Saturday, January 21, 2012

#BWO2012 Tweets

Random tweets from those following @BorgataPoker

Sweating @TheMavroWSOP11 heads up for $35k vs Matt Muffins Mazzeo. Two awesome players, gogogo!

Heads up with matt muffins. He has a 3-1 chip lead. I have 25 bigs

At 300/600...limp limp I shove 8350 from btn. Bb only caller with KJo and spikes J vs my AKo. #fungame #ontoothenextone

200k goin to 10k blinds w 59ppl left...54pay. Gettin to be pretty shallow stacks...letts gooo #teammurder #teambaconbits

it's ridiculous I can't beat AQ with AA. I hoping he didn't get running diamonds and instead he hits two queens. Brutal day

45 left. 27 pay. 45k. Just got it in AK v 99 pre. Flopped top 2. Will spare the followers I have left the remainder of the hand. #makeitstop

Event 7: Heavyweights

$350 + $50 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

No soft spots on Table 4.

Three seasoned poker pros battle it out for their share of the
$190,750 prizepool.

Nick Frangos (seat 5)
Borgata regular and long time Poker Pro with over $850k in tournament earnings.

Marsha Wolak (seat 7)
Bracelet winner, 2011 WSOP Ladies Event Champion.

Wade Woelfel (seat 9)
Tournament Pro who amassed $48,710 in winnings and racked up 2 Final Tables during Borgata's Poker Open last September.

Event 7: Stats

$350 + $50 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Number of Entries: 212
Players remaining: 81

Blinds @ 4,000/8,000/500a
Avg. Stack: 184,740

Top Chip-Counts:
Jim Pei - 595,000
Peter Sennon - 451,000
Pedro Munoz - 440,000
John McDonald - 404,500

Notables still alive:

Amanda Musumeci
Nick Frangos
Wade Woelfel
Marsha Wolak

Event 4: Heads-Up Battle Continues

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

Matt Mazzeo and Pete Mavro continue to battle heads-up.

Blinds are up to 25k/50k with 5k antes.

Matt has the chip lead, about 3 to 1 over Pete. 

Heads-up play continues.

Event 6: 1K Stats

$1,000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Number of Entries: 212
Players remaining: 49

Blinds @ 800/1,600/300a
Avg. Stack: 72,270

Top Chip-Counts:
Cynthia Albert - 251,000
Philip Risman - 196,000
David Israelite - 156,500
Greg Koutelidakis - 131,000

Notable Chip-Counts:
Manh Nguyen - 121,000
Vinny Pahuja - 91,000
Matt Brady - 49,000

Event 4: Mavro Battling Back

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em  

Matt Mazzeo had Pete Mavro down to 535k when Pete got all-in pre-flop.

Matt called with A5 off.  Pete was ahead with pocket 6s.  The board ran dry and Pete doubled up to almost 1.1 million, leaving Matt with just under 3 million.

One more hand and the level was over.  The final two are taking a break.

Event 7: Lucky Danny

$350 + $50 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Danny Curry (Fairfax, VA) is one lucky man, his 'run good' streak started way before his first hand was dealt in the Event Center.

In route to Borgata, the part-time poker player hit a patch of ice and nearly lost control. He managed to avoid clipping the guardrail and spun his car back on the freeway.

He tells the Borgata Blog "I saw my life flash before my eyes."

We're glad Curry escaped unharmed, he sits with an above average
stack on Table 8.

Event 4: Mazzeo Extends Lead

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em  

 Matt 'Muffins' Mazzeo

Matt Mazzeo continues to pound away at Pete Mavro.  Matt's now over 2.6 million, leaving 1.3+ for Pete.

Heads-up play continues.

Event 6: The 1K Field

$1,000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Number of Entries: 212
Players remaining: 49

Notables still alive:
Bill Blanda
Matt Brady
Vinny Pahuja
Phong 'VIP' Nguyen
Philip Risman
Cynthia Albert
Vogt Adrian

Event 6: 1K Leading Lady

$1,000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

                                   Cynthia Albert (Albany, GA)

The Southern Belle honed her skills in friendly Georgia homegames.

More recently, she travles from Biloxi to Borgata grinding poker tournaments.

The self proclaimed "Poker Peach" is the leading lady in Event #6.

She has moved amongst the leaders with 198,500 chips.

Follow Cynthia @pokerpeach for chip counts and updates on Twitter.

Event 4: Still Heads-Up

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em  

The final two are still jousting with small pots.

Blinds have increased to 20k/40k with 4k antes.

Matt Mazzeo's lead has shrunk.  He's got about 2.2 million to Pete Mavro's 1.8 million.

Heads-up play continues.

Event 4: Mazzeo Chipping Up

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em  

They've mostly been pushing chips back and forth, but Matt Mazzeo has take a slight lead.

He's up to 2.4 million of the 4 million chips in play.

Heads-up play continues.

Event 7: By the Numbers

$350 + $50 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Number of Entries: 212
Players remaining: 91

Notables still alive:
Wade Woefel
Paul Darden
Marsha Wolak
Nick Frangos
Joseph Opie
Amanda Musumeci

Event 6: Poker Look-Alike

$1,000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Matthew Wantman (@MatthewWantman)

Up and coming poker pro, Matthew Wantman, wins our Poker Look-Alike contest for the day.

The Boston born kid shares a strong resemblance with animated cartoon pioneer, Seth MacFarlane.

Event 7: Chipleader

$350 + $50 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

CHIPLEADER - Mido Hammoud

The mild-mannered recreational gambler leads Event #7 with 351,000 chips.

Event 4: 3rd Place - Marder

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em  

Matt Mazzeo raised to 63k on the button.  Mike Marder moved in for another 555k on top from the small blind.

 Mike Marder (Sewell, NJ)

Matt tanked for a minute, then made the call, showing A9 off.  Mike had pocket 4s - another race.

The board came J 7 3 A 9 and Matt took the pot with Aces-up.

Mike will take $15,065 for 3rd place.

