Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Borgata Winter Open: Event #5 $1K NL and Event #4 $500 Limit Day 2 & Final Table

It's a Tuesday in Atlantic City and action resumes upstairs in the ballroom at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa for the fifth day of the Borgata Winter Open. The Borgata has been the epicenter of tournament poker on the East Coast for the last few days and will continue to be so for another week.

Single table and multi-table satellites are running around the clock in the ballroom along with a daily Second Chance MTT cash tournament. Juicy cash games are going on downstairs in the main poker room. And every day there are two different Winter Poker Open tournaments ongoing. Be sure to take a peek at the Super Satellite Schedule along with the Winter Poker Open Schedule of events.

The $10K WPT main event begins on Sunday and the $300 buy-in Ladies Only NL Event is just two days away. You don't want to miss the action, so head on down. Everyday, some of your favorite pros are popping up. Last night, I even spotted 2005 WSOP main event runner-up Steve Dannemann milling around.

Yesterday, the Borgata crowned its third champion when Rich Marshall, a house painter from Raleigh, NC, won Event #3 $1K NL. Marshall took down a hefty $103,700 first place prize after coming from behind to win it all. He and his buddy Lance Turner (who took 3rd in the same event) drove up from North Carolina together. They hit a nice score earlier this weekend throwing dice at one of the craps tables downstairs and promptly used their winnings to buy into the $1K event.

Rich Marshall (Raleigh, NC)
Event #3 $1K NL Winner - $103,700

Today, I'll be covering two events including the final table of Event #4. Here's what I'll be updating:
Event #4 $500 Limit Day 2 & Final Table = Blue font
Event #5 $1K NL = Black font
*****Live Blogging Updates*****

11:10am... Event #5 $1K NL update: Cards are in the air! The event has at least 360 players. Official numbers have not been confirmed yet. Level 1 started wth 25/50 blinds and each players gets $5,000 in tournament chips to begin.

12:10pm... Event #5 $1K NL update: We're now on Level 2. I spotted Paul Darden and Arnold Spee in today's field.

1:15pm... Event #5 $1K NL update: Players are on a short break. Arnold Spee is out. He ran into a set.

2:00pm... Event #4 $500 Limit update: Out of 343 players, there are 36 remaining and the event will be starting shortly. Larry "Zekeness" Lawson ended yesterday as the chipleader. The top 36 players will get paid prize money.

"Zekeness" - Day 1 Chipleader
Here are the Top 10 in chips:
1. Larry Lawson 59K
2. Matt Cherackal 58K
3. Eugene Ji 54K
4. Patrick Griffin 50.5K
5. Stephen Benton 48K
6. Elliot Burnham 46.5K
7. Tim Dalessandro 44.5K
7. Lee Biars 44.5K
7. Larry Milton 44.5K
10. Svetlana Gromenkova 44K

Here's the payout list:
1. 52,301
2. $28,812
3. $13,977
4. $12,005
5. $10,290
6. $8,575
7. $6,860
8. $5,145
9. $3,430
10-12. $2,230
12-15. $1,715
16-18. $1,200
19-27. $858
28-36. $772
2:15pm... Event #4 $500 Limit update: We have our first elimination. Charlie Townsend from Delaware took 36th place.

Charlie Townsend - 36th place

2:45pm... Event #4 $500 Limit update: Down to 25 players on 3 tables.
Recent Eliminations:
36. Charlie Townsend (Dagsboro, DE) $772
35. Anthony Salerno (Howell, NJ) $772
34. Winston Shinault (Matthews, VA) $772
33. Syracuse Chris Tsiprailidis (Syracuse, NY) $772
32. Louis Russo (Brooklyn, NY) $772
31. Bob Turco (Atlantic CIty, NJ) $772
30. Casey Peters (Brick, NJ) $772
29. Martin Fitzmaurice (Edison, NJ)$772
28. Steve Natoli (Massilon, OH) $772
27. Richard Cook (Pontiac, MD) $858
26. Dan Wicker (Easthampton, NY) $858
3:15pm.... Borgata Winter Open Single Table (SNG) Satellite Info:
$1020 + $40 SNG: This is for the WPT Championship Event #9 on Jan. 29. Winner gets a $10,000 voucher and $200 in cash. Voucher is non-transferable. If you win a second one, then you get cash. Players get $5K in chips to start and levels last 25 minutes.

