but making him vulnerable to an unlikely backdoor flush.  Leah check-called a bet of 3,100 this time, disguising his hand.  The river brought the 2, and Leah elected to check-raise all in.  His opponent called and showed him the bad news.  Though he had flopped two pair with his K4, his hand had turned into a flush on the river, and he had eliminated Mike Leah from the tournament.

Queens Beat Queen


Alex Not as Great this Time

Borgata Spring Poker Open champion Alex Queen (Bethlehem, PA) is on the rail after getting his aces cracked by the pocket queens of two time WSOP bracelet winner Steve Zolotow.

Queen and Zolotow get all the money in preflop and when there's a queen in the window the former champ is out.

"There's always the next one," Queen says with a shrug of the shoulders as he walks out the Event Center doors.

Level 3 (75/150) is underway.

Steve Z



Jonathan Wein (New York, NY) is having a roller coaster of a day. After dropping to 5k, he's climbed all the way out of the hole and is now back to the the 30k stack.

"Emotional," says Wein while surviving a 14k all-in for most of his stack.

On a board of 4 2 8Wein's all in with a set of 4s vs the flush draw of Roger Wellmannharris.

The board bricks out, Wellmannharris is out and Wein gets a fresh start.

Defending champion Olivier Busquet has doubled his stack to 60k as players are on a 15 minute break.

Bad Beat on Hunger = Championship Seat


(L-R) Melyssa, Torosian, Melanie & Fuat Ayaz

More than 300 players are in the field for Day 1A and as the list continues to grow, one player won his seat into the championship event last month at Borgata.

Arman Torosian (Edgewwater, NJ) won the Put A Bad Beat on Hunger special event sponsored by Cabot Creamery Cooperative to benefit the Southern Branch of the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.

The top prize in the deep stack turbo tournament included the $3500 seat into the Championship Event.

Here's a look at more familiar names in the field.

Allen Bari
Miguel Borrero
Feming Chan
Jason Dewitt
Tom Dobrilovic
Adam Junglen
Alex Queen
Bill Seymour
Matt Stout
Todd Terry
Billy Gazes
Will "The Thrill Failla

Early Action


Kordus (L) & Brady

On a board of 7 9 3 A 9 Calvin Kordus (Anchorage, AK) checks the river and Matt Brady moves all-in for 22,500.

Kordus tanks for several minutes and reluctantly folds flashing the A. A paired board with three hearts, tough fold or posturing?

The game within the game continues as blinds are up (50/100).

In the House


Busquet Back in Action

Players who we've seen plenty of during the last week are back looking for the Borgata Poker Open Championship, including defending champion Olivier Busquet, who's coincidentally at one of the featured tables along media row.

Here's a look at some of the more recognizable names in the field:

Michael & Nick Binger
Matt Brady
Maria Ho
Matt Matros
Mike Sexton
Roy Winston

Championship Event Underway!


Royal Flush Girls

The anticipation of winning a WPT & Borgata title is in the air as hundreds of players fill the Event Center.

Players start with 30,000 chips, levels last 75 minutes and blinds start at 25/50.

WPT Commentator Mike Sexton, flanked by the Royal Flush girls, says the magic words, "Suffle up and deal!"

Event 16 Recap

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

The final preliminary event of the Borgata Poker Open turned out to be an almost 23-hour marathon tournament, which began at 11am Friday and finally concluded just before 10am Saturday morning. 297 players ponied up the $1000 + $90 to participate in the 6-max format No Limit Hold'em event.

The total buy-ins of $297,000 would be shared among the final 27 players. Quite a few notable pros did not make the cut.

Most notable in the field was Olivier Busquet, who won the Borgata Poker Open WPT Championship here last year, along with $925k. He's played a couple of other preliminary events, but has yet to cash in this series. That streak continued as he busted out of this tournament early in the day.

Matt Brady was not able to add to his more than $2.3 million in accumulated tournament earnings. He reported to the rail along with Will 'the Thrill' Failla, poker author Matt Matros, WSOP Circuit rounder Dwyte Pilgrim, NAPT champion Tom Marchese, and WSOP bracelet holders Mike "Little Man" Sica, Andre Boyer and Jason Young.

