World Series of Poker Europe

2011 Borgata Winter Poker Open Day 5: Shlez Captures Title and $533,210!

The Borgata

The Borgata Winter Poker Open wrapped up the final day of the $3,500 Championship Event on Friday. Ten players returned to action and it was Vadim Shlez from Manalapan, NJ walking away with the title when it was all said and done. Shlez came into the final table as the chip leader.

Tom Hu was the first player to be eliminated on the day after entering the final table as the second shortest stack. Opponent LJ Sande had opened from early position before Hu flat-called from the hijack seat. Gil Sacks called from the big blind and a paired flop of {8-}{4-}{4-} came down. Sacks checked and Sande fired 275,000. Hu moved all in for 953,000, prompting a fold from Sacks. Sande made the call with two tens and was ahead of the at-risk Hu’s pocket nines. A {Q-} on the turn and a {3-} on the river left Hu with nothing but the felt in front of him and he was out the door with a $28,729 payday.

Finishing in ninth place was Allan Vrooman. He was the short stack coming into the final table, but thanks to the elimination of Hu in tenth place, had earned a nice pay jump of nearly $15,000 before his final hand came up.

Action folded around to Trevor Savage on the button and he raised. Vrooman moved all in from the big blind with {A-}{7-}. Savage held pocket threes and made the call to make it a race. It was a race Savage and his threes would win as the board ran out {K-}{8-}{3-}{2-}{6-}. Vrooman took home $43,669 for his best career score to date.

Finishing in eighth place was Charlotte, NC native Osagyefo Greene. He got all in with pocket kings on the flop of {J-Hearts}{9-Clubs}{4-Hearts}. Shlez was the player he was up against and he held the {9-Hearts}{8-Hearts} for middle pair and a heart flush draw. After the {4-Diamonds} fell on the turn, the river completed the board with the {9-Spades}. Shlez had spiked a full house on the river and eliminated Greene in eighth place for just over $63,000.

Next to go was Steve Ryan. All in preflop with {Q-}{9-}, he was crushed by the {A-}{A-} for Sacks. There was no miracle double up for Ryan as the board ran out {8-}{6-}{4-}{2-}{5-} and he was eliminated, settling for a seventh-place finish worth $82,740.

Although Patrick Carney was able to double up a couple of times at the final table, his run ended in sixth place. His {A-}{K-} ran into the pocket aces of Sacks preflop with no help coming on the flop, turn or river. Again Sacks was able to pick up aces in a key spot to bust a shorter stack. Carney took home over six figures, $103,425, for his finish.

After the dinner break, five players returned and Savage had a big lead. Sacks was able to bust the seventh- and sixth-place finishers, but couldn’t make it past the final five as he was sent to the rail next at the hands of Sande.

Sacks held a big hand for five-handed play with {A-}{K-}. Sande held two sixes and it was off to the races. The board ran through {10-}{8-}{4-}{3-}{J-} and Sande’s sixes held. Sacks finished in fifth place for $126,407, just about doubling his lifetime tournament earnings.

Fourth place went to Bobby Suer. Over four hours went by while the players grinded away four handed before his bustout came. He was all in preflop with the {Q-Clubs}{8-Hearts} and up against the dominating {Q-Spades}{10-Diamonds} for Savage. The board provided no help for Suer and he walked away with over $156,000 in prize money.

Soon after he eliminated Suer in fourth place, Savage joined him on the rail. His shipped the {8-Spades}{8-Clubs} into the {J-Spades}{J-Diamonds} of start-of-the-day chip leader Shlez and couldn’t get there on the board of {K-Hearts}{10-Spades}{2-Spades}{7-Spades}{3-Spades}. Both players had made flushes on the river, but Shelz’s jack was the better of the to spades to give him the win. Savage, from Thorofare, NJ, took home nearly $190,000 for his finish.

Heads-up play began between Shlez and Sande with Shlez up 17 million in chips to 4.5 million. When the final table began, Shelz entered as the chip leader with Sande sitting in second place. With such a large chip lead, Shlez was able to put away his opponent holding the {A-Spades}{8-Hearts}. Sande held the {K-Spades}{7-Spades}. Shlez’s hand held up on the {A-Clubs}{5-Hearts}{4-Spades}{10-Hearts}{2-Hearts} board and gave him the victory worth over half a million dollars. Sande scored $310,273 for his second-place finish.

Upon winning, Shlez told the Borgata Winter Poker Open blog, "I don't know how I'm talking right now, I'm kind of speechless. It means a lot, but I don't know what it means yet because it hasn't sunk in yet." Our guess is that $500,000-plus is plenty to shut up about.

Congratulations to Vadim Shlez for taking down the 2011 Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship Event for $533,210. He bested a field of 718 players to do it, a massive accomplishment and one he'll remember forever.

Final Table Results

1Vadim Shlez (Manalapan, NJ)$533,210
2LJ Sande (New Haven, CT)$310,273
3Trevor Savage (Thorofare, NJ)$189,611
4Bobby Suer (Dana Point, CA)$156,286
5Gil Sacks (Bala Cynwyd, PA)$126,407
6Pat Carney (Scranton, PA)$103,425
7Steve Ryan (New York, NY)$82,740
8Osagyefo Greene (Charlotte, NC)$63,204
9Allan