Heads-up play began with Pete Mavro and Matt Mazzeo nearly dead even with about 2 million each.

Event 6: 1K Chipleader

$1,000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

CHIPLEADER - Philip Risman

Philip Risman leads the pack with only 63 players left.
He's chipped up to 141,500, the average stack is 50,476.

Event 4: Mazzeo Doubles Again

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em  

Blinds increased to 15k/30k with 4k antes.

Matt Mazzeo completed the small blind, then Mark Marder raised from the big.  Matt shoved (809k straight) and Mark called.

Matt held pocket 2s.  Mark held AQ.  Typical coin-flip.

The board ran out J 7 4 4 9 and Matt's pair of ducks held.  He doubled up to 1.63 million.

Mark was left with 466k.

Event 4: Mazzeo Doubles

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em  

Play resumed after dinner with 10 minutes remaining at 12k/24k blinds.

Pete Mavro limped on the button, then Matt Mazzeo moved all-in for 393k from the small blind.

Mike Marder folded his big blind and Pete snap-called, showing pocket 8s.  "My trap worked" he said, when Matt showed K7 off.

Then the board came K 6 3 5 4 and Matt improved to top pair, then a straight on the river.

Matt doubled up to ~800k.

Event 6: Back from Dinner Break

$1,000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

The 1K field is back from Dinner Break.

Top Chip-Counts:
Philip Risman - 136,000
Vogt Adrian- 131,000

Notables still alive:
Bill Blanda - 91,000
Matthew Wantman - 76,000
Vinny Pahuja - 53,000
Matt Brady - 27,500

Event 7: Payouts

$350 + $50 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Entries: 212
Total Buy-In: $212,000

1: $46,067
2: $25,904
3: $16,653
4: $13,230
5: $10,362
6: $8,511
7: $6,754
8: $5,273
9: $3,701
10-12: $2,405
13-15: $1,850
16-18: $1,388
19-27: $1,018
28-36: $925
37-45: $833
46-54: $740

Event 6: Payouts

$1,000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Entries:  212
Total Buy-In: $212,000

1: $57,579
2: $33,931
3: $19,536
4: $15,834
5: $12,338
6: $10,282
7: $8,226
8: $6,169
9: $4,113
10 - 12: $2,673
13 - 15: $2,262
16 - 18: $2,056
19 - 27: $1,851

Event 4: Marder Doubles Before Dinner

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em  

It appeared that Mike Marder was headed for a third-place finish when he got all-in pre-flop with AJ.  Matt Mazzeo had him dominated with AK.

But then a Jack flopped and another Jack turned, and Mike doubled up.  He's now over 1.4 million.

Matt was left with about 500k.

Pete Mavro has the other ~2 million in play.

Time for dinner.  Play will resume at about 9pm.

Inside the Rail

Jen Shahade, a writer, entrepreneur and games player who is providing her insights from the Borgata Winter Poker Open. She is a two-time American Women’s Chess Champion and a contributor to

After my experience at the Borgata Winter Poker Open kickoff event, I don't plan on missing many of these big guarantees in the future.

The excitement in the room during the kickoff is palpable. You see pros who are planning an entire series worth of tournaments to dreamers who took the day off specifically to play for such a sky-high first prize ($165,053 in this case).

Jen Shahade

There was one man at my table, who appeared to be playing his first tournament. His version of a poker face was an ear to ear grin for the entire day. His cheeks must have hurt by the first break!

This particular tournament was a $560 re-entry. I was prepared to fire a second entry if necessary, but I also saw that when the re-entry period closed the starting stack would still be 50 big blinds deep, so I thought there was a very good chance I wouldn't need to.

Speaking of which, it’s better to not let your own intentions on re-entering obvious to the table. A player ready to re-buy will be perceived as bluffier in the early levels. By the same token, it's very valuable to find out if the players at your table are willing to re-enter or not. I have to admit I poked around a bit myself, but tried not to be too direct/obvious about it.

I ended up grinding a short stack for a few hours, picking up small pots, but not enough to keep up with the blinds and antes. I made it through the dinner break and as I detailed here was disappointed that I didn’t get a crack at the $956,500 total buy-in (which was nearly double the $500,000 guarantee!)

Still I had a lot of fun at the tournament and it was great to see so many familiar faces, including the winner of the event, Will "the Thrill" Failla.

If you aren't sure about which event to play in an upcoming Borgata series, I highly recommend starting with one of these kickoff guarantees. Come in the night before, register early, slurp some delicious noodle soup and most importantly, avoid the morning lines :)

As for my own plans, I'm playing the $400 re-entry Saturday and the Ladies $400 deep stack on Sunday. I'm also excited that my dad is coming in to play Monday's Senior's Event. If you see me, come say "hi."

Meanwhile, I'll continue to update my own progress here at @BorgataPoker and on @jenshahade. Wish you all lots of #rungood throughout the Borgata Winter Poker Open.


Event 7: Dinner Break

$350 + $50 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Event #7 on Dinner Break,
play resumes in 1 hour.

Number of Entrants: 545
Players remaining: 134
Avg. Stack: 81,343

Top Chip-Counts:
Joseph Opie - 351,000
Brian Grodofsky - 291,000
A-Roz - 267,000
Jim Pei - 233,500

Event 6: Dinner Break

$1,000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

End of level and time for dinner.  The remaining 63 players will enjoy one hour away from the grind.

Play will resume about 8:50pm.

Event 5 Champion - Fotiadis

$400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B

 George Fotiadis (Newbergh, NY)

Fotiadis rode some hot hands late in the tournament and defeated John McCarthy to win the tournament.

After he gave McCarthy one double-up, Fotiadis still had a 1.5 to 1 chip lead (900k to 675k),  and on the final hand both players had flush draws on the flop. When a third spade hit the board Fotiadis takes the title with the higher flush.

"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."

Fotiadis held Q♠ 5♠ 3♠ 10 on the final hand to win $15,832 and the Borgata trophy as the Event 5 Champion.