It was more than 12 hours into play when the money bubble burst and players started collecting their payouts. Sirous Jamshidi was among the first to get paid, busting in 25th place ($2,593). John Myung held on a bit longer, but after doubling up a couple of short-stacks, he became the short-stack and then hit the rail in 16th place ($2,881). WSOP bracelet holder Chris Bell fared better. He finished 12th for $3,745.

The final three players battled for nearly three hours before the end. Steve Wiggins of Douglas, GA, had just had enough and shoved with 87 offsuit. Steven Levy of Peabody, MA, had him beat with AT suited. Levy took the pot, leaving Wiggins with 3rd place and $27,368.

Dan Spirer of New Hope, PA, is a cash game regular here at Borgata and doesn't usually play tournaments. Steven Levy (Peabody, MA) is a tournament specialist and would be the favorite in this matchup, but Dan had him out-chipped. Levy lost a key race with AK against pocket 9s that would have given him the tournament. Instead, he was continually fighting back from behind.

Shortly before 10am Saturday morning is was over, almost 23 hours after it began. Dan Spirer had all the chips and the win. He takes home $80,665 and the beautiful Borgata trophy. Stephen Levy took 2nd place and $47,534.

Spirer considers himself an "experienced recreational player" rather than a pro, but he frequents the $5/$10 No Limit Hold'em cash games here at Borgata. He's been playing poker since he was a kid and credits his father for teaching him the game.

Champion - Dan Spirer

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

Dan Spirer - 1st place

Well, it was over before I got that previous update in. Steven Levy got all-in and Dan Spirer held AQ, which held up for the win.

Steven Levy - 2nd place

Steven Levy finished in 2nd place for $47,534.

In an epic nearly 23-hour long marathon, Dan Spirer wins the 6-max No-Limit Hold'em tournament for $80,665 and the beautiful Borgata trophy.

Spirer Doubles; Levy Doubles

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

Dan Spirer opened for 240k from the button and Steven Levy raised to 700k. Dan shoved and Steven called. Dan was ahead with pocket 9s. Steven was racing with AQ suited. The board came K 6 6 7 6 and Dan doubled up. Steven was left with ~650k (of the 4.45 million chips in play).

Steven continued to fight back. He min-raised from the button and Dan called. The flop came 7 2 2 and both checked. Turn was a Ten and Dan checked. Steven bet 300k. Dan shoved and Steven called all-in. Dan held T7 for Tens-up. Steven held pocket Queens for Queens up to take the pot and double up. He's back over 1.3 million.

Heads-up play continues.

3rd Place - Steve Wiggins

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

Steven Levy doubled through Steve Wiggins when his K2 paired the board of K J 7 T 7 (Wiggins held A9 suited). Levy had over 1.6 million and Wiggins was left with ~650k.

Levy then moved in from the small blind and Wiggins called from the big, showing 87 off. Levy held AT. The board came 7 4 3 5 6 and although Wiggins made a straight, Levy made a flush to take the pot.

Steve Wiggins - 3rd place

Steve Wiggins finished in 3rd place, earning $27,368.

Busquet Back to Defend Title

Olivier Busquet
2009 Borgata Poker Open Champion

Wiggins Doubles; Spirer Doubles

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

Steve Wiggins was all-in holding A5 suited. By the river, he had made the steel wheel, doubling up through Dan Spirer to over 2 million. Dan was left with ~1.3 million.

On a flop of K 8 3, Dan (bb) moved in and Steve Wiggins (sb) called. Dan held T7 for the flush draw. Wiggins held K2 off for top pair. The last two came 9J giving Dan the back-door straight and he doubled through to over 2 million, leaving Wiggins with ~1.1 million.

Still no end in sight....

Somebody Shoot Me, Please

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

Another level gone. Players took a break.

Chip counts:
Dan Spirer - ~2.4 million
Steve Wiggins - ~1.22 million
Steven Levy - ~920k

Play has resumed. Blinds 30k/60k with 5k antes.

These guys have been playing this tournament since 11am Friday. That's over 21 hours ago. I can't hardly see straight any more and I've only been covering it since 6pm Friday (14 hours ago). Don't know how they can still be coherent.

