Friday, February 5, 2010

Championship Interview

Jeff Madsen (Las Vegas, NV)
Borgata Winter Open Champion - $625,006

Championship Event Final Table Payouts


1. Jeff Madsen $625,006
2. Sirous Jamshidi $367,794
3. Tom Marchese $190,027
4. Barkley Hamilton $165,508
5. Nick Kamen $140,988
6. Al Grimes $116,468
7. Dave Fox $91,949
8. Ross Mallor $67,429
9. Chan Pelton $49,039
10. Matt Matros $31,876

Madsen Wins!

Championship Event
Borgata Winter Open

Jeff Madsen
1st Place - $625,006

Jeff Madsen (Las Vegas, NV) goes virtually wire to wire to win the Borgata Winter Open Championship Event.

"It feels good," says Madsen after beating Sirous Jamshidi (Broomall, PA) heads up to take the title and the first place prize of $625,006. "It takes a while for it to set in, but in a few days I'll look back on it. It was a really good tournament."

Madsen, who finished Day 2 two with the chip lead, played Jamshidi heads up for more than an hour and a half, controlling the action. He turns virtually even stacks, into a huge advantage by winning small pot after small pot.

With only 10 big blinds left, Jamshidi, who entered the day as the chip leader, shoves his last 1.9 million into the pot with Q 2. After a brief count, Madsen calls with K 10 .

The board is J 7 6 K 5 and Madsen wins with a pair of kings.

"It feels good. I'm happy, but frustrated I couldn't get any cards," says Jamshidi, who takes home $367,794 for second place. "I had no hands, I didn't have a pocket pair the whole time we played (heads up). I had all low cards."

Madsen, who's only been playing professionally for four years, adds the Borgata Winter Open Championship to his impressive resume. Madsen's a two time WSOP bracelet winner, and the 24 year old now has more than $3 million in career tournament earnings.

"I've had success in the past," Madsen says, "but it feels good to get these big wins and to continue to prove myself in the poker world." And while he doesn't feel the need to validate his success, he says winning this championship will build his confidence and, "shows me all my hard work is paying off when it comes to working on my game."

Sirous Jamshidi
2nd Place - $367,794

2010 Borgata Winter Open Champions

Event 1 Brian Woods (Lutherville, MD) - $350 NL Deep Stack
Event 2 Robert Perry (Highland Beach, FL) - $500 NL
Event 3 John Binns (Ft. Myers, FL) - $350 PLO
Event 4 Daniel Mulhall (Little Neck, NY) - $700 NL
Event 5 Bart Fooden (Port Lookout, NY) - $350 HOSE
Event 6 Mike Beasley (Hollywood, FL) - $1,000 NL
Event 7 William Hine (Bricktown, NJ) - $350 Omaha H/L
Event 8 Anthony Brushi (Pompton Lakes, NJ) - $300 NL, re-entry
Event 9 Kim Findura (Bulter, NJ) - $260 Ladies NL
Event 10 Joseph Cutler (Bay Shore, NY) - $500 Deep Stack
Event 11 Ahmed Mohamed (Scotch Plains, NJ) - $300 Limit
Event 12 Taylor Shpur (Witherbee, NY) - $400 6-handed, re-entry
Event 13 Henry Olszewski (Staten Island, NY) - $350 NL, Seniors
Event 14 Alex Lindh (Goshen, NY) $170, 100k Guarantee, re-entry
Event 15 Chris Reslock (Atlantic City, NJ) - $350 PLO
Event 16 Freddie Najafabadi (Brigantine, NJ) - $2,000, Heads Up
Event 17 James Lee (Ellerose, NY) - $300 NL
Event 18 Daniel Garon (Sunny Isles Beach, FL) - $1,500 NL
Event 19 Allen Kessler (Las Vegas, NV) - $350 Omaha/Stud
Event 20 Jeff Madsen (Las Vegas, NV) - $3,300 NL Championship Event
Event 21 Michael McCarty (Highland Park, NJ)- $400 NL
Event 22 Steven Curtain (Indian Trail, NC) - $350 NL
Event 23 Steven Macchia (Wood-Ridge, NJ) - $300 NL
Event 24 Robert Perry (Highland Beach, FL)- $200 NL, re-entry

Pot After Pot

Another 35 minutes of heads up play has passed and Jeff Madsen continues to play small ball and dominate Sirous Jamshidi.

Madsen has nearly 20 million of the 23 million chips in play. Nearly every yellow, 100k chip in play is in Madsen's stack.

Not only is Madsen's dominating play, he's getting help from the deck. On a board of 3 4 5 7 7, Madsen leads out for 725k and Jamshidi calls.

Madsen 7 J
Jamshidi 7 ♠ 9

Both players with trip 7s, but Madsen's better kicker takes the pot.

There's yet to be an all-in bet called in the last 90 minutes.

Still Grinding

After one hour of heads-up play Jeff Madsen's taken a 2-1 chip lead over Sirous Jamshidi.

Madsen has 15 million chips, to Jamshidi's 7 million.

Blinds are up: 100k/200k/20k (Level 33).

Marchese - 3rd Place

Heads Up Underway

Tom Marchese $190,027

On the first hand of three-handed play, Tom Marchese (Boonton, NJ) is eliminated when his pocket 9 ♠ 9 ♣ are beaten by Jeff Madsen's A Q .

