Posts Tagged ‘Borgata’

Daniel Weinman Earns Big Birthday Cake Candle, Wins WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open

 Daniel Weinman Earns Big Birthday Cake Candle, Wins WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open

On his 29th birthday, Daniel Weinman came from the bottom half of the final table to eventually take a dominant lead and cruise to victory at the World Poker Tour’s Borgata Winter Poker Open on Friday evening.

Weinman was sitting in fourth place at the start of action on Friday, but there were three difficult competitors ahead of him. Atop the standings was Nathan Bjerno, who had rocketed out to a sizeable lead with his 12.415 million chips. Jia Liu (6.815 million) and Tyler Kenney (the only player with a WPT final table under his belt, with 6.03 million) were within sight of Weinman, but he had Richard Foster (5.13 million) contesting him for the fourth-place slot. Nicholas Immekus seemingly was on the short stack (3.55 million) but, in the right situation, Immekus had a stack big enough to be a concern.

With very deep stacks, it was thought that the players would come out slowly (not to mention the $ 892,433 in first place money at stake). Instead, the men came out like they had a plane to catch. On Hand #10 Kenney, who was very active early at the final table, popped the betting to 200K, only to see Immekus make it 700K to go from the big blind. After a moment’s pause, Kenney four-bet Immekus and he responded with an all-in. Kenney immediately made the call this time, turning up pocket Queens to run against Immekus’ Big Slick. The 7-5-2 flop didn’t hit Immekus and, after a Queen hit the turn, he was drawing dead (the meaningless river card was a ten) and hit the rail in sixth place.

Kenney, now the chip leader over Bjerno, kept the table at bay as they jousted with three and four bets pre-flop, which became the norm. Weinman, on Hand #26, made his move up the leaderboard in defeating Foster in what would be a huge cooler for Foster. Under the gun, Weinman min-raised and Foster confidently defended his big blind with a three bet. A suspicious (but cagey, as it would prove) Weinman thought over his situation for a couple of moments before simply calling Foster’s bet. On the J-J-5 flop, Foster fired all in and there was no hesitation from Foster; he hammered in the call, turning up pocket Aces against Foster’s pocket Kings, and there was no salvation for Foster. In fact, the Ace on the river added insult to injury in sending Foster to the rail in fifth place as the level ended.

With the blinds and antes now at 60K/120K and 20K, Liu was now feeling the pain of the rapid rounds (Kenney, Weinman and Bjerno were all over 10 million in chips) and had to make a move. He found that chance on Hand #32 when, after a Kenney raise, Liu looked him up from under the gun. A highly-coordinated J♥ 10♣ 9♣ flop came and Liu would check call a bet from Kenney. A 3♣ completed any flush draw, which is what Liu represented when he check-raised all in Kenney’s 770K bet on the turn. Kenney, after reviewing the hand in his mind, came up with the call and turned over pocket Queens with the club. Liu wasn’t dead in the hand with his Q-9 off suit to have the same straight draw as Kenney but an inferior pair. A nonconsequential 4♠ on the river didn’t help anyone, keeping Kenney in the lead and with the chips as Liu exited in fourth place.

The three men remaining – Kenney (16.555 million), Weinman (12.24 million) and Bjerno (10.555 million) – would then slow down the action tremendously. Over the next 30-plus hands, it seemed as if Kenney and Weinman would take turns pounding on Bjerno as his stack went down while theirs headed up. The bounty was good enough that Kenney didn’t seem to mind when Weinman passed him for the lead, but it would become a factor in what would be the penultimate hand of the tournament.

On Hand #65, Kenney raised the button only to have Weinman three bet the action from the big blind. Kenney called to see an 8-5-4 rainbow flop. Weinman check-called a 1.4 million bet from Kenney and, after a ten on the turn, would do the same to a three million bet from Kenney. A river trey saw Weinman check for a third time and Kenney would move all in for more than ten million chips. Only covering Kenney by about a million, Weinman agonized over the decision before finding the call, which turned out to be the correct one. Weinman could only muster a 9-5 off suit for second worst pair on the board, but it was enough; Kenney had been pushing the bluff from the start as his K-9 was only good for King-high. Once it was confirmed that it was Kenney who was all in, the mountainous pile of chips headed to Weinman as Kenney headed out the doors of the Borgata in third place.

