Friday, January 18, 2013

Event 1 Recap

$500 + $60 Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)

The largest field in Borgata poker tournament history came down to three players who each took home the largest paydays of their careers.

In the end it was Joe Stiers (Silver Spring, MD) who won the $318,104 top prize and finished just ahead of Tanios Abi-Yaghi (Toms River, NJ) and Sam Taylor (New York, NY).

"It was some turnout," said Stiers about the 3,871 entries in the premiere event of the 2013 Borgata Winter Poker Open, "the whole East Coast showed up." 

The pivotal heads up hand for Stiers came in a 65 million chip pot when he flopped trips against Abi-Yaghi's pair of aces. The tournament was over a few hands later with Stiers holding A 7♠ for the winner.

"It feels good because I've never cracked a field of over 600," said Stiers who also earned his first Borgata trophy.

"What are you going to do," said Abi-Yaghi, who earned $209,158 as runner-up, "he hit his card." 

The final three were locked in a close battle until Abi-Yaghi got a double-up that crippled Taylor before Taylor was eliminated on the next hand.

"I'm pretty proud of myself," said Taylor, who won $137,261 for third place. "I think surreal is the word of the day. It's not just the money, but because there were almost 4,000 players."

The huge field and massive number of chips in play caused the two-day event to stretch to a third day, as the final 18 players returned Friday for the conclusion.

Two starting days generated total buy-ins of $1,935,500 -  nearly double the $1,000,000 guarantee.  But while hundreds of players took advantage of of the re-entry format, Stiers and Abi-Yaghi each only fired one bullet as both played Day 1B.

And while the field size was the talk of the event, the quality of field was just as impressive. The tournament featured former Borgata Champions, November Niners and WSOP bracelet holders, all who made the money.

The 350 players who made the money was another Borgata poker tournament record, the most places ever paid.

The tournament's success helped set the tone for the entire 18-day, 56 event series highlighted by the $2 million Guaranteed WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship event (Jan. 27 - Feb. 1).

Final Table Results

1st Joe Stiers (Silver Spring, MD) $318,104
2nd Tanios Abi-Yaghi (Toms River, NJ) $209,158
3rd Sam Taylor (New York, NY) $137,261
4th Mark Sykes (Hamden, CT) $114,946 
5th Mike Belton (Blairsville, GA) $93,377 
6th Dan Spirer (Mechanicsville, PA) $71,901  
7th Tony Campagna (Manorville, NY) $51,359 
8th Michael Borovetz (Pittsburgh, PA) $35,481 
9th Austen Johnson (Greensboro, NC) $23,343 
10th Peter Grosso (Ronkonkoma, NY)$14,944 

Notable Players Making the Money Included:
48th - Ylon Schwartz (original November Niner & WSOP Bracelet winner)
107th - Cornel Cimpan (2 time WPT Champion)
109th - Ryan Eriquezzo (WSOP National Championship Bracelet)
158th - Paul Spitzberg (Day Two chip leader)
173rd - Dwyte Pilgrim (2010 BPO Champion)
228th - Olivier Busquet (2009 BPO Champion)
296th - Marsha Wolak (WSOP Ladies Championship Bracelet)


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