Marchese from the button raises to 375k
Madsen three bets from the SB and makes it 1.75 million
Marchese is all in for 4.6 million total
Madsen calls

Flop: 7 J Q (Madsen, pair of queens)
Turn: A (Madsen, two pairs)
River: 10 .

Madsen's two pairs sends Marchese to the rail.

"I'm pretty happy with the results," he says, after cashing for $190,027. "Third place isn't a bad consolation prize."

After 5 long days of play Marchese's confident, even cocky about how he played. "For the entire tournament I destroyed the field," he says, adding, "I was always the best player at the table."

Jeff Madsen and Sirous Jamshidi begin play heads up even in chips.

Madsen (left) & Jamshidi Playing Heads Up

3 Handed

(l-r) Madsen, Jamshidi & Marchese

Chip Counts as three-handed play begins:

Sirous Jamshidi 11 million
Jeff Madsen 7 million
Tom Marchese 5 million

Barkley - 4th Place

Set Over Set
Barkley Hamilton ($165,508)

To put it simply, it's a big hand between Barkley Hamilton and Jeff Madsen.

Madsen (4 4) from the cut off bets 375k
Barkley (3 3 ) in the big blind raises to 900k

Flop: 9 3 5

Barkley check
Madsen check

Turn: 10

Barkley bets 900k
Madsen calls

River: 4

Barkley bets 1.3 million
Madsen raises all in for 800k more

Barkley calls
and tables his flopped set of 3s, only to see Madsen's set on the river. The hand cripples Barkley and leaves him on life support.

"I played it perfectly," says Barkley after staggering from the table in disbelief. "I checked the flop and I'm crushing him until he hits a two outer on the river."

Barkley's eliminated from the tournament on the next hand when his Q J runs into the K K ♣ of Sirous Jamshidi.

"I'm extremly happy with how I played," says Barkley who takes home $165,508. "I played the best poker of my life."

Jamshidi, Madsen and Tom Marchese are playing three-handed. Jamshidi has nearly half the chips in play with 11 million chips. Madsen's next with 7 million, while Marchese has 5 million

35 Big Blinds

The 4 remaining players have an averge stack of 5,745,000. The blinds are 80k/160k/20k ante, putting the big blinds remaining at 35.

All the players say they love the structure and the fact that there's still able to play poker as the blinds continue to climb.

What They're Playing For

Buy-In: $3,300 + $200 NL
Entries: 766
Total Buy-In $2,527,800

1st: $625,006
2nd: $367,794
3rd: $190,027
4th: $165,508

Back From Break

Blinds are up to 80k/160k/20k ante (Level 32).

(count in millions)

2. Jeff Madsen 7
4. Sirous Jamshidi 5.4
7. Tom Marchese 4.1
8. Barkley Hamilton 6.4

Jamshidi Bleeding a Bit

Sirous Jamshidi's been involved with a lot of pots, including two recent loses to Jeff Madsen.

On a board of Q 2 7 K 8 , Madsen, from the BB leads out for 725k. Jamshidi mulls it over and makes the call.

Madsen tables K 7 for two pairs, while Jamshidi mucks.

Jamishi who, at one time was close to 8 million chips, is down to 5.4 million.

Chip Counts


(count in millions)

2. Jeff Madsen 7.1
4. Sirous Jamshidi 7.2
7. Tom Marchese 3.7
8. Barkley Hamilton 5.0

Level 31 (60k/120k/10k) continues with 15 min. left on the clock.

Madsen vs Marchese

Jeff Madsen

From the button Jeff Madsen raises 275k
Marchese reraises to 650k
Madsen calls

Flop: 7 5 4

Marchese leads out for 410k
Madsen shoves
Marchese folds

Kamen - 5th Place

Nick Kamen ($140,988)

Nick Kamen begins the day third in chips, but never really gets anything going to finish in 5th place of the Championship Event.

"I'm estatic," he says after earning $140,988. "But there was a lot of soft play today (Friday), so I'm also kind of disappointed with my result."

Kamen goes out when he's all in for 2.1 million with A 8 , but runs into the K K Barkley Hamilton.

Hamilton, who dropped as low as 800k is around the chip average of 5.8 million.

Grimes - 6th Place

Al Grimes ($116,468)

The miracle comeback for Al Grimes (Miller Place, NY) is over and the man who crippled him earlier in the day, ends Grimes' tournament.

Grimes (SB) completes the betting and sees a flop with Jeff Madsen (BB) in a blinds vs blinds battle.

♠ ♣

Flop: 10
5 10
Grimes leads out for 300k
Madsen calls

Turn: Q

Grimes checks
Madsen bets 750k
Grimes shoves and is all in for 1.5 million
Madsen calls.

Grimes: J
9 (open ended straight draw)
Madsen: 8
10 (trip 10s)

River: 5

Madsen wins the hand with a full house 10s full of 5s.

Grimes is pleased with his play, but can only wonder what could've been after losing a 7 million chip pot to Madsen, when Madsen went runner-runner to flush Grimes K-K.

"I thought I had him," he says. "That's the worst beat I ever took. I win that, I win the tournament.