Action Still Three-Way

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

Steven Levy min-raised to 100k from the button, then Dan Spirer (bb) re-min-raised to 150k. Steven called and the flop came K J T. Dan fired 100k and Steven called. Turn was the 3 and Dan announced he was all-in.

Steven seemed confused by the bet (or maybe it could be the fact that they've been playing poker for 21 hours) but decided to call. Dan showed A2 for the flush draw with gutshot. Steven held K8 off and was ahead with a pair of kings, but the river was the Q, giving Dan the flush and the pot. He doubled up to ~2.4 million while Steven was left with ~765k.

Steve Wiggins finally got into the action. On a flop of T 8 6, Levy got all-in and called by Wiggins. Levy held Q9 for the double-gutter while Wiggins held QT for top pair. The turn was a 7, completing Levy's straight. River was a Ten and Levy doubled up to ~1.5 million. Wiggins was left with ~600k.

The never-ending battle on the felt continues...

Event 14 Final Results

Borgata Poker Open 2010
Event 14; $1500 + $150 No Limit Hold'em
September 16-17

Entries: 303
Total Buy-In: $454,500

13. MARK BAATZ (BRIELLE, NJ): $4,409
34. ADAM HUI (MARKHAM, CAN): $2,645

Final Three Knotted Up

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

The final three players have been moving chips around the table for over an hour without making significant headway.

At one point, Steven Levy took a pot from Dan Spirer. On the river, the board read K Q 9 J 4. Dan bet 400k, Steven moved in and Dan called the extra 147k. Steven held KT for the King-high straight. Dan held Q4 for two pair. Steven doubled up to about 2.3 million while Dan was left with ~780k.

Dan got some of it back a few hands later. On a flop of K K 4, he checked, Steven bet 150k, and Dan called. Turn was a Ten and the third heart - both checked. River was another Ten and Dan bet 200k. Steven called and Dan showed K4 for the full house. Steven mucked.

All three are still very close in chips, with the average being ~1.5 million.

Blinds have just gone up to 25k/50k with 4k antes.

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

Josh Brikis

As one of the last preliminary events at the Borgata Poker Open before the Championship Event, Event 14: $1,500 + $150 No-Limit Hold'em attracted an impressive field of 303 players.  But when two days of play were complete, Josh Brikis from Monroeville, PA was the one left holding the trophy and a payout slip for $119,034.

Cards went in the air at 11am on Thursday, and the tournament drew many big names.  Jeremy McLaughlin was back at it, less than a day after winning the $2000 + $150 Heads Up Tournament.  Christian Harder, fellow "Final Four" from the same tournament, was also spotted in the field.  They were joined by such established pros as Tiffany Michelle, Matt Stout, Maria Ho, Roy Winston, Olivier Busquet, and Tom Marchese, among many others.  Soheil Shamseddin also bought in for Event 14, but he only lasted ten minutes as he ran his set of tens into his opponent's set of queens.

By mid-day, Canadian pro Gavin Smith had emerged as the chip leader, and ended day 1 in a respectable 7th place in chips.  Also in the top 10 were Jason Dewitt and Allen Bari.  Those three plus 61 others were chasing the chip leader, Andrew Dykeman from Jacksonville, FL, who ended day 1 with over 235k.

Players were back in their chairs at noon on Friday, and in about 4 hours, field had been trimmed to 37, with 36 getting paid.  The money bubble lasted an extraordinarily long time, and Brikis was the short stack and found himself all in and at risk several times.  He persevered and found himself in the money at around 5:30pm, when Chris Back's king ten bested Anthony Gelfen's pocket queens.

With a field of this caliber, many recognizable faces made the money, but were unable to parlay that into a final table.  Those players include Steve Dannenmann (30th), "Action" Jeff Hwang (29th), Mike Beasley (24th), Roy Winston (23rd), Jason Dewitt (21st).  Gavin Smith seemed to be destined for a final table, but he fell short when his pocket aces were cracked by Scott Anderson's pocket kings with 18 left.  He was eliminated in 18th place shortly thereafter.