With such a monstrous lead, it was thought Weinman (33.805 million chips) would make short work of Bjerno (5.545 million). Bjerno would prove to be a worthy adversary, however, dueling with Weinman for 50 hands but never drawing any closer than a 3:1 disadvantage. On the final hand, Weinman would move all in and Bjerno, in need of a double, called with an A-4. Normally in heads up Bjerno’s hand would have been a good fighter, but Weinman’s A-5 had him outpipped and behind from the start. The A-8-6 flop made a chop more of a chance and the seven on the turn eliminated Bjerno from winning the hand outright as a four on the river would give Weinman a straight. Sure enough, that four fell on the river to give Bjerno an unfortunate pair while giving Weinman the eight-high straight to win the hand and the 2017 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event.

1. Daniel Weinman, $ 892,433
2. Nathan Bjerno, $ 524,964
3. Tyler Kenney, $ 327,578
4. Jia Liu, $ 275,081
5. Richard Foster, $ 228,787
6. Nicholas Immekus, $ 184,787

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2017 Borgata Winter Poker Open Day 4: Final Table Determined, Nathan Bjerno Massive Chip Leader

 2017 Borgata Winter Poker Open Day 4: Final Table Determined, Nathan Bjerno Massive Chip Leader

The final table for the World Poker Tour’s 2017 Borgata Winter Poker Open in Atlantic City, NJ, is shaping up to be a “one versus all” affair. The reason? Chip leader Nathan Bjerno, who garnered most of his chips in taking down two of the players who had been around the top of the leaderboard virtually the entire tournament, has almost a third of the chips in play.

34 players returned to the baize at the Borgata on Thursday with the difficult task of getting to the final six. Charles Coates held the lead with his 3.371 million in chips, but right behind him was Blake Bohn and his 3.024 million stack. With both players on the same table, the potential for fireworks was in the mix, but it would take some time for the fuse to be lit.

There was still a bit of play in the stacks (even short stacked Asher Conniff was sitting decently with his 406,000 in chips, good for 17 big blinds), so it took a bit of time before the first elimination of the day. That occurred when Day 2 chip leader Jack Duong pushed his stack all in against Shaun Deeb about 40 minutes into the day. Deeb was more than happy to call Duong’s push with his pocket Kings and Duong, with Big Slick, would hit on the K-J-10 flop for a gut shot straight draw. Unfortunately, Duong couldn’t find the filler for the hole in his straight – the Queen – on the turn or the river, sending him out of the tournament 34th place.

The next competitor out surprised many in the tournament room. Coming in with an even million chips, Olivier Busquet would send more than half of them to Bart Dowling after Dowling turned a set and rivered quad sixes against him. That wasn’t the most painful beat, however, as moments later Busquet would take on Bohn in the hand that would end his tournament.

After Bohn raised and Dowling called, Busquet would squeeze the action with an all-in move. Bohn looked him up (Dowling exited at this point) and the players turned their cards up. It was the classic race situation, Busquet’s A-10 off suit versus Bohn’s pocket eights. In the window was an Ace for Busquet, but the third card on the flop was an eight to give Bohn a set. Once an innocent trey and a four came on the turn and river, Busquet was suddenly out of the tournament in 33rd place.

Bohn was quite aggressive with those new chips and it paid off well for him. He would eliminate David Stefanski in 28th place and forced Adnan Mohammad to lay down another hand as his chip stack climbed to almost five million chips. After Tony Ruberto bluffed off a stack of chips to him, Bohn was in prime shape for the final table as his stack reached the 6.5 million mark.