Grimes was as low as 300k after the big pot, worked it back to 2.5 million, but isn't able to recover from the bad beat.

6 Max - Chip Counts

Coming Down the Stretch


(count in millions)

1. Al Grimes 2.3
2. Jeff Madsen 4.5
4. Sirous Jamshidi 7.3
6. Nick Kamen 3.0
7. Tom Marchese 3.7
8. Barkley Hamilton 2.5

Blinds are up: Level 31 (60k/120k/10k ante)

Fox - 7th Place

Dave Fox ($91,949)

Dave Fox (Coram, NY) is out in 7th place when he loses a three handed pot to Al Grimes.

Fox shoves 375k UTG.
Grimes re-shoves, making it 790k.
Sirious Jamshidi tanks, can't resist the opportunity to knock out two players, and calls.

Fox: A-7 off
Grimes: K-Q off
Jamshidi: K-3

The flop brings a king & Grimes leads Jamshidi with the better kicker. The river is a queen and Grimes two pairs gives him a triple-up. The hand sends Fox to the rail and lamenting his bad luck of running wired tens into Barkely Hamiton's pocket jacks.

"He shoved three straight times," says Fox who wins $91,949, "and something like 7 of the last 16 hands. I'm disappointed that I got hit with a cold deck."

Earlier in the tournament Fox was down to 20k on Day 2 and is pleased with his final table run.

"I have mixed feelings. If you had told me I'd be cashing for $90,000 when I had 20k coming back from dinner on Day 2, I definitely would've taken it. But once you get to a final table, you want to try and take it to the wire."

Grimes who was down to 250k, now has 2.1 million chips.

Huge, Huge Pot

Al Grimes opens for 1.1 million (11x) and Jeff Madsen comes over the top, all in, for nearly 3.3 million. Sirous Jamshidi briefly tanks and folds.

Grimes calls the bet and has Madsen covered.

Grimes: K K
Madsen: A K

Flop: 4 Q 9
Turn: 3
River: Q

Runner, runner flush gives Madsen the hand and the chip lead, close to 7 million chips.

"That's a mistake on my part," says Madsen. "I should've thought it through more. You made such a big bet I didn't think you were that strong," he says to Grimes who's down to 600k.

"I saw it coming," says Grimes, who was trying to dodge the ace as the hearts sneaked up on him. "I knew he was suited."

Shove, Shove, Shove - Double Up

Barkley Hamilton announces to the tables that he's in shove mode as the short stack looks to make a move with 1 million chips.

On the first two hands back from break, Hamilton shoves, but doesn't get any takers. The third straight shove gets a call from Dave Fox.

Fox: 10 10
Hamilton: J J

The board run cleans and Hamilton's all-in bet is 1.355 million, the double up, plus the blinds and taking him to 2.9 million chips.

Fox is down to 600k.

Keep Climbing

Players are back from a 10 minute break. 7 players remain with an average stack of 3.3 million.

Level 30 (50k/100k/10k) is underway as the ante's have just doubled.

Chip Counts


(Count in Millions)

1. Al Grimes 3.9
2. Jeff Madsen 3.7
4. Sirous Jamshidi 6.5
5. Dave Fox 1.8
6. Nick Kamen 3.7
7. Tom Marchese 1.8
8. Barkley Hamilton 1.2

Puffing Their Chests

Two of the big stacks collide, but neither is worse for the wear. Sirous Jamshidi raises to 220k UTG and Al Grimes comes over the top and makes it 850k.

Both players stand and posture with Jamshidi saying, "At this stage of the tournament, there's only two things I can do." After contemplating a shove or fold Jamshidi continues, "I can't believe I'm second best and that I have to lay this down."

Jamshidi folds and shows A K ♣.

"Don't show me one card," he says. "I know you have an ace."
Grimes shows only the A
and rakes the pot. "Come on," says Grimes, "you've played with me long enough to know I'm not betting with nothing."

Level 29 (40k/80k/5k ante) winding down.

Barkley Hamilton only has 400k and is the short stack.

Mallor - 8th Place

Ross Mallor ($67,429)

The third final table short stack is out after Ross Mallor's 8th place finish. "I had something like an M of 6," says Mallor, who ships K Q for his final 770k. Al Grimes from the cutoff calls with A 10 and flops two pairs to win the hand.

"Just making it this far and making it to a final table is always fun," he says.

Mallor began the day the second shortest stack and picks up $67,429.

Pelton - 9th Place

Chan Pelton ($49,039)

Jeff Madsen opens for 200k and Chan Pelton (College Station, TX) looks for another double up with A 10 and is all in. Madsen makes the call and tables 8 ♠ 8 ♣.

The boards is clean and Pelton is out in 9th place of the Championship Event.

"Even after my first double, I was still really short," says Pelton who takes home $49,039. "It was a great tournament experience," adding that he's "extremely" disappointed that he didn't make a deeper run.

Madsen now has 4.3 million chips. The 8 remaining players are averaging 2.9 million chips, as Ross Mallor and Barkley Hamilton the short stacks.

Interesting Nugget

Call this a reunion of sorts as Dave Fox, Sirous Jamshidi, Barkley Hamilton and Ross Mallor are all at the final table, after playing at Table 15 together for most of Day 2.

