Friday, February 3, 2012

Event 28: Cutlip Catapulted

$200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH

Chad Cutlip (Ocean City, MD) - 16th Place

Chad Cutlip was short stacked before and after dinner. He was happy to survive the bubble and move up to 16th Place for a $576 payday (along with 2 $100 bounties).

Chad came down for his brother's birthday today. Bro didn't fare as well in Event 28 but also had fun.

Final hand for Chad - his A-8 vs. Q-7.

Board: 9-10-J-2-8

Opponent rivered a straight and send Cutlip packing.

He says hi to friends AJ and Alex from Blind Squirrel.

Event 28: Happy Birthday Ken

$200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH

Happy 50th Birthday - Ken Mcandress

Ken Mcandress wanted to give a special thanks to his Jamaican friends who gave him today's buy-in as a 50th Birthday present. Ken's b-day was two months ago.

Ken finished in 17th Place earning $576 along with one bounty.

"I've been short for the last five hours" said Mcandress who got his last chips in with A-10 up against A-J.

Both guys hit an ace but Ken's 10 wasn't enough.

Board: K-4-A-5-Q

Ken is an investment broker who said he had a great time today.

Event 28: Sherreeeeeeeeeeee!

$200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH

10,000th Last Woman Standing Honor

Sheree Bykofsky (Atlantic City, NJ) does it again!
She outlasted Leanne Rosenblatt for Last Woman Standing Honors.

Lights and buzzers went off and confetti fell from the sky as this is Sheree's 10,000th Last Woman Standing title. Okay, I might be embellishing a bit but Sheree has been playing poker a very long time and this ain't her first rodeo.

She's got 6 $100 bounties under her belt and folded A-K twice today - once when the bubble was looming.

Leanne's exit had her flopping two pair in the big blind with 7-2 and Opponent rivering a better two pair with J-7. Leanne went all in to get paid off and Opponent snapped.

20 Players remain with an average stack at $222,750.

Blinds are 8,000 / 16,000 with 2,000 antes.

Event 28: Bubble Broken

$200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH

Michael Belorusov Busts Bubble

The room explodes with joy and applause as all remaining players have made the cash ($59,400 Total Buy-In) thanks to Michael Belorusov (Russia) who had just a few thousand more than Tom Smargiassi (Union, NJ) at the start of the hand.

Tom shoved his last 15,000 on the button after looking at one card, an ace.

Michael re-shipped and got called.

Each player in the hand had an ace and on a clean board of 6-8-2-2-Q.

Michael tabled A-J, Opponent had A-10, and Tom finally checks his kicker to reveal a 9.

Belorusov scoops the near triple up and was very excited to pick up a bounty. Of course the rest of the room was happy to be in the money.

Unfortunately for Tom he didn't pick up any $100 bounties.
Fortunately, because Tom is such a great guy that the entire room chipped in and bought him a parting gift. A year supply of Rice-a-Roni or something like that.

We were hand for hand for over a level so now the blinds are 6,000 / 12,000 with 2,000 antes.

Event 28: Double Bubble Gone

$200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH

Vincent Vulaj (Bronx, NY) sends the double bubble home for the night with no money.

Vincent soars up to a 440,000 stack after his JJ holds up against Opponent's 10-10.

The double bubble was forced into the hand from the big blind and had A-4.

Board ran: 6-5-8-K-3

We are now one away from the money.

On a sidenote, a shortie at the same table last orbit jammed with 7-7, was called by the button with suited connectors and Louis Galasso (Cranbury, NJ) folded his big blind for only a few thousand more.

Louis announced that he folded an 8 and of course an 8 hit the river that would have beaten 7-7 short stack and sent the field into the cash.

Event 28: Color Up Break

$200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH

All remaining 29 players are on a ten minute break while the floor takes off and races off the 100 black chips and the 500 maroon.

With 297 entries today and 15,000 starting chips we have 4,455,000 total chips in play.

Average stack is 153,621.

Two players away from the money with blinds about to go to Level 19 at 5000 / 10,000 with 1000 antes.

Holding tight on three tables.

Event 28: New Chip Leader

$200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH

Louis Galasso - 560,000

A wall of chips protects Louis Galasso (Cranbury, NJ) as his heater continues.

"He's won every hand in the last 20 minutes" said a fellow tablemate complaining he wants someone else to have a chance to win.

Galasso's latest knock-out came after flopping three queens.

Louis - K-Q vs Opponent's A-10

Both players check a flop of 6 Q A.

