Wednesday might be considered “hump day” for some people, and in most instances, it seldom finds favor the way a Thursday or a Friday might, but for the players descending on the Borgata Winter Poker Open (WPO) for its $2,500 Event #10, the day symbolized the start of a fun-filled weekend of high-stakes tournament poker.
Three-hundred twenty-nine players began playing for the $238,525 first-place prize as Borgata set another attendance record. Beating last year’s turnout by 89 players, the field generated the largest prize pool of the Borgata Winter Open to date with 36 players getting a piece of the $822,500.
With the increase of the Main Event buy-in, a dramatic shift occurred in the number of professional players in the Event Center. Over 39 top-flight players came to test their skills and they created some tough match-ups early in the tournament. The most intriguing table was No. 4. Featuring pros Tracy Scalla, “Gentleman” John Gale, three-time Poker Open champion Bill Blanda, Paul McCaffrey, Jonathan Little, and Darrell “Gigabet” Dicken, the table provided plenty of action for fans on the rail.
Other notables seeing action on the day came from all different kinds of poker-playing backgrounds. The local pro contingency was led by three different Matts, Matt “Allinat420″ Stout, Matt Brady, and Matt Glanz. The online community had a strong showing as well with online giants Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy, Eric “Sheets” Haber, and Jared “The Waco Kidd,” seeing action.
The largest number of pros came from the professional poker tournament circuit. With big names players such as World Series of Poker Main Event winner Jamie Gold, Young Phan, Hevad “Rainkhan” Khan, Eugene Todd, Vanessa Rousso, Amnon Fillipi, Layne Flack, and Steve Dannenman all seeing action, the $2,500 featured plenty of intense play.
According to Borgata’s September 2007 Poker Open Main Event winner Roy “The Oracle” Winston, the Borgata is the place to be. “I am excited to be back at Borgata. Tab Duchateu and his staff run the best tournaments in the country. I hope I can make a strong showing again this year. Regardless of the outcome, I’m just happy to be a part of such a great tournament series.”
There is plenty of action still to come at the WPO, as a number of smaller buy-in Main Events will play out, with Friday bringing the $5,000 buy-in Main Event #12 and Sunday marking the start of the $10,000 World Poker Tour championship.
Make sure to check theborgata.com to keep up with all of the exciting action via the official Borgata Poker blog. You can follow all of the poker action and check out the up-coming tournament schedule. On-site registration for all events is available until January 29 at 2 p.m. Special hotel room rates are available to tournament players Sunday through Thursday at $129, Friday at $199 and Saturday at $239. Call 1.866.MYBORGATA for more details. For the complete tournament schedule, blogs and more, visit theborgata.com.
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