That would be the epitome of Bohn’s day, however. He would bleed chips off over the course of the evening but reach the unofficial final table with about half the chips he had after Ruberto’s bluff. Those chips would hit the center against Bjerno, who had stormed out to a decent lead over the field by earlier knocking off Coates in tenth place with his pocket threes flopping a set against Coates’ pocket sixes. Bohn was in a different situation, however, as his A-K would need help against Bjerno’s pocket tens. It wouldn’t come as the board came down ten-high, giving Bjerno an unnecessary set against Bohn’s Ace-high and sending Bohn to the rail in eighth place.

After Jia Liu took down Thomas Penza in seventh place – Liu’s pocket Jacks handling Penza’s A♥ 8♥ with ease on a K-5-3-5-Q board – the official WPT final table was set with Bjerno over the 12 million mark in chips:

1. Nathan Bjerno, 12.415 million
2. Jia Liu, 6.815 million
3. Tyler Kenney, 6.03 million
4. Daniel Weinman, 5.41 million
5. Richard Foster, 5.13 million
6. Nicholas Immekus, 3.55 million

For those who plan to be in attendance for the final table action, it may be a long evening. Immekus, on the short stack, still has 44 big blinds to play with (the table was paused in Level 29 with blinds of 40K/80K with 10K antes), plenty of time for him to look for a moment to strike. Of the remainder of the table, Kenney is the best-known player of the lot, having made a WPT final table before (2014, a third-place finish at the WPT Legends of Poker). While he does have about a third of the chips, Bjerno is the epitome of that old axiom “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” as he tries to seal the deal in Atlantic City beginning at 2PM this afternoon (live stream with hole cards begins at 2:30 at

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2017 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Day 3: Charles Coates Leads Final 34, Olivier Busquet Looks for Another Borgata Championship

 2017 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Day 3: Charles Coates Leads Final 34, Olivier Busquet Looks for Another Borgata Championship

Coming into the home stretch of the 2017 Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event in Atlantic City, NJ, Charles Coates has been able to build a nice lead over the 34 players remaining. When one of those players is Olivier Busquet – who won this tournament in 2009 for his largest non-“High Roller” payday ever – and three other former WPT champions are in the mix, that spot on the top can potentially be an uncomfortable one, however.

168 players came back on Wednesday with the dreams of getting down to the final three tables (27 players) but likely facing the reality that they wouldn’t get close to that mark. Of importance for the remaining field, though, was in bursting the money bubble (at 130 players) before considering a deeper run. Jack Duong, sitting astride a 727,500-chip stack, was the man looking good at this point in the tournament, but there was still quite a bit of poker left to be played.

Popular East Coast pro Matt Glantz was one who came out of the gates quickly. On a 10-8-6-2-Q rainbow board, Glantz was able to get Chris Odle to pay him off on each street, including a river all-in. When Glantz turned up pocket tens for the flopped set, Odle mucked his cards (leaving many wondering just what he held and what he thought Glantz was playing). While the double-up of 435,000 chips was pushed in front of Glantz, Shaun Deeb took out a player by applying a cooler – Deeb’s pocket Kings over his opponent’s pocket Queens – and reached 635,000 in chips.

It would take about three hours of play to reach a money bubble that was quickly popped. With Mark Scacewater all in, Farhad Jamasi made the call from the big blind with Scacewater in the lead with his A-J over Jamasi’s 5-4. That all changed on the 6-6-4 flop, pushing Jamasi into the lead and leaving Scacewater looking for one of his two overs. A seven on the turn and a nine on the river did nothing to change the scenario, giving Jamasi the hand and sending Scacewater to the rail with nothing to show for his efforts.

With everyone in the room safe in the fact they were getting the min-cash of $ 6678, the cash out cage went to work. Lily Kiletto and former WPT champion Eric Afriat were a part of that parade and, following dinner, Seth Berger, Amanda Musumeci, Aaron Massey, Matt Stout, Kevin Eyster, Loni Harwood, John Racener and Glantz were part of the carnage. As the clock passed the midnight hour, Mike Dentale found the rail with 39 players left.

