Monday, June 13, 2011

Event 5 Recap

$500 + $60 NLH

After two days of play and a series of big swings at the final table, Robert Wallace (Mahopac, NY) took home the trophy and the $36,939 first place prize in Event 5 of the Borgata Summer Poker Open. Wallace had 3 million of the 3.2 million chips in play when he beat Trevor Graffa (Lancaster, PA) heads up to win the title.

"I'm stunned, I didn't expect this," said Wallace, a technical recruiter who plays poker recreationally. "I knew this was a two day tournament and figured I'd come here, place a bet on the Belmont and see what happens."

Wallace's night continued past the horse race and the money bubble as he finished with a top 10 stack heading into the finale. "I didn't have any clothes with me, I had to buy a hat and a shirt in the gift shop," he said while posing for pictures in his bright red Borgata cap.

Wallace was one of 22 returning players looking for their piece of the $136,000 total buy-in as the top 27 (of 272) cashed in the event. After a series of quick eliminations, the field was down to the final table where several players had the chip lead at different points.

Robert Boyko (Yonkers, NY) was the initial big stack with more than one million chips after he crippled Charles Anzalone (Shorham, NY) just before the final table in a 700k pot. Boyko was unable to hold the chip lead and finished 4th ($10,158), while Anzalone limped to the final table and was the first eliminated with a 10th place finish ($1,715).

"No, I'm not happy, especially since I had the lead," said Boyko, after he shipped most of his chips to Theen Wey (Ridgefield Park, NJ) in a huge pot where Wey hit a set of kings on the river. Wey, who picked up his second cash of the Summer Open, eventually eliminated Boyko and had the chip lead with 1.9 million chips.

That led to three-handed play and the biggest pot of the tournament when Wey and Wallace played a 3 million chip pot all in preflop with Wallace getting the better of Wey with pocket 10s against AK. Wey was eliminated in 3rd ($12,533) and set the stage for heads up play.

"It's my favorite hand, I probably would've called with any pocket pair there," said Wallace, who only needed a few hands to win the title.

Despite losing on a huge pot, Wey has no regrets about how he played big slick. "It's great, I'm now two for two," says Wey after finishing 11th ($1,335) in Event 3 Friday. "I've been playing poker for three straight days. I need a break."

"It was fortunate for me," said Graffa, who took home $21,768 for second place and didn't mind that the big stacks clashed, "because there was almost a $10,000 pay jump (from second to third place)."

Graffa had support on the rail from his brother Dustin Graffa (Lancaster, PA), who finished 11th ($1,715) after nearly missing the money. Dustin survived the bubble with only 4 big blinds and had the misfortune of playing at Trevor's table late during Day 1A and to start Day 2.

"We wanted to get heads up and rip each others throats out," said Dustin, "We don't want to knock each other out before then, but if it comes down to it we will."

Heading into Day 2, chip leader Patrick Halter (Narberth, PA) quickly saw the blinds level the playing field and he finished 8th/$3,958. Rounding out the top 10 were, Matt Mezvinsky (New York, NY) 5th/$7,915, Gregg Martinez (Little Silver, NJ) 6th/$6,596, John Amerman (Bellmawr, NJ) 7th/$5,277, David Price (New York, NY) 9th/$2,638.

Familiar faces in the field who failed to cash included Borgata regulars James Boyle (Havre de Grace, MD), Eric Siegel (Melville, NY), and Frank Gangemi (Long Beach, NY).

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