Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Event 1: New Chip Leader

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

Play resumed after the break with level 18, blinds of 4k/8k with 1k antes.

The short-stacks wasted no time getting their chips in the middle.  In the first ten minutes of the level, seven players busted out.

One of those was former big-stack Mike Benkovic. 

Bill Patterson opened for 20k, Kyle Schuricht (Voorhees, NJ) three-bet to 70k, then Mike four-bet-shoved for ~400k.  Bill got out of the way and Kyle snap-called, having Mike slightly covered.

 Kyle Schuricht

Mike held pocket Aces and was way ahead.  Bill held pocket Queens.

It appeared Mike was about to double-up, scoop the biggest pot of the tournament so far, and claim the chip lead, but a Queen hit the board and Mike was busted.

Kyle is now the chip leader with ~880k.

Former chip leader Erick But has dropped down to ~300k.

Event 1: 100 Players Remain

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

Just before the end of level 17, table 11 was broken so exactly 100 players remain as of the break.

Average stack is ~207k.

Erick But sits alone at the top of the leader-board with ~605k.

Only the final 81 get paid, so 19 more will leave disappointed.

The purple 500 chips are being colored up and removed from play.

Event 1: Yo Eleven!

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

George Cicak (Randolph, NJ) has joined the half-million-chip-club.  He's up to nearly 520k.

 George Cicak

Dmitriy Shamilov is also in the club.  He's up to ~525k.

Mike Benkovic has fallen back to about 500k while Erick But continues to lead the field and is approaching 600k.

Table 12 is down, leaving 11 tables (ten-handed) still in action.   Average stack is over 188k.

Event 1: Dead Heat

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

Mike Benkovic (Harrisburg, PA) has claimed his spot among the chip leaders.  He's up to ~565k and very close to Erick But, who has ~570k.

 Mike Benkovic

Erick's table broke and he's been moved to a new seat at table ten.

Only 12 tables remain, leaving 120 players with a shot at the 81 payout spots.  Average stack is over 172k.

They're now in level 17 with blinds of 3k/6k and 500 antes.

Event 1: Shuster's Aces Hold

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

In a three-way pre-flop all-in, Eugene Shuster (Long Island, NY) was the short-stack with the big pair. 

 Eugene Shuster

He held pocket Aces and was all-in for 52,500 against pocket Kings and pocket 8s. 

The board ran out 5 4 4 9 T and when the fourth diamond landed on the river, the player with pocket 8s pointed to his 8 of diamonds.  Then Eugene pointed to his Ace of Diamonds, which made the nut flush and was good for the triple-up.

Event 1: Cristea Claims Lead

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

Top two in chips have flip-flopped.

Sorin Cristea

Erick But has dropped down to ~485k while Sorin Cristea has chipped up to ~515k, good to claim the chip lead.

Event 1: 16 Tables Remain

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

Level 17 is finally underway after a long color-up break.  Blinds are now 3k/6k with 500 antes.

16 tables are busy, leaving fewer than 160 players in this event.

Event 1: New Chip Leader

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

Erick But

Sorin Cristea (Jersey City, NJ) has built his stack up to ~460k, but it is Erick But (Brooklyn, NY) who has claimed the chip lead with almost 500k.

At the end of level 16 players took a break while the black 100 chips were colored up.

Event 1: Eng Earns One

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

Gordon Eng had a shorter-stack all-in who was racing with AK against Gordon's pocket Queens.

A third queen on the flop with two small cards sealed the deal.  Gordon pulled the pot, sending his opponent to the rail.  Gordon is now approaching the 200k mark.

They're currently in level 16 with blinds of 2,500/5,000 with 500 antes.

Event 1 Payouts

Borgata Summer Poker Open
Event 1: $350 + $50 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em
June 8-9, 2011

Entries: 829
Total Buy-In: $290,150


1: $64,734

2: $37,715

3: $23,080

4: $18,999

5: $15,480

6: $12,665

7: $10,132

8: $7,599

9: $5,347

10 - 12: $3,518

13 - 15: $2,533

16 - 18: $1,661

19 - 27: $1,407

28 - 36: $1,210

37 - 45: $1,069

46 - 54: $957

55 -63: $844

64 - 72: $760

73 - 81: $704

Event 1: Patterson Doubles

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

On the turn with the board showing K J 3 A, Bill Patterson (New Kensington, PA) moved all-in from the small blind. 