When Leonard Cortellino was eliminated in 11th place, it was nearly 1am.  Thanks in part to his hand with Gavin, Anderson came into the final table with the chip lead.  After losing Joanna Monteavaro in 10th place and Gary Lobello in 9th, Brikis was faced with a tough decision for his tournament life.  On a board reading QQT52, David Diaz had bet enough to put Brikis all in.  Brikis went into the tank for what he later described as "a half hour."  He eventually made the right decision and called, as Diaz said he had nothing.  Brikis tabled his jack ten, and a chorus of "Nice hand" could be heard from the rest of the table.

With the momentum of that hand, Brikis continued grinding his stack upwards.  When they reached four handed, Brikis played a pot with one time Scott Anderson.  Anderson checked raised Brikis on the flop and the turn, the latter putting him all in.  Brikis called, and had Anderson's top pair/top kicker bested with pocket kings.  When the river blanked, Brikis found himself three handed and in great position to take down the tournament, having more than 60% of the chips in play.

Brikis bluffed a large part of his stack and lost a few small pots to lose the chip lead, and found himself racing for his tournament life.  Brikis held pocket fives to the ace queen of David Diaz.  Brikis turned a full house and left Diaz drawing dead, while also regaining the chip lead.  Brikis eliminated Diaz a few hands later when his AT held up against Diaz's K7.

Though Mike Summers still had a decent amount of chips in relation to the blinds, it only took two hands for for Mike Summers to get all in.  He reraised all in from the big blind holding A7 and Josh Brikis called with a dominating AJ.  When the board fell Q2962, the two shook hands as Brikis had won the tournament.

Even though it was 6am and the sun was rising outside, Brikis was elated about the win and enjoyed sharing the moment with a handful of friends that had stayed up to witness the win.  Brikis is no stranger to success at the poker table, coming off of a deep run (55th) in the 2010 WSOP Main Event and a 2nd place in a 2009 WSOP $5k.  But the win today meant much more to Brikis, who spent a moment admiring his trophy.  In the last year, Brikis has found himself on the losing side of heads up play more than he had liked, so he was pleased to emerge victorious.

 He had planned on playing the Championship Event later today, but has decided to wait until Sunday to play, perhaps taking Saturday off.

5th - Bonita; 4th - Husaynue

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

After the break, play resumed with blinds of 15k/30k and 4k antes.

Steve Wiggins opened for 90k and Chris Bonita shoved (over 600k). Steve called, showing pocket 9s. Chris held K6. The board came 8 7 6 4 2 and Steve chipped up to ~1.6 million.

Chris Bonita - 5th place

Chris Bonita finished in 5th place, earning $17,285.

On the next hand, Steven Levy opened for 76k from the button and Sam Husaynue moved in. Steven called quickly, showing AK. Sam held A9 off. The board came J 3 2 K 4 and another one was gone.

Sam Husaynue - 4th place

Sam Husaynue finished in 4th place, earning $22,182.

Final Five Chip Counts

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

The final five are on a break. Here are some rough chip counts:

Steven Levy - 1.35 million
Dan Spirer - 1.13 million
Steve Wiggins - 860k
Chris Bonita - 656k
Sam Husaynue - 455k

1st Place: Josh Brikis - $119,034

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

Josh Brikis, 1st Place

It only took two hands of heads up play for Mike Summers to get all in.  He reraised all in from the big blind holding A7 and Josh Brikis called with a dominating AJ.  When the board fell Q2962, the two shook hands as Brikis had won the tournament.  He will take home $119,035, the title, and the trophy.

Mike Summers will receive $66,130 for 2nd place

3rd Place: David Diaz - $41,000

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

David Diaz, 3rd Place

After doubling up Josh Brikis, David Diaz found himself all in holding K7 against the AT of Brikis.  When the board came out 732QT, Diaz was eliminated in 3rd place for $41,000.

6th place - Marc Lome

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

Marc Lome - 6th place

Marc Lome open-shoved and Steven Levy looked him up with AJ. Marc was pipped with AT. The better hand held up and Steven took the pot. Marc finished in 6th place, earning $14,405.

With that pot, Steven chipped up to ~1.3 million.

