Saturday, June 26, 2010

End of Day 1B

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

As the last hands played out on the remaining 14 tables, players started baggin' and taggin' their chips. Between 130 and 140 players survived day 1B. Here are the chip leaders, former chip leaders, and a few random others:

Mike Melkersen - 142,275
Jeff Green - 126,450
Matt Kalinowski - 123,975
Ben Sage - 108,150
Wooyang Lin - 107,325
Mike Devinsky - 104,500
Tyng Low - 103,050
Joe Daddario - 97,500
Rachel Shapiro - 84,000
Ronald McDonald - 83,200
Pavel Myndrov - 81,000
Eric Siegel - 74,150
Edip Ayaz - 56,350

Mike Melkersen - Chip Leader

Day 2 begins at 11am Sunday. Day 1A and 1B survivors will come together to continue play.


$2000 + $200 Championship Event
$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool

Entries: 321
Total Buy-In: $642,000

Place - Amount

1....................................$ 180,595
2....................................$ 104,620
3......................................$ 51,687
4......................................$ 43,592
5......................................$ 37,364
6......................................$ 31,137
7......................................$ 24,910
8......................................$ 18,683
9......................................$ 12,456
10-12..................................$ 8,096
13-15..................................$ 6,227
16-18..................................$ 4,359
19-27..................................$ 3,736

Siegel's Supreme Suckout

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

After a player opened for 1,500, Eric Siegel (Melville, NY) raised to 5,500, then Ronald McDonald of Ft. Valley, VA (that's his real name, folks - I don't make this stuff up) makes it 25k straight. The opened folded and Eric shoved for 29k. Ronald called the extra 4k, showing showing pocket Aces.

Eric Siegel

Eric was in horrible shape holding AK of hearts. The flop came T 8 8 rainbow, with no hearts, leaving Eric in need of runner-runner QJ for Broadway or running Kings for trips (this is when someone says they mucked a King). The turn was....a King, giving him a glimmer of hope with two outs remaining in the deck. The river was.......a KING! Eric more than doubled up to about 70k.

Eric says, "before you call me a donk, go back and look at the bad beat I took earlier this week. That's why I don't get upset when it happens because it eventually comes back to you."

Ronald McDonald is down, but not out.

Elite Eight

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

Play has resumed with Level 7, blinds 300/600 with 75 antes. This will be the last level of play today.

Here are the top 8 in chips as of the break:

Tyng Low (Queens, NY) - 124k
Ben Sage (New York, NY) - 123k
Pavel Myndrov (Brooklyn, NY) - 111k
Jeff Green (Westport, CT) - 106k
Matt Kalinowski - 105k
Edip Ayaz (New Milford, NJ)- 100k
Joe Daddario (Cleveland, OH) - 97k
Mike Devinsky (Middletown, NJ)- 95k

Tyng Low

Battle Continues

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

Melkersen & Fahmy

After sparring earlier in the day, Mike Melkersen (New Market, VA) and Ahmed Fahmy (Long Island, NY) are involved in another big pot and it's not just the chips that are flying around, as the verbal jousting continues.

The board is 10 J 8 4♣, Fahmy checks the turn and Melkerson bets 5200. Fahmy check-raises to 20,000 and Melkerson moves all-in for 18k more.

According to one player, the exchange goes like this. "You play so bad, I can't imagine what you have," says Fahmy, who admits to "angle shooting" earlier in the tournament.

"Imagine yourself bent over, that's what I have," retorts Melkerson.

After a few minutes Fahmy folds and says, "I'll let you steal another one," and as Melkerson's stacking the chips he says, "If you're going to play a pot with me, you better bring the goods."

The three players seated in between the two, Ted Geier (Sunnyside, NY), Tim Eller (High Point, NC) and Chris Horter (Jamison, PA) are doing their best to keep the peace.

"We should get medals," says Tim Eller, "We've been in the crossfire all day."

Melkersen has 66k, while Fahmy's at 25k.

Players are on a 10 minute break as they prepare for their final level of the night.

