Saturday, January 28, 2006

Borgata Winter Open: WPT Day 1

This is the event we've all been waiting for!! Today is the first day of the $10K championship event of the Borgata Winter Open at the Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa in Atlantic City, NJ. This is a World Poker Tour sanctioned event and the final table will be taped for the WPT.

Yeah, over the next four days the Borgata will be the center of the poker universe while some of the biggest names in poker are slugging it out for the Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship, while plenty of semi-pros, locals, and amateurs are taking a shot at the big time. So will a well-known pro take this event down? Or will an unknown emerge as poker next superstar?

The winner of this event will also win a fully loaded 2006 Escalade. Right now we have around 376 players in this event and I'll post official numbers when they are available.

Over the past ten days, the Borgata had been hosting smaller buy-in events. They crowned eight champions, all of whom won a coveted Borgata bracelet.

Gallery of Borgata Winter Open Winners

Ravi Anand (New York, NY)
Event #1 $500 NL Winner - $171,944

Michael Hickman (Media, PA)
Event #2 $750 NL Winner - $176,968

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

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

David Daneshgar (Los Angeles, CA)
Event #5 $1K Winner - $110,410

Konstantin "Charlie" Katikakis (Boston, MA)
Event #6 $1,500 NL Winner - $113,460

Cuc "Cookie" Dang (Clifton, NJ)
Event #7 Ladies NL Champion - $25,104

Tom Sipes (Pittsburgh, PA)
Event #8 $2,500 NL Winner - $279,075

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

11:10am... Main Event update: Cards are in the air. Buy-in is $10K and players start with $25K in chips. The level are 75 minutes or one hour and fifteen minutes.

11:25am... Main Event update: We have our first bust out. Event #8 winner Tom Sipes was busted by David "The Dragon" Pham, who now has over $50K and is the early chipleader. Matt Hilger has 36K.

The Dragon scoops a pot

11:30am... Main Event update: After a quick walk through the tournament area, I spotted several big time pros playing in today's event. Daniel Negreanu, Bill Gazes, Chris Fargis, Matt Matros, Josh Arieh, David Williams, Joanne Liu, Denis Ethier, Erik Seidel, John Juanda, Chip Jett, Gavin Smith, My Main Man Freddy Deeb, Kathy Liebert, John D'Agostino, Steve Brecher, The Griner, Johnny Bax, Matt Hilger, Olga Varkonyi, Gentleman John Gale, Mike Gracz, Brian Haveson, Arnold Spee, James Van Alstyne, Paul Darden, Robert Varkonyi, Surinder Sumar, Syracuse Chris, Action Bob Hwang, Phil Ivey, Erick Lindgren, John Phan, Nick "Takeover" Shulman, Padraig Parkinson, Kenna James, Barry Greenstien, Carlos Mortensen, John Duthie, Al Ardebili, Stephen Benton, Allen Cunningham, Scotty Nguyen, Andy Black, Joe Sebok, Jean Robert Bellande, and Tex Barch.

My Main Man Freddy Deeb

Nick "Takeover" Schulman and Erik Seidel

WPT Tunica winner Scotty Nguyen

12:00pm... Main Event update: 381 players and the top 75 will play. Stay tuned for payout information.

12:25pm... Main Event update: Players are currently on a 15 minute break. Action Bob was at a table with Jean Pobert Bellande, Erik Seidel, John Juanda, Joe Sebok, and Nick Schulman.

1:00pm... Main Event update: John Duthie took an early hit when his K-K ran into a set of aces. He doubled up just now and is about even.

1:45pm... Main Event update: Wayne Stock from NYC was busted when his K-K were cracked by pocket fours. His opponent rivered a set. Arthur Azen, who won an 2006 Escalade this week, was just busted.

Daniel Negreanu

2:00pm... Main Event update: Players are currently on a break. When they return, we'll be on Level 3. Payouts have been released. First place will win over $1.1 million and a brand new Escalade.
Main Event Payouts:
1. $1,173,373
2. $591,312
3. $282,721
4. $184,785
5. $147,828
6. $110,871
7. $73,914
8. $55,436
9. $46,196
10-12. $27,718
13-15. $22,174
16-21. $18,479
22-30. $16,631
31-50. $14,783
51-75. $12,935

Shirt and Hat of the Day

The Borgata Babes (click to enlarge)

3:00pm... Main Event update: There are 36 tables and 357 players remaining. Layne Flack just arrived! John Duthie has 55K, as does David The Dragon Pham. John Gale's stack took a hit and he has 13K left. Andy Black has almost 50K in chips. Recent eliminations include Efro, Victor Ramdin, and John Phan, who was eliminated when his A-Q lost to K-J.

John Duthie & Carlos Mortensen

4:00pm... Main Event update: 340 players left including boxer Antonio Tarver. We're on Level 4. Blinds are $100/200 with a $25 ante. Arnold Spee is out. James Van Alstyne and Russel Rosenblum are both out. Freddy Deeb appears to be among the chipleaders as his stack past the 90K mark. Joe Sebok has 38K and Andy Black has 48K.

Anotnio Tarver

4:30pm... Main Event update: Antonio Tarver lost a monster pot to Gavin Smith. Tarver flopped two pair, but Smith turned a set. Tarver has 7K while Smith has about 70K.

5:00pm... Main Event update: Players are on a break. Layne Flack is out. Padraig Parksion has around 40K.