Event 5: 2nd Place - McCarthy

$400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B

John McCarthy (Kittery, ME)

McCarthy got one double-up from George Fotiadis, but isn't able to overcome the 5 to 1 heads up chip deficite and finishes in second place. 

McCarthy got great support from the rail from girlfriend Robin Lee, who not only finished 18th ($792), but also gets kudos from the blog team for her stellar updates.

John McCarthy earns $8,707 as runner-up.

Event 4: 5th - Johnston; 4th - Verrecchia

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em  

Perry Johnston got his short-stack all-in utg, then Joe Verrecchia shoved over the top from the small blind.  Then Pete Mavro moved in over the top of him.

When the hands were tabled, Joe was trailing with QJ suited.  Perry held AQ (again) and Pete was in the lead with AK.

 Perry Johnston (Oak Island, NC) & Joe Verrecchia (Sewell, NJ)
$9,395                                       $12,149

Again AK held up to take the pot.  Pete is now the massive chip leader.

Perry finished in 5th place, good for $9,395.

Joe Verrecchia will collect $12,149 for 4th place.

Event 5: 3rd Place - Pappas

$400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B

 Jim Pappas (Johnstown, PA)

Pappas is the third straight casualty of George Fotiadis who has been on tear the last fifteen minutes.  Pappas exits in dramatic fashion as the 10 gives him a queen high flush, but completes a gutshot straight flush for Fotiadis.

Pappas loses 350k and the attorney from the flood city will have to drive Menoher Blvd. wondering what could've been.  This is his first trip to Borgata because this is the "only place to find a PLO tournament."  Adding, "it's a nice structure, I wasn't pressed at all," and that the casino is "beautiful."

Pappas's third place finish earns him $5,013.

Fotiadis now has a 6 to 1 chip lead over John McCarthy to begin heads up play.

Event 4: Paw-Paw Doubles; Marder Doubles

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em   

Perry Johnston, better known as Paw-Paw to his grand-daughter Brynn, got all-in holding AJ offsuit.  He was up against the KQ suited of Joe Verrecchia.

The board ran out 7 7 5 2 J and Perry took the pot, doubling up to ~650k.

That makes Mike Marder the short stack with just over 400k.

Then these two got it all-in pre-flop.  Mike had AK and dominated Perry's AQ.  The better hand held and Mike doubled up to ~870k.  Perry was left with ~160k.

Event 5: 4th Place - Fiederlein

$400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B

Andrew Fiederlein (Hoboken, NJ)

After not seeing an elimination for three hours, Fiderlein follows Greg Law out the door on back-to-back hands. And once again chip leader George Fotiadis does the damage.

Fiederlein is down to 120k and moves all in from the small blind with a suited ace (A-3-Q-9). Fotiadis slams the flop by hitting a full house with a pair of jacks and ends Fiederlein's day.

Earlier in five-handed play Fiederlein was the chip leader with 800k and had Fotiadis on the ropes, but Fotiadis hit running 3s to flip the tables.  The hand evened all five players and was the beginning of the end for Fiederlein.

The human resources manager was determined to play in this tournament and didn't let a car break down stop him.  After getting a tow from the Garden State Parkway back to Hoboken, he hopped a bus to Borgata and arrived at 1 am Friday morning, much later than he originally expected.

Andrew Fiederlein takes home $4,221 for his fourth place finish.

Event 4: Final Five Chip Counts

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em  

After a break, the final five got back to business with blinds of 12k/24k with 3k antes.

Here are the chip counts as of the break:
Pete Mavro - 1.4 million
Matt Mazzeo - 1.1 million
Joe Verrecchia - 900k
Mike Marder - 450k
Perry Johnston - 400k

Average stack is 801k -- 33 big blinds.

Paw-Paw said to tell Brynn that he's got Disney World covered.  All players are guaranteed to leave with at least $9,395.

Event 5: 5th Place - Law

$400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B

Greg Law (Mt. Laurel, NJ)

After playing five-handed for an amazingly long three hours, there's finally a bustout.  

Law is quartered on back-to-back hands, sees 250k cut to 60k and he's all in against George Fotiadis.  After the flop, Law needs a 4 or jack for a scoop, but the board bricks out and he's on the rail in 5th place.

Law fixes computers in his everyday life and came to play the tournament because, "PLO live is hard to find, and you don't get to play it very often."

Greg Law finishes in 5th place, earning $3,166.

Event 6: Back From Break

$1,000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Following a break, 78 players have returned to the felt to continue play.

Blinds are up to 400/800 with 75 antes (level 9).

Average stack is about 41k.

Here are a couple of tweets from the break:

sandler1860 Jerry Payne
18,250 on break going to 400 800 with 75. 75ish left paying 27. grindin!

WiLDmAn_75 Daniel Buzgon
28k going to 400 800 75. Borgata 1k. 78 left. 27 left. Will gladly take 27th. Need to cash. Losing confidence.

Event 7: Babe Magnet

 $350 + $50 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Four Ladies & a Dealer

Earlier in the series one table in the back of the event center featured four women, and in an eerie coincidence, the same table has four women again.

This time it's Wendy Rubin, Stefanie Hubbard, Gina Berezny and Amanda Musumeci trading chips and the head count doesn't include Tamyia who just started dealing to the fearsome fourseome.

Odds are the streak will continue tomorrow for the Ladies Event, which Hubbard and Musumeci say they'll be playing, as the table should be part of that tournament area.  

On a side note, this was originally Table 65, but the renumbering for this event has it now has Table 6.

Stephanie Hubbard

Event 4: 6th Place - Casciola

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em  

Blinds are up to 10k/20k with 3k antes.

Philippe Casciola got his last chips in with AK, but ran into Pete Mavro's pocket Kings. 

 Philippe Casciola (New York, NY)

The cowboys held up and Pete collected the pot.

Philippe collected $7,938 for his 6th place finish.

Five players remain.  Average stack is 801k (40 big blinds).

