Friday, June 25, 2010

End of Day 1A

$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool (Day 1A)

Level 7 has come to an end and along with it Day 1A is done. About 57 players made the cut and will return at 11am Sunday for day two.

Todd Geddis - 1A Chip Leader

The chip leader is Todd Geddis, who bagged 139,850 chips. Here are the other big stacks, former big stacks, and a few players of interest:

William O'Neil - 126,300
Josh Lawson - 104,450
Jeff Fell - 104,125
George Antonakos - 96,725
Joshua Hakakian - 93,975
Paul Snead - 87,150
Ed Corrado - 74,575
Charles Furey - 63,875
John Milone - 35,100
Abe Korotki - 33,600
Charlie Marchese - 29,350
'Syracuse' Chris Tsiprailidis - 21,100

Four More Hands

$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool (Day 1A)

With ten minutes left in the final level of the day, the floor has announced that all tables will play four more hands, then call it a night.

"It would take an act of God for me not to make it to day 2" a player was overheard saying on his phone. Anything can, and often does, happen, so don't count your chips before that last hand is over.

Chip Leader Update

$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool (Day 1A)

John Milone has dropped down to about 110k and has fallen to second on the leader-board. The new chip leader is Charles Furey (Bridgewater, NJ) who has about 119k.

Charles Furey

I somehow missed him on previous passes, but Paul Snead is in today's field. Paul finished 21st in the 2008 WSOP ($257,334) but is probably best remembered for a hand against Scott Montgomery where Scott was all-in on the flop and Tiffany Michelle called the clock on Paul.

Paul Snead

Summer of '69

$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool (Day 1A)

69 players remain with average stack of 47k as they begin the 7th and final level of the night.

In the main part of the poker room the 2 pm satellite grinds along with 10+ seats up for grabs into Saturday's Day 1B. The 1 in 5 ($500) satellite gets underway at 7 pm.

Blinds are 300/600/75 ante.

More Table 2 Action

$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool (Day 1A)

On a board of 3 9 8 Ed Corrado (Naples, FL) moves all-in for 9700. Dean Marco (Glendora, NJ) tanks and reluctantly calls.

Corrado: 7 7
Marco: Q 10

"I put you on 6-7, says Marco," who's a 60/40 dog. The board bricks out as Marco misses 10 outs and doubles Corrado up.

Marco's left with ~15k.

Level 6 (200/400/50 ante) winding down.

New Chip Leader

$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool (Day 1A)

All the action seems to be on table 2. Jeff Fell is no longer out in front. The new chip leader is two seats to his left on the same table. John Milone (Babylon, NY) is up to about 120k.

John Milone

Over on table eight, Eric Panayiotou called a raise on the river, only to see that his flush was beat by the nut-flush. Eric is down to his last ~5k chips.

Blinds Up

$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool (Day 1A)

Play continues into Level 6 with blinds of 200/400 with 50 antes.

Larry Klur, who finished 3rd in the $170 NL Re-entry event a couple of days ago, has already busted out today.

Also gone is Bobby 'Wiz' Wisiak.

76 players remain.

Chip Leader Fell

$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool (Day 1A)

Just as I had identified the chip leader, his table was broken and he landed at table two. Jeff Fell (Robinsville, NJ) is right at 100k.

Jeff Fell

His first hand at the new table he raised to 2k from the cutoff. The big blind re-raised to 5k and Jeff called. The flop came 8 4 4 with two hearts and the big blind led out for 6k. Jeff asked what he had left, then opted to fold. So he's got a little less than 100k, but is still the chip leader.

Eight tables remain with a couple of empty seats which means about 78 players are still alive on day 1A. Average stack is almost 42k.

Poker Notables

$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool (Day 1A)

They're down to nine tables now, (90 players) all in the back of the Poker Room. On my last pass, I spotted a couple of WSOP bracelet holders among the crowd.

Farzad Rouhani

Farzad 'Freddy' Rouhani (Gaithersburg, MD) won his WSOP bracelet in 2008 playing Omaha Hi/Lo and Stud Hi/Lo mix. He narrowly missed earning his second bracelet in 2009 when he finished second to Jeffrey Lisandro in the Stud Hi/Lo World Championship. His lifetime tournament earnings are over $1.6 million.

Chris Tsiprailidis

'Syracuse' Chris Tsiprailidis (Brigantine, NJ) won his WSOP bracelet in 2000 playing Limit Hold'em. He has numerous other wins and cashes in a variety of games. His lifetime tournament earnings are over $2.1 million.

Also still alive in the field are:

Ed Corrado, Bobby Wisiak, Alan Colon, Larry Klur, and Eric Panayiotou.

Ed Corrado

At the end of level 4, players took a ten minutes break.

Play has resumed with level 5, blinds 150/300 with 50 antes.

Muck You

$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool (Day 1A)

You often see players flashing cards to their neighbor before laying down a hand. At table 2, the action sets off a chain reaction that has the whole room buzzing.