Another Q hits the turn and all the chips go in the middle.

10 on the river is meaningless.

Down to 31 players with top 27 getting paid.

Blinds have also gone up to 4000 / 8000 with 500 antes.

Event 28: Vultures Attack Dead Meat

$200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH

Bob Leininger - 305,000

Bob Leininger (Cape May, NJ) picks up his fourth bounty in dramatic fashion and continues to be among the chip leaders.

The Opponent who eventually went out in 35th place thought he was out the door after his QQ ran into AA. He started to leave and was called back by the table.

Like blood in the water all the sharks were ready to feast on the man's extremely short stack and his $100 bounty.

Bob Leininger got the hand heads up against the short stack.

Bob had a pair but had to sweat an open ender on the flop.

Opponent - 10♣ 5♣

Flop: 8♠ J♠ 9♣

Leanne says, "now put a club out there" and sure enough the dealer complies with the 3♣.

This gives Opponent even more outs and more hope. He needs a club, a queen, or a seven.

2 on the river gives Leininger his fourth bounty and the field is one player closer to the $59,400 Total Buy-In.

Event 28: Wild Wild Wuest

$200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH

Mike Wuest Doubes Up

In a nutshell Mike Wuest (Sicklerville, NJ) was happy to get a double up but unhappy he didn't get his fourth $100 bounty chip.

"Now I'm just trying to make the money" said Mike who doubled his 48,100 stack to over 100,000.

Mike's 99 held up against small blinds A-K on a board of 7-Q-Q-8-5.

Poker Pro Sheree Bykofsky was happy because she folded A-K on the button and would have been drawing pretty thin.

Also at the table is Borgata regular Leanne Rosenblatt and former chip leader Bob Leininger (Cape May).

39 players are left on four tables - top 27 get paid.

Event 28: Walton Mountain of Chips

$200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH

Charles Walton - 315,000 - Chip Leader

Charles Walton is currently the tournament chip leader with a bunch of uneven big stacks.

In a huge hand before dinner break, Walton nearly doubles when his A-K holds up against Opponent's A-10 with an ace on the board.

Opponent joked, "my plan was that he had pocket kings".

Dinner break is over and play has resumed.

Event 28: Payouts

$200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH 

Today's bounty event drew 297 bounty hunters.  Total buy-ins was $59,400.


1: $16,131
2: $9,505
3: $5,473
4: $4,437
5: $3,457
6: $2,881
7: $2,305
8: $1,729
9: $1,152
10 - 12: $749
13 - 15: $634
16 - 18: $576
19 - 27: $519

Event 28: Dinner Time

$200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH

Players have exited the Poker Room for a one hour dinner break.

We'll see everybody back in their seats at 8:30 when the Level 6 blinds will be 2500 / 3000.

Started the day with 297.

50 remaining.

Top 27 share in the $59,400 Total Buy-In

Top stack in the room has 315,000 over at table 2, seat 7.

We'll be covering this tournament until it concludes tonight.

Event 28: Can't Drive 55

$200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH

The last trophy tournament of the series began with 297 players and now 55 remain.

Bob Leininger (Cape May, NJ) is the chip leader with 275k, but is disappointed that he only has 3 bounties for $300. He's essentially free rolling the rest of the way as players put up $330 to play.

Players have an average stack of 81k (27 BB) as blinds are 1,500/3k/400 ante.  Play continues until the 7:30 pm dinner break and then it will be a dash for the cash as the top 27 get paid.

Championship Event Recap

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em

He called himself a "DahJinerat" online, but now you can call Josh Mancuso a live champion.  The 29 year old outlasted a final table that featured two bracelet holders and a WSOP Main Event runner-up to win the Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship.

"It was a rough five days, I'm exhausted," said Mancuso (New Orleans, LA) who won $542,771, his largest poker score.

Mancuso beat WSOP bracelet holder Jeff Papola (New York, NY) heads up when his A♣ K♣ hit a king on the flop to beat Papola's pocket 6s.  "I wasn't completely happy with how I played," said Papola who took home $315,837 as runner-up. "I felt I could've done better, but it was a tough table."

The final 10 also featured two time bracelet holder Brock Parker, who finished 7th, and Steve Dannenmann, the 2005 WSOP runner-up, whose run through the tournament as a short stack ended in 9th place.

"It was a stacked final table," said Mancuso, who singled out Papola, Parker and 5th place finisher Christian Iacobellis as tough internet players he's tangled with online.  "It validates my on-line results. Many players haven't made the transition to live play, so to win a live main event is great."