 Bill Patterson (right) Doubles Up

His opponent on the button asked for the count, which was 82,700.  He tanked for several minutes, then made the call showing KQ off for a pair of Kings.  Bill held AK off for top two pair.

Only a Ten on the river would send Bill to the rail.  River was another Ace and Bill pulled the pot, chipping up to over 200k.

Event 1: Back to Business

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

Austen Johnson has extended his chip lead.  He's up to ~500k.

 Dmitriy Shamilov

Dmitriy Shamilov (Brooklyn, NY) has staked his claim on second.  He's got about 430k.

20 tables remain, leaving fewer than 200 players still in the hunt for a slice of the pie.

Event 1: Back to Business

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

Level 15 is underway with blinds of 2k/4k and 400 antes.

Event 1: Dinner Time

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

At the end of level 14, the dinner bell was rung.  The remaining 23-tables-full of survivors were rewarded with a 40-minute dinner break.  They will get back to business at about 7:50pm.

 Austen Johnson

Looks like Austen Johnson (Frederick, MD) is the chip leader.  He's got over 390k.  When I asked how he amassed that stack, he said "people just keep donating chips to me".

There's no shortage of action during the break.  They've just kicked off the 7pm $150 + $30 NL tournament (event 22).

Event 1: Brown Cracks Nguyen's Aces

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

Jeremy 'The Big Dog' Brown moved his short-stack all-in pre-flop and got the snap-call from Rob Nguyen, who held pocket Aces.  Jeremy was way behind with pocket 3s.

Then a 3 came on the turn, giving Jeremy a set of crabs.  He took the pot, doubling up to ~60k.

Rob was left with ~75k.

Event 1: Wrong Way

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

Since the Jeremy Brown and Dan Bryan table broke, both players are heading in the wrong direction.

Brown, who lost to Bryan's set of jacks, while holding aces, gets pocket jacks on his first hand at table two. His opponent wakes up to pocket aces and doubles up, leaving Brown with just 30k.

"Of course I can't hit a jack," says Brown, who's gone from 190k to 30k in a span of 15 minutes.

Bryan, is also having a tough time at his new table. He lost 100k by doubling-up another player as Bryan drops to 230k.

Level 14 (1.5k/3k/400 ante) is winding down as the dinner break looms.

Event 1: Bryan Binks Brown

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

Dan the Man

Just before their table breaks, Dan Bryan (Somers Point, NJ) and Jeremy Brown (Medford, NJ) mix it up in a 260k pot. All the chips are in the middle on a jack high flop and Bryan tables a set of jacks against Brown's pocket aces.

Bryan wins the hand is now the chip leader with 330k. "What a table, I couldn't lose," Bryan says while relocating to his new seat. Brown loses a 120k, but still has workable stack of 70k.

Event 1: Falling Fast

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

The tables are breaking down so fast I can't keep track.  I think about 27 tables remain.

Former big-stack Dani Golin got his chips in on the turn holding just pocket 5s.  Joel Magun (Voorhees, NJ) held pocket Kings and a huge lead.  

Joel Magun

The river changed nothing and Dani was busted.  Joel chipped up to over 310k, which has to be close to the chip lead.

Event 1: Brown Busts One

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

Seat 5 at table 38 has become the seat of death.  Five players have been seated there, only to bust out and be replaced by the next victim.

 Jeremy Brown

The most recent got his chips in against Jeremy Brown, who had flopped top pair (Kings) with his K2 suited.  The Kings were good and Jeremy claimed the pot, leaving seat 5 vacant for the sixth time today.

Jeremy is now up to ~180k.

Event 1: Notable Names

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

Familiar faces keep appearing as tables break and players move among the remaining ~47 tables.   Here are some more that have turned up:

Mickey Woll
Julian Miranda
Phong 'VIP' Nguyen
Philip Sparta

Event 1: Dos Quads

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

Quads x 2 for Chotikul

After a deep run in the Spring Poker Open Championship Event, Jeff Chotikul (Egg Harbor Township, NJ) continues to run well at Borgata. In this event Chotikul hit quads twice (8s and 2s), including a 60k pot that's taken his stack to 120k.

