Saturday, June 25, 2011

Event 20 Recap

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

A spectacular run by Jose Montes (Bronx, NY) came up just short of winning back-to-back Borgata Summer Poker Open titles with his second place finish to Mitchell Mantin (Las Vegas, NV) in the final event of the series. Mantin took the title and the $23,391 first place prize, while Montes settled for a 1st in Event 19 and a runner-up finish in Event 20.

"I've never run this well in my entire life," said Montes, who took home $13,506 for second place. "Right now I'm not tired, but will be exhausted later."

Montes said he only got three hours of sleep after winning the Six-Max title early Friday morning ($14,201) and was back at the table at high noon for what turned into an 18 hour marathon. But after Montes dominated the field, it's Mantin who takes the top spot.

"Borgata has an amazing room, great (tournament) structures and I'll definitely be back," said Montes who played in several tournaments throughout the 17 day series.

Third place finisher Kristen Garry (Bronx, NY) led a strong contingent of women players that had three finishers in the money. Ruthie Ruffman (Colts Neck, NJ) joined Garry (3rd/$8,241) at the final table and finished 7th ($3,480) in one of the most dramatic exits in any of the 20 Main Events.

In a 7 million chip pot, Ruffman flopped a full house with pocket 9s on a board of 2 2 2. She was ahead of Montes who made the all in call with K J, but when the 4th deuce hit the turn, Montes won the hand with his king kicker.

"The pot was too big for me to fold," said Montes, "plus I still would have had 1.6 million if I lost the hand." Montes continued his good fortune against Garry, when he hit a pair on the river to knock her out.

Despite the frustrating elimination, Garry was pleased to see so many women do well. "I won't play in ladies events, because they play so poorly," said Garry. "But these were actually pretty good players." Garry and Ruffman were joined by Joanne Bogan (Deerfield Beach, FL) who finished 43rd/$458.

The tournament began with 472 entries putting up $94,400 as the players looked to grab one of the 45 payouts. Several of the early leaders rode their chip stacks into the money, but Arihan "Nipi" Rizaj (Brooklyn, NY) and Justin Tobin (Holland, PA) both missed the final table.

Rizaj, who was also at the Six-Max final table with Montes, finished 17th, while Tobin was right behind him in 16th place as both took home $723. The field also featured Anthony Caruso (Medford, NJ) who added to his 17th place finish in the Championship Event ($6,658) with a $504 payday for finishing 30th.

In the end, this tournament will be remembered for the dominant play by Montes, Garry and Ruffman, but it's Mantin who's the last man standing.

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