"It has to be a statistical anomaly," says Fox, "the odds of the four best players in the world making it this far is astronomical."

Fox says the four players were all around the chip average of 60k to start Day 2. Not only did they survive to make the money, they're all at the final table vying for more than $625,000.

Pelton Doubles

Chan Pelton doubles his remaining 225k with A K vs. Nick Kamen K 10 .
Just before that, Sirous Jamshidi raked a decent sized pot to extend his chip lead.

Blinds are up as Level 29 (40k/80k/5k ante) is underway. Levels at the final table have been increased 15 minutes to 90 minutes.

Pay Jump

Matt Matros' elimination means the nine remaining players increase their pay day by nearly $18,000. That's good news for the remaining short stacks like Can Pelton (College Station, TX), who has the lowest remaining stack at less than half a million chips.

Championship Event Payouts

Buy-In: $3,300 + $200 NL
Entries: 766
Total Buy-In: $2,527,800

1st: $625,006
2nd: $367,794
3rd: $190,027
4th: $165,508
5th: $140,988
6th: $116,468
7th: $91,949
8th: $67,429
9th: $49,039
10th-12th: $31,876
13th-15th: $23,294
16th-18th: $14,712
19th-27th: $11,034
28th-36th: $9,317
37th-45th: $7,846
46th-54th: $6,866
55th-63rd: $6,375
64th-72nd: $6,130

Matros - 10th Place

Matt Matros ($31,876)

Matt Matros (Brooklyn, NY) is out of the Championship Event in 10th place after losing a coin flip with 66 to the A K of Nick Kamen.

Kamen flops an ace to win the hand. "It's always great to get this far in a tournament with this many people," says the poker pro with more than $1 million in career earnings.

"But, when you get to a final table you want to see just how far you can go," he adds. "With the blinds this big, there's only so much you can do, it's unfortunate that things didn't work out."

Kamen opens for 145k and Matros three bet shoves, which is an easy call for Kamen, who's now second in chips with nearly 4.5 million.

Cards Are In The Air

The final 10 players return with an average stack of 2.3 million chips. Play resumes with 45:48 on the clock at Level 28 (30k/60k/5k ante).

Shuffle Up & Deal!

Calm Before The Storm

Tom Marchese (left) and Nick Kamen

Players are starting to enter the tournament area of the poker room. Play starts in a few minutes.

Al Grimes Ready for Play

Event #24, 1st - Perry

Robert Perry (Highland Beach, FL), $15,190

Event #24, 2nd - Rasile

Frank Rasile (State Island, NY), $8,607

Event #24, 3rd - Toscano

Frank Toscano (Staten Island, NY) $4,734

Event #24 Final Results


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Madsen Heads Field

Jeff Madsen, 4th in Chips

Two time bracelet winner Jeff Madsen headlines the remaining 10 players in the Championship Event of the Borgata Winter Open. "I'm excited," says the 2006 WSOP Player of the Year, "I'm looking forward to it."

Madsen and nine other players return 11 am Friday to compete for the $625,006 first prize. "I came in expecting to win," says Al Grimes (Miller Place, NY), who's second in chips with 4,100,000. "I'm just going to keep playing my game, slow and steady, old school."

The chip leader is Sirous Jamshidi (Broomall, PA) with 4,750,000, while Madsen (Las Vegas, NV) will begin play fourth in chips with nearly 3.2 million.

Nick Kamen (Scarsdale, NY) is third with 3.3 million and Dave Fox (Coram, NY) rounds out the top 5 with nearly 1.7 million chips.

Also at the final table is Matt Matros (Brooklyn, NY) who has more than $1 million in career earnings, including multiple WSOP and Borgata cashes. Matros has a little more than 1 million chips and is 8th heading into the final day of play.

The other final tablers are Ross Mallor (Brooklyn, NY) 880k, Jonathan Hamilton (Warwick, NY) 1.5 million, Thomas Marchese (Boonton, NJ) 1.6 million and Chan Pelton (College Station, TX), who's the short stack with 650,000.

766 players began the tournament Sunday and the final 10 return with an average stack of 2.3 million chips. Play resumes at Level 28 (30k/60k/5k ante).

Championship Event - Interview Clips

Al Grimes
2nd in chips - 4,100,000

Championship Event

Final Table Seating

Seat-Name-Chip Count

1. Al Grimes (Miller Place, NY) 4,100,000
2. Jeff Madsen (Las Vegas, NV) 3,185,000
3. Chan Pelton (College Station, TX) 650,000
4. Sirous Jamshidi (Broomall, PA) 4,750,000
5. Dave Fox (Coram, NY) 1,695,000
6. Nick Kamen (Scarsdale) 3,320,000
7. Thomas Marchese (Boonton, NJ) 1,623,000
8. Jonathan “Barkley” Hamilton 1,555,000
9. Ross Mallor (New York, NY) 880,000
10. Matthew Matros (Brooklyn, NY) 1,195,000

Championship Final Table Is Set

Join us tomorrow at 11am to see who will win the
Borgata Winter Open 2010 Championship.

