$400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B
George Fotiadis (Newbergh, NY) began the day as the chip leader and finished it with the title, the trophy and $15,832, but the victory was anything but easy. In between, Fotiadis had a lot of ups and downs to winning his first live tournament.
"What a roller coaster," said Fotiadis who defeated John McCarthy (Kittery, ME) heads-up. "I'm mostly a cash player, so winning the tournament is nice."
On the final hand Fotiadis held Q♠ 5♠ 3♠ 10♦ and hit the higher spade flush to complete an incredible succession of four straight knock outs to end the ride that nearly came to an end as the final table began. "I went from chip leader to the short stack with 10 players left," said Fotiadis, "it was crazy."
Eric Judge (7th) was the first to scoop a big pot from Fotiadis and then Ze Chen (9th) took a chunk of his stack, but neither player was able to build on that momentum. Fotiadis hung around until play stalled with 5 players remaining.
At that point, Andrew Fiederlein was the chip leader with 800k and had Fotiadis on the ropes, but Fotiadis hit running 3s to stay alive and began Fiederlein's decent to a fourth place finish. "That was the hand," said Greg Law, "he rode that the rest of the way."
The final five players traded chips for three hours before Fotiadis took matters into his own hands and knocked out each of the remaining players in less than 20 minutes. First it was Law (5th), followed by Fiderlein (4th) and Jim Pappas (3rd) building a 5 to 1 chip lead over McCarthy before finally defeating him heads up.
"I played awesome the whole time," said Fotiadis, "I was super confident from the beginning. I've been crushing the games at home and told them I was going to win it."
The tournament began Friday with 136 players who put up $54,400 in total buy-ins. The field included bracelet holders "Miami" John Cernuto (3 WSOP titles) and Chris Reslock (1 title), but neither cashed. Reslock got off to a good start, but despite having the chip lead for part of Day 1 finished seven spots off the money in 25th place.
Other notables who played, but missed the money included, Barry Levy, who won this event in the 2011 Borgata Fall Poker Open and Brent Keller, a three-time wsop circuit winner.
In the end Fotiadis gave partial credit for the win to his January beard. The pool installer, who has down time in the winter said this is the only time he grows the full beard.
"Fear the beard, I like that," he said while holding the custom Borgata trophy.
Final Table Results
1. George Fotiadis (Newbergh, NY) $15,832
2. John McCarthy (Kittery, ME) $8,707
3. Jim Pappas (Johnstown, PA) $5,013
4. Andrew Fiederlein (Hoboken, NJ) $4,221
5. Greg Law (Mt. Laurel, NJ) $3,116
6. Dave Johnston (Brigantine, NJ) $2,638
7. Eric Judge (Clark Summitt, PA) $2,111
8. Matt Kaplan (Plainview, NY) $1,583
9. Ze Chen (New York, NY) $1,187
10. Ed Chiaramonte (Easton, CT) $1,055