Thursday, July 1, 2010

Championship Event Final Table Recap

$2000 +$200 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em
Borgata Summer Poker Open 2010

Players traveled great distances to play in the Summer Poker Open Championship Event, and after four long days of poker, it's a Borgata regular high stakes player who wins the title and the $180,595 first prize.

"It's fantastic, said Billy O'Neil, who usually plays the $600/$1,200 HOSE or $50/$100 NL cash games. "I got real lucky, what can I say."

It was anything but luck for the College Park, MD resident, when he beat Mirza Nagji (New York, NY) for the championship, crystal trophy and gold bracelet. Early in heads-up play, on a board of Q J 4 2 J, O'Neil bet 700k and Nagji called. O'Neil turned over 6 6 for the winner as Nagji mucked his hand and lost the 2 million chip pot.

"It was the first big pot we played," said O'Neil, who increased the slight chip advantage he had when heads-up play began. "That hand gave me a lot of momentum."

Shortly after that, the final hand unfolded on a board of 2 4 7 6 8. Nagji led out for 550k and O'Neil reraised to 2 million, putting Nagji all-in.

After a short pause, Nagji called only to see O'Neil's K 5♠ for the winning straight. Nagji mucked the hand and settled for second place and $104,620.

"I wouldn't have called that last bet," laughed Nagji while he relived the final table. "
Either he had the straight or he didn't. Up until the eight came out, I had top pair," he said after revealing he had J 7 on the final hand.

The day started with a bang as short stack Joshua Hakakian, a Pennsylvania resident, moved all-in on the first hand with AK suited, only to be eliminated by the AA of Frank Dellaria (Burgettstown, PA). After that, O'Neil took over the final table and eliminated 6 of the 8 remaining players.

O'Neil knocked out Ed Corrado (Naples, FL - 9th place), Dean Potashner (Morristown, NJ - 8th), John Borzio (Robbinsville, NJ - 6th), Steven Curtin (Indian Trail, NC - 5th), Mike Melkersen (Harrisonburg, VA - 4th) and Nagji to win the championship.

Nagji eliminated Dellaria (7th) and Todd Geddis (Asotria, NY - 3rd) to set the stage for heads-up play. Geddis is also a Borgata regular who won an on-line contest for his Championship Event entry and free-rolled his way to a
$51,687 pay day.

The tournament began with 321 players and put the total buy-in at $642,000. The deep stacks (30k starting chips) and long levels (75 minutes on Days 2, 3 & 4) is one reason why players travel from as far away as Virginia, North Carolina and Florida to play at Borgata.

In the end, the two finalists have the best tournament results of their careers, both in position and money won. "When you make it that far in a tournament, with that good a competition," says Nagji, "it says a lot for yourself on how good you are and is a nice little ego boost."

"It's great, fantastic," adds O'Neil. "It's nice when somebody who plays here regularly wins any of these tournaments, ever. Because they're local and they play in the games, maybe they'll step up a little, play higher (limits)."

Dozens of people, both players and casino associates, went out of their way to congratulate O'Neil. They were thrilled to see one of their own take down the Championship Event, something he genuinely appreciated.

The Borgata Summer Poker Open still has two more champions to crown as Event 21 is still ongoing in the poker room, while Event 22 gets underway 12 pm Wednesday.

Borgata Summer Poker Open
Championship Event Final Table Results


1. Billy O'Neil,$ 180,595
2. Mirza Nagji, $ 104,620
3. Todd Geddis, $ 51,687
4. Mike Melkersen $ 43,592
5. Steven Curtin $ 37,364
6. John Borzio $ 31,137
7. Frank Dellaria $ 24,910
8. Dean Potashner $ 18,683
9. Ed Corrado $ 12,456
10. Joshua Hakakian $ 8,096

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