Championship Final Table ----- Chip Stacks


#1 Sirous Jamshidi (Broomall, PA) --------4,750,000

#2 Al Grimes (Miller Place,NY) --------4,000,100

#3 Nick Kamen (Scarsdale, NY) --------3,320,000

#4 Jeff Madsen (Las Vegas, NV) ---------3,185,000

#5 David Fox (Coram, NY) ---------------------1,695,000

#6 Thomas Marchese (Boonton, NJ) -------1,623,000

#7 Jonathan “Barkley” Hamilton -----------1,555,000

#8 Matthew Matros (Brooklyn, NY) ----------1,195,000

#9 Ross Mallor (New York, NY) ------------------880,000

#10 Chan Pelton (College Station, TX) -----------650,000


Event #24

No Limit (re-entry)
Buy-In: $200 +$30

Play continues. We'll post the winners of this event Friday Morning!

Championship Event Cashes

Thursday's Payouts

11. Don Boivin ($31,876)
12. Wade Woelfel ($31,876)
13. Joseph Wertz ($23,294)
14. Lee Childs ($23,294)
15. Eric Blair ($23,294)
16. John Alexander ($14,712)
17. Joshua Mancuso ($14,712)
18. Igor Tiguy($14,712)
19. Jeremy McLaughlin ($11,034)
20. John LaRochelle ($11,034)
21. Anthony Campana ($11,034)
22. Ted Goldbergh ($11,034)
23. David Williams ($11,034)
24. Michael Judge ($11,034)
25. David Cairns ($11,034)
26. Rick Austin ($11,034)
27. Bernard Collins ($11,034)

No Miracle Come Back

Don Boivin, 11th place ($31,876)

After being crippled a few hands earlier, Don Boivin (Annapolis, MD) announces "raise" and throws his last 30k into the pot. After a brief chuckle from the table, Sirous Jamshidi reraise, gets 4 callers and all of a sudden it's a family pot.

Jamshidi accidentally exposes his hand and is forced to play the rest of the way with A Q face up. The flop is Q-9-2 and Jamshidi bets 300k. It folds to Dave Fox who makes the call.

The board bricks out and Fox tables J-10 for a missed open ended straight draw, while Boivin shows 8-8 and is eliminated in 11th place.

Jamshidi takes the pot with a pair of queens to set the final table at 10, as players are bagging and tagging for the night.

Play resumes 11 am Friday with players returning to compete for the $625,006 first prize.

Boivin Down But Not Out

David Fox (Coram) goes all in for 1 million chips on the button with wired fours.

Donald Boivin (Annapolis, MD) calls with K-Q off-suit and loses when Fox spikes a four on the turn. J-2-8-4-K.

Boivin assumes he's out but is brought back to the table with just three light blue 5,000 chips.

Fox doubles up and agreed with Donald's call pre-flop saying he would have done the same.

Pelton Survives Being Felted (Twice)

On the five-handed table, short stack Chan Pelton gets it all in with A-3 and is snap called by Barkley Hamilton's A-K.

A life-saving board for Chan comes down Q-J-K-10-5 for a split pot. Chan lets out a WHOOT.

The very next hand Chan shoves all in again and is called by Tom Marchese.

Chan's pocket J-J's hold up against Tom's Q-10 on a board of A-9-6-K-5.

Pelton is now working with 445,000.

Back In Action

With the elimination of Wade Woelfel in 12th place ($31,876), the 11 remaining players are back from break with an average stack of 2.1 million chips.

Level 29 (40k/80k/5k ante) is underway.

Play stops Thursday when ten players remain and the final table returns Friday to play for the $625,006 first prize.

Event #24 Payouts

No Limit (re-entry)
Buy-In $200 + $30

Entries: 261
Total Buy-In: $52,200

1 $15,190
2 $8,607
3 $4,734
4 $3544
5 $3,038
6 $2,531
7 $2,025
8 $1,519
9 $1,013
10-12 $658
13-15 $557
16-18 $456
19-27 $380

Chip Counts

Table 1


1.Barkley Hamilton 2.3 mil
4. Tom Marchese 2.6 mil
5. Chan Pelton 480k
6. Al Grimes 4 mil
9.Nick Kamen 3 mil

Table 2


1 Dave Fox 1.1 mil
2 Ross Mallor 2 mil
3 Don Boivin 1.1 mil
5 Sirous Jamshidi 2.6 mil
6 Jeff Madsen 2.7 mil
7 Matt Matros 2.1 mil

Another Man Down

Wade Woelfel, 12th place ($31,876)

Wade Woelfel (Mankato, MN) three bets from the small blind with A-10, only to run into the Nick Kamen's A-K in the SB.

The board runs clean and Woelfel's eliminated in 12th place.

"I don't feel bad," says Woelfel, who takes home $31,876.

"This is a great tournament," he adds. "I haven't missed a winter or fall open in three years. It's a sick structure and a great buy in. I don't live anywhere around here," says the Minnesota native, "but I love coming here and I'll be back."

Purple People Eater & New Chip Leader

Al Grimes

Joseph Wertz (Montoursville) is out after losing 1.1 million with pocket aces to Al Grimes (Miller Place, NY) the new chip leader of the Championship with 3.6 million.

Flop of 9-10-10 comes down.

Wertz leads out for 230,000. Grimes re-raises to 500,000.

Wertz shoves and Grimes insta-calls holding 10-J suited.