Event 4: 7th Place - Kern

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em  

Matt Mazzeo opened for 30k utg.  Action folded around to John Kern in the big blind, who called.

The flop came QJ♠9 and John checked.  Matt bet 45k.  John shoved and Matt snap-called.

John held T♣4♣ for the open-ended straight-draw -- he was actually ahead of Matt's 87, but Matt had a lot of outs with the gutshot, flush draw, and two live cards.

 John Kern (Harrisburg, PA)

The turn was the 3 and changed nothing.  Then the 7♠ hit the river, giving Matt a pair of 7s and the pot.  He chipped up to ~1.4 million and the chip lead.  JoeVerrecchia has about 1.1 million.

John Kern finished in 7th place, earning $6,399.

Event 7: Chip Leaders

$350 + $50 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

 Doug Doing Damage as Chip Leader

Two players on table one aren't going anywhere for awhile as they're two of the biggest stacks in the field.

Doug Lovelace (Mays Landing, NJ) has 260k (217 BB) and protects his stack by folding when faced with a 56k all in bet while holding a pair of 2s and the nut flush draw.  Lovelace is the unofficial chip leader, while
A-Roz, Alex Rozhitsky (New York, NY) is the other big stack with 205k.

More than half the field is gone as 230 of 545 players remain.  The average stack is 47k (39 BB) as blinds are now 600/1,200/200 ante.

A-Roz (left) & Lovelace on Table 1

Event 4: 8th Place - Pena

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em 

Sal Pena was all-in pre-flop holding AJ against the pocket 6s of Pete Mavro.

 Sal Pena (Chesapeake, VA)

Pete's pair held up and he collected the pot.  Sal busted out in 8th place, good for $4,779.

Seven players remain.  Average stack is now 572k.

Brynn's Paw-Paw is now guaranteed to collect at least $6,399 for the Disney World fund.

Event 4: Big Laydown

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em 

Philippe Casciola opened for 32k in the middle and action folded around to Joe Verrecchia in the big blind. 

Joe asked what Philippe had behind -- about 355k -- then announced he was all-in.

Philippe tanked for more than two minutes, then open-mucked pocket Queens.

Joe did not show.

Event 4: Payout Reminder

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

At the end of the level, the final eight were rewarded with a break.

Here's a reminder what they're playing for:

1: $43,734
2: $24,299
3: $15,065
4: $12,149
5: $9,395
6: $7,938
7: $6,399
8: $4,779

Play has just resumed after a break with level 22, blinds 8k/16k with 2k antes.

Average stack is 501k -- that's 31 big blinds.

Event 4: Big Double

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

Blinds are up to 6k/12k with 2k antes.  With 8 players remaining, the average stack is 501k (41 big blinds).

Mike Marder made the easiest all-in call ever.

Chip leader Joe Verrecchia moved all-in on the flop with pocket Kings.  Mike had just flopped quad 3s.

Needless to say, Mike doubled up.  He chipped up to about 740k, leaving Joe with about 850k.

Matt Mazzeo has almost 900k, so may have re-taken the chip lead, but it is too close to call.

Event 4: 9th Place - Zaydman

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

Elliott Zaydman's short stack did not last long at the final table.  He was dispatched in 9th place and will pick up $3,240 for his work over the last two days.

Elliott Zaydman (Glen Rock, NY)

Event 5: Final Five Chip Counts

$400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B

Name-Chip Count

Andrew Fiederlein (Hoboken, NJ)  604k (38 BB)
Greg Law (Mt. Laurel, NJ) 441k
George Fotiadis (Newbergh, NY) 246k
Jim Pappas (Johnstown, PA) 240k
John McCarthy (Kittery, ME) 110k (7 BB)

Players are just back from break; blinds are now 8k/16k.

Event 6: 128 Remain

$1,000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Play has resumed after a break with level  7, blinds of 250/500 with 50 antes.

135 players are still in the hunt, including
Matt Glantz
Manh Nguyen
Mike Castaldo
Roz Quarto
Michael Shasho
Leonardo Palermo
Phong VIP Nguyen
Ray Shackelford
Mike Scarborough
Michael Buttacavoli

Here are some tweets from the break:

PompYouUp Tom Pomponio
9400 going into 250/500 #fb

ActionBobNJ Robert Hwang
Busto. KK no good on 9663K board. #runninggood

JBrikis Josh Brikis
212 entries for Borgata $1k...Have 26k going to 250/500. 135 left

sandler1860 Jerry Payne
17.5k on break going to 250 500 with 50.

Flashgordon227 Gordon Eng
20k blinds going to 250 500

Event 5: Junior Blogger

$400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B

Lee (left) Part of the McCarthy Era

It's tough covering four tournaments at once so the blog team has brought in reinforcements.  A special shout out to 18th place finisher Robin Lee (New Haven, CT), who's railing her boyfriend John McCarthy at the final table. 

Lee is just the third cub reporter/junior blogger in Borgata tournament reporting history. She joins Joseph Altomonte and Jamie Kerstetter on the staff.

Lee earned $792 and is happy to see McCarthy in position to earn at least three times that amount as he's still alive for the $15,832 first prize.

A reminder of what they're playing for:


1: $15,832
2: $8,707
3: $5,013
4: $4,221
5: $3,166

Event 5: 6th Place - Johnston

$400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B

Dave Johnston (Brigantine, NJ)
Johnston loses his last 40k to Jim Pappas who has a pair of aces for the high and A 4 for the low.  Pappas now has more than 200k.

Dave Johnston is out in 6th place, earning him $2,638.

Event 4: Final Table Chip Counts

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

Play has resumed at the final table.  Here's the lineup with chip counts:

Seat - Player - Chips
1 - Mike Marder - 400k
2 - Joe Verrecchia - 1.07 million
3 - Pete Mavro - 458k
4 - Perry Johnston - 195k
5 - Sal Pena - 150k
6 - Philippe Casciola - 330k
7 - John Kern - 414k
8 - Elliott Zaydman - 125k
9 - Matt Mazzeo - 880k

Event 5: 7th Place - Judge

$400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B

 Eric Judge (Clark Summitt, PA)

Judge is the next victim of chip leader Andrew Fiederlein, who flops a full house with a pair of jacks.  Fiederlein adds Judge's last 40k to take his stack to more than 600k.

