Friday, June 10, 2011

Event 1: Recap

$350 + $50 Deep Stack NL (Re-Entry)

The opening event of the Borgata Summer Poker Open and its $100,000 guarantee for the $350 + $50 Deep Stack NLH drew a large field of hopefuls. That combined with the unlimited re-entries generated 829 total entries. Total buy-ins came to $290,150.

Among those 829 entries were many Borgata tournament regulars, including Patricia Barsanti-Chou, Allen Chou, James Boyd, James Boyle, Catherine Dever, Larry Gold, Rob Nguyen, Steve Ryan, James "Suits" Salters, Frank Gangemi, Nick Frangos, Michael Buttacavoli, Jay Johnson, Gil Sacks, 'Lucky' Lee Kirsch, Carl Restifo, Eric Miller, Julian Miranda, Nancy Martin, and Chris Edwards. Unfortunately, none of these made the money.

Jeremy 'Big Dog' Brown, (New York, NY) who made the WPT final TV table in the 2009 Borgata Poker Open (and eventually finished second for over $450k) played this event, but busted out just six spots short of the money. Only the final 81 players would get a piece of the $281,446 prize pool.

Joe Demone of Sayreville, NJ, celebrated his 51st birthday by playing this event. It was no longer his birthday when they finally burst the money bubble after midnight. Joe held on to finish in 63rd place and collect $844.

48 players survived until the 2am cutoff and would return for day two on Thursday.

Gordon Eng (Cliffside Park, NJ) is a poker pro and Borgata regular who entered day two 47th of 48 in chips with 105k. Gordon moved up to 35th place before busting out ($1,210).

Sheree Bykofsky (Atlantic City, NJ) is another Borgata tournament regular and she entered day two dead-last in chips with only 94k. She managed to double up several times and cruised all the way to 21st place before losing a coin-flip with AK against Austen Johnson's pocket 8s. Sheree collected $1,407.

Ken Smaron (Philadelphia, PA) led the field into day two with over 1.2 million chips. Ken wasn't able to take it wire-to-wire, however, as he busted out 16th place ($1,661).

Monica Dorenkamp (New York, NY) was the last woman sitting and she made the final table, but finished in 8th place when her pocket 8s lost a coin-flip to AK, then her all-in brought a flush-draw, which failed to materialize. She collected $7,599 for her hard work.

In the end it was Austen Johnson of Woodsboro, MD, who was sitting behind more than 20 million chips. Austen collected $64,734 and the beautiful Borgata crystal trophy for his win in the inaugural event of the 2011 Summer Poker Open.

Austen considers himself 'semi-pro' as he has a regular job working for an insurance company, but makes more money playing poker online. Or he did until Black Friday, that is. Now Austen is one of many online players that are transitioning their game from the virtual felt to the real thing.

Austen was actually here at Borgata during the Spring Poker Open when that fateful Friday in April shut down most of the online poker sites in the US. He cashed a couple of times back in April, but today's win is his largest live cash ever.

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