Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Event 1: Ackerman Stacks, Stumbles; Santoro Leads

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 17: Blinds 2,500/5k/500 ante   

Gary Ackerman

Gary Ackerman (Collegeville, PA) picked up a big pot before the break and chipped up to ~450k.

Before I got that into the blog, however, he got involved in another hand with the player in seat 4.

On a flop of T 6 5 with two spades, Gary bet 50k and his opponent check-raised all-in.

Gary gave it some thought, then released his hand.  He was left with ~300k.

'Karate' Mike Santoro is now the chip leader (Event Center) with ~460k.

'Irish' Paul Mullins is close behind with ~420k.

Former chip leader Sholom Lipsyzc has dropped to ~280k.

Event 1: Tweet-Outs

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 17: Blinds 2,500/5k/500 ante  

Play has resumed with two levels to go before the bag & tag.

These folks reported their departures via Twitter (or to me in person).  Many of them will be back tomorrow for day 1B:

Mike Holm
Allison Schultz
Asher Conniff
John G
Amanda Musumeci
Antonio Payne
Alan Kraut
Gordon Eng
Dan Buzgon

Event 1: Chip Lead Claimed

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 16: Blinds 2k/4k/400 ante 

 Sholom Lipsyzc

Roman Valerstein has surrendered most of his chips to Sholom Lipszyc (Brooklyn, NY).

Roman raised to 8,500 on the button and Sholom popped it to 28k from the big blind and Roman called.

On the flop of A 8 4 with two hearts, Sholom led for 50k and Roman flatted.

Turn was an offsuit 6 and Sholom shoved his last 163k in the middle.  Roman called.

Sholom held 53 offsuit for an open-ended straight-draw.

Roman was ahead with A7 suited (pair of Aces, gutshot).

The dealer dropped a deuce on the river, giving Sholom the straight and the huge double-up to about 470k, good for the chip lead (in this room).

Roman was left with ~85k.

At the end of level 16, players got a ten-minute break while the black 100 chips were colored up.

Event 1: Too Close To Call

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 16: Blinds 2k/4k/400 ante  

Roman Valerstein & Mike Santoro

Three players in the Event Center are at or above 400k, making the chip lead too close to call.

Roman Valerstein (Newtown, PA) and 'Karate' Mike Santoro (Egg Harbor, NJ) have joined 'Irish' Paul Mullins in the 'over 400k club'.

Event 1: Chip Chirps

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 16: Blinds 2k/4k/400 ante 

Players are back on the felt with three more levels to play tonight.

Chip count tweets from the break:

Roman Valerstein 420k
Chris Farley 270k
Aaron Pinson 200k
Luke Edwards 165k
Stephanie Hubbard 150k
Clayton Crotty 90k
Loni Harwood 77k
Sean Rice 70k
Dan DiZenzo 41k

Event 1: Break Time

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)  

At the end of level 15, players were given a 15 minute break.

They'll return and play one level, then take a short break to color up the black 100 chips.

Fewer than 300 players remain (total) with 20 tables still active in the Event Center (the rest are down in the Signature Room).

The average stack is about 112k.

Event 1: Another Big Stack

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 15: Blinds 1,500/3,000/400 ante 

'Irish' Paul Mullins
'Irish' Paul Mullins (Silver Spring, MD) has usurped the chip lead from Wayne Lewis. 

Paul is up to ~420k and leading the remaining 21 tables in the Event Center.

Here are some other familiar faces still hanging on:

Table 3
John DiBella
Jordan Ludwick
Sirous Jamshidi

Table 4
Michael Marder
Luke Edwards

Table 5
Samuel Tucker
Tony Sinishtaj

Table 6
Amanda Musumeci
Jenny So

Table 7
Wendy Rubin
Tony Hill

Event 1: Building a Big Stack

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 15: Blinds 1,500/3,000/400 ante 

Wayne Lewis

Blinds have just gone up.  During the previous level...

Mike Holm (Chicago, IL) told me the story of how Wayne Lewis (Galloway, NJ) started his climb to the chip lead.

On a flop of 7 5 4, seat 2 was all-in holding pocket 7s for top set.

Wayne said he had to call, showing 65 for a pair with open-ended straight-draw.

An 8 on the turn gave Wayne the straight and when the board failed to pair, he took the pot, sending his opponent to the rail (or the registraion line).

As I was getting the scoop on that hand, the player in seat 9 moved his short stack all-in.  Wayne looked him up with AQ and was dominating the shorty's A7 suited.

The board bricked out and Wayne sent another player packing.  He's up to about 390k and possibly the new chip leader.

Sharing the felt on table 9 with Mike and Wayne is John Myung (Vienna, VA) a poker pro with almost $2.3 million in tournament earnings.

Event 1: Registration Open All Night Long

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry) 

Tab Duchateau, Tournament Director Extraordinaire, announced that registration for tomorrow (1B) will be open all night, rather than closing at midnight as previously reported.

He also said they already have about 600 entries for tomorrow and there is a real possibility of a sell out, advising players that bust out tonight to go ahead and register rather than waiting until the morning.  Many players remember getting shutout of last year's event, which was sold out before day 1B began at 11am.

The players in line at registration are keeping us advised via Twitter:

Daniel Buzgon ‏@WiLDmAn_75 12m
Reg line for @BorgataPoker ready picking up for tomms 1b. I'd advise the unlucky ones who busted today to get up here ASAP. Hour wait prob

Chris Kusha ‏@TooBusyWINNING 5m
@Brian__OD @WiLDmAn_75 just regged, an hour is about right. They'll be less people maybe, but also less cashiers

Alan Kraut ‏@AlanKrautPoker 5m
Busto 1A. Ran 77 into KK. In long line to reg for tomorrow.

Event 1: Big Stack Gets Bigger

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 14: Blinds 1,200/2,400/300 ante

Blinds have just gone up.

During the previous level, Dimas Martinez was already sitting behind a big stack.

Then a short stack shoved with AT and Dimas looked him up with AQ.

The board bricked out K 5 4 9 4 and AQ was good.  Dimas pulled another pot, sending another player to the rail.  He's now up to about 330k.  The car wash owner is now enjoying a massage while waiting for his next opportunity to chip up.

$2 Million Guarantee (Day 1A) Video Montage

It's no surprise that this comparison just fits, because it is that time of year, but walking into Borgata for the opening event in September just feels like "going back to school."  You know everyone is going to be there, and it's the beginning of the year for the "poker calendar."  The buzz is like no other, and whether you're waiting to check in or just walking through the hotel, there are familiar faces everywhere. 

Day 1A went off without a hitch today, with many players taking advantage of the online and/or early registration. With registration now closed for the first starting day, it's time to take a look back at the beginning stages of one of the most prestigious tournaments of the year:

Event 1: You Want a Piece of Me?

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 13: Blinds 1k/2k/300 ante

 Mountains for Martinez

Coming back from dinner break, Dimas Martinez (Atlanta, GA) is the unofficial chip leader with 310k.

"My friend Jim helped me out," says Martinez who is originally from New York, but says he's now a "Georgia Boy."

Jim Stenella (Pipersville, PA) watched Martinez bust and encouraged him to re-enter during Level 4.  "I told him, 'why wait until tomorrow (Day 1B).' If you're going to fire two bullets, do it now and you get to go to the pool."

Martinez took the advice and now has a big stack thanks to a 100k pot while hitting a flush with J 4.

"Look at that," says Stenella while admiring Martinez's stack, "I told him not to forget about me when he makes the money." Stenella looking for a small piece of the action as a finder's fee.

Event 1: Tweet Counts

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Chip counts posted on Twitter during the dinner break:

Rob Brown 128k
Michael Marder  115k
Chris Farley 105k
Tony Sinishtaj 94k
Clayton Crotty 84k
Aaron Pinson  73k
Sean Rice 70k
Stephanie Hubbard 70k
Luke Edwards 70k
Ralph Massey 61k
Loni Harwood 58k
Danny Nolls 50k
Antonio Payne 38k
Alan Kraut 28k
Dan DiZenzo  22k
Tim Bishop (Busted)
Jonathan Sorscher (Busted)
Norman Michalek (Busted)
Cullen "H" Hofman (Busted)

Event 1: Dinner Break Tweets

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Event 1: Dinner Break Part Deux (Signature Room)

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Dinner Break, Going to Level 13: Blinds 1k/2k/300 ante

Ryan Jones

The 11 remaining tables in the Signature Room head to break with two players at more than 200k.

Ryan Jones (Burlington, NC) says he almost got to 300k, but is satisfied with 245k on dinner break.

Seven other tables are moving from the Poker Room to the Signature Room and sets the remaining tournament head count at ~520 players with an average stack of 64k (32 bb).

Signature Room Big Stacks

Ryan Jones (Burlington, NC) 245k
Shawn Myles (Accokeek, MD) 212k
Manh Nguyen (Munhall, PA) 158k

Event 1: Dinner Time!

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Just as the 7pm $150 + 30 NLH event fired up on the far side of the Event Center, the main event was dispatched on a one hour dinner break.

Play will resume at 8:05pm and they will play six more levels before bagging chips for the night.

31 tables remain in action here in the event center (about 310 players).

Event 1: Inselberg Fires at Scary Flop

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600/200 ante 

David Inselberg's all-in moment, as Jordan Ludwick watches

David Inselberg (Long Beach, NY) raised pre-flop from the cutoff and got a call from the player in the big blind.

The flop was a very scary K♠Q♠J♠.

The big blind checked and David moved all-in.  After giving it a moment's thought, his opponent folded and David took the pot.

David finished second in Borgata's $1k Deep Stack Double Play NLH event here in July, good for over $48,000.

Event 1: Failla Playing Position Poker

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600/200 ante

Ha Not Laughing with Failla

"It sucks I have position on you, doesn't it," says 4-time Borgata Open winner & WPT Champion Will "the Thrill" Failla" (Commack, NY) to Vimy Ha (New York, NY).

After a third player gets out of the way, Failla (BB) calls Ha's (SB) preflop raise, c-bet and 4th street barrel.

On a board of 5 K 69 10, Ha checks, Failla bets 15k and Ha reluctantly folds.

"Would you call 10(k) there," asks Failla.

Ha laments how the hand plays out and Failla assures him that he was calling a shove because, "I had the best hand."

While Failla is the only 4-time trophy winner at Borgata, Ha is no slouch with a Six-Max win for $81,000 in January's Winter Poker Open.

Failla is up to 90K, while Ha drops to 30k.

Event 1: Another Big Stack

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600/200 ante

Ramiz Gjonbalaj

Ramiz Gjonbalaj (Millstone, NJ) is up to ~212k and challenging the room for the chip lead.  He's a casual tournament player, but has a couple of four-figure tournament cashes to his credit.  When not escaping to play poker, he manages a company in the city.

This is the last level before the dinner break.  

*** 6:40 update:  Ramiz has busted another player and may have claimed the event center chip lead.

Event 1: Big Stacks Climbing Past 200k

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 11: Blinds 600/1,200/200 ante

Mullins & Mahadevappa

Rajen Mahadevappa (Edison, NJ) and "Irish" Paul Mullins (Limerick, Ireland) flip positions as they fight over the chip lead.

On a flop of 2 6♣ 9 Mahadevappa checks, Mullins c-bets 16k and Mahadevappa calls.

Turn: 2♠ (check, check)

River: 7♠

Mahadevappa bets 35k and Mullins goes in the tank before eventually calling.

Mullins: 10♠ 8 (straight)
Mahadevappa: K♣ 9♣ (pair of 9s)

Despite having the nut straight, Mullins seemed concerned over the paired board.  He takes down the 100k chip pot and jumps to 220k, while Mahadevappa drops from 200k to 150k.

Event 1: Seat Open

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 10: Blinds 500/1,000/100 ante

(l-r) Pyne, "H," & Dykshteyn

"You know I'll be back for 1B," says Ken Silberstein (Edison, NJ) who sees the last of his chips go to
Russ Dykshteyn (Brooklyn, NY) and Rich Pyne (Turnersville, NJ) in a three-way all in.

Flop: 10 2 3

Silberstein: 4 5 (OE straight draw)
Pyne: AA (over pair)
Russ Dykshteyn: 10 8 (top pair)

Turn: X (Silberstein adds flush draw)

River: 8

Dykshteyn hits two pairs on the river for a triple-up to 45k, while Pyne wins the side pot with a pair of Aces.

After knocking out Silberstein, Pyne breaks even in the hand and goes on a heater. He cracks QQ
with "ace-rag," says Cullen "H" Hofmann (Baltimore, MD) who watches Pyne double to more than 100k.

A few hands later Pyne hits trip aces and scoops another pot.

Event 1: Twitter Texas Hold'em Chip Counts

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 10: Blinds 500/1,000/100 ante

Day 1A registration is closed and we'll post the official totals once the number is verified.

While registration is open 24 hours, it's strongly suggested that players arrive early for the 11 am Day 1B start as there's always a chance players could be shutout of the event.

Chip Counts posted on Twitter during the last break:

Rob Brown 100k
DJ MacKinnon 88k
Danny Nolls 80k
Jonathan Sorscher 78k
Michael Marder 70k
Chris Farley 65k
Roman Valerstein 65k
Dan Buzgon 62k
Jonathan Kramer 50k
Alli Schultz 47k
Clayton Crotty 46k
Aaron Pinson 44k
Amanda Musumeci 43k
Antonio Payne 38k
Cullen Hofmann 36k
Kevin Benitez 34k
Dan DiZenzo 33k
Chris Kusha 29k
Mike Altbaum 26k
Kevin Saul 17k
Chris Leong 11k
Chris Brand Busted
Jesse Cohen Busted
Steve Ryan Busted

Event 1: Registration Closing at 5 pm

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Color-up Break before Level 10: Blinds 500/1,000/100 ante

(l-r) Lori, Victoria, Gosia & Laura

Day 1A registration closes at the end of this break (5 pm).

As the green (25) chips are removed from play, the new shift of Borgata Babes are introduced. Lori, Victoria, Gosia and Laura are in the house.

Event 1: "Not Free Rolling Anymore"

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 9: Blinds 400/800/75 ante

 Tom Spellacy

The Borgata Daily Tournament Leaderboard (July/August) Promotion wrapped up with 15 players earning valuable seats into either this kickoff event or the WPT Championship Event.

Tom Spellacy (Staten Island, NY) finished 11th in the final standings and earned a $560 entry into today's tournament.

"Not free rolling anymore," says Spellacy, who is on his second entry after his set of 2s is rundown by a flush draw.

"They guys said, 'it's a re-entry, I might as well play. I'll rebuy if I lose'."  Unfortunately Spellacy was the one heading back to tournament registration.

Spellacy plans on playing as many events as possible and taking a run at the Leaderboard of this series. In the past he's been in the Top 20 including in the Summer Poker Open, but missed out on June's top prizes.

Event 1: Plumber Flushes Opponent

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 8: Blinds 300/600/75 ante

John Ruddy

John Ruddy (Bronx, NY) is one of the few stacks in the Event Center with more than 100k and picks up most of it in a flush over flush hand.

Flop:  K 6 7

Ruddy: A Q (nut flush)
Opponent: 10 9 (gutshot straight flush draw)

Ruddy fades the 8 and takes down a 75k chip pot.

Ruddy is a plumber in New York and is planning on playing the Borgata WPT Championship Event and as many tournaments as his schedule allows.

"I play the YPT in New York," says Ruddy, "The Yonker's Poker Tour, a little different than the WPT."

Ruddy is at 120k and climbing.

Event 1: Twitter Chatter & Chip Counts

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry) 

 Level 7: Blinds 250/500/50 ante

Chip Counts Posted on Twitter

Amanda Musumeci 70k
Chris Leong 50k
Michael Marder 49k
Chris Farley 48k
Aaron Pinson 33k?
Dan DiZenzo 28k
Chris Kusha 26k
Clayton Crotty 24k
Steve Ryan 21k
Pierre Deissler 20k
Jonathan Sorscher  17k
Mike Altbaum 15k
Kevin Saul 8k
Antonio Payne 6k ‏

Event 1: Food Down, Levels Up

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 7: Blinds 250/500/50 ante

The Cafeteria; Good Food, Fast

Players are back from their second break of the day after refueling with sandwiches, pretzel dogs and Ben & Jerry's.

Levels are now 40 minutes long which adds 30 minutes of total play before the next break after Level 9.

Chris Edwards (Little Silver, NJ) at a Table for Four

Event 1: Day 1B Hold'em Early Birds

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 6: Blinds 200/400/50 ante

 Vitello Viewing the Day 1A Action

Several players, including Ron Vitello (Cherry Hill, NJ), are relaxing, getting a lay of the land and gearing up for Wednesday's Day 1B.

Last year during the opening event, Vitello (Cherry Hill, NJ) was the dinner break chip leader and built a monster stack, but failed to bag and tag.

"I ran into four big hands and lost it all," says Vitello who was up to 600k (200 bb) late in the night.

The WSOP Circuit Ring holder, who has a 12th place finish for $4,000 in April's Borgata Spring Poker Open, is hoping for a better run this time around.

Event 1: First in Line?

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 6: Blinds 200/400/50 ante

Gaylord Inman

Gaylord Inman (Pleasantville, NJ) says he was first in line Monday when registration opened for on-site registration and is comfortably seated at Table 1, Seat 1.

"I can't believe that's a coincidence," says the local Borgata regular.

The value of sitting at a low numbered table is that you won't be subjected to table breaks which almost always go from high to low.

"Come back in three days and see if I'm still here," laughs Inman, who knows that if he has Table 1, Seat 1 on Friday that it's at the Final Table.

Table 1

Event 1: Eager Beavers

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 5: Blinds 150/300/25 ante

Brotherly Love, Dan (left) & Bill

Dan & Bill Beavers only live "a quarter mile" apart in White Plains, MD, but are now even closer here at Borgata.

"I can turn around and smack him in the head if he gets out of line," says older brother Bill, who is seated directly behind Dan, the youngest of seven children.

"Yeah and one's over there, and one's over there," jokes a player at Dan's table.

While the siblings play a lot of poker together back home, Dan is the one who plays full time. "I have a job to go back to," says Bill who works in real estate, explaining why the two didn't road trip together.

Dan has five Borgata cashes over the last 15 months including a third place finish for $16,000 in June of 2012.

Both Beavers are slightly above the 20k starting stacks.

Event 1: Packed Poker House

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 4: Blinds 100/200

Event Center 

Players are back from their first break of the day and the action is settling down.

While it's tough to keep track of all the chip leaders in three different rooms (Event Center, Signature Room & Poker Room), players are well aware of the end of night bonuses.

The chip leaders at the end of Days 1A & 1B (Wednesday) earn $2,000, while the second biggest stacks earns $1,000.

Event 1: Cowboys & Gals

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 3: Blinds 75/150

John Strumph

Looking down at Cowboys (KK) is a great feeling, but being one might even be better.

"It's my poker persona first," says John Strumph (Southampton, NY),  "and I train show horses for a living,"

Last year in this event, Strumph says he made it to Day 2 and "about 50 spots from the money,"  so he's looking for "bigger and better," in the tournament.

Others sporting horse hats include:

Ellen Lambeth 

Ellen Lambeth (Charlotte, NC) was the last woman standing in the kickoff event ($560) of January's Borgata Winter Poker Open; she finished 32nd for $6,000.

Adam Bachrach

Adam Bachrach (Santa Monica, CA) is visiting friends and family and says he last played at Borgata a few years ago when he "won a tournament on Christmas Eve."

Event 1: Quads First Hand of the Day

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 2: Blinds 50/100

Volper Vanquishes Two

Nickola Volper (Astoria, NY) is hoping he didn't waste his "run good" on the first hand of the tournament as part of a three-way all in.

Flop: J 9 8

Nickola Volper: JJ (set of Jacks)
Michael Mastrostefano: Q 10 (nut straight)
Scott Jackson: Q 10 (nut straight)

Turn: X

River: J

Volper hits a one outer on the river for quad jacks and a double knockout.

"There was no cursing," says Associate Blogger Pierre Deissler (Mt. Laurel, NJ), who provides the first hand report.  "They both took it like men."

At the time, Volper was the chip leader with a triple-up to 60k and is now holding steady.

Volper has a couple of deep runs at Borgata, including a second place finish ($46,000) behind Gregg Fishberg (Willow Grove, PA) in the 2010 Borgata Summer Poker Open.  Coincidentally that too was a $560 event.

Event 1: Tweet-ville

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 2: Blinds 50/100 

Twitter is buzzing with activity at the start of this event.  Glad Stephanie Hubbard (Hazlet, NJ) made it safe and sound despite some of the challenges!

Event 1: Bursting at the Seams

$500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

Level 1: Blinds 25/50

After a Labor Day of rest, the Borgata faithful is back to work and looking for a piece of the $2 MILLION GUARANTEED prize pool in the opening event of the Borgata Poker Open.

With 3,705 entries in 2012, the anticipation of an even larger field as every poker table in the building occupied.

90 tables in the Event Center, 26 in the Signature Room and tons more in the Poker Room are buzzing with anticipation as Day 1A is ready to roll.

Players start with 20k chips and levels last 30 minutes to start (Levels 1-6) and increase to 60 minute levels at the Final Table. Re-entries and late registration is open for the first 9 levels with unlimited entries on Day 1A & Day 1B.

Just seconds into the tournament there's a shout of, "new chip leader" in the Event Center and with that
the 2013 Borgata Poker Open is underway!

Tuesday, September 3


11AM: Event 1 - $500 + $60 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)

  • Players start with 20,000 in tournament chips 
  • Levels 1-6: will last 30 minutes each | Levels 7-18: will last 40 minutes each |
    Levels 19+:  will last 50 minutes each | Final Table Levels:  will last 60 minutes each
  • Players that bust within the first 9 Levels may Re-Enter (unlimited re-entries) 
  • 3-Day event with two starting days. Day 2 begins Thursday at 11AM.  Day 3 begins Friday at 12PM.
  • $2,000 will be awarded to the chipleader at the end of Day 1A and Day 1B
    $1,000 will be awarded to the player finishing second behind the chipleader at the end of Day 1A and Day 1B

7 PM: Event 26 - $150 + $30 No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)
  • Players start with 12,000 in tournament chips 
  • Levels will last 20 minutes each 
  • Players that bust within the first 6 Levels may Re-Enter (unlimited re-entries) 
  • 1-Day event