Joseph Wertz 13th place 23,294

Three Way Action

Lee Childs, 14th ($14,712)

Lee Childs' (Alexandria, VA) run in the Championship Event is over when his 5-5 is up against two players and doesn't connect.

Childs shoves 266k all in preflop, and is called by Tom Marchese A-5 and Chan Pelton J-J. The flop brings an ace as Marchese and Pelton check it down.

Marchese's pair of aces takes down a nearly one million chip pot and sends Childs to the rail in 14th place.

"I feel I've been playing well," says Childs, who takes home $23,294. "This tournament I played virtually mistake free except for one hand."

The hand came earlier Thursday, when Al Grimes won a 1.2 million chip pot with 7 8 . Grimes hits a straight on the turn to crack Childs' pocket aces.

"I'm pleased," Childs says, "obviously I'd still like to be playing for the final table and a shot at the big money."

Great Fold

Limped pot.

On a flop of K
2 5♠ Tom Marchese (Boonton, NJ) checks and Al Grimes (Miller Place, NY) bets 200,000. Tom calls.

Turn is an 8
. Tom checks again.

Al confidently fires out 550,000.

Tom Marchese thinks and finally comes to the correct conclusion as he was drawing dead.

Al Grimes had a a set of twos and added 400,000 to his stack.

Great instincts by Tom Marchese who knew top pair with K-Q was no good.

Barkley Turns Flush & Doubles Up

Barkley Hamilton

Lee Childs (Alexandria, VA) raises to 125,000.

Once again Barkley Hamilton (Warwick, NY) shoves (just under 900,000). This time he keeps his glasses off and the hood down.

Lee Childs stirs a bit. Perhaps Lee has concluded he's ahead but is deciding if he wants to risk so much of his stack on a race. He makes the call and is indeed ahead pre-flop.

1.9 million in front of the dealer. Barkley tables Kh Qs against Child's As 10c.

Flop is 10h 8h Qh.

Both players hit one of their men. Barkley also has a flush draw.

Turns is the 5h for the flush and the double-up.

Hamilton takes down a monster pot as Childs will have to start rebuilding.

Barkley vs. Boivin

Blinds are 25k, 50k.

Donald Boivin (Annapolis) raises to 135,000.

Barley Hamilton announces all-in, shoves every bit of his 605,000 chips, with his black sweatshirt hood up, dark sun-glasses on, refusing to move a muscle until Boivin folds.

Barley adds to his stack with the jam.

Huge, Huge, Huge Hand

Nick Kamen, Chip Leader

On the first hand back from break, Eric Blair (West Hartford, CT) hurries to his seat, just as the dealer is about to muck his cards. Maybe now he wishes he was late.

Nick Kamen opens for 127k and it folds to Blair in the SB. Blair comes over the top for 1.3 million total and is all-in.

Kamen goes in the tank and says, "I hate this hand," but after a few minutes makes the call, tabling A Q . Blair reveals A 10 and gets help on the turn when the K ♣ gives him 4 to a flush.

The river bricks and Blair's out in 15th
place ($23,294), while Kamen's the new chip leader with 3.3 million.

To balance the tables, Don Boivin (2.3 mil) has been moved, putting the three biggest stacks all at Table 2.

Updated Chip Counts

Table 1


1. Barkley Hamilton 650k
2. Joseph Wertz 920k
4. Tom Marchese 2.1 mil
5. Chan Pelton 1.9 mil
6. Al Grimes 1.2 mil
7. Don Boivin 2.3 mil
8 Wade Woelfel 1 mil
9. Lee Childs 1.5 mil

Table 2


1 Dave Fox 1.4 mil
2 Ross Mallor 900k
4 Nick Kamen 2 mil
5 Sirous Jamshidi 1.1 mil
6 Jeff Madsen 2.7 mil
7 Matt Matros 1.9 mil
9 Eric Blair 1.3 mil

15 Minute Break - Next up Level 28

Players are on a fifteen minute break.

Not too much action since I've arrived.

Coming up on Level 28.

30,000 - 60,000 blinds with 5k antes.

Average chip stack: 1,532,000

Roller Coaster

Joseph Wertz has been nursing a short stack all day. He recently doubled Lee Childs up when his 5-5 loses to 7-7.

Wertz is then all in for 444k againt Don Boivin. Wertz is behind with A-10 vs. 10-10, but an ace on the flop keeps Wertz alive, as he's riding the short stack roller coaster.

Good Call, Bad Result

John Alexander, 16th ($14,712)

John Alexander goes into the tank after Eric Blair ships his final 500k into the pot preflop. After a long internal debate, Alexander calls, tables A 10 ♣ and sees he's up against 2 2 .

Blair dodges the deck and doubles up to more than 1 million chips, while Alexander's crippled to less than 50k.

Alexander's all in on the next hand and Matt Matros eliminates him in 16th place.

"I knew it was flip," says Alexander, who takes home $14,712. "It was a good call, I just didn't like the way it played out."

Who's The Boss?

Hugo Boss, that's who. In addition to prize money, the final 10 players get an additional Hugo Boss reward.

2nd-10th places get a $250 gift certificate, while first place gets an $800 suit.

Event #24

No Limit (re-entry)
Buy-In $200 + 30

261 players are in the field with 27 cashing. The top prize will be more than $15,000.