Updated Leaderboard

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

Now that the USA's World Cup run has ended in disappointment, we can get back to concentrating on poker.

Ben Sage

Ben Sage (New York, NY) has usurped the chip lead. He's up to ~125k.

Edip Ayaz has about 115k
Mike Devinsky is up to about 108k (finished 3rd in the $700 NL 6-Handed event just a couple of days ago).
Matt Kalinowski has about 100k.


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

Jeff Green (2nd from left) Cheering on the Red, White & Blue

The USA vs Ghana World Cup Soccer game dominates most of the monitors in the Poker Room (except the ones that lists the Bad Beat Jackpot @ $153,160).

After players fold, many have their eyes on the game and there's a collective groan every time the Americans miss a scoring opportunity. But when Landon Donovan ties the game on a penalty kick, the room erupts in celebration.

U.S. 1 Ghana 1 (Second Half).

Because there's no audio from the monitors, outside of the brief outbursts, the primary sound in the room is the steady shuffling of chips.

Level 5 (150/300/50 ante continues).

Level 5 Underway

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

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

I noticed that someone else is sitting in Rick Rossetti's seat and asked the table what happened to him. Apparently Rick lost some chips with pocket Aces played passively (his opponent holding AT caught up on the river with a board of T 9 8 2 T) then Rick got all-in for his last 7,500 holding KQ against Matt Kalinowski's AK. (nh, gg) Matt is up to about 90k.

Rick Rossetti

Action, Action, Everywhere!

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

On a flop of K85, Ahmed Fahmy moves in, then Kenny Ross moved in over the top. Everyone else got out of the way. Ahmed held the lead with K7 for a pair of Kings. Kenny held 97 for the flush draw with gutshot.

"Keep it Red!" exclaimed Ahmed. He got his wish as the last two came 42. Ahmed doubled up to a bit over 20k.

Jay Johnson

On the river with a board of K T 3 T K, Jay Johnson (Philadelphia, PA) was facing a bet from seat 4. After a couple of minutes in the tank, Jay makes the call. His opponent taps the felt, reluctant to show his cards. Jay showed JT for Tens-full. His opponent mucks. "I knew you didn't have a King or you would've bet the flop. Jay is up to about 50k.

Dmitri Sokolov

James Boyle points out Dmitri Sokolov (Jackson, NJ) and says he's an "up and coming" player. Dmitri has been playing for about five years and is self-taught. When I asked if he had a favorite pro poker player, he said "you mean besides James?" (LOL)

"I wouldn't be afraid to sit down and play with Phil Ivey" he continued. That takes some cohones grande, since most people consider Ivey the best player in the world. We'll keep an eye on Dmitri to see how he fares in this event. Currently, he's a little below is starting stack of 30k.

Level 4 is winding down and players will be rewarded with a break.

Antes Up!

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

Play continues into Level 4, blinds 100/200 with 25 antes.

Many players consider the start of antes as the start of the tournament itself, as all players have to put chips in every pot and can no longer sit back and wait.

Not one to wait for the action, Steve Dannenmann (utg) fired at the pot on a flop of Q 5 2. Steven Curtin (cutoff) called, as did George Cain (big blind). Turn was the 7. Cain checked, Dannenmann fired 1,500, Curtin called, Cain check-raised 5k on top, Dannenmann called the raise, as did Curtin.

River was the K and it was checked to Curtin, who bet 7k. Cain called and Dannenmann flashed the AQ as he mucked. Curtin showed pocket 7s for the set on the turn, but Cain held JT for the flush to take the pot.

Tom Dobrilovic is up to ~60k. He managed to grind his way to about 45k, then caught pocket Aces that held up against an opponent's pocket Jacks to pick up another ~15k.

How Many We Get?

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

The most popular question of the day is, "how many players?"

The unofficial count is 213 players for Day 1B, for a Championship Event total of 322 (109 Day 1A).

Until the cage verifies the total and the tournament staff tabulates the prize pool, here are the projected numbers.