The board shows J K 8 9 10and Lyle Diamond (Brick, NJ) makes a 3k river bet. The player in Seat 4 flashes his hand to Seat 5 (both wish to stay anonymous) and as Seat 4 puts his cards face down over the bet line, Seat 5 says, "you have a straight."

Before the cards hit the muck, Seat 4 quickly pulls back his cards and turns over K 7 for the low end of a straight. That's when chaos ensues.

Seat 4 says he never folded, Seat 5 is apologizing to Diamond, the floor's trying to make a ruling. Everyone has an opinion.

During the battle of wills and explanations, Diamond turns over K 9 for two pairs. After several minutes of deliberation, the ruling is that Seat 4 mucked and Diamond gets the pot.

Seat 4 is livid, Diamond's raking in the chips and Seat 5 feels awful saying, "sorry dude, it was just instinct, I shouldn't have said anything."

Level 4 (100/200/25) is winding down.

Big Pot/Big Call

$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool (Day 1A)

Now that the dust as settled at Table 4, there's a chance to pick up other action.

At Table 1, Andrew McFadden, from the hi-jack bets 600, Joseph Altomonte (W. Paterson, NJ) calls, as does a player who wants to remain anonymous, so we'll call him "Alex."

The flop is 10 9 8. McFadden bets 2200, both players call.
Turn: 2♣. McFadden bets 5200, call, call.
River: 6
♣. McFadden all-in for 13k.

Altomonte tanks and folds, while "Alex," who's already counting out chips, makes a quick call.

"Alex" shows A 10 for a pair of 10s and McFadden mucks, which stuns Altomonte.

"I had that beat," Altomonte says, while pointing to Alex's pair of 10s.

"One of the greatest calls of all-time," says Charles Minter (Yarley, PA), who's at the table and watches Alex rake in the 24k pot.

While the table presses for more information, Altomonte says, "don't worry about it, I had it beat." And then looking at the Gorilla says, "just write seat 2 is a donk."

This coming from a guy who knows with a player behind him that he has to fold, independent of the results, and finished 4th in the Event 3 Deep Stack.

Level 4 (100/200/25 ante) is underway.

109 Plus More

$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool (Day 1A)

With all the action at Table 4 (which included quad 3s for an elimination), we're finally catching up on the rest of the tournament.

109 players, including Thursday's 6-max champion Anthony Caruso (Medford, NJ) are in action for the first day, as registration is still open.

In the field:

Joe Altomonte
Anthony Caruso
Charles Marchese
Nancy Martin
Charles Minter

In the main part of the Poker Room, the first of two Day 1B qualifiers are underway. The 2pm tournament is a ~1 in 10 for $250. The ~1 in 5 is for $500 and kicks off at 7 pm.

Level 3 (100/200) is underway.

The Nuts

$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool (Day 1A)

For the first 90 minutes of this tournament all of the action is at Table 4 and after a flop of K J Q, more chips are flying.

From the small blind "Torpedo" Habashzada leads out for 2k. Kerry Small (Ventor, NJ) raises to 6k from the hi-jack and gets a call from Craig Snyder (Allentown, PA), who's on the button.

The action's back to Habashzada, who moves all-in for 4k more and the table asks for clarification on if the two remaining players have the ability to reraise.

The dealer and floor personnel count out the chips and confirm that Habashzada's raise is legal and keeps the betting open. Small goes in the tank and asks Snyder for a count, which is right around 24k.

Small tanks even more and, expecting heavy action behind him, gets out of the way saying, "I'm folding two pairs," as he flashes KQ.

Snyder calls and shows the nuts with A 10 for a straight, while Habashzada has middle pair with Q 4 and needs perfect-perfect to stay alive.

When the 5 hits the turn, the Torpedo is officially deep sixed from the tournament.

"I had two bad hands," says Habashzada, who put herself and many Borgata players on a roller coaster the last few days. After winning the $560 Deep Stack earlier this week, she played in several other events and had her Championship table back pedaling most of the time.

Habashzada says her strategy was to build a stack by putting maximum pressure on the table at all times, but in the end her wild play eventually catches up with her.

As for her new nickname, the Torpedo says, "it's beautiful."

Level 2 is complete and players are on a 10 minute break.

Habashzada Hangs On

$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool (Day 1A)

"Torpedo" Habashzada is all-in and at risk for the first time in the tournament. The unofficial table count has her all-in at least 20 times, but this time it's for 4k.

Three players check the hand down. Two players have identical AK, with an ace on the flop, but it's no good as the Torpedo show's A9, and two pairs when a 9 hit the turn.

Level 2 (75/150) continues.

Torpedo's River Bluff Goes Bad

$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool (Day 1A)

Kuchick (r) Stacking Torpedo's Chips

Table 4 is the only place to be as Torpekay "Torpedo" Habashzada is involved with nearly every pot. On a board of 7 9 4 5 8 she shoves all-in for 27k and Alex Kuchik (Brooklyn, NY) makes the call.