Padraig Parkison

5:45pm... Main Event update: Antonio Tarver was busted by Gavin Smith. The two had been rumbling all afternoon. Smith flopped a flush and Tarver mucked. He told me he had two pair. David Singer has been busted. Andy Black has 48K and Padraig Parkison has around 25K.

6:00pm... Main Event update: Here are some photos taken my in-house photographer Frank Bellocchio.

The Following Photos Taken by Frank Bellocchio:

Andy Black

Chip Jett

Daniel Negreanu's table

Phil Ivey's Table

Happy Andy

6:05pm... Main Event Update: The Grinder took over the chip lead and now has over 100K. The 2005 Borgata Open Champ Al Ardebili has been eliminated along with John Gale and Olga Varkonyi.

6:16pm... Main Event Update: 292 players remaining. Daniel Negreanu is out. Paul Darden has 2K. Here's a list of some of today's eliminations:
Antonio Tarver
Al Ardebili
John Gale
Olga Varkonyi
Pat White
Layne Flack
David Oppenheim
Jerry Burgess
Manny Minaya
Russel Rosenblum
Arnold Spee
Victor Ramdin
Carlos Zambrano
Daniel Shiff
John Phan
Bruce Yamron
Eric Froehlich
Philippe Rouas
James Van Alstyne
Massoud Nikjouian
James Salters
Nenad Medic
Tom Sipes
Roland Israelashvili
Arthur Azen
Frank Kassela
James English
Wayne Stock
8:05pm... Main Event Update: 235 players left on 24 tables. Players are on a dinner break until 9:05pm. Here's what's happened in the past hour or so... Larry "Zekeness" Lawson was eliminated when he flopped a King with Big Slick and ran into someone who flopped a set. Andy Black built up his stack after he busted Emad Alabsi with a nut flush. Black had over 75K at that point. Bill Gazes was busted when his K-K were snapped off by 9-9. Erik Seidel took over the chiplead after he scooped a big pot and the Grinder took a hit.
Recent Eliminations:
Chip Jett
Bill Gazes
Paul Darden
Phil Ivey
Mike Gracz
Laura Fink
Emad Alabsi
Dan Shak
Dax Funderburk

Notable Chipcounts:
Eugene Todd $115K
Michael Hickman $102
Cliff "Johnny Bax" Josephy $95K
Frank Vizza $95K
Freddy Deeb $95K
Erik Seidel $92K
Scotty Nguyen $85K
John D'Agostino $80K
Matt Hilger $75K
John Spadavecchia $75K
Andrew Black $74K
Ted Forrest $69K
Tex Barch $65K
Gavin Smith $60K
Stephen Benton $60K
Syracuse Chris $58K
Steven Dannenmann $58K
Alan Goehring $56K
Nicky Frangos $56K
Bill Blanda $53K
Allen Cunningham $52K
Erick Lindgren $52K
Amir Vahedi $50K
David Williams $50K
Brian Haveson $49K
Scott Neuman $48K
Matt Glantz $47K
Joe Sebok $46K
Dan Alspach $44K
Denis Ethier $40K
Robert Varkonyi $40K
Barry Greenstein $40K
Bill Edler $40K
Jean-Robert Bellande $39K
Kenna James $36K
Chris Fargis $32K
Surinder Sunar $35K
Nick Schulman $30K
Padraig Parkinson $26K
Carlos Mortensen $26K
Charlie Katikakis $25
Joanne Liu $20K
Fritz Stoner $20K
Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi $20K
Matt Matros $17K
Action Bob Hwang $17K
Amnon Filippi $13K
Chad Brown $11K
Josh Arieh $10K
John Juanda $8K
9:30pm... Main Event update: Padraig Parkison is out. Scott Neuman is out. His Kings were cracked by pocket sevens.

10:00pm... Main Event update: Nick Schulman's A-6 was busted by Steve Dannemmann A-K. Andy Black has 63K and is sitting at Joane Liu's table. Cliff Josephy aka Johnny Bax is the chip leader with 213K. Robert Varkonyi, Kenna James, Erik Seidel, and Denis Ethier and Charis Chris Fargis are all at the same table.
Recent Bustouts:
Padraig Parkinson
Fritz Stoner
Chris Bell
Eric Weiner
Scott Neuman
William Failla
Chad Brown
David Harris
Neal Gersony
Badih Bounabura
David The Dragon Pham
Matthew Hoagland
Josh Arieh
Steve Jacobs
10:30pm... Main Event update: Players are on a break. Chris Fargis has 30K.

11:00pm... Main Event update: 188 players left on 19 tables. This is the last level of play for today.

11:30pm... Main Event update: 25 minutes remaining in this level. Surinder Sumar and Amir Vahedi have both been eliminated. Stephen Benton is also out. Andy Black has over $105K.

Meet the Borgata Babes: Miss July

12:01am... Main Event update: Play is over for tonight. 165 players survived day one of play. Action will resume at 11am. Johnny Bax is the chipleader with over 376K
Recent Eliminations:
Surinder Sumar
Amir Vahedi
Stephen Benton
Irv Gotti
David Levi
James Giordano
Allen Cunningham

Unofficial Top 5 Chipcount:
1 Cliff "Johnny Bax" Josephy 376K
2 Erik Seidel 134K
3 Frank Vizza 133K
4 Joe Miceli 130K
5 Eugene Todd 130K

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