Friday, June 25, 2010

Event 17: $700+$70 NLH 6-Handed Recap

Borgata Summer Poker Open 2010
Event 17 - $700 + $70 No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed
June 24

Six-Handed Hold'em emphasizes short-handed poker skills. Rather than a full table of nine or ten players, each table is played six-handed (or less, as players bust out). This generally requires competitors to play cards out of the standard range of starting-hand requirements. It also makes post-flop skill paramount to victory.

Six-handed or "Six-Max" tournaments debuted at the World Series of Poker in 2005 and have been popping up at other locations, including Borgata, in the last few years. Today's $700 buy-in event drew a field of 71 players looking to test their short-handed skills. The total prize pool of $49,700 would go to the final nine players.

Anthony Caruso of Medford, NJ, just began playing poker last September when he entered the $3,500 WPT Borgata Poker Open No Limit Championship event. He cashed in that event, finishing 64th for $6,719. He has since cashed three more times here at Borgata, finishing 19th, 18th, and most recently 12th just a few days ago in the Deep Stack event.

He wasn't planning to play this event, but his 13-year old son Connor said he "had a good feeling" about it and that his Dad "better finish higher than 12th". Well he certainly did. Anthony won it all, earning $16,873 for 1st place, along with the crystal trophy.

Anthony also has two daughters, Sabrina (10) and Claudia (7) and says they are all very supportive of him. By day, he is self-employed and runs, a luggage shipping business providing an alternative to paying fees to check luggage on airlines. He doesn't play cash games, just tournaments, and will be back again this weekend to play the $2,200 Borgata Summer Poker Open Championship event (June 25-29).

Michael 'Mickey' Woll (Manahawkin, NJ) finished second for $9,160. On the final hand, he got his chips in good with AJ, but Anthony's K8 paired an 8 on the board to claim top honors. Mickey should be used to bad beats. He's been playing poker for about 20 years, since his grandfather, Tony Gambino, taught him to play.

Mickey is a C.P.A. which might explain why he just plays tournaments and not the cash games. He's got over $30,000 in reported tournament earnings since 2007, most of which happened here at Borgata.

The third place finisher was Mike Devinsky of Middleton, NJ. Mike is the only top finisher that calls himself a professional poker player. He's been playing for about three and a half years and frequents the 10/25 No Limit games online. Today's $5,785 win is his first cash in a major live tournament.

Mike says he learned the game playing in the dorms at Syracuse University and wants to send a shout-out to all his Facebook Fans!

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