Judge is the grandson of the late Tom "Mark'em Down" Noyes, who was a Borgata fixture and featured a number of times in the Borgata Blog.

Eric Judge earns $2,111 for his 7th place finish.

Event 4: 11th - Pfeifer; 10th - Santoro

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

 Randy Pfeifer (Cheektowaga, NY)

Randy Pfeifer lost the last of his chips to big stack Joe Verrecchia on table 2, landing himself in 11th place.

 Mike Santoro (Egg Harbor, NJ)

On table 1, 'Karate' Mike Santoro tangled with big stack Matt Mazzeo.  Matt caught a back-door flush to send Mike home in 10th place.

Both players earned $2,106 for their work.

With the simultaneous bustouts, they were down to nine.  They drew seats and moved to the final table.

Event 5: 8th Place - Kaplan

$400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B

Matt Kaplan (Plainview, NY)

Kaplan is down to 45k and busts when Andrew Fiederlein hits a flush on the river.  Matt Kaplan finishes in 8th place, earning him $1,583.

Event 7: Tweeeets!

$350 + $50 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

larry goldstein
Doin that 20bb 330 in the afternoon thing again. 
Amanda Musumeci
Not a ton hapening yet for me. Been off n on chipping up n then back down. Sitting a few k up on starting stack
Brian Eckstrom
Borgata big stack break. 31100. 300/600 75
Lee Childs
11K. $400. Blinds going to 300/600/75. Pretty meh day so far.
Austen Johnson
39k going to 75 300/600
Kevin Saul
2nd break of borgata 400nl, 8575

Event 4: Stuck at 11

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

Three players took a flop of 9 2 2 (two hearts) and checked around.

Turn was an offsuit Ten.  Pete Mavro bet 38k, Perry Johnston folded (later said pocket 8s) and Matt Mazzeo called.

River was an offsuit 5 and they checked it down.  Pete held a suited 9 for 9s up, but Matt held AT for Tens up to take the pot.

Matt chipped up to ~700k, but is still second to Joe Verrecchia's 850k.

Pete Mavro was left with ~460k.

Still 11 players.

Event 5: 9th Place - Chen

$400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B

 Ze Chen (New York, NY)  

Chen flops a set of jacks and puts his last 120k all in against Andrew Fiederlein who hits his flush draw on the turn.  Fiederlein wins a huge pot as it was 4 way action preflop and he now has the chips lead with 456k.

Ze Chen takes home $1,187 for his 9th place finish.

Event 6: Early Departures

$1,000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Down to 15 tables (150 players) already. 

They've just begun level 6 with 200/400 blinds and 50 antes.

These folks have busted out and moved on:

Kevin Saul
Ryan Eriquezzo
Mike Dentale
Lee Childs
David Laufer
Chris Tryba

Event 5: 10th Place - Chiaramonte

$400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B

 Ed Chiaramonte (Easton, CT)

Chiaramonte's 19k short stack is sent to John McCarthy as he was drawing dead.  McCarthhy takes his stack to 130k, while Chiaramonte earns $1,055 for his 10th place finish.

5k/10k blinds continue.

Event 7: Closing Fast

$350 + $50 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Re-entry is closing fast as the clock is winding down on Level 6.  Players can forfeit their chips for a fresh stack or go with what they have, but either way the re-entry safety net is gone after the break.

Those still in the field include:

Larry Gold
Lee Childs
Jen Shahade
Anthony Caruso
Little Man Sica
Nick Frangos
Austen Johnson
Howard Wolper
Ryan Eriquezzo
Kevin Saul
Gionni Demers

Event 4: 12th Place - Klein

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

David Klein (cutoff) and Joe Verrecchia (bb) got to the river with the board showing Q 8 6 8 4.

Joe bet 167k and David tanked.  He speculated out loud that Joe could have Ace-high or busted flush draw.  He eventually said he was going to find out and moved all-in.  The count was for another 119k on top.  Joe called.

 David Klein (Morristown, NJ)

David held AQ for top/top, but Joe held 87 suited for trip 8s to take the pot.  He's now just over 1 million and the chip leader.

David Klein finished in 12th place, earning $2,106.

That was the last hand of the level and the remaining 11 players are taking a break.

Event 5: Tradin' Chips

$400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B

No eliminations yet at the final table, but there was a big swing that had Eric Judge scoop a big pot from George Fotiadis.  After the hand Fotiadis had the chip lead with 417k, but on the next hand sent 87k to Jim Pappas in a double up.

Judge is still healthy with 330k, while Fotiadis, the former chip leader drops to 135k and is now behind Pappas who has an average stack.

Blinds 5k/10k

Event 4: 16th - 13th Places

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

Joseph Montervino survived a few all-ins, but finally busted out in 16th place ($1,377).

Steve Miller was felted in 15th place ($1,620) courtesy of Mike Santoro.

Brain Riccardi has also reported to the rail (14th - $1,620)

 Dean Metzger as he gets the bad news from Sal Pena

Dean Metzger got all in holding pocket Jacks, but ran into Sal Pena's pocket Kings.  No suckout for Dean and he was sent packing in 13th place ($1,620).

Perry Johnston said to tell his grand-daughter Brynn that "Paw-Paw's trying to win money to take her to Disney World".  So far he's guaranteed to take home at least $2,106.

Event 6: Break Time Tweets

$1,000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

Players are enjoying their second break of the day.

Shortly before the break, Michael 'Mad Dog' Shasho got all-in on the flop with nut-flush-draw and nut-gutshot draw against a player that had flopped a straight.  The flush came on the river and Michael doubled up to ~42k.