Mancuso, whose internet handle is DahJinerat, is an accomplished online player with more than $900,000 in career tournament earnings. He joined the hordes of internet players who switched to casino poker after the Department of Justice shutdown online poker in April, 2011.

"I made plenty of final tables online so I was comfortable with chips moving around the table and the pay jumps," said Mancuso who had a roller coaster day during the Borgata Winter Poker Open finale.  He began the day third in chips, but became a short stack when seven players remained before Mancuso doubled-up through Marc Goldman.

Those two tangled again three-handed when Mancuso hit a set of 3s on the turn against Goldman's flopped two pairs. Mancuso won the 14 million chip pot and knocked Goldman out in third place good for $193,012.

Goldman, who came to the final table as the chip leader, said "making this final table with these legends," was his biggest poker accomplishment and added that, "I would have won if Jeff (Papola) wasn't there." The knockout was a big advantage to Mancuso as it gave him a nearly 2 to 1 chip lead over Papola in heads up play that last thirty minutes.

The tournament began with 734 entries who put up a total buy-in of $2,422,200, well more than the $2 million championship guarantee.  The Day 1A & 1B chip leaders, Alex Queen and Tony Ruberto respectively, each took home a $5,000 bonus to start the championship event.

The tournament featured a lot of recognizable names who made the money, as the top 72 included the reigning WPT player of the year Andy Frankenberger (59th), Dave "Cold Stone" Inselberg (27th), Dan Buzgon (24th) Charlie Townsend (23rd), Amanda Musumeci (22nd) and Brent Hanks (19th).  
The field also included WSOP November Niners Phil Collins (5th, 2011) and John Racener (2nd, 2010), along with WPT title winner Will "The Thrill" Failla, who had an impressive run during the 55 event Winter Poker Open series.  Failla cashed four times, including a win in Event 1 for ~$165,000, but didn't make it out of Day 2 of the championship.

The rest of the final table had Cedric Adam going out 10th, followed by John Zoldak (8th), Sam Bernstein (6th) and Nick Manfredo (4th).  But it's Mancuso who not only takes home the title and the cash, but the engraved Borgata trophy.

"It definitely wasn't easy. I had to run good and hit hands at the right times."

Final Table Results


1st Josh Mancuso (New Orleans, LA) $542,771
2nd Jeff Papola (New York, NY) $315,837
3rd Marc Goldman (Easton, PA) $193,012
4th Nick Manfredo (Levittown, NY) $159,088
5th Christian Iacobellis (Rye, NY) $128,674
6th Sam Bernstein (Englewood, NJ) $105,279
7th Brock Parker (College Park, MD) $84,223
8th John Zoldak (Staten Island, NY) $64,337
9th Steve Dannenmann (Severn, MD) $44,451
10th Cedric Adam (Prodo Neort, France) $29,244

Winter Poker Open Champion - Mancuso

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em   

Josh Mancuso (New Orleans, LA)

On the final hand, Josh Mancuso held AK suited and needed help from the board to claim the title.  He got it with a king in the door of the flop.

His pair of Kings beat Jeff Papola's pocket 6s and Josh had all 22 million chips in play.

"It definitely wasn't easy. I had to run good and hit hands at the right times," he said.

Mancuso has been playing professionally for about 4 years, but is better known for his on-line play under the screen name "DahJinerat," and happy to get the win.

"It validates my on-line results," said Mancuso, who has more than $900,00 in online results. "Many players haven't made the transition to live play, so to win a live main event is great."

Two years ago, Josh was here for the Winter Poker Open and doing well, but busted out in 17th place ($14,712) at the hands of Tom Marchese, who went on to finish 3rd.  Jeff Madsen was the Champion that year.

2nd Place - Papola

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em  

Jeff Papola (New York, NY)

The final two traded jabs for a little while, but Josh Mancuso never surrendered the chip lead.

On the final hand:

Jeff Papola opened for 240k (min-raise).  Josh raised to 610k.

Jeff moved all-in.  Josh called.

Jeff held pocket 6s.  Josh held A♣ K♣ suited.  The flop came with a King in the window.

The final board was K J 8 9 T and sent all 22 million chips to Josh.

Jeff Papola finished in 2nd place, earning $315,837.

Jeff finished 7th in the 2010 Borgata Poker Open ($118k) the year that Dwyte Pilgim won it all. He has a WSOP bracelet he won in the $5k Six Max event in 2010 and a Borgata trophy he won during the 2011 Fall Poker Open ($700 Six Max NL).  He was hoping to add a second Borgata trophy to his collection, but came up short.