In one of the final hands of the night, a new contender emerged from the pack. After Kunal Patel raised from middle position, Blake Bohn called his small blind and Eugene Fouksman his big to see a 9-5-4 two-diamond flop. The two blinds checked over the Patel, who fired out a bet, and Bohn called. Fouksman wanted more, however, as he put his final chips in the center (about 250K). Patel made the call and Bohn, with a bounteous stack of chips in the center, moved all in over Patel. Patel pondered it for a moment, then made the call.

Patel might have thought it was a bluff, but he was wrong:

Bohn:  pocket Queens
Patel:  K-9 (pair of nines)
Fouksman:  flush draw

Fouksman would catch a diamond on the river to triple up, but the monstrous side pot that was built between Patel and Bohn went to Bohn. That 3.3 million stack rocketed Bohn into first place while Patel lamented on Twitter:

Bohn would attempt to add to his massive stack, but it would cost him the chip lead. Going against Charles Coates on a K-J-4-6-J board, both players checked the river of an almost 500K pot. After Coates showed pocket Queens, Bohn surprisingly mucked his hand (a smaller pair?) and sent the chip lead over to Coates to start the Day 4 proceedings:

1. Charles Coates, 3.371 million
2. Blake Bohn, 3.024 million
3. Nathan Bjerno, 2.892 million
4. Jia Liu, 2.561 million
5. Adnan Mohammad, 2.325 million
6. Richard Foster, 2.1 million
7. Casey Yontz, 1.776 million
8. Tony Ruberto, 1.528 million
9. Bart Dowling, 1.4 million
10. Ji Qiang Tong, 1.365 million

Lurking under the Top Ten is Busquet (14th place, one million chips), who won this tournament in 2009 and is looking to become only the third person to win two WPT championships at the same casino. There are three other WPT champions still in the mix led by Ruberto, with Anthony Gregg (635K) and Asher Conniff (406K) having some work to do to get into contention.

The tournament will restart at noon (Eastern Time) at the Borgata and play down to the six handed WPT final table. Everyone who finishes higher than eighth will be guaranteed a six-figure payday, with the eventual champion walking off with a $ 892,433 payday.

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2017 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Day 2: Tournament Field Sets Record

 2017 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Day 2: Tournament Field Sets Record

The 2017 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open has achieved the largest field in its history as 192 additional entries were made on Day 2 to bring the total to 1,312. That number makes this tournament the fourth-largest in World Poker Tour history, as well. There are now just 168 players remaining heading into Wednesday’s Day 3 with Jack Duong leading the charge holding 727,500 chips.

The total prize pool for the Main Event is $ 4,199,712, eclipsing the guarantee by over a million bucks. 130 players will be paid – so the money bubble should burst today – with the winner receiving $ 892,433.

The chip leader, Jack Duong, has an interesting live tournament resume. He has a ton of cashes dating back five years, but most are small, only in the four-figure range (what I wouldn’t give to win over a thousand dollars in a poker tournament). Overall, though, he has earned more than $ 1.5 million in live tourneys. That total is thanks largely to four six-digit cashes, the best of which was his lone World Series of Poker bracelet win, coming in the 2015 $ 1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Bounty event, where he earned $ 333,351. His best World Poker Tour cash came just last year, a $ 175,122 score for a fifth place finish in the WPT Choctaw Main Event.

Duong told at the end of the night that his trek to the top of the leader board was partially because he played well and partially because he had a nice run of cards. Sounds like the formula for most tournament success. He actually entered Day 2 with just 27,000 chips, which was below the tournament’s starting stack, so growing that to over 700,000 is quite the single-day achievement.

He said that his key hand came very close to the end of the night, when he got into a pre-flop raising war holding pocket Kings when his opponent had Ace-Jack. Naturally (or we wouldn’t be talking about it), the Kings won out and Duong scooped a 400,000 chip pot.

Another hand I found entertaining isn’t really all that significant in the grand scheme of the tournament other than the fact that it culminated in the elimination of a strong player. It is one of those hands where the loser just has to shrug and think, “I never stood a chance.” For some reason, I chuckled reading about it.