Chotikul finished 14th ($10,800) in April and is looking to make another deep run with one of a few stacks more than 100k.

Level 11 (800/1600/200 ante) is underway as levels are now 40 minutes long.

Event 1: More Familiar Faces

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

Some more familiar faces are turning up in the field.  Gina 'gineveil' Cannone (Staten Island, NY) is a regular in the tournaments here.

Also hiding in the back of the room is Jeremy Brown (NYC).  Jeremy final-tabled the WPT Championship event here in September 2009, finishing second for over $453k.

 Chalie Hook

Chalie Hook (Philadelphia, PA) is out in the main room, but may not be for long.  He's riding a short stack.  Chalie won the Heads-Up event during the 2009 Summer Poker Open, good for over $31k.

Onofrio 'Frank' Reina (Carteret, NJ) is on one of the outer tables.  Frank has several cashes here at Borgata, including four final tables, but is still looking for his first win in a trophy event.

Event 1: Chip Leaders

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

After players returned from break we find the new chip leader, Sudhish Suryawansi (Manassas, VA), sitting at a table in the high limit room. Suryawansi, who finished 4th in a $200 event during the Spring Poker Open ($6,900), is the only player to crack the 200k mark with 225k.

Sudhish Standing Tall

Big Stacks

Sudhish Suryawansi (Manassas, VA) 225k
Dani Golin (Whiting, NJ) 170k
David Willinger (Woodmere, NY) 142k
Erick But (Brooklyn, NY) 140k
Leo Chung (Jersey City, 135k
Anthony Maio (Jamison, PA) 130k
Jeff Chotikul (Egg Harbor Township, NJ) 120k
Thomas Bala (Queens, NY) 116k
Greg Weber (Howell, NJ) 115k

Event 1: Back in Action

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

Cards are back in the air with level 10, blinds of 600/1,200 with 200 antes.  This will be the last 30-minute level.  Starting with level 11, they increase to 40 minutes.

Now that the craziness of re-entries is over, players have settled in to play some serious poker.

Event 1: Blond Ambition

$350 + $50 Deep Stack NL (Re-Entry)    
Down to 57 tables now, leaving ~570 players still in the fray.

 Nancy Martin and Chris Edwards

Nancy Martin and Chris Edwards, a couple of Borgata tournament regulars, are at one of the tables in the high limit room.  No dumb blonde jokes here...well, OK, maybe just one.  Courtesy of the godfather of poker, Doyle Brunson:

Blonde's husband won fishing boat. Blonde says "Are you crazy, there is no water in a 100 miles." Next day the hubby is sitting in the middle of a cotton field with a rod and reel.  Blonde says "What are you doing?  Fishing?  If I could swim, I'd come out there and beat the sh*t outta you."

Level 9 is over and players are taking a break while the green 25 chips are colored up.

Event 1: Nguyen Wins One

$350 + $50 Deep Stack NL (Re-Entry)  

There are still ten tournament tables in the high-limit area in the back of the Poker Room while tables are being broken in the main room to accommodate the $150 + $30 Survivor event set to begin at 4pm.

Rob Nguyen got his chips in holding T9 of hearts on a Ten-high flop with two hearts.  His opponent had Rob covered and was ahead with pocket Aces.  A heart on the turn cemented the double-up for Rob.  He chipped up to ~50k.

Event 1: Name Dropping

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

Approximately 60 tables remain in action and they're breaking quickly now that the entry/re-entry period is over.

Blinds have just increased to 500/1,000 with 100 antes (level 9).

On my latest pass, I recognized these faces in the crowd:

Frank Gangemi
Nick Frangos
Wooyang Lin
Vincent Basilicata
Michael Buttacavoli
Jay Johnson
Gil Sacks
'Lucky' Lee Kirsch
Carl Restifo
Eric Miller

"I'm back to my starting stack" James Boyle said about his 25k in chips (he re-entered once).  It is going to be a long day as play will continue until 2am, so there is plenty of time to accumulate more.

Event 1: Chip Leader

$350 + $50 Deep Stack NL (Re-Entry) 

Steven Tucker (Pittsburgh, PA) has taken the chip lead with ~140k.  When I inquired how he accumulated all those chips, he said "they all think I'm bluffing all the time...nobody at this table believes me".