"I got lucky a number of times," he commented about this tournament.  Jeff played on day 1A and busted out, then entered again on day 1B.  During the last level of the re-entry period, he was all-in with pocket Queens against pocket Kings.  He thought he would be entering for a third time, but hit a Queen on the board to stay alive.  That hand propelled him to day two.

On the second day, he was all-in with AQ against pocket Queens.  This time he caught an Ace to survive.  Day three was a roller-coaster for him.  He started with ~300k chips, got up to 1.2 million, then was back down around 300k to end the day.

His stack went through the same kind of variance today. Papola started at 2.4 million, was up to 6 million, then back down to 1 million, and back up again.  He added that while the table was stacked with recognizable names, that third place finisher Marc Goldman caused him some problems.

"Marc made it difficult to adjust with him on my right," he said. "I wasn't having a lot of fun because I had to be more selective with my hands. He made it tough, but I think I adjusted right."

Papola expects to be back at Borgata in April for the Spring Poker Open, to take another shot at the title.

 Papola & Alex "Jedi" Nepomnyaschiy

Hoodie v. Hoodie

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em

Red Hoodie vs Grey Hoodie 
Mancuso vs Papola

Has heads up play begins Josh Mancuso has nearly a 2 to 1 chip lead over Jeff Papola 14 million to 8 million.

Trophy Time

3rd Place - Goldman

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em 

Marc Goldman (Easton, PA)
Blinds: 60k/120/10k ante

Josh Mancuso button raises to 240k
Marc Goldman calls from the big blind

Flop: J 2 4

Goldman bets 275k, Mancuso calls

Turn: 3

Goldman bets 425k
Mancuso raises to 1.425 million
Goldman moves all in for 6.5 million
Mancuso calls and has Goldman covered by 700k

Goldman: J♣ 4♣ (two pairs)
Mancuso: 3 3♣ (set of 3s)

River: K

Josh Mancuso's set of 3s eliminates Marc Goldman in third place for $193,012.

Goldman is 23 years old and unemployed and said, "making this final table with these legends," is his biggest poker accomplishment.  He added, "I would have won if Jeff (Papola) wasn't there."

As heads up play begins, Mancuso has the chip lead over Jeff Paola 14 million to 8 million.

Goldman Takes Milly from Mancuso

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em 

Goldman (right) & Papola as Railbirds Watch

In a battle of the blinds:

Marc Goldman (sb) and Josh Mancuso (bb) got to the river with a board of


and a little over two million in the pot.

They both checked the river.  Marc said "Queen" and showed Q8 for one pair.  Josh mucked.  He was left with ~6.3 million.

3 Handed Chip Counts

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em 

The chip counts are relatively close:

Marc Goldman -  8.4 million
Josh Mancuso -  7.1 million
Jeff Papola -  6.5 million

Blinds are up to 60k/120k/20k ante

4th Place - Manfredo

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em  

Nick Manfredo (Levittown, NY)

Blinds 25k/50k/5k ante

Nick Manfredo moves all in from UTG for 2.775 million, Jeff Papola calls from the button, blinds fold.

Manfredo: J♠ Q♣
Papola: A Q

Flop: 8 2♠ 3♣

Turn: 3

River 8♠

Papola's ace high wins the hand and takes Nick Manfredo home $159,088 for his 4th place finish.

This is Manfredo's biggest score of his career as all three cashes have come at Borgata, including making the final four tables (36th/$11,000) in the 2009 Borgata Poker Open.  He's been a poker pro for four years and is primarily a cash game player. Manfredo has a math education degree from Molloy College in Rockville Centre, NY. 

Mancuso Doubles Through Papola

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em   

Blinds 50k/100k/5k ante

UTG: Josh Mancuso opens to 225
SB: Jeff Papola makes it 700k
Mancuso moves all in for 2.825 million, Papola calls

Mancuso:  9♣ 9
Papola: AK♠

Flop: J J♣ 6

Turn: 3♦ 

River 10

Mancuso doubles through Papola and has nearly 6 million chips. Nick Manfredo says to Mancuso, "I got to be honest, I was rooting against you."

15 minutes left on the level.

Final Four Playing Serious Poker

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em     

Jeff Papola has moved in a couple of times, but has not yet gotten called.

Four players remain.  The next one to go will earn $159,088.

The winner will earn $542,771.  That's a difference of over $383,000.

