Update: The final table of the World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship was held as scheduled March 13th at the Luxor HyperX Esports Arena.
Vinicius ‘Viny’ Lima had the biggest climb of the final six players, starting play at the bottom of the chip counts. At the end, it was the youngest player, Viny, at only 24 years old, against the oldest, David Farah, who was twice his age at 48 years young.
Viny emerged victorious, winning $728,430, which includes $15,000 for a seat in the WPT season-ending Baccarat Crystal Tournament of Champions, along with a Hublot Big Bang Steel Watch, and the WPT Champions Cup trophy.
The $2 Million Guaranteed Kick-Off Deep Stack drew a massive 5,130 entrants, which is the second-largest WPO Kick-Off field on record, behind 2017’s 5,512 entrants. The total buy-ins of more than $2.77 million did set a new record, due to the increased buy-in of $540.
Also notable was the 3rd place finisher, Vladimir Alexandrov. He won his entry through a BorgataPoker.com online satellite. Alexandrov managed to parlay his $45 satellite entry into his largest career tournament score, earning a $216,000 payday.
Barry Leventhal won his record fourth Borgata Seniors Event, which was also his eighth Borgata title, putting him in a tie for second-most wins at this venue, trailing only Abraham Korotki with nine Borgata titles.
The $1 Million Guaranteed Almighty Stack generated total buy-ins in excess of $1.4 million with a BWPO Almighty record of 3,508 entrants. Raj Desai held the chip lead wire-to-wire on Day 3, from 37 players down to the final three, who agreed on adjusted payouts based on chip counts. As the leader, Raj took the lion’s share of $175,429 and his first-ever Borgata trophy!
The first-ever “Ladies Brunch and Learn” was hosted by the Borgata and the World Poker Tour, with guest lecturers WSOP Ladies Champion Jessica Dawley and Loni Harwood, a professional poker player with nearly $3 million in tournament earnings. The sold out seminar was held the morning of the Ladies event, to give the Ladies some beginner instruction on tournament basics and tips to improve their play. In addition to brunch and mimosas, there were gifts and prizes for the attendees. (Due to the event’s popularity, it may appear again on a future tournament schedule!)
The Ladies NLH tournament followed the seminar and drew a field of 154 entries. The eventual winner was Alida Veliu, who took home her second Borgata Ladies Event trophy and claimed her fifth lifetime Ladies Event win. Just a couple of hours earlier on the other end of the Event Center, Alida’s sister, Kujdes Gagliardi, won the CSOP NLH event, accomplishing something we believe has never happened before in the history of poker — two sisters winning trophy events on the same day!
For the first time in probably a decade, Phil Hellmuth made an appearance at Borgata, arriving in time to play the Heads-Up Championship. The WSOP bracelet record-holder (15) and new World Poker Tour Raw Deal host blazed a path through the 64-player bracket to take the title and $37,245. He followed that up with a cash in the WPT BWPO Championship for another $7,176.
Speaking of the WPT BWPO Championship, it was another record-breaking turnout. The final tally of entrants was 1,415, beating both the 2017 WPT BWPO Championship record (1,312 entries) and the largest of all WPT Borgata Open Championships, which was in 2011 (1,313 entrants). The prize pool of nearly $4.7 million crushed the $3 million guarantee.
The field played down to the final six, who bagged up their chips and paused the clock until March 13th, when they will reconvene at the new HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas to play it out under the lights and cameras of the World Poker Tour. BorgataPoker.com Ambassador and tournament grinder Dan Buzgon will make his third WPT final table appearance. He will start in the middle of the pack with an average stack when play resumes.
With more than $728,000 waiting for the eventual winner, the “HyperX Six” finalists must be chomping at the bit to get started, but they still have four weeks to wait. Make sure to check back here in the Winter Poker Open Blog for updates on that final table which begins the evening of Wednesday March 13th.
A list of main event winners is below, along with their earnings.
Thank you to all the participants and congratulations to all the winners! A special thanks goes out to all Borgata tournament staff and dealers for a terrific series.
On behalf of Borgata Poker Bloggers Tim Kelliher, Chris Murray, and myself, thank you for reading! Mark your calendars now for the Borgata Spring Poker Open, which takes place April 2nd-19th. Hope to see you then!
The Charity Series of Poker (CSOP) is holding their 19th charity event tomorrow, Saturday, January 26th right here in the Event Center. The $220 buy-in tournament, which offers unlimited re-entries, will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The tournament is open to all players.