Entries: 322
Total Buy-In: $644,000
Top Prize: ~$181,000
Places Paid: 36
Minimum Cash: ~$3,123

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

Early Chip Leader

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

Level 3 has begun with blinds of 100/200.

Mike Dentale flopped a set of 9s and can't get away when Edip Ayaz river's the nut flush with his A2 of spades. Mike's down to about a third of his starting stack. Meanwhile, Edip Ayaz is the early chip leader with about 95k, more than triple his starting stack.

Edip Ayaz

Others I spotted on my first pass through the room:
Everybody's favorite WSOP Main Event runner-up, Steve Dannenmann, WSOP Circuit Champion Rick Rossetti, Frank Vizza, Tom Dobrilovic, David Inselberg, Matt 'Muffins' Mazzeo, Jay Johnson, Natale Kuey, Mike Contessa, Mike Devinsky, Mickey Woll, Daniel Chan, Hoang Nguyen, Eric 'clown fish' Doerr, Igor Borukhov, and the betrothed couple Joanne Monteavaro & Ian Palomo.

Angle Shooting

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

Angle-Shooting in poker has been around as long as 6-shooters in the Wild West. Fortunately this is 2010, not 1810, and Borgata's long arm of the law is running a clean and honorable casino.

In the back of the room (near where the player piano and spittoon would be) we hear cries of, "I never said, 'I fold,'" and the rest of the table erupts in disagreement.

To set up the action, the board is J 9 A 8 and Michael Melkerson (New Market, VA) leads out for 2500. Ahmed Fahmy reraises to 10k and Melkerson quickly moves all-in, putting Fahmy in the tank.

This is where the angle-shooting,* as the table calls it, takes place and how the details are explained to Sheriff and Tournament Director Tab Duchateau.

While Fahmy's in the tank, he presses Melkerson by asking, "If I fold will you show me?" Melkerson doesn't reply and Fahmy says, "nice hand," and lays his cards on the bet line. The dealer pushes the pot to Melkerson and once it's received, Melkerson pushes his cards into the muck.

That's when Fahmy blurts out, "I never said, 'I fold'," and pulls back his cards. After making sure he understands the sequence of events, Duchateau rules, "it's a fold," and we never see either player's hole cards.

When one person asks Fahmy, "why are you angle shooting?," he replies, "why not? It's poker, it was worth a try."

The players now have itchy trigger fingers and are on high alert, as they keeping one eye on the swinging saloon doors.

*Angle-Shooting Definition (Source:

A poker player who uses various underhanded, unfair methods to take advantage of inexperienced opponents. The difference between an angle shooter and a cheat is only a matter of degree. What a cheat or thief does is patently against the rules; what an angle shooter does may be marginally legal, but it's neither ethical nor gentlemanly. Nor is it in the spirit of the game. Unfortunately, poker is not a gentleman's game. In addition to learning how to protect yourself against cheating players, you must learn to watch out for the angle shooters.

Fielding a Winner

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

The unofficial turnout for the second starting day is 208, putting the total field at more than 315 players, as Borgata is well past the half-million dollar guarantee.

The elimination of Roy Winston means he's no longer on the list of players we'll be watching.

Here are some notables in the field.

James Boyle
Steve Danneman
Mike Dentale
Joanne Monteavaro
Robert Nguyen
Ian Palomo
Jennifer Sherwood
Joe Simmons
Bill Stradley
Dennis Summers

Players are on a 10 minute break.

Winston Walks Kings into Aces

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

Peck Picks a Big Pot

Poker Pro and guest Blogger Roy Winston suffered a bad beat earlier this week when his opponent hit a three outer on the river to eliminate the 2007 Borgata Poker Open Champion from the Deep Stack. Today in the Championship Event, the New York, NY resident runs kings into aces and is the first person out of Day 1B.

At the end of the first orbit, Vladimir Peck (Chicago, IL) opens for 250 and Winston, from the big blind, makes it 800. Peck comes over the top to 2,450 and Winston makes it 7k.

Peck pops it to 15,500 and Winston says, "let's play a big pot," and is all-in.