Here are the latest tweets from players in this event:

sandler1860 Jerry Payne
18.6k on break going to 150 300 with 25.

ActionBobNJ Robert Hwang
Second break 16k. I've gotta have the best table in the room if only I could pick up a hand.

Event 5: PLO Top 10

$400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B

Final Table

George Fotiadis has the chip lead heading to the final table with 325k (41 BB); Ze Chen is second with 270k.

The average stack is 163k (20 BB) with blinds at 4k/8k.


1 Ed Chiaramonte (Easton, CT)
2 Matt Kaplan (Plainview, NY)
3 John McCarthy (Kittery, ME)
4 Andrew Fiederlein (Hoboken, NJ)
5 Jim Pappas (Johnstown, PA)
6 Greg Law (Mt. Laurel, NJ)
7 George Fotiadis (Newbergh, NY)
8 Dave Johnston (Brigantine, NJ)
9 Eric Judge (Clark Summitt, PA)
10 Ze Chen (New York, NY)

Event 4: 17th Place - Dougherty

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

Randy Pfeifer moved all-in for ~80k, then Fran Dougherty moved all in for slightly less.  Everyone else bowed out.

Randy held AK off; Fran held pocket Queens -- classic race situation.

The flop came Q T 7, giving Fran a big lead with a set.  That lead was crushed when a Jack hit the turn, giving Randy the Broadway straight.

Fran needed the board to pair on the river in order to survive, but instead a 3 fell and he was busted.

Fran finished 17th for $1,377.

Blinds are up to 4k/8k with 1k antes.  16 players remain.

Event 4: 18th Place - Tuveson

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

Tim Tuveson (cutoff) moved his chips all-in, sending David Klein (button) into the tank. 

David decided to call, showing pocket Tens.  He was racing against Tim's AQ off.

The board ran out K 7 6 3 2 and David's pair held up.

Tim finished in 18th place ($1,377).

Event 5: Bustouts = Final Table

$400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B


11 Darryle Price ($1,055)
12 Lonnie Heimowitz ($1,055)
13 Jamie Dice ($923)
14 Michael Nifosi ($923)

The remaining 10 players are drawing for their final table seats.

Event 4: 18 Remain

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

Scott Wardell busted out in 22nd place.

Sumeet Batra busted out in 21st place.

Dean Tran got his last chips in with A9 and was racing against the pocket 4s of John Kern.  The baby pair held up and Dean was dispatched in 20th place.

After Matt 'muffins' Mazzeo opened for a raise, Phong 'VIP' Nguyen moved in for 80k.  Matt said he wanted to take a shot at eliminating a good player, so he gambled, making the call with T9 suited.  VIP held AJ and was ahead, but Matt ran him down on the board.  VIP was felted in 19th place.

All four of these players will pocket $1,215 for their efforts.

With 18 players remaining, they drew for seats and moved to the final two tables.

Event 4: Break Time

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

22 players remain with an average stack of 182k (30 BB).

Chip Leaders

Joe Verrecchia 419k (70 BB)
Pete Mavro 385k
Matt Mazzeo 260k

Recent Eliminations


23 Joseph Scott Just $1,215
24 Robert Potter $1,215
25 Dave Fox $1,215
26 Huong Dang $1,215

Play resumes with blinds at 3k/6k/500 ante.

Event 4: Floppin' Quads

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

Mike Marder is all in and at risk preflop against Phong "VIP" Nguyen.

Marder: A A♠
Nguyen: Q♠ Q♣

Flop: A 7♠ A♣

"I'm drawing dead," says a stunned Nguyen when quads hit the board.  Marder doubles his 148k, while Nguyen is down to 40k, but just doubled and is now back closer to 100k.

Event 4: Verrecchia Doubles to Chip Lead

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

 Verrechia Doubles Through Tran

Joe Verrecchia (Haddonfield, NJ) is all in on the turn with a pair of 9s against Dean Tran's (Columbus, OH) flush draw.  When Verrechia dodges the river he doubles to 425k and takes the chip lead, crippling Tran to less than 100k.

Event 6: Flopping the Royal

 $1,000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

A♣ J♣ Helping AJ

AJ Paleatsos (Bayside, NY) lives up to his name with the A♣ J♣ as he sees the dream flop of K♣ Q♣ 10♣ for the royal flush.

"I even bet it," says Paeleatsos who won 1,500 chips between two other players who stayed around to see the turn.  AJ using his "run good" early in the tournament.

Players just finished a break and are now playing Level 3 (75/150).

Event 5: PLO Bustos, In the $$$$

$400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B


15 Debra Linzer $923
16 Jace Reiken $792
17 Rizqallah "Ricky" Abusiam $792
18 Robin Lee $792

Event 4: Early Eliminations

$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

The two shortest returning stacks, Robert Link and Craig Feldherr, don't get their double-up and are first on the rail and heading to the cage to collect their cash. Louis Jacklin is the first to benefit from the new pay level.


27 Louis Jacklin $1,215
28 Robert Link $972
29 Craig Feldherr $972

Event 7: Another Underway

$350 + $50 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

The fourth of today's Main Event is off and running in the back of the Event Center.  This is a one day tournament and players start with 20k in chips and levels are 30 minutes long, with re-entry available for the first six levels.

David Laufer is in the field after his unfortunate bust out of the $1k tournament.  His opponent held pocket 10s and flopped a full house to cripple Laufer's stack.  DL is taking advantage of the friendly Main Event schedule and using this as his "second chance" tournament.

Blinds start at 25/50 and the cards are in the air!

Title Time

Day 2 players in Events 4 (NL) & 5 (PLO) are back looking for their Borgata Winter Poker Open Titles.

Event 4 has 29 players going after the $43,734 first prize, while Event 5 brings back 18 players for the $15,832.  Both tournaments have resumed

Event 3 Recap

 $350 + $50 Seven Card Stud

The final table featured a mix of Borgata regulars and touring pros, but in the end local grinder David Rosenau (Absecon, NJ) won the title, the $12,716 first place prize and the Borgata Winter Poker Open trophy. Rosenau beat John Myung, another Borgata regular stud player, who earned $7,362 for his second place finish.