$500 + $30 SNG: Winner gets eight (8) $500 transferable vouchers (or $4K in vouchers) that can be used for any SNG, super staellite, or for the Main Event. Second place and third place win one (1) $500 voucher. Players start with $5K in chips and levels are 20 minutes.

$250 + $20 SNG: Winner gets four (4) $500 transferable vouchers that can be used for any SNG, super staellite, or for the Main Event. The winning player also gets $250 in cash. Second place gets $250 in cash. Players start with $4K in chips.

$150 + $20 SNG: Winner gets two (2) $500 transferable vouchers. Second and third place get $250 in cash. Players start with $3K in chips and levels are 15 minutes.

$100 + $15 SNG: Winner gets two (2) $500 transferable vouchers. Players start with $2K in chips and leves are 15 minutes.

$65 + $15 SNG: Winner gets one (1) $500 transferable voucher. Second and third place get $75 in cash. Players star with $1500 in chips and levels are 15 minutes.

Stop by the ballroom for more details and to sign up. These are running 24 hours a day.
4:20pm... Wil Wheaton is hosting a tournament on Poker Stars tonight. You are all invited.
What: WWdN #12: OzCDN (check under the private tourney tab)
When: Tuesday at 8:30pm EST (or 20:30 ET in military time)
Where: Poker Stars
How Much: $10 + 1 NL
Password: monkey
4:30pm... Event #4 $500 Limit update: We're down to 16 players.
Recent bustouts:
25. J. Mitchell "Mitch" Miller (Canton, OH) $858
24. Steve Coppola (Staten Island, NY) $858
23. Ronald Durante (Mt. Laurel, NJ) $858
22. Robert Sheldon (Mays Landing, NJ) $858
21. Steve Bouzikas (Philadelphia, PA) $858
20. Elliot Burnham (Ft. Washington, MD) $858
19. Matthew Cherakal (Storrs, CT) $858
18. Bartholomew F. Simpson (Middle Village, NY) $1,200
17. David Sloane (Brighton, MA) $1,200
4:45pm... Event #5 $1K NL update: We have official numbers... 362 players entered this event. The top 36 players will win prize money. First place takes home $110,410.

5:45pm... Event #4 $500 Limit update: We're down to 12 players.
Recent Eliminations:
16. Tim Downing (Staten Island, NY) $1,200
15. Bernard Mosczyc (Brooklyn, NY) $1,715
14. Charles Stepp (Galloway, NJ) $1,715
13. Lawrence Martinez (Harriman, NY) $1,175
6:15pm... Event #4 $500 Limit update: We have finally reached a final table! There are twn players left. John Kostin is our chipleader.
Recent Eliminations:
12. Pierre Sirois (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) $2,230
11. Lee Biars (Baltimore, MD) $2,230

Event #4 Final Table
Here's Event #4's Final Table including chipcounts:
Seat 1: John Kostin 199K
Seat 2: Frank Formica 54K
Seat 3: Zekeness (a.k.a. Larry Lawson) 187K
Seat 4: Vipul Kothari 87K
Seat 5: Eugene Ji 101K
Seat 6: Jean-Francis Guay 47K
Seat 7: Svetlana Gromenkova 108K
Seat 8: Patrick Griffin 70K
Seat 9: Stephen Benton 116K
Seat 10: Tim Dalessandro 63K
6:45... Event #4 $500 Limit final table update: We have our first bustout. Jean-Francois Guay was just sent to the rail. He won $2,230. Nine remaining.

Jean-Francois Guay (Montreal, Canada) - 10th place

7:30pm... Event #5 $1K Nl update: There are 88 players remaining on 9 tables.

7:45pm... Event #4 $500 Limit final table update: We have eight players left after Vipul Kothari busted out. He won $3,430. John Kostin is the big stack at the table with 230K.

Vipul Kothari (Edison, NJ) - 9th place

8:45pm... Event #5: $500 Limit final table update: Frank Fromica was eliminated in 8th place when his A-Js ran into Svetlana Gromenkova's A-A. He won $5,145. Seven left and John Kostin is still the chipleader.

Frank Fromica (Millstone, NJ) - 8th place

9:15pm... Event #5: $500 Limit final table update: NYC's Patrick Griffin was busted in 7thplace when his Q-10s ran into Eugene Ji's A-4. Ji flopped an ace and it was all over for Griffin. He won $6,680. We're down to six.