The Torpedo show's the ace high bluff, while Kuchick turns over 6 10 for the flush.

Kuchick breaths a sigh of relief and stacks a mountain of chips, Habashzada is down to less than 5k.

Level 2 (75/150) is underway.

Torpedo Firing Again

$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool (Day 1A)

Every Borgata Poker Open a new "notable" player is born, and without question this is the Summer of Torpekay "Torpedo" Habashzada. The Broomall, PA native made headlines for winning the $560 Deep Stack with her aggressive and at times haphazard play. Now she's wreaking havoc in the Championship Event.

During the first 3o minutes Habashzada has the table on its heels as she repeatedly shoves all-in. Usually after the turn, usually into 8k pots. George Antonakos (Baltimore, MD) is one of her targets as his 30k stack is cut down by one third.

With blinds at 50/100 a player in middle position opens to 600 and Antonakas makes the call. The Torpedo raises to 3500 from the button and gets a call from the initial raiser. Antonakos shoves all-in for 16k. Habashzada tanks, counts out the chips and makes the call.

Antonakos: A A
Torpedo: K 9

Flop: J 6 5
Turn: 7
River 10

"I thought the 8 was coming," says Antonakos, who dodges the Torpedo's straight draw on the river.

Antonakos is relieved to finally get his chips back, while Habashzada is back to mortal status with roughly her 30k starting stack.

Dan Spanton (North Plainfield, NJ) pulls me aside and says the Torpedo's been all-in "14 times, no joke, she's sick."

Level 1 winding down.

Marquee Event

$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool (Day 1A)

Championship Event Underway

The Borgata Summer Poker Open crown jewel is here and players are focused as they look for a piece of the half million dollar pay day. This is the first of two starting days and the beginning of a long grind that culminates with a champion next Tuesday.

Players love the 30,000 in starting chips and one hour long levels. The cards are in the air, blinds start at 50/100 and the journey is underway.

Friday, June 25


11AM - $2000 + $200 Borgata Summer Poker Open Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool
Day 1A

  • 30,000 in starting chips
  • Levels last 60 minutes
  • 4-day tournament (with Day 1A and Day 1B starting days)

2PM - $220 + 30 Championship Event Qualifier

  • 10,000 in starting chips
  • Levels last 20 minutes
  • Approximately 1 in 10 win entry into Day 1B of Championship event
  • 1-day tournament

7PM - $440 + $30 Championship Event Qualifier

  • 15,000 in starting chips
  • Levels last 30 minutes
  • Approximately 1 in 5 win entry into Day 1B of Championship event
  • 1-day tournament

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!

Event 17: $700+$70 NLH (6-Max) Final Results

Borgata Summer Poker Open 2010
Event 17: $700 + $70 No Limit Hold'em (6-Hand Max)
June 24

Entries: 71 Total Buy-In: $49,700


Champion - Anthony Caruso

$700 + $70 NLH 6-Handed

Anthony Caruso doubled through Mike Devinsky and then took him out on the next hand when Mike moved in light.

Mike Devinsky finished in 3rd place, earning $5,785.

Mike Devinsky - 3rd place

Heads-up play began with Anthony having a bit more than 2-to-1 chip lead on Mickey Woll. On the final hand, Mickey was all-in with AJ against Anthony's K8. An 8 fell on the turn and that was all it took.

Mickey Woll finished in 2nd place, earning $9,160.

Mickey Woll - 2nd place

Anthony Caruso earned $16,873 for his 1st place finish, in addition to the crystal trophy.

Anthony Caruso - 1st place

4th place - Mike Matrone

$700 + $70 NLH 6-Handed

Blinds up to 4k/8k with 500 antes.

Mickey Woll opened for 22k and Anthony Caruso called from the big blind. The flop came Q 8 6 rainbow. Anthony checked, Mickey bet 12k, and Anthony called. Turn was a Jack and Anthony checked again. Mickey bet 50k and Anthony moved all-in.

Mickey only had about 50k behind. After a couple of minutes, he called all-in showing KT for the open-ended draw. Anthony held J9 for a pair of Jacks with gutshot. River was an Ace and completed Mickey's straight. He doubled to about 230k.

Mike Matrone moved all-in utg and Mickey Woll called from the big blind, showing pocket Aces. Mike's AT was in bad shape. The board came A 9 6 J 8 and Mickey took the pot.

Mike Matrone finished in 4th place, earning $4,339.

Mike Matrone - 4th place

5th place - Ian Searing

$700 + $70 NLH 6-Handed

Ian Searing shoved and Mike Devinsky looked him up. Ian's AQ off was a notch behind Mike's AK off. The board came J J 4 3 K and Mike took another pot.

Ian Searing finished in 5th place, earning $3,375.

Ian Searing - 5th place