 Steven Tucker

While I watched, he called ~18k all-in on the turn with a board of T 7 3 7.  His opponent held pocket Jacks and was ahead.  Steven held JT for a pair of Tens and needed another Ten to win.  River was a 6, however, and Steven shipped the double across the felt.

He's still in the lead with about 120k and was scooping another pot as I passed by his table.

Event 1: Nuts No Good

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

Robbed on the River

Rob Nguyen (Brooklyn, NY) often laments how he usually gets his chips in with the best of it, only to end up on the wrong side of the hand. His latest mishap, Chapter 18 - Verse 52, comes when he flops a set of 10s on a board of 10 9 3, with two hearts.

Nguyen checks the nuts, inducing Joe Demone (Sayreville, NJ) to say, "I have the best hand," and leads out. Nguyen reraises, putting Demone, who calls, all in.

Nguyen: 10♣ 10♠ (set of 10s)
Demone: AK(nut flush draw)

Turn: A♣
River: 7

"That's what I'm talking about," says Demone, as he rivers the flush to scoop a 50k pot. To add insult to injury, two other players at the table say they each folded two hearts, meaning Demone was drawing very thin.

Nguyen is down to 12k, while Demone celebrates the hand on his 51st birthday.

Birthday Hearts for Joe

Event 1: Last Man Sitting

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

Duane not Done

The last of the re-entries has taken his seat at Table 13. Duane Felix (Brooklyn, NY) says he was a short stack at the end of Level 6 after his opponent hit a three outer on the river to take more than 80% of his chips.

Felix couldn't double on his last all in, but is glad to get back in the tournament.

Re-entry is now closed as Level 7 (300/600/75 ante) is underway.

Event 1: Great Read

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

John Hinds (center) explains to an impressed Jake Neff (Philadelphia, PA) how to play pocket 7s. Kyle Schurichd (Vorhees, NJ), left, listens in.

On a board of 6 10♣ 2 3, John Hinds (Greenville, NC) bets 1,800. After two callers, another player puts 4k on top.

Hinds three-bets 22k more, two players fold and the remaining opponent calls, putting himself at risk for his last 18k.

Hinds: 7 7♣ (pair of 7s)
Opponent: 5♣ 6♣ (pair of 6s, gut shot straight draw)

River: 10

Hinds survives the river and wins the hand with two pairs, 10s and 7s, taking his stack to 60k.

Event 1: Another Cooler

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


Poker Author and Borgata Regular Sheree Bykofsky (Atlantic City, NJ) is on a cooler, both figuratively and literally. Not only is she chilly, hence the purple scarf boa, but busts when she flops a set of 9s against a set of aces.

Bykofsky has re-entered the tournament as Level 6 (200/400/50 ante) and the re-entry is winding down.

Event 1: Last Gasp

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

Antes are now in play as Level 5 (150/300/25 ante) just wrapped up and players now have their eye on the clock. The short stacks have just 30 minutes to either double-up or bust and re-enter.

Level 6 (200/400/50 ante) is underway with re-entry staying open through the level and the following break.

Event 1: Summer Cooler

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

Fondacaro & Estevez

While temps are expected to hit 90 degrees today in Atlantic City, there's a deep freeze in the tournament area of the Poker Room. "Cooler of the day," says one player who sees pocket aces barely hold against pocket kings.

Julio Estevez (Hackensack, NJ) and Greg Fondacaro (Sewell, NJ) are all in after the flop of 10 3♠ 6.

Estevez: K K♠
Fondacaro: A♠ A♣

Fondacaro is at risk for his last 18k.

Turn: K♣ (Estevez set of kings as the table lets out a short "ohhhh!")

River: A (Set of aces, quickly leads to a long, "ooooohhhhhh!")

The river saves the day for Fondacaro who says, "hey I had the best hand," who makes no apologies for winning the hand. Estevez is in good spirits considering he lost about half his stack and is down to 20k.

Level 4 (100/200) continues.

Event 1: Break Time

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

More than 700 players are in the field so far and the numbers will continue to grow with re-entry open through level 6.

Players are on a 15 minute break and play resumes with Level 4 (100/200).

Event 1: Starting Over

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

Eng Enjoying Re-Entry

Two Borgata stalwarts have busted, re-entered, and are now at new tables. Gordon Eng (Cliffside Park, NJ) says he flopped a set of 8s and was run down by a rivered flush, while James Boyd (Martinsburg, WV), says "I was the worst player for the first 10 minutes."