Pat Griffin (New York, NY) - 7th Place
Updated Chipcount:
1. John Kostin 315K
2. "Sweet" Svetlana Gromenkova 220K
3. Stephen Benton 196K
4. Eugene Ji 180K
5. Tim Dalessandro 91K
6. Zekeness 35K
9:25pm... Event #5: $500 Limit final table update: Sweet Svetlana is running over the table and making a run. She's second in chips and has been on a rush this level.

Sweet Svetlana

9:35pm... Event #5: $500 Limit final table update: Another New Yorker busted. Eugene Ji was eliminated in 6th place when his Q-2 lost to John Kostin's K-J. Kostin rivered a straight on Ji who flopped a pair of Queens. Ji wins $8,575 for sixth.

Eugene Ji (New York, NY) - 6th Place

9:35pm... Event #5: $500 Limit final table update: Zekeness has left the building. Larry "Zekeness" Lawson, the Pride of Patterson, was busted in 5th place. He moved all in preflop with a short stack. Both John Kostin and Tim Dalessandro called. Dalessandro had A-2 and won with trip aces after he checked it down with Kostin. Zekeness mucked. He won $10,290 for 5th place after entering today as the chipleader. Svetlana is our new chipleader.

Zekeness (Patterson, NJ) - 5th Place
Updated Chipcount:
1. Sweet Svetlana 380K
2. John Kostin 305K
3. Tim Dalessandro 220K
4. Stephen Benton 125K
10:05pm... Event #5: $500 Limit final table update: Blinds are 5K/15K with 15K/30K betting rounds. Sweet Svetlana took a bg hit. With four diamonads on the board she bet out on the river 30K. Dalessandro raised her and after some minutes of careful deliberation, she mucked. Dalessandro has over 300K in chips now. The hsortstacked Stephen Benton walked over to me and said, "It's time for me to win it."

10:15pm... Event #5: $500 Limit final table update: The momentum has swung Stephen Benton's way. The bubbly and talkative Benton doubled up and now has 250K. He picked up a few pots as the chip count leveled off. Everyone has around 250K in chips. Sweet Svetlana scooped a pot when her A-Q beat out Dalessandro's K-10 on a board of Q-10-6-4-6.

10:25pm... Event #5: $500 Limit final table update: Stephen Benton's rush contnues as he steamrolled the table. He's up to 500K. Dalessandro has about 210K. Svetlana slipped to 150K and Kostin is on life support with 50K. Benton's buddy Action Bob is on the rail cheering him on. "I taught him everything he knows," boasted Action Bob.

10:30pm... Event #5: $500 Limit final table update: With K-7, Sweet Svetlana caught a sweet river card when she missed her straight darw but caught a King to beat out Benton's Q-Js. Benton flopped a pair and even raised Svetlana on the turn. He slipped to 400K.

10:31pm... Event #5: $500 Limit final table update: John Kostin was all-in with A-A and unfortunately he was eliminated in 4th place when he ran into Sweet Svetlana. Not only did she flopped a set with 7-7, she turned quad 7s! She has about 350K and still trails Benton's big stack. We're three way. John Kostin won $12,005 for 4th.

John Kostin (Hamilton Township, NJ) - 4th Place

10:35pm... Event #5: $500 Limit final table update: Benton snapped off Dalessandro's Hilton Sisters. He defended his big blind with K-rag and flopped a King, then added insult to injury when he turned trips. He told me he has 615K. Dalessandro was crippled.

Final 3: Sweet Svetlana, Stephen Benton, and Tim Dalessandro

10:55pm... Event #5: $500 Limit final table update: Benton scooped a monster pot with a set of 5s. He bet out on the river and Svetlana raised him with a possible straight on the board. He figured he was beat and made a crying call. benton was surprised to see that he was the winner. He now has 750K and Svetlana and Dalessandro are both behidn with about 150K each.

10:58pm... Event #5: $500 Limit final table update: Svetlana was crippled when she missed her straight draw and Dalessandro had two pair. She has 25K left and Dalessandro has about 250K. On the very next hand, she was all-in preflop with J-5s. Sadly, she ran into Tim Dalessandro's A-A. Svetlana Gromenkova was eliminated in 3rd place. She won $13,977 and so far she has the highest finish out of any female so far this year. Both Sandra Billot and Lisa Pickell took 10th place in their events. Benton has 750K to Dalessandro's 300K.