Jeffrey Chang raised pre-flop, David Paredes three-bet to 29,000, Chang raised one again, putting for Paredes all-in for around 90,000 and Paredes made the call. Paredes had pocket Fours – not bad if you have to make a bold move – but Chang had pocket Kings. Ok, pretty standard pair over pair situation, but it got much worse. The flop brought a third King, reducing Paredes’ chances to runner-runner Fours or, as the suits were laid out, runner-runner hearts to hit a flush. The runner-runner hopes were dashed on the turn and then Chang hit quad Kings on the river for good measure. Like I said, it was just one of those hands.

Day 3 begins at noon ET.

2017 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open – Day 2 Chip Leaders

Jack Duong – 727,500
Bart Dowling – 687,500
Mike Del Vecchio – 573,000
Nicholas Immekus – 552,500
Thomas Brinley – 549,500
Eugene Fouksman – 544,000
Olivier Busquet – 540,500
Tony Tran – 535,500
Ivan Fazal Karim – 533,500
James Dorrance – 522,500

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2017 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event: Day 1 Flights in the Books

 2017 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event: Day 1 Flights in the Books

The World Poker Tour got back in action over the weekend as the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event saw its two starting days contested on Sunday and Monday. Players are still allowed to register through the first break on Day 2, so we won’t know the official tournament figures for a little while yet, but so far, 1,120 players have signed up.. Leading the 588 Day 1 survivors into Tuesday is Jean “Prince” Gaspard with 216,900 chips.

Gaspard is one of those guys whose record casual fans will look at and say, “Wow, I didn’t realize he was so accomplished.”

According to, Gaspard has over $ 2.3 million live tournament earnings. His largest cash came just this past summer, when he won the 2016 World Series of Poker $ 10,000 Dealers Choice 6-Handed Championship for $ 306,621, the first gold bracelet of his career. Gaspard also won a WSOP Circuit event in 2009, the New Orleans & Bayou Poker Challenge Championship Event, for $ 211,722.

Gaspard told that he took the week off before the Borgata Winter Poker Open so that he could come in fresh.

“I’ve been ready, and I told my friend I was going to bag up 200K,” he said. “Obviously you’ve got to run a little bit good. I played well, and I didn’t run bad. The one spot where I did run bad in a pot, usually I allow that to stay in my mind, but I erased it right away.”

As mentioned, there were 1,120 registrations in the two starting flights. The tournament allows for unlimited re-entries until the start of Level 11, which should be around 2:15pm today. Thus, it is very likely that likely that last year’s field of 1,171 players will be eclipsed. With the entry totals as they stand right now, the guaranteed prize pool of $ 3 million has already been surpassed.

Day 2 is about to start at the Borgata in Atlantic City as the players prepare for the continued long grind to the final table.

2017 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open – Day 1A Chip Leaders

Olivier Busquet – 185,000
James Dorrance – 181,000
Joel Gola – 177,000
Frank Calderone – 175,700
Michael Hahn – 162,000
Stephen     Deutsch – 160,100
Lily Kiletto – 150,500
Randolph Pearson – 148,000
William Horan – 145,100
Adam Geyer – 142,800

2017 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open – Day 1B Chip Leaders

Jean Gaspard – 216,900
Shankar Pillai – 209,200
Ryan Smith – 185,400
Asher Conniff – 180,400
Abe Aboukhalil – 177,700
Adnan Mohammad – 152,700
Tony Tran – 144,500
Aaron Overton – 143,800
Nicholas Immekus – 143,700
Barry Leventhal – 140,600

2017 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open – Combined Day 1 Chip Leaders

Jean Gaspard – 216,900
Shankar Pillai – 209,200
Ryan Smith – 185,400
Olivier Busquet – 185,000
James Dorrance – 181,000
Asher Conniff – 180,400
Abe Aboukhalil – 177,700
Joel Gola – 177,000
Frank Calderone – 175,700
Michael Hahn – 162,000

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