Additionally, the event will feature a catered reception with an open bar, food, and live music from Party Cover Band Stealing Savanah, which will be held from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Gypsy Bar.
The winner of the charity tournament, which begins at 6:30 pm, will get a $3,500 seat into the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship along with a $500 seat + $300 reception ticket to the March 2nd CSOP St. Jude event in Las Vegas. The runner-up will win a $1,260 Borgata Bounty 8-Max Semi-Turbo Seat + $500 CSOP St. Jude Seat + $300 Reception Ticket, and the third-place finisher gets a $500 CSOP St. Jude Seat + $300 Reception Ticket, and the rest of the final table all get a $500 CSOP St. Jude Seat.
There will also be bounty prizes plus $1,000 cash prizes for both the chip leader at the end of registration and the player with the most re-entries. Among those slated to attend are Comedian Clayton Fletcher, National Sports Betting Champion Randy Lee, CSOP Founder Matt Stout, CSOP VP of Marketing Lexy Gavin, Katie Stone Cappuccio, Esther Taylor, Tommy Bates, Jennifer Shahade, Jessica Dawley, Loni Harwood, Jo Kim, Asher Conniff, Antonio Alberto, Trevor Savage, Craig Rubinstein, and many more!
Sponsors for CSOP19 include Borgata, RunGoodGear, Stealing Savanah Party Cover Band. VerStandig Law, Clayton Tax and Financial, PokerNews, GiftCash, Lake Las Vegas Water Sports, Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club, and Tyler Robinson Foundation.
If you’re interested in joining or would like to know more about sponsorship opportunities, please email us at email@example.com. You can also bid on our silent auction items, and pre-register the event here at https://CSOPStJude.givesmart.com.
About the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.
For more information visit stjude.org.
Tuesday January 15th marks the beginning of the 2019 Winter Poker Open and this series will be a big one! There are 20 trophy events with a total of more than $7 million in guarantees. The Kick-Off event guarantees $2 million in total buy-ins and only costs $540+$60 to enter. There are six starting flights over the first three days of the series, with unlimited re-entries and best stack forward, providing plenty of opportunities to get into what is sure to be a massive field.
Last year more than 4,500 entrants created a prize pool in excess of $2.3 million in the Kick-Off event. The trophy and $378,391 went to Jim Roberts. The recent retiree from New Jersey had plans to relocate to Florida, so he may not turn up to defend his title.
The pinnacle of the Winter Open is the $3 Million Guaranteed World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship event, which will begin with two starting flights on Sunday, January 27th and Monday, January 29th. For the first time in Borgata history, the finale of this five-day event will not take place until March 13th. Day 4 (Thursday) will conclude when they reach the final six players and those players will have to wait a bit more than 5 weeks, then will be treated to travel and lodging at the Luxor in Las Vegas, courtesy of the World Poker Tour. The final table will play out under the lights and cameras in the new HyperX ESports Arena.
The 2018 WPT BWPO Championship saw WPT Champions Club Member (and self-proclaimed poker hobbyist) Eric Afriat claim his second WPT title, beating a final table stacked with poker talent. The win earned him just under $637,000 plus a $15,000 seat in the WPT Tournament of Champions. The field of 1,244 entrants created a prize pool approaching $4 million.
Between and during these two big events are the usual player-favorites including the Black Chip Bounty ($250k GTD), Almighty Stack ($1M GTD), Seniors, Ladies, PLO, HORSE, and Six Max NLH ($200k GTD) tournaments. New to this year’s schedule are a $260+$40 Deepest Stack Double Header NLH event($200k GTD) with 40,000 chips to start and two starting flights and a $1,500+$90 Heads-Up NLH event (64 players max).
Click here for the full main-event schedule. Satellites will be running both live and online for the big events, so check out the Winter Poker Open Microsite for links and additional details.
After a hiatus during September’s Borgata Poker Open, which took place in the temporary Tournament Area outside the Poker Room, Borgata’s Event Center will once again host the 18-day-long Winter Poker Open series. Online registration has closed. On-site registration will be open from 12 noon to 12 midnight on Monday, January 14th in the Poker Room, then will re-open at 8am Tuesday in the lobby of the Event Center, where they will be open daily from 8am to midnight.
The Borgata Blog team of Kaelaine, Tim Kelliher, and Chris Murray will be bringing you the action right here from the first “Shuffle Up and Deal!” until the final trophy is awarded. Follow @BorgataPoker for Twitter updates throughout the series and don’t forget to use #BWPO2019 in your Tweets!
Hope to see you at Borgata for the Winter Poker Open!