In a day filled with happiness and heartache, it's Tom Evers (E. Northport, NY) who celebrated his 19th wedding anniversary with a Borgata Winter Poker Open victory. Evers defeated Trevor Graffa heads up to take the title and the $53,324 first prize.
"It feels good to get my first tournament win," said Ever who also picked up his first live tournament cash. "The stars were aligned with the anniversary and everything," he said with wife Lori by his side.
On the final hand, Evers dodged 12 outs on the last card and won the event with two pairs while holding K♥ J♠.
"I really wanted the trophy," said Graffa who missed a flush draw and an over card on the river. "Being heads up in one of these before, it's pretty disappointing," Graffa said referring to his runner-up finish in the 2011 Borgata Summer Poker Open.
Day 2 of the tournament was filled with plenty of ups and downs, but none greater than the fall of Eric Hall (Staten Island, NY), who went from one million chips to the rail in 10 minutes. "Flop a full house and aces cracked, how can it be any worse," lamented Hall who started the day second in chips.
Hall's 19th place finish is chronicled here and helped propel Tammy Wagner to a 5th place finish when she was a 99% underdog and hit perfect-perfect against Hall. "That's poker," Hall said about her good fortune, "it doesn't phase me."
The final table featured Borgata regulars Daryl Boatwright (3rd), Peter Ippolito (4th), George Medrano (6th), Matt Mazzeo (7th) and Cathy Dever (9th). For Mazzeo this was his second cash of the series after he was runner-up in Event 4 and has now earned ~$32,000 in the Winter Open.
The tournament began with 552 players who put up $220,800 in total buy-ins. The field featured WSOP bracelet holders Mike "Little Man" Sica (40th/$964) and "Miami" John Cernuto, along with Borgata regulars Lee Childs, Wazir Baksh and Marguerite Spagnuolo (47th/$857).
But in the end it's the happy couple who take home the title and the Borgata trophy. "I let him play, that's his anniversary gift," says Lori, "I can't wait to see what I'm going to get."
Final Table Results
1 Tom Evers (E. Northport, NY) $53,324
2 Trevor Graffa (Lancaster, PA) $29,985
3 Daryl Boatwright (Sicklerville, NJ) $19,276
4 Peter Ippolito (E. Meadow, NY) $15,314
5 Tammy Wagner (North Lawrence, OH) $11,994
6 George Medrano (Rego Park, NY) $9,852
7 Matt Mazzeo (East Willston, NY) $7,817
8 David Kim (Flushing, NY) $6,104
9 Cathy Dever (Ephrata, PA) $4,284
10 Jeff Einsidler (Bedford, NY) $2,784