$400 + $50 Omaha H/L 8B
The list of players who have won more than one Borgata trophy isn't very long, but you can add Mark Sykes (Hamden, CT) after he won the Omaha Eight or Better (OE) at the Borgata Winter Poker Open. Sykes beat Luigi Grilla heads up with a scoop on the final hand to grab his second title.
"I'm not an OE player," says Sykes who won the 6-max NL in the 2011 Borgata Fall Poker Open, "I only play this for fun."
Sykes almost didn't make it out of Day 1, let alone make the money. He was down to 2,400 chips with limits at 200/400, but a fortunate double-up and a good run of cards got him to the final table where he was up against two former champs.
Adel Shakerian, who was the OE champion in the 2011 Spring Open and Tim D'Allessandro, 2011 Winter Open champion, were eliminated back-to-back on Day 2.
Shakerian finished 6th, while D'Allesandro went from the chip lead five-handed to busting in 5th place. "It just shows that if you don't run well and don't hit cards it can go that fast," he said.
After Ed Lane went out fourth, David Pacheco was eliminated in third place by Sykes, who was then even with Grilla at the start of heads up play, before winning the title.
Despite not playing a lot of Omaha, Sykes felt he had an advantage when play was four-handed. "I'm a tournament player, so I have experience playing short handed and was able to adjust my game."
All nine returning players for Day 2 were in the money and going after the $38,800 total buy-in that the 97 entrants put up for grabs in the prize pool.
With his second trophy Sykes joins Alex Queen, Jack Schanbacher, Bary Levy, Glenn Engelbert, Chris Reslock, Emad Alabsi and Jay Zimmet as two time winners. Bill Blanda and Howard Wolper are the only three-time Borgata title holders.
Final Table Results
1st Mark Sykes (Hamden, CT) $13,173
2nd Luigi Grilla (Ventnor, NJ) $7,151
3rd David Pacheco (Fall River, MA) $4,516
4th Ed Lane (Bayville, NJ) $3,387
5th Tim D'Alessandro (Boothwyn, PA) $2,635
6th Adel Shakerian (Falls Church, VA) $2,258
7th Roman Tiraspolsky (Basking Ridge, NJ) $1,882
8th Pete Senak (Bedminster, NJ) $1,505
9th Mike Gabarick (Easton, PA) $1,129