Peck snap calls and Winston's suspicions are confirmed as Peck shows aces. After the board runs clean, Winston is left with 400 chips and is eventually busted, ironically, by the KK of Jack Zissler (New York, NY).

"The flop was all low cards, says Winston, "so all the money was getting in anyway. "What are you going to do, I guess I'll go play cash."

"When he made it 7 thousand, I thought about just flatting (calling) because I didn't want to scare him off," says Peck. But after further consideration he continues, "I didn't want him to hit a set of 8s or something so I was just trying to take it down."

Peck is now sipping a cocktail to calm the nerves of such a big score and to "play more aggressively."

Level 2 (75/150) is underway.

Winston Can't Believe It

Getting After It

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

Early this morning, around 2 am, the final satellite qualifier for the Championship Event wrapped up as 16 players finished grinding their way into the Championship Event. Now it's time to shine. Guys like Robert Nguyen (Brooklyn, NY) are back looking to cash in the half million dollar pay day.

109 players began Day 1a and Borgata is expecting more than twice that in this last chance to get in the field. It's a four day tournament and the champion will be crowned sometime next Tuesday.

57 finished play yesterday, and we'll find out who will join them later tonight. With blinds starting at 50/100 play is underway in the Borgata Summer Poker Open Championship Event.

Guest Blog

By: Roy "The Oracle" Winston

I again got side tracked just as I was heading for Vegas. Some family and friends convinced me to spend the weekend playing the Borgata Summer Poker Open Championship Event, which is a $2,200 event and should attract well over it’s $500,000 guarantee.

I would have liked to play Saturday's 8 game mix at the WSOP, but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. I will be back in Vegas next week by whatever means necessary.

We had a great day Friday playing cash games at the Borgata, followed by the spa and then dinner at the steak house. Saturday’s event has a great structure with 30k in starting chips, a slow structure with one hour levels.


I was out with a group of friends and they asked if I heard about the story by that gossip monger Perez Hilton about Shannon Elizabeth’s home game. I think it’s pathetic how low life pond scum Perez Hilton, who took Paris Hilton’s last name because he was so enamored with her, and don’t even get me started on what I think of her, goes off on what one reader sent him as a story about Shannon.

Now I have no idea what is or isn’t true about the whole thing, but what I do know is there are lots of “Hollywood” home games with enormous rakes, being hosted by A-D list stars. I guess as long as players are willing to play in them and pay the monster rakes, they will continue to run. I believe some players don’t even pay attention to the rakes. I know of one game in NY City and one in LA where they have to be raking 25-40 thousand per evening.


I suppose I have to mention the firing of General McChrystal over the Rolling Stone article where he supposedly made some off the record comments about President Obama that were put on the record and resulted in him being fired as the commander in Afghanistan.

I do not know where the truth lies here, but I believe this is one of many huge mistakes Obama has made since taking office. I supported him hoping he would bring about positive change after eight years of “W.” Well I guess that was too much to hope for.

Instead of shrugging off the issue and letting an extremely qualified General with a great history continue to do a tough job, he lets Rolling Stone magazine have way too much influence on our foreign and military policy. And while I’m on the subject, Obama took no action when his National Security Advisor, James Jones, tells a clearly anti-Semitic joke at a public event, here is the link.

I guess Obama is nothing more than just another politician. As such, he serves the political machine and not the people. I am not sure what we the people can do about this going forward. We get to vote and have choices, but how do we get better choices? Perhaps the system and the amount at stake creates the problem. I guess I expected too much, my bad.

Roy Winston finished 16th in 2007 Card Player, Player of the Year race. He won the WPT Borgata Poker Open and finished the year with well over $2 million in tournament poker winnings. Roy writes one of the most read blogs which appears on many sites including and plays online exclusively at Full Tilt. For more information on Roy Winston, you can visit his website: or send an email to: with your questions or comments. The contents presented herein on this blog are purely the opinions of Roy Winston, and are not intended to reflect or promote the opinions of any other person, group, or entity. If you like what I write than thanks for reading, and if not well, thanks anyway.