Diaz Takes A Hit

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

We haven't seen a lot of action in this three handed game, but we have seen Diaz overtake the chip lead.  But in this hand, he lost the lead back to Josh Brikis.

Mike Summers opened the pot on the button with a minraise, and Diaz 3-bet from the small blind.  Brikis 4-bet shoved, and Diaz made the call.  It was a coin flip with Brikis holding 55 to Diaz's AQ.  When the flop fell 4JJ, Brikis was still leading but needed to dodge and ace and a queen.  His rail was rooting for a five, and they got it when the turn fell 5, leaving Diaz drawing dead.  Once the meaningless J hit the river, Brikis was counted down at 1.33M and will double up.

7th Place - Bill Haley

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

Bill Haley - 7th place

Just after setting in to the final table, Sam Husaynue limped, Bill Haley raised to 80k, then Sam shoved all-in. Bill called all-in, tabling QT suited. Sam was way ahead with pocket Aces. The Aces held up and Sam took the pot. Bill took 7th place and $11,524.

The blinds moved up to 12k/24k with 3k antes.

Dan opened for 100k utg, then Sam moved all-in from the small blind. Dan called all-in for 577k total, showing KQ suited. Sam held pocket Jacks and it was race-time. The board came K 9 6 2 Q and Dan double up to about 1.2 million. Sam was left with ~370k.

Final Table of Seven

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

Danny Johnson - 8th place

Danny Johnson and Steven Levy got it all in the middle pre-flop. Steven's pocket Jacks were crushing Danny's pocket 4s. The board changed nothing and Steven had Danny covered. Danny finished in 8th place, earning $8,643.

Chris Bonita was all-in holding A3 and dominated by Marc Lome's AT. A three on the flop changed everything and Chris doubled up to almost 800k.

With 7 players remaining, they are moving to a single table.

Three handed chip counts

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

Three handed play

We lost Scott Anderson in 4th place almost an hour ago, and play has slowed down since getting to three handed.  Here are updated chip counts:

Mike Summers - 1.05M
David Diaz - 1.32M
Josh Brikis - 3.6M

Eight is Enough

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

Steven Levy was all-in holding AQ and in good shape against Danny Johnson's QJ. The board came A 7 4 K 2 and Steven doubled up to over 600k.

Another level has ended and there are still eight players remaining. They're taking ten, so here are some rough chip counts:

Table 1
Seat - Player - Chips
1 - Steven Levy - 505k
2 - Sam Husaynue - 753k
3 - Bill Haley - 240k
4 - Danny Johnson - 787k

Table 2
2 - Marc Lome - 544k
3 - Dan Spirer - 365k
4 - Steve Wiggins - 833k
5 - Chris Bonita - 450k

Summers Doubles Through Diaz

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

Mike Summers

Three handed, David Diaz opened the button and Josh Brikis folded the small blind.  Mike Summers moved all for just under 700k in the big blind, and Diaz instacalled.  Summers held Q6, and would need some help to overcome the AK of Diaz.  Summers found help when found a pair on a 3Q7 flop, and he ended up with a full house when the turn and river fell 7Q.

4th Place: Scott Anderson - $33,065

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

Scott Anderson, 4th Place

Josh Brikis opened the pot from the button, and Scott Anderson called from the big blind.  The flop fell J54, and Anderson check raised Brikis' c-bet.  Brikis called, and the two saw a five fall on the turn.  Anderson slowed down and checked, and Brikis bet again.  Anderson check raised a second time, this time all in, and Brikis made the call.  Anderson had AJ for top pair, top picker, but again Brikis had picked up pocket kings.  When the river blanked, Anderson was eliminated in 4th place, taking home $33,065.  Brikis is now up to over 4M.

5th Place: Shawn Busse - $25,571

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

Shawn Busse, 5th Place

Scott Anderson was in the cutoff and opened for 75k at 15k/30k blinds.  David Diaz on the button reraised to 275k.  Josh Brikis got out of the way, but then Shawn Busse called all in for roughly 240k.  Anderson reraised all in, putting Diaz deep into the tank.  "I know I'm going to fold and have you both show me ace king," said Diaz as he mucked.  Anderson indeed did have AK, but Busse was ahead with JJ.  Diaz claimed he folded pocket tens.  Busse's hand was good through a 648 flop, but Anderson took the lead on a K turn.  Busse would need a jack to survive, but the river fell 6.  Busse will receive $25,571 for his 5th place finish.