Marc Goldman (button) and Jeff Papola got to the river with a board of J♣8♠8T♠4♠.  Jeff moved all-in for 3.375 million.

Marc tanked, trying to get a read on Jeff, who sat motionless.

Marc flashed the A♣ and folded.  Jeff collected the pot, chipping up to ~5.2 million.  Marc was left with about 9 million.

Final Four Chip Counts

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em      

Play resumed with blinds of 50k/100k with 10k antes.

 Top:  Marc Goldman & Josh Mancuso
Bottom:  Nick Manfredo & Jeff Papola

Here are the chip counts as of the break (in millions):

Marc Goldman - 9.4  (94 big blinds)
Josh Mancuso - 5.3
Nick Manfredo - 4.8
Jeff Papola - 2.5  (25 big blinds)

5th Place - Iacobellis

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em      

Christian Iacobellis (Rye, NY)

With Sam Bernstein's departure in 6th place, the remaining five players are all twenty-somethings.

Marc Goldman is the youngest at 23.  Josh Mancuso is the oldest at 29.

Marc Goldman (button) raised and Christian Iacobellis moved in from the big blind.

Marc called, showing pocket Jacks.  Christian held pocket 3s.

The board ran out K Q 7 9 8 and Marc's Jacks were good.

Christian Iacobellis finished in 5th place, earning $128,674.

Christian has been playing professionally for about 10 years.  He finished 10th in the 2010 Borgata Poker Open Championship event the year that Dwyte Pilgrim won it all.  He also won three major online tournaments in one day.

When not playing poker, Christian plays professional Roller Hockey for the New England Insanity.

Another level gone and the final four are taking a break.

6th Place - Bernstein

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em      

Sam Bernstein (Englewood, NJ)

Sam Bernstein moved in for his last ~750k.  Marc Goldman put in a min-raise and successfully isolated.

Sam held JT.  Marc was ahead with A4.

The board came 6 5 2 7 7 and Marc's Ace-high was good to take the pot.

Sam Bernstein finished in 6th place and will take home $105,279.

Sam is a hedge fund manager in New York and plays poker for fun.  He made the final table of a $5k event at Foxwoods, but this is by far his largest reported cash in a tournament.

His greatest accomplishment outside of poker is paying for his three children's educations.

Mancuso Doubles Thru Goldman

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em     

In a battle of the blinds:

Marc Goldman completed and Josh Mancuso checked.

 Josh Mancuso & Marc Goldman

The flop came Q 4 3.  Marc bet and Josh called.

Turn was a 9 and Marc fired again.  This time Josh raised and Marc shoved.  Josh called.

Marc showed T9 for a pair of 9s.  Josh held Q4 for two pair.  The river changed nothing and Josh doubled up to ~ 4 million.

7th Place - Parker

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em     

 Brock Parker (College Park, MD)

Brock Parker open-shoved and sent Jeff Papola (bb) into the tank.  Jeff decided to call, showing A9 off.  Brock was ahead with AJ.

Then the flop came J T 8, giving Brock top pair, but giving Jeff the open-ended draw.

The turn was an inconsequential 5, but then a 7 on the river completed the straight for Jeff.  He chipped up to ~3 million.

Brock Parker finished in 7th place, earning $84,223.

Brock has been playing poker professionally for 11 years.  He picked up two WSOP bracelets in 2009, playing both Limit and No Limit Six Max events.  He also took first place in the $1,500 Purple Chip Bounty tournament, event 20, during this series, good for over $76,000.

Besides being a champion pro poker player, Brock is also a pro tour champion Magic the Gathering player.

Break Time Chip Counts

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em     

With seven players remaining, the average stack is over 3.1 million (37 big blinds).

Here are the approximate chip counts, in millions:

Marc Goldman - 6.325 (79 big blinds)
Nick Manfredo - 5.500
Sam Bernstein - 2.670
Christian Iacobellis - 2.345
Josh Mancuso - 1.900
Brock Parker - 1.640
Jeff Papola - 1.600  (20 big blinds)

Following the break, they got back to business with blinds of 40k/80k with 5k antes.

Chips Moving Around the Felt

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em     

Marc Goldman opened for 130k utg, then Christian Iacobellis flatted in the cutoff.  San Bernstein made a big three-bet from the big blind.  Both opponents folded.

Nick Manfredo opened for 130k in the cutoff.  Jeff Papola called on the button.  Marc Goldman called from the big blind.