Moving On Up

16 players remain with an average stack of 1.4 million.

Level 27 (20k/40k/4k ante) is underway.

Chip Counts

Table 1


1. Barkley Hamilton 700k
2. Joseph Wertz 800k
4. Tom Marchese 2.4 mil
5. Chan Pelton 2.1 mil
6. Al Grimes 1.9
7. Don Boivin 1.7 mil
8 Wade Woelfel 880k
9. Lee Childs 1.1 mil

Table 2


1 Dave Fox 1.5 mil
2 Ross Mallor 850k
3 John Alexander 800k
4 Nick Kamen 1.9 mil
5 Sirous Jamshidi 2.0 mil
6 Jeff Madsen 2.1 mil
7 Matt Matros 1.8 mil
9 Eric Blair 450k

Jamshidi Doubles Through Blair

On a board of J 7 8, Sirous Jamshidi bets 200k, 1/3 of his stack. Eric Blair reraises Jamshidi all in and tables 10 10 and sees he's behind the K J ♣ of Jamshidi.

The board bricks out and Blair
ships 614k to Jamshidi who's pair of jacks takes down a 1.3 million chip pot. Blair drops to 390k.

Silent Assassin

Joshua Mancuso, 17th ($14,712)

There's hasn't been much action during this level and Joshua Mancuso's exit is just as quiet (Mandville, LA), who gets it all in with A-K. With a bigger stack, Tom Marchese makes the easy 550k call with A Q ♠, and hits a queen on the flop to take down the pot.

Mancuso's out in 17th place ($14,712), while Marchese's now at 2.1 million.

Championship Event Cashes 28-72

Wednesday's Payday


28. Carl Restifo ($9,317)
29. Dale Pinchot ($9,317)
30. Pey Lee ($9,317)
31. Robert Stevanoski ($9,317)
32. Marc Manin ($9,317)
33. Dao Bui ($9,317)
34. Joseph Brattole ($9,317)
35. Will "The Thrill" Failla ($9,317)
36. Leonid Lerner ($9,317)
37. Joshua Hillock ($7,846)
38. Yugeshwar Rajkumar ($7,846)
39. Jeffrey Tamburino ($7,846)
40. Tyler Henry ($7,846)
41. David Grana ($7,846)
42. Tsong Lin ($7,846)
43. William Thornburg ($7,846)
44. Nickolai Sears ($7,846)
45. Joshua Smith ($7,846)
46. Barry Thaler ($6,866)
47. Bryan Veach ($6,866)
48. Richard Fohrenbach ($6,866)
49. William Sheridan ($6,866)
50. Melanie Weisner ($6,866)
51. Konstantino Dimitroulakos ($6,866)
52. Sang Kim ($6,866)
53. Ira Mensh ($6,866)
54. Peter Malkoun ($6,866)
55. Ketan Pandya($6,375)
56. Peter Campo ($6,375)
57. Josh Brikis ($6,375)
58. Rajesh Vohra ($6,375)
59. Marc Podell ($6,375)
60. Robert Kalteux ($6,375)
61. Joseph Luht ($6,375)
62. Paul Sleeper ($6,375)
63. Joshua Smith ($6,375)
64. Jose Reyes ($6,130)
65. Vincent Villamor ($6,130)
66. Ray Shackelford ($6,130)
67. Kris Adam Kawohl ($6,130)
68. Jianhua Zhou ($6,130)
69. Dan Shak ($6,130)
70. Frank Nunziato ($6,130)
71. Steve Brecher ($6,130)
72. Alberto Sabogali ($6,130)

Level Up

Level 26 (15k/30k/3k) is underway.

17 players remain with an average stack of 1.3 million.

Twitter Effect

On the last hand before break Tom Marchese shoves all in for 676k on a board of 7-K-6-3 and Lee Childs tanks. After 3 or 4 minutes Childs makes the call and both players show K-Q for a chopped pot.

Here's what Childs posted on Twitter.

"Still at 2 mil at break. 17 players left. Just had to make tough call to chop a huge pot KQ=KQ"

Chip Counts

Table 1


1. Hamilton 850k
2. Wertz 700k
3. Mancuso 360k
4. Marchese 1.5 mil
5. Pelton 2.3 mil
6. Grimes 1.3
7. Boivin 1.6 mil
8 Woelfel 1.2 mil
9. Childs 2.0 mil

Table 2


1 Fox 1.4 mil
2 Mallor 900k
3 Alexander 1.2 mil
4 Kamen 1.9 mil
5 Jamshidi 1.3 mil
6 Madsen 1.4 mil
7 Matros 2 mil
9 Blair 1.2 mil

Quick Elimination

Igor Tiguy, 18th ($14,712)

On the second hand of play after Table 3 is broken, Igor Tiguy (Boston, MA) runs 6-6 into Ross Mallor's Q-Q.

Tiguy's out in 18th place, taking home $14,712.

Level 25 (12k/24k/3k) winding down.

Down To Two Tables

Jeremy McLaughlin, 19th ($11,034)

Jeremy McLaughlin (Washington, D.C.) is eliminated in 19th place when he doesn't win a coin flip with A-Q against Lee Childs' J-J. A jack in the window is the death knell, but a king on the flop gives McLaughlin 4 outs, neeeding a 10 for the straight.