Both players took home titles in the 2010 Borgata Spring Open, Eng in the $1500 ($73,000), Boyd in the Seniors tournament ($18,000), are taking advantage of the unlimited re-entries and are back in the trenches.

Level 3 (75/150) is underway.

Event 1: Role Call

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

Here's a look at the recognizable faces of Borgata Regulars:

Patricia Barsanti-Chou
& Allen Chou
James Boyd
James Boyle
Patricia Barsanti-Chou
Catherine Dever
Gordon Eng
Larry Gold
Rob Nguyen
Steve Ryan
James "Suits" Salters

Level 2 (50/100) is underway.

Event 1: Avoiding Aces

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

Shanah, Betlow & Boyd Kicking Off the Action

Jordan Shanah (Lindenhurst, NY) did something his Long Island mentor Eric "Pools" Siegel could never do, lay down AK preflop three handed.

There's heavy action between Shanah and poker veteran James Boyd (Martinsburg, WV), on the first hand of the day. Shanah eventually folds and shows big slick, much to the chagrin of Boyd who has pocket aces.

"I can't believe he laid it down," says Boyd, who won the 2010 Borgata Spring Open Seniors Event."

"It was easy," quips Shanah, "he practically jumped out of his seat."

Impressive lay down considering Ed Betlow (Morris Plains, NJ) is the only other player at the table, while Siegel, a Borgata regular is skipping the opener, but will be on hand this weekend.

Level 1 (25/50) is winding down.

Event 1: Important Info

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

Poker Fever for Dever

Here's the skinny on today's tournament:

Prize Pool: $100,000 guaranteed
Starting Stack: 25k
Level Lengths: 30 minutes (1-10), 40 minutes (11+)
Opening Blinds: 25/50
Re-Entry: Unlimited for first 6 levels

Players are trying to figure out the best plan of attack in a format that features an unlimited number of re-entries. "I'm nervous," says Borgata regular Catherine Dever (Lancaster, PA), not of the structure but because, "I'm always nervous."

The field continues to file in as the 10 seat is vacant at every table awaiting the first re-entries.

Event 1: Summer Lovin'

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

Long Lines = Big Prize Pool

The Borgata Summer Poker Open is underway and players always love the first event. One player was overheard saying, "this is a great event, you can get in cheap and win a ton of money."

The opener is a $400 entry with a $100,000 guarantee. The line is out the door and the cards are in the air!

Borgata Summer Poker Open Tournament Leaderboard

Borgata Summer Poker Open Tournament Leaderboard

Win prizes for the Borgata Summer Poker Open Tournament Leaderboard promotion

How To Qualify:

By participating in any Borgata Summer Poker Open event (June 8-24, 2011), players will earn points based upon Borgata’s poker tournament leaderboard formula, which takes into consideration three criteria:

  • Tournament Buy-In Amount
  • Total event Entries
  • Place Finished

Borgata Tournament Leaderboard points are calculated by multiplying the point factors from all three criteria.

The Borgata Tournament Leaderboard will be updated throughout the tournament.

Winners will be announced Monday, June 27:

  • 1st Place: $3,500 Entry into WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship (September 18-22, 2011)
  • 2nd Place: Sony Web TV
  • 3rd Place: Apple iPod Touch
  • 4th Place: Nikon digital camera

Wednesday, June 8

Today's Events (Poker Room)

11AM: Event 1 - $350 + $50 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)
  • Players start with 25,000 in tournament chips
  • Levels 1-10 will last 30 minutes each Levels 11+ will last 40 minutes each
  • Players that are eliminated within the first 6 Levels may Re-Enter tournament (no limit)
  • 2-Day event Day 2 starts at 12P on Thursday

4PM: Event 21 - $150 + $30 SURVIVOR No Limit Hold'em
  • Players start with 10,000 in tournament chips
  • Levels last 20 minutes each
  • Approximately 1 in 10 will win $1,500 Cash
  • 1-Day event

7PM: Event 22 - $150 + $30 No Limit Hold'em
  • Players start with 10,000 in tournament chips
  • Levels last 20 minutes each
  • 1-Day event