Svetlana Gromenkova (Brooklyn, NY) - 3rd Place

11:20pm... Event #5: $500 Limit final table update: After the first 20 minutes of heads-up play, the chiplead slipped out of Benton's hands and Dalessandro picked up the lead 700K to 350K. The big hand in that run was when Benton flopped two pair, but Dalessandro turned a straight to take down the pot.

11:37pm... Event #5: $500 Limit final table update: We have a winner! Stephen Benton from Leesburg, VA beat Tim Dalessandro heads up to win Event #4. Inside of four hands, Benton took all of Dalessandro's chips. On the first hand, Dalessandro flopped a pair with 9-7, but Benton turned a higher pair with A-10. Benton regained the chiplead and was up almost 2 to 1. On the next hand, Benton crippled Dalesandro when his bottom pair with K-2 held up against Dalessandro's busted flush draw. On the final hand of the tournament, all the money got in preflop. Dalessandro was way ahead with A-K to benton's J-8s. Benton caught a runner-runner flush to bust Dalesandro. It was a back and forth heads up battle with Benton having the lead then blowing it and storming back to win. Tim Dalessandro won $28,812 for second place. And Stephen Benton took down $52,301 and the gold bracelet.

Tim Dalessandro (West Chester, PA) - Second Place $28,812

Stephen Benton (Leesburg, VA)
Event #4 $500 Limit Champion - $52,301

Acton Bob Hwang & Stephen Benton

Pics of Benton's kid

Benton with his favorite dealer Billy

Stephen Benton is "Mr. Mom." He stays at home to take care of his one year old son. He plays online poker during the day while his wife works. He's been friends with Action Bob Hwang for over five years. Action Bob made the final table in the WPT Borgata Open last September. When the two met, Benton was just a medicore player (although Action Bob insisted that he was "horrible") and under Action Bob's tutelage, Benton quickly improved his play. The two buddies along with their wives would come to Atlantic City to play poker together. Benton regualrly plays here at the Borgata so everyone on the staff were excited for his win. Congrats again to Benton for an amazing come from behind win. When it was down to four players, he was shortstacked and confidently told me that he was going to win it all. His prediction came true.

12:30am... Event #5 $1K NL update: We're in the money! There are 30 players left on three tables. Steve Dannemann is still in the hunt.

2:00am... Event #5 $1K NL update: We're down to two tables. 18 players are left. As Hawaii Chris Smith said about the final two tables, "Whoever wins this tournament, the $100,000 is gonna change their life."
Recent Elimiantions:
36. Hee Park $1,629
35. Stepen Marks $1,629
34. Todo Blaerski $1,629
33. John Heaney $1,629
32. Scott Benedeto $1,629
31. Mark Seubert $1,629
30. Charles Coates $1,629
29. Michael Rizzo $1,629
28. Charles Goldhammer $1,629
27. Fred Goff $1,810
26. Stanley Durakovsky $1,810
25. Steven McNally $1,810
24. Eric O'Keefe $1,810
23. Steve Dannemann $1,810
22. Gary Shoengold $1,810
21. Craig Yates $1,810
20. Christopher McCoy $1,810
19. Scott Glaze $1,810
18. Stephen Rhodes $2,
17. Hawaii Chris Smith $2,534
2:20am... Event #5 $1K NL update: Play is over for tonight. Action will resume on Wednesday at 2pm. There are 16 players left and Stuart Bromley from London, England ended the night as the chipleader with 245K. He busted Steve Dannemann's shortstack when his A-Q held up against Dannemann's A-5.
Event #5 End of Day Chipcounts:
1. Stuart Bromley 245,000
2. Tae H. Baik 199,000
3. Minh Choe 157,000
4. Evan Mandery 142,000
5. Randy Hudson 127,000
6. Fotios Nicoles 123,000
7. Carmine Cutolo 114,000
8. Jeff Owen 99,000
9. James J. Salters 96,000
10. Anthony Priore 89,000
11. Rick Austin 87,000
12. Denis Ethier 74,000
13. Andy Singer 73,000
14. Carlos Delafuente 72,000
15. David Daneshgar 62,000
16. Kurt Sexton 51,000
See you tomorrow.

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