"I'm pleased," said a mild mannered Rosenau, who is primarily a stud cash game player. "The games are similar, but different. You have to be aware of the chips that people have in tournaments."

The key heads-up hand came when both Myung and Rosenau had split queens, but Rosenau's ace kicker played and gave him the chip lead for good.  "I played really well," said Myung, who often squares off with Rosenau in the Borgata $75/$150 stud cash game.  "I got lucky in a couple of key spots, except heads up."

When the final eight players returned for Day 2, big names Miami "John" Cernuto and Chris Tryba were playing for their piece of the $34,500 total buy-in as all eight players were already in the money.  Cerunto, who has three WSOP bracelets and $4.4 million in career earnings, finished 6th, while Tryba ($986,000 career earnings) was knocked out in 5th place.

Other Borgata regulars at the final table included Rick Dilauro (3rd) and Rathe Miller (7th).  The 69 player field also featured many decorated players including Chris Reslock (6 stud titles, including a WSOP bracelet), Charlie Townsend (3 stud titles) and "Grandapa" Jay Zimmett (2 Borgata titles, including one in stud), but all of them were eliminated before the money

Rosenau was nearly a Day 1 casualty as well when he was down to one gray (5k) chip with two tables left, but said his opponent, Michael Smith, missed a bet on 5th street. The next two streets were checked and Smith's pair held up and Rosenau had new life.

Ironically, Rosenau not only rallied to win the tournament, but knocked out Smith, who finished 9th, on the money bubble.

"I just got lucky," said Rosenau, who dabbles in business when he's not playing poker.  "Usually you get lucky by hitting a card, but I was lucky the guy missed a bet. He misplayed the hand slightly, but it's something that happens to all of us."

Luck was also on Myung's side when he was all in three times at the final table, and each time he got help on 7th street to stay alive.

In the end, both players took advantage of their lucky breaks and turned them into nice paydays as they brought their cash game rivalry to the tournament table.

Final Table Results


1. David Rosenau (Absecon, NJ) 12,716
2. John Myung (Vienna, VA) $7,362
3. Richard Dilauro (Cherry Hill, NJ) $4,016
4. Robert Gray (Atlantic City, NJ) $2,677
5. Christopher Tryba (Las Vegas, NV) $2,343
6. "Miami" John Cernuto (Las Vegas, NV) $2,008
7. Rathe Miller (Philadelphia, PA) $1,339
8. Al Polson (Williamsburg, VA) $1,004

Event 2 Recap

$350 + $50 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH

This proved to be a true match-up between girls and boys at the final table, as the woman were well represented in the second no limit event of the Borgata Winter Poker Open. But in the end Jon Sorscher (Lynbrook, NY) is the "man" as he takes home the first place prize of $46,495 and the custom Borgata trophy.

Three of the final 10 players were women and headlined by Marsha Wolak (10th), the WSOP bracelet winner with an impressive poker resume. She was joined by Julie Cornelius (8th), who continued her 'run good' streak after min-cashing Event #1. The Newport Beach native reminds the Borgata Blog she's a West Coast poker player living in Maryland.

Bella Ortiz rounded out the trio after quietly chipping up all afternoon. Her calm demeanor and patient play fit her image well. But ladies night wasn't meant to be as Wolak (10th), Ortiz (9th) and Cornelius (8th) were the first three eliminated from the final table.

That cleared the way for Sorscher who out lasted Greg Glassman heads up to end the Day 2 18 hour marathon. Glassman, who took home $26,142, stayed true to form with relentless aggression as his fast and loose style helped his maniacal image..

Matthew Wantman (6th) and Eli Loewenthal (4th) showed promise as two eager poker grinders. The played the role of "young guns" at the final table, their similar style showed that age means nothing in poker.

But in the end it was Sorscher who cracked Q♠ Q♣ early in the day and never looked back to take the title. This victory follows up a successful April 2011 where he cashed twice, including a final table during the Borgata Spring Poker Open.

Final Table Results


1. Joathan Sorscher (Lynbrook, NY): $46,495
2. Gregory Glassman (Brooklyn, NY): $26,142
3. Robert Santillit (Jackson, NJ): $16,805
4. Eli Loewenthal (Carmel, IN): $13,351
5. Joseph Opie (Fair Haven, NJ): $10,457
6. Matthew Wantman (Stoneham, MA): $8,589
7. Jason Deane (Bayside, NY): $6,815
8. Julie Cornelius (Rockville, MD): $5,322
9. Bella Ortiz (Bronx, NY): $3,735
10. Marsha Wolak (Sarasota, FL): $2,427

Event 6: Who Dat?

 $1,000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

After our first pass through the room there are lots of familiar faces and a friendly face making her first appearance at the Borgata Winter Poker Open in Roz Quarto.

Familiar Faces in the $1k

Roz Quarto
Steve Buckner
Mike "The Nose" Castaldo
Anthony Caruso
David Laufer
Leonardo Palermo
"Action" Bob Hwang
Bill Blanda*
Jerry Payne*
Cathy Dever*

*Same Table

Event 1 Recap

$500 +$60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Will 'the Thrill' Failla (Smithtown, NY) demonstrated his poker prowess as he plowed through the record-breaking field in the Borgata Winter Poker Open kickoff event to claim the title and top prize of $165,053. Adam Faherty held the lead for a while, but had to settle for second and $104,463.

Ryan Dion, (3rd ) Mark Borges, (4th) and Mark Hopkins (5th) all fought hard, but the chips did not fall their way. "He dodged the land mines and got value when he had the best hand" one said, referring to Failla's tournament play. Failla never held the chip lead until they were down to the final six, playing a solid game without a lot of flash.