Unfortunately for McLaughlin the turn and river brick and he's out in 19th place ($11,034).

Table 3 is breaking and we're down to two tables.

All In, Almost

John LaRochelle, 20th ($11,034)

John LaRochelle (Providence, RI) slides nearly his entire stack into the center preflop and Nick Kamen calls. The flop is J 7 2 ♣ and that's when Kamen realizes that Larochelle's card protector is a 5k chip and that he's not officially all-in.

Both players toss in one blue chip and see LaRochelle is dominated, A
4 vs. A K .

The river and turn are clean as LaRochelle is out in 20th place ($11,034).

"Talk about a heater," says Kamen who takes down the 330k pot. Kamen started the day with 646k and is now at 1.8 million.

One more elimination and we're down to two tables.

Brutal River

Anthony Campana, 21st ($11,034)

Anthony Campagna (Manorville, NY) puts his last 200k is all in with A 8 and is up against the 4-4 of Sirous Jamshidi.

The flop of Q-A-2 puts Campagna in the lead with a pair of aces. The turn gives Campagna another ace for trips, but the river is one of only two cards that can eliminate him.

The 4 ♣ gives Jamshidi the full house, 4s full of aces, to eliminate Campagna in 21st place ($11,034).

"As soon as the ace hit the board," says Campagna, "I knew the four was right behind it. I could just hear the sucking sound as it hit the felt."

Falling Fast

Ted Goldbergh, 22nd ($11,034)

After doubling up early, Ted Goldbergh (New York, NY) goes to war for his last 400k with J 10, but runs into the A A ♣ of Don Boivin. The board runs out to give Boivin aces full of kings and Goldbergh's eliminated in 22nd place.

"It was fun," Boivin says while earning $11,034, "I had a great time."

Level 25 continues.

The Other David Williams

David Williams, 23rd ($11,034)

David Williams (Sykesville, MD) is all in for his last 220k preflop with K 10 . Sirous Jamshidi makes the call with 3 3 . The flop is 3 ♠ Q J giving Jamshidi a set, while Williams has a straight draw, flush draw and royal flush draw.

Jamshidi fades all of Williams' outs on the turn and river and Williams is eliminated in 23rd place ($11,034).

Blinds Up

Players are back from break as blinds are now 12k/24k/3k ante.

Event #24

No Limit (re-entry)
Buy-In $350 +$50

The last event of the Borgata Winter Open is underway with this No Limit (re-entry).

Like the Championship Event, this tournament is in the Poker Room

Two More Down

David Cairns (Toronto, Canada) is out in 25th place. All the money is in on the turn on a board of K-5-6-9, when Cairns shoves his last 370k on Table 2. Nick Kaman makes the call with K-Q and knocks out Cairns, who collects $11,034.

At Table 1, Michael Judge (Bensalem, PA) mucks on the river after shipping his last 275k. The board is king high and Chan Pelton takes down the pot with K-10. Judge called the flop and turn with A-Q and is eliminated in 24th place and takes home $11,034.

23 players remain with an average stack of 999k.

Players are on a 10 minute break.

Another Down At Table 3

Rick Austin (Lansdale, PA) reshoves Ross Mallors' open raise to 250k. Mallor calls with A-K and is ahead of Austin's A 10 . The board doesn't help Austin and he's out in 26th place, good for $11,034.

Al Grimes has been moved from Table 1 to 3 to help balance play.

25 players remain with an average stack of 919k.

Players say they're targeting the need for at least an average stack of 3 million chips when they hit the final table.

Ace High Is Good

On the first hand of Day 4 play Bernard Collins (Bayville, NJ) shoves 201k all-in and is called by Ted Goldbergh (New York, NY), who's ace holds. Goldbergh doubles to 680k.

Collins finishes in 27th place, good for $11,034.

Off & Running

New Venue

After starting the tournament in the Event Center, the 27 remaining players for the Championship Event are in the back area of the poker room.

There's a lot of short stacks, so we expect a lot of early shoves as players look to double up.

Event #23 Top Three Pictures

Borgata Winter Open 2010

Event 23 - $300+ $50 No Limit Hold’em

February 3

276 Entries $82,800 Total Buy-In

Top Three Winners

1st Place - STEVEN MACCHIA (WOOD RIDGE, NJ): $24,095

2nd Place - WILLIAM KLEVITZ (SEAFORD, NY): $13,654

3rd Place - SACHIN RAMRAKHANI (FORT LEE, NJ): $7,510


Event 23 - $300 + $50 No Limit Hold'em
February 3

276 Entries $82,800 Total Buy-In

Final Results


Clearing Out

Event #23 No Limit
Buy-In $300 + $50

Event Center Emptying Out

Just two tables remain in Event #23 as we look for another Borgata Winter Open champion. The maintenance staff is breaking down the other 85+ tables in the Event Center as play continues.

A special shout out to Maurice Ellenberg (Brooklyn, NY) who played into the wee hours of the morning both Wednesday and Thursday. Ellenberg took 9th place in Event #22 and followed it up with a 17th place finish in Event #23. That's a true night owl.

We'll post final Event #23 coverage by noon.

Goodnight from the Event Center and a reminder that the final 27 in the Championship Event resume play at 11 am in the Poker Room.