The flop came Q 6 4 with two diamonds.  It was checked to Jeff, who bet 155k.  Marc folded.  Nick checked out Jeff's remaining chips (about 1.6 million) then announced he was all-in.

Jeff gave it some thought, then folded.

End of level and players are taking a break.

8th Place - Zoldak

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em     

John Zoldak (Staten Island, NY)

John Zoldak got his chips in holding pocket Queens, but ran into Christian Iacobellis' pocket Kings.

The board ran out A 9 9 4 J and Christian's Kings were good.  He chipped up to over 5 million.

John Zoldak finished in 8th place, earning $64,337.

At 54 years young, John Zoldak was the elder statesman at this final table.  Born and raised in New York he plays here at Borgata frequently. 

He finished 6th in a $175 + $25 satellite for the main event, earning $3,400, which was nearly enough to buy his entry.  He used that to enter a $700 + $50 satellite, where he won his seat.   He basically turned $200 into over $64,000!

His proudest accomplishment outside of poker is earning a Staten Island Service Award for building baseball fields for Youth Baseball.

Goldman Takes Big Pot from Papola

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em    

Jeff Papola and Marc Goldman tangled in a pot that was four-bet pre-flop.

Jeff fired the turn and got called.

 Marc Goldman & Jeff Papola

Both players checked the river with a board of K♣J2♣Q9♣.

Jeff held A6 off for Ace-high. 

Marc held AK for top/top to take the pot, chipping up to nearly 7 million. 

Jeff was left with about 4 million.

9th Place - Dannenmann

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em   

 Steve Dannenmann (Severn, MD)

Steve Dannenmann got his short-stack in good with pocket Queens.  Brock Parker was trying to chase him down with AJ.

The board came A K 9 6 T and Brock paired his Ace to take the pot, ending Steve's run.  Brock chipped up to ~1.5 million.

Steve Dannenmann finished in 9th place, earning $44,451.

Steve is of course best known for his 2nd place finish in the 2005 WSOP Main Event, where he took home $4.5 million.  He still works full time as a CPA and only plays tournament recreationally.

John Zoldak moved in twice in a row, but got no callers.  He picked up 130k in blinds and antes each time.

Break Time Chip Counts

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em    

End of level and time for a break while the 1K chips are colored up.

Here are the approximate chip counts:

Jeff Papola - 6 million
Marc Goldman - 5 million
Nick Manfredo - 2.67 million
Josh Mancuso - 2.75 million
Christian Iacobellis - 1.63
Sam Bernstein - 1.46 million
John Zoldak - 1.2 million
Brock Parker - 860k
Steve Dannenmann - 550k

Average with nine players remaining is 2.4 million.

Play resumed with blinds of 30k/60k with 5k antes.

10th Place - Adam

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em   

Cedric Adam (Prodo Neort, France)

 After Marc Goldman raised from the cutoff, Cedric Adam moved in from the big blind.

Marc called, showing AQ,  Cedric was racing with pocket 5s.

The Queen on the flop was bad news for Cedric.

The Ace on the turn was just overkill.  Cedric needed a 5.

River was a 7 and it was over for him.

Cedric Adam finished in 10th place, earning $29,244.

This 26-year-old has been playing poker professionally for about 2 years.  He finished second in event 6, the $1k No Limit event, (almost $34k) so he's made an excellent showing here this winter.

Huge Double for Papola

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em   

Jeff Papola got all-in pre-flop for 2.9 million against Brock Parker.

Jeff had pocket Kings and was facing Brock's AK.

The board came Ace-free and Jeff's Kings were good for a huge double-up to ~6 million.  Brock was left with ~1 million.

Big Pot Early

$3300 + $200 Championship No Limit Hold'em   

Play resumed at noon with the 25k/50k with 4k antes level (about 36 minutes remain).

Brock Parker, John Zoldak, and Sam Berstein (sb) were in a three-way pot, until Sam folded on the turn.

 John Zoldak & Brock Parker

On the river, the board showed A♠T♠T♣62.

Brock checked.  John fired 550k.

Brock tanked.  Checked his cards again.  Thought some more.  Then called.

John showed 7♠6♠ for a pair of 6s (missed flush draw).

Brock showed AQ to take the pot with Aces-up.  He chipped up to ~4 million.

John was left with about 1.3 million.

Event 28: More Familiar Faces

$200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH  Tr

More familiar faces have turned up on the felt today:

Elliott Zaydman
Leanne Rosenblatt
Grace Sun
James Boyle
Dan DaConti
Howard Wolper

Event 28: Boat Sunk By Bigger Boat

$200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH

Borgata regular Marguerite Spagnuolo took aim at a bounty on a flop of K 8 8. 