10th - Grana; 9th - Hallen

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

David Grana - 10th place

David Grana got his last ~52k all-in, only to run into the pocket Queens of Bill Haley. The Queens held up and Bill took the pot. David took 10th place and $3,745.

The next level kicked in with blinds of 8k/16k with 2k antes.

Michael Hallen - 9th place

Michael Hallen was all-in pre-flop with AQ, getting action from Sam Husaynue, who held a dominated AJ. Nevertheless, the board came J T 7 9 J and Sam took the pot with trip Jacks. Michael was busted in 9th place, earning $5,762.

12th - Bell; 11th - Moore

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

After the break, play resumed with blinds of 6k/12k and 2k antes.

Chris Bell - 12th place

Chris Bell got his short-stack in and was busted in 12th place, earning $3,745.

John Moore - 11th place

Chris Bonita got all-in after flopping a set of 5s and doubled up through John Moore, who was left with only about 75k. He was all-in and busted soon after. John finished 11th for $3,745.

David Grana got all-in holding pocket Jacks with action from Danny Johnson, who held K9. The Jacks held up and David doubled up to ~250k.

Bill Haley got all-in holding AQ against the AJ of Michael Hallen. The AQ held up and Bill doubled through.

Bill got all-in again against David Grana. Bill's QJ was racing against Bill's pocket 8s. He won the race when he flopped a Jack. Bill doubled again.

Ten players remain.

6th Place: Star Moore - $21,603

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

Star Moore, 6th Place

Star Moore has been eliminated when his AT was outrun by David Diaz's QT, who made two pair.  Moore will receive $21,603 for his 6th place finish.

Two Pair Times Two

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

David Diaz

On a board reading 7A98, David Diaz was all in with 97 against the 87 of Scott Anderson.  Both had two pair, but Diaz was best, needing to dodge a river 8 to stay alive.  When the river blanked the Q, Diaz's stack was counted down as 707k, and he is now up to over 1.6M.

Another Milly For Brikis

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

Josh Brikis

Josh Brikis found himself involved in another monster pot.  With the blinds at 15k/30k, Star Moore on the button opened for 125k and Brikis made the call from the small blind.  The two saw a TAA flop heads up, and Brikis check-called another 125k bet.  On the 7 turn, Bricks again check-called Moore's 100k bet.  The river 6 changed nothing in Brikis' mind as he reluctantly check-called a bet of 130k.  Moore said, "good call," and tabled KQ for no pair.  Brikis tabled KK and will take down another million chip pot.

Final Two Tables

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

On a flop of Q 9 7 rainbow, Chris Bonita got all in holding QT (top pair) and got called by Steve Wiggins who held KQ (top pair, better kicker). The last two came 7 K and Steve doubled up to over 800k. Bonita was left with ~200k.

On the other table, the flop was 8 5 4 when Chris Bell and Danny Johnson got all-in. Chris had pocket 4s for bottom set but was crushed by Danny's pocket 8s (top set). The last two were 3 T and Danny doubled up to ~900k. Bell was left with ~60k.

The final players are taking a break, so I scoped out the stacks for these estimates:

Table 1
Seat - Player - Hometown - Chips
1 - Michael Hallen - Tampa, FL - 300k
2 - Sam Husaynue - W. Bloomfield, MI - 300k
3 - Bill Haley - Morris Co, NJ - 193k
4 - Danny Johnson - Honolulu, HI - 920k
5 - David Grana - Grand Island, NY - 153k
6 - Chris Bell - Raleigh, NC - 60k

Table 2
1 - Steven Levy - Peabody, MA - 407k
2 - Marc Lome - Minneapolis, MN - 355k
3 - Dan Spirer - New Hope, PA - 415k
4 - Steve Wiggins - Douglas, GA - 813k
5 - Chris Bonita - Winthrop, MA - 198k
6 - John Moore - Columbia, MD - 295k

7th Place: Alex Rocha - $17,415

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

Alex Rocha, 7th Place

Alex Rocha was all in holding KQ against the A9 of Mike Summers.  When the board came 23J2A, Rocha was eliminated in 7th place.  He will take home $17,415 for his efforts.