Interestingly, the key hands that changed the course of the tournament did not involve him at all. With 12 players left, tournament regular Eugene Fouksman was the chip leader but saw it quickly evaporate. In back-to-back hands, he doubled up Ryan Dion twice, giving Dion a huge lead and leaving Fouksman short, as he eventually settled for 6th place finish.

And once Failla claimed the lead from Dion in the early hours Friday morning, there was no looking back.

The tournament's total entry count of 1,873 topped not only last year's number of 1,472 entries, but also eclipsed the previous record set in the 2011 Borgata Poker Open of 1,718 entries. The total buy-ins of $936,500 crushed the $500,000 guarantee for Event 1 and resulted in 180 players earning a piece of the pie.

Quite a few notables played this event, including WSOP and/or WPT title holders Jason Young, Dwyte Pilgrim, Paul Darden and Mike 'Little Man' Sica.

Failla earned more than $1.8 million playing poker in 2011 and has now started off 2012 with a bang.  "This is the biggest tournament I've ever won, by number of entries" he said.

Final Table Results


1. Emanuel ' Will' Failla (Smithtown, NY): $165,053
2. Adam Faherty (Lowell, MA): $104,463
3. Ryan Dion (Blackwood, NJ): $69,311
4. Mark Borges (Glen Rock, NJ): $58,773
5. Mark Hopkins (Cranbury, NJ): $48,600
6. Eugene Fouksman (Manalapan, NJ): $39,061
7. Matthew 'Paul' Leon (Virginia Bch, VA): $30,432
8. Williams Watchman (Reno, NV): $22,256
9. Ragavan 'Rags' Thiagarajah (Marlton, NJ): $15,897
10. David Penna (Babylon Village, NY): $10,447

Event 6: Buckle Up at Borgata!

$1,000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em

The first four figure buy-in of the series kicks off a four Main Event day.  Three Borgata Winter Poker Open trophies will be awarded today/early Sunday morning, but for this group it's the start of a two day grind.

Players start with 15k in chips and levels are 50 minutes long to start (levels 7+ 1 hr.).

Blinds start at 25/50 with the button in the 10 seat. The teal deck of cards are cut and in the air.

Saturday, January 21

Today's Events (Event Center)

11AM: Event 6 - $1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em
  • Players start with 15,000 in tournament chips 
  • Levels 1-6: will last 50 minutes each | Levels 7+: will last 60 minutes each 
  • 2-Day event

12PM: Event 7 - $350 + $50 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry)
  • Players start with 20,000 in tournament chips 
  • Levels will last 30 minutes each | Final Table Levels: will last 40 minutes each
  • Players that "bust" within the first 6 Levels may Re-Enter (unlimited re-entries)
  • 1-Day event
4PM: Event 34 - $500 + $50 Survivor NLH 
  • Players start with 15,000 in tournament chips 
  • Levels 1-10: will last 30 minutes each | Levels 11+: will last 40 minutes each
  • Approximately 1 in 10 will win $5,000 Cash  
  • 1-Day event 
7PM: Event 35 - $200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH
  • Players start with 12,000 in tournament chips 
  • Levels will last 25 minutes each
  • This is a Bounty tournament.  Players must have their Bounty Chip clearly displayed on the table in order to remain active in the tournament. 
  • 1-Day event

        Event 4: End of Day 1

        $500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

        Number of Entries: 334
        Players remaining: 29
        Total Buy-In: $167,000

        Atlantic City tournament regular, Peter Mavro, stands alone as the only player in the field to eclipse the 400k chip mark.

        'Karate' Mike Santoro stayed amongst the Chipleaders for most of Day 1,
        he brings a top 5 stack into Day 2.

        Borgata tournament regulars 'Muffins' Mazzeo and Dave Fox are still in the hunt.

        The remaining 29 players will return tomorrow at Noon.

        Unofficial Chipleaders:
        Peter Mavro - 419,200
        Joh Kern - 320,500
        Michael Marder - 232,000
        'Karate' Mike Santoro - 200,600
        Perry Johnston - 207,800

        Event 4: 'Papa' Perry

        $500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

        Perry Johnston (Oak Island, NC)

        Perry Johnston brought his poker skills from the coast of North Carolina,
        he's amongst the Chipleaders as we wind down Day 1.

        The Oak Island native has a message for a special little girl,
        "Wish me luck Brynn, see you on Sunday."

        Event 5: Bubble Breaks

        $400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B

        After a lengthy 'Hand for Hand' session,
        the Bubble has finally broken.

        Play has ended for the day, the remaining
        18 players will return tomorrow at noon.

        Top Chip-Counts coming into Day 2:

        George Fotiadis - 265,000
        Kevin Chen - 202,500
        Lonnie Heimowitz - 171,500
        Andrew Fiederlein - 159,000
        Eric Judge - 150,500

        Event 4: Chipleader

        $500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

        CHIPLEADER - Peter Mavro

        With only 4 tables left, Peter Mavro takes over the top spot.

        The local grinder has posted stellar results at Borgata before,
        he currently sits with 317,000 chips.

        Event 4: Bubble Breaks

        $500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

        Number of Entries: 334
        Players remaining: 36
        Total Buy-In: $167,000

        Short stacks rejoice as the remaining 36 players are in the money.

        Play was slow and rock-tight on the bubble, chips should be flying now that players are guaranteed prize money.

        Peter Mavro - 281,000
        'Muffins' Mazzeo - 274,000
        'Karate' Mike Santoro - 237,000
        Dean Metzger - 199,500
        Philippe Casciola - 198,000
        Perry Johnston - 161,500

        Event 4: Partner Poker

        $500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em

        Daniel Voccia provides support while his wife, Thi Dang, grinds the short stack on the Money Bubble.

        Voccia won a 300K Guarantee at Borgata last year, now he's trying to coach his wife through her first career tournament.

        Good luck to the husband and wife team.

        Event 5: O8 Hand for Hand

        $400 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha 8B

        Borgata staff member, Ray Morales, tells players we are now
        dealing 'Hand for Hand'.

        Our bubble boy/girl awaits, good luck to the short stacks.