He obliged by calling all-in, showing AK for Kings-up.  Marguerite had her sights locked on with A8 for trip 8s.

Then another King hit the turn, giving both a full boat, but Marguerite's 8-s full was sunk by her opponent's Kings-full.

He doubled up and Marguerite was left short.

This is a no re-entry event, so once you surrender your bounty, you're done.

Event 28: Familiar Faces

$200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH

Bounty Hunters are back today for their last chance at some bounty bucks during the Winter Open.

Among the crowd are some familiar faces:

Sheree Bykofsky
Anthony Caruso
Fritz Stoner
Joe Simmons
David Heck (winner of event 27)
Matthew Jacobi (10th in event 27)
Adam Varrenti
Andrew Klein

Borgata Leaderboard Update (2/3)

Borgata Winter Poker Open Leaderboard
By participating in any Borgata Winter Poker Open event (January 18 - February 3, 2012), players earn points based upon the Borgata Poker Tournament Leaderboard Formula.

Below are the top scores for the 2012 Borgata Winter Poker Open Leaderboard*
(Final Results from events 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53. 54)


Event 28: Final Trohpy Event Begins

$200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH

The final trophy event on the Borgata Winter Poker Open is underway in the Poker Room.

Today's event is a popular Bounty tournament, where any player you bust rewards you with a Black Chips -- $100 -- Bounty.

Players began with 15,000 chips and all levels are 30 minutes long.

Level 1 blinds are 25/50.

This is a one-day event, so they'll play all night until a winner is determined.

Friday, February 3

Today's Events (Poker Room)

11AM: Event 28 - $200 + $30 + $100 Black Chip Bounty NLH 

  • Players start with 15,000 in tournament chips 
  • Levels will last 30 minutes each 
  • This is a Bounty tournament.  Players must have their Bounty Chip clearly displayed on the table in order to remain active in tournament.
  • 1-Day event
12 PM:  Event 23 - $3,300 + $200 Championship NLH
  • Day 5 - Final Table
6PM: Event 55 - $125 + $25 No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)
  • Players start with 10,000 in tournament chips 
  • Levels will last 20 minutes each 
  • Players that "bust" within the first four Levels may Re-Enter (unlimited re-entries)
  • 1-Day event

      Borgata Bad Beat Hits

      Karoon = Kaboom In A Threemendous Hand

      Congratulations to Karoon Monfared (New York, NY) who just won the small Bad Beat Jackpot when his quad threes lost to Ari Nissim's (Morris Plaines, NJ) quad fours.

      It all went down at 1:00 AM in the back of the Borgata Poker room on a $2 - $5 no limit hold'em cash game.

      Karoom wins $20,000 of the jackpot while Ari earns $10,000 and the pot for winning the hand.

      The remaining seven players, who we're incredibly excited, will chop up the remaining $20,000.

      "I was just saying tonight that I've never even been playing when the bad beat hit and I've been playing for ten years" said the bad beater, Karoon Monfared.

      On the flip side, Ari Nissim hit a bad beat once before at another casino.

      As for the big hand of the night, five players limped in and saw a flop of 4 4 3.

      Karoon held 3♠ 3 and Ari held 4♠ 4♣ .

      An A♠ came on the turn followed by that miracle 3♣ on the river.

      Karoon put the rest of his money in on the river and Ari called.

      Once the men tabled their cards, the entire table jumped up and down, going wild.

      Magnificent Seven each hitting for $2,857 included:
      1. Alexandros Takounakis (Alexandria, VA)
      2. Yosef Fima (New York, NY)
      3. Daniel Fischer (Brigantine, NJ)
      4. Daniel Chan (New York, NY)
      5. Sushil Patel (Voorhees, NJ)
      6. Joshua Nossel (New York, NY)
      7. Jason Foster (Brick, NJ)

      Event 27 Recap

      $200 + $30 Deep Stack Semi-Turbo NLH (Re-Entry)

      Q: What the "Heck" just happened?
      A: David Heck (Colts Neck, NJ) just won $16,397 and the Event 27 Borgata Trophy after beating Tim B (Atlanta, GA) heads up.

      "I won this for my wife Jeanne and my kids Julianna and Micahel" said David after the victory.