Brikis Takes A Bite

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

Josh Brikis

On a board reading K394T and over half a million in the pot, Josh Brikis bet 225k in a heads up pot.  Scott Anderson made the call and instantly tabled K6.  Though he had top pair, Brikis had him outkicked with his KQ.  The million chip pot was shipped Brikis' way, putting him at over 1.6M.

15th - 13th Places

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

Three more bustages in quick succession:

Rob Zapata (Augusta, GA) finished 15th. Michael 'Carwash' Schneider (Covington, GA) finished 14th. Ray Shackleford (Fredericksburg, VA) finished 13th. All three earned $3,169 for their efforts.

Rob Zapata - 15th place

Summers Doubles Through Anderson

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

Mike Summers

Mike Summers was all in preflop holding 66 to the A8 of Scott Anderson.  Even though Steve Brikis claimed the ace was a huge favorite, the board came QJ4K9 to double Summers up to almost 500k.

8th Place: Andrew Dykeman - $13,006

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

Andrew Dykeman, 8th place

In an eerily similar fashion to Joanne Monteavaro's elimination, Andrew Dykeman has been eliminated in 8th place when his KQ failed to improve against the AK of Star Moore.  Dykeman will receive $13,006 for his efforts.

Nice Call, Brikis

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

Josh Brikis

David Diaz opened the pot preflop from the button, and Josh Brikis made the call from the big blind.  On a QQT flop with two clubs, Brikis check-called a bet.  Both checked an offsuit 5 on the turn.  When an offsuit 2 hit the river, Brikis checked again, and David Diaz pushed all in, putting Josh Brikis to a decision for his tournament life.  With around 350k remaining, Brikis went into the tank for what he later described as "a half hour."  He eventually made the right decision and called, as his JT was the best hand.  A chorus of "Nice hand" could be heard from the rest of the table as Brikis has doubled up.

17th - Rose; 16th - Myung

Event 16: $1,000 + $90 6-Hand Max No Limit Hold'em

After a break, play resumed with blinds of 4k/8k and 500 antes.

Rob Zapata got all-in holding AT suited against Marc Lome's pocket 8s. The board came 3 3 2 4 A and Rob doubled up.

On the next hand, John Moore (Columbia, MD) opened for 19k on the button, Michael Hallen (Tampa, FL) kicked it up to 47k straight, then Rob shoved for 65,500. John opted out, but Michael made the call. His A2 off was in bad shape against Rob's pocket Kings. Then John said he folded AQ, so one of Michael's outs was in the muck. The board 7 7 4 6 8 and Rob doubled up again to about 145k.

Mark Rose - 17th place

Mark Rose shoved for ~73k, the Danny Johnson (Honolulu, HI) raised to 150k on the button. Everyone else got out of the way and Mark showed AQ off. He was ahead of Danny's KT. The board came K 7 2 T Q and Danny made two pair to take the pot. Mark took 18th place and $2,881.

Bill Haley (NJ) moved in for 93k from the small blind and John Myung (Vienna, VA) called from the big. Bill's A4 was ahead of John's KT. The board came A 9 T 4 3 and Bill doubled up.

On the next hand, Dan Spirer shoved for 128k from the cutoff and John Myung called from the small blind. Dan had pocket Aces and was crushing John's KQ suited. Board fell 8 5 2 J 9 and Dan doubled up. John was left with only about 20k.

John Myung - 16th place

On the river with a board of A 7 2 Q 4 Jonathan Cantor (Manhattan, NY) moved in for ~150k. Chris Bell (Raleigh, NC) tanked for a bit, then called. Jonathan patted the felt in surrender. Chris showed A6 for a pair of Aces. Jonathan had just K2 for a pair of ducks. He finished in 17th place ($2,881).

John Myung got his last chips in and was busted soon after in 16th place ($2,881).

9th Place: Gary Lobello - $8,818

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

Gary Lobello, 9th place

Gary Lobello has been eliminated when his AQ failed to improve against the AK of Scott Anderson.