Friday, June 24, 2011

Event 19 Recap

$400 + $50 Six-Max NLH

The best hand in poker is the winning hand for Jose Montes (Bronx, NY) at the Borgata Summer Poker Open, but it’s the second worst hand that helped him most in winning the six-max title.

Montes open shoved 7 3 off suit with < 10 BB and was on the ropes for his tournament life when he turned a full house against Jim Burnett's A 3 to stay alive in four-handed play. That double-up led to a heads-up showdown between the two, and when Montes tabled A♠ A on the final hand, it completed the comeback.

“I’m happy, excited and blessed to win,” says Montes who won $14,201, “this is great.”

Burnett (Pasadena, MD), who began heads up play even in chips, was decimated by a 400k chip pot when Montes hit two pairs on the river and never recovered.

“He ran like God at the end,” said Burnett, who earned $8,757 as runner-up. “He had a lot of pocket pairs and was getting hit with the deck, so that’s tough to beat. But he played well, it was a good game.”

Burnett ran pretty well himself throughout the day as he needed the same pocket aces before dinner break to stay alive. He proceeded to eliminate Arihan "Nipi" Rizaj (Brooklyn, NY) in 4th place/$4,825 with a full house, then hit an open ended straight draw on the river to bust Sahu Habibi (New York, NY) in 3rd/$6,509 to set the heads up stage.

The field had several familiar faces including Championship Event 10th place finisher Mike Dentale ($10,183), who grabbed the chip lead early, but was eliminated in 18th place, 5 spots off the money. The field also featured Borgata regulars Sheree Bykofsky, Matt “Muffins” Mazzeo and Abe Korotki.

The total buy-in was $48,800 as the field of 122 players fought for the 12 paid places.

Dan Rusignuolo (Nutley, NJ) was one of the first players to crack the 100k chip mark and rode the momentum to a 6th place/$2,603 finish. The final table of seven also featured Shaun Beymolla (North Babylon, NY) 5th/$3,669 and Michael Santora (Staten Island, NY) 7th/$2,012.

The six-max was the third short-handed game of the series and continues to grow in popularity. “For me it helps aggressive players and suits my game,” said Montes, who had a strong rooting section.

Montes was quick to add that the only other event he played during the Summer Open, was when he just missed the money in Event 1. He was anxious to get back to Borgata and called out of work just to play in the penultimate tournament of the series.

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