      There were two key hands that paved the way with chips for David. First, when there were two tables left, David was all in for his tournament life holding A-J up against KK.
      He spiked an ace on the flop then rivered a flush for an exclamation point and monster pot.

      The second big hand came when his QQ held up against A-10 for a crucial final table double up which brought David close to the chip lead. Queens holding up became significant and tension-filled because they fell twice in back to back hands, both times to KK and to the same winner. Talk about exciting Groundhog Day drama.

      Kevin Way held the Kings back to back to beat QQ back to back. Kevin finished in 3rd place for $5,649. The losers were Jordon Meadow and Borgata legend Harold Wolper. Both had a ton of chips and both shipped them Oneway, to Kevin Way.

      This was a fast, fun, exciting tournament that gave players 25,000 chips to work with.

      Among the 313 Borgata players who jumped into the fray and tried to be amongst the lucky 36 who shared the $62,600 Total Buy-in included Gene Castro, James Boyle, Ryan Eriquezzo, Marguerite Spagnuolo, Ben Geller, Omar Akataxi, and Leo Goldberger who finished 5th for $3,524.

      But the man who stacked over 5 million chips and took down this Event was David Heck who was a little surprised that before he became final table chip leader the big stacks kept challenging and felting each other out the door in the donkament.

      Heck took 2nd place in the 2010 Spring Poker Open for more money, but today's Borgata $16,397 score is his first, first place victory ever and first poker trophy.

      Final Table Results


      1. David Heck (Colts Neck, NJ) - $16,397
      2. Tim B. (Atlanta, GA) - $9,110
      3. Kevin Way (Upper Pottsgrove, PA) - $5,649
      4. Matthew Piccolo (Dumont, NJ) - $4,556
      5. Leo Goldberger (Brooklyn, NY) - $3,524
      6. Howard Wolper (Atlantic City, NJ) - $2,975
      7. Jordon Meadow (Poughkeepsie, NY) - $2,399
      8. Jack Pomeranc (Wayne, NJ) - $1,791
      9. Albert Linton (Baltimore, MD) - $1,214
      10. Matthew Jacobi (North Carolina) - $789

      Event 27 Champion - Heck

      $200 + $30 Deep Stack Semi-Turbo NLH (Re-Entry)

      David Heck (Colts Neck, NJ)

      Congratulations to David Heck who just took down Event 27.

      He takes home $16,397 for a good day's worth of work, along with the 2012 Borgata Winter Poker Open engraved trophy.

      The final table saw first and second in chips continue to dance with each other for their entire stacks.

      David sat back while other players battled allowing him to continue to climb up the money-board.

      Last stop was 1st Place after taking down Tim B. heads-up after about twenty minutes.

      David says hi to his wife Jeanne, his high school daughter Julianna, and his 7th grade son Michael.

      Heck Yeah, David just finished in 1st place earning $16,397.

      Event 27: 2nd Place - B.

      $200 + $30 Deep Stack Semi-Turbo NLH (Re-Entry)

      Tim B. (Atlanta, GA)

      A big hand for Tim B. was when he felted Matthew Piccolo at the final table.

      Tim had JJ and it held up against Piccolo's A-J suited.

      Heads up between Tim B. and David Heck lasted about twenty minutes.

      Tim tried to put a dent in David's monster lead but just couldn't manage to chip away.

      The hand that crippled David and left him very short-stacked ended with David rivering a gutterball.

      David had 10-9 on a 7-K-J-3-8 board.

      The final hand of the tournament was David's A-6 vs. Tim's Q-8.

      Board ran: 5-3-10-5-A.

      "After dinner I won two key races with AJ and 88 and shot up to 300,000" explained Mr. B.

      Tim B. finished in 2nd Place earning $9,110.

      Event 27: 3rd Place - Way

      $200 + $30 Deep Stack Semi-Turbo NLH (Re-Entry)

      Kevin Way (Upper Pottsgrove, PA)

      Appropriately on Groundhog's Day Kevin Way became the monster chip-leader at a crowded final table after KK held up in back to back hands against QQ.

      By the time it got to three-handed, with ballooning blinds, Kevin was looking at a short stack.

      After the 5 million dollar man, David Heck, raised, Kevin made a move with Q-J and jammed.

      Heck called, tabling A-6.

      Way missed his cards while Heck found a nut diamond four flush.

      Kevin is a small business owner who told us, "I ran good today and got lucky."

      Kevin's Dad David rooted from the rail. He also played in Event 27 saying, "I donated chips to the cause".

      Kevin Way finished in 3rd Place earning $5,649.