Tuesday, September 20, 2005

WPT Borgata Open

I'm blogging live from the Borgata Casino in lovely Atlantic City, NJ. I'll be here over the next few days covering the WPT Borgata Open. Buy-in is $10,000 and players start with $20K in chips. I'm sitting in press row with BJ from Card Player along with Heather and Jen from Poker Wire. It's a mini-WSOP reunion.

I can't tell you how much I missed working along side those cool folks. We seriously bonded during our six weeks together and spent many moment working until sun up. They are some really great people and make the insanity of covering a tournament a lot easier with their comedic skills, their professionalism, and their willingness to share information.

When I walked into the huge ballroom upstairs, I found myself standing next to Courtney Friel, the new hostess of the World Poker Tour. She's stunning! Her episodes won't hit the air until March 2006.

I missed Day One of the action because I was flying from Amsterdam to New York City. You can head over to Poker Wire or Card Player to see what happened. This year's WPT Borgata event started with 515 players. The prize pool is over $1.5 million and the top 45 players are getting paid. Action will end tonight when there are 45 players remaining.

Here's the payouts (thanks to BJ):
1st: $1,498,650
2nd: $799,280
3rd: $427,115
4th: $349,685
5th: $299,730
6th: $249,775
7th: $199,820
8th: $149,865
9th: $99,910
10th-12th: $64,942
13th-15th: $49,955
16th-18th: $34,969
19th-27th: $24,978
28th-36th: $14,987
37th-45th: $12,489
Over half the field was eliminated on Day One which inlcuded a ton of big name. Here are some notable bustouts on the first day: Johnny World Hennigan, Mel Judah, Chris Bigler, Liz Lieu, T.J. Cloutier, Edward Moncada, David Williams, My Main Man Freddy Deeb, Johnny Bax, Paul Darden, Andrew Black, John Myung, Miami John Cerruto, Antonio Esfandiari, Jennifer Tilly, Harry Demitriou, Mike Wattel, Phil Ivey, Toto Leonidas, Mimi Tran, Hoyt Corkins, Padraig Parkinson, Brad Kondracki, Dan Heimiller, Phil Unabomber Laak, and Amnon Filippi.

At the end of Day One, only 285 players survived out of 515. Tom Coan emerged as the early chip leader with over $280K in chips. David Benyamine was a close second along with WSOP runner-up Steve Dannemann is among the chipleaders with Chip Jett and David Pham.

Early on Day Two Chris Jesus Ferguson was knocked out when his Big Slick lost to A-9. Ouch. Even Jesus gets kicked in the junk every once in a while. Also eliminated were: Tim Phan, Mike Gracz, Quinn Do, Tony Cousineau, David Benyamine, Erik Seidel, Bob Stupak, Chip Jett, Carlos Mortensen, Cyndy Violette, and Steve Brecher.

New WPT Hostess Courtney Friel (click to enlarge)

Erick Lingren (for Heather & the April Sisters)

****** Live Blogging Updates ******

4:54pm... Bouncin Round the Room: In the corner they have a pretzel and root beer stand. They sell root beer floats and two cute Russian girls are working the booth. I was trying to see if they wanted to go up to BJ's room and party later tonight. Next to the pretzel stand, they also have a Dunkin Donuts booth! I spotted the WPT camera crew doing a few promos with Courtney Friel. I chatted for a few minutes with Barry Greenstein. He wanted to know a little bit more about the EPT.

5:15pm... Recent Eliminations (courtesy of Poker Wire): Allen Cunningham, Minh Nguyen, Mickey Appleman, JC Tran, Farzad Bonyadi, and Jean-Robert Bellande.

6:08pm... Alan Goehring has been knocked out. Players are on a dinner break until 7pm. 11 tables are left or about 110 players. Luke Chung is our chipleader with about $440K. Time for me to do my football pool picks!

7:09pm... Players are back from dinner break. Blinds are $800 and $1600 with $300 antes.

7:30pm... Bouncin Round the Room: I went downstairs to the Italian deli and I just devouvered one kick ass cannoli. The room is quiet right now, which is odd after a dinner break. Usually players losen up and there a lot of all ins. Steve Zolotow and Blair Rodman are out. However, Kathy Liebert, Josh Arieh, Erick Lindgren, Surinder Sunar, Layne Flack, Kristy Gazes, Clonie Gowen, John D'Agostino, Steve Dannemann, Evelyn Ng, Ted Lawson, Barry Greenstein, Mike Matusow, Tex Barch, Russell Rosenblum, and David Singer are still alive. I just had a quick conversation with Andy Bloch. He suggested that they go to 9 handed tables to speed up the action, even 7 or 8 handed. That way, it forces players to play more hands and the tourneys don't last forever.

7:50pm... Russell Rosenbloom has been eliminated.

8:00pm... I posted pics of me annoucning the final table in Barcelona over at the Tao of Pauly. Take a peek!

8:05pm... We're down to 10 tables. TJ Cloutier is standing in front of us near media row. I wonder if he was playing craps earlier?

8:30pm... Syracuse Chris has been busted out.

8:35pm... How about some more pics?

The remaining players

Evelyn Ng

John D'Agastino

8:50pm... Bouncin Round the Room: It's been a long time since I did this installment! Back by popular demand...
Last 5 Pros I Took a Piss Next to:
1. Erick Lindgren
2. Josh Arieh
3. Steve Dannemann
4. Tex Barch
5. Andy Bloch
9:12pm... Kristy Gazes was busted by David the Dragon Pham. Bill Gazes was also eliminated.

9:25pm... Layne Flack has been eliminated.

10:59pm... I just got busted from the Titan tourney. Derek had his A-A cracked. Ouch.

11:08pm... We're down to 72 players. Franklin Caldwell is the chipleader.

11:30pm... Quote of the Day (courtesy of Jen from Poker Wire): "Of course I knew what a blowjob was, I was in junior high school for God's sake!"

12:17am... Action has completed for Day 2. There are about 62 players remaining. Mike Matusow and John D'Agastino are among the top chip leaders. Franklin Caldell is the chipleader. There were some other notable players still left including Clonie Gowen, Kathy Liebert, Evelyn Ng, Tex Barch, Josh Arieh, Erick Lindgren, David Pham, JC Tran, Barry Greenstien, David SInger, Steve Dannemann, and Chris Grigorian. Play will resume at 11am on Wednesday. Tomorrow we'll play all the way down to 6. So we'll have two bubbles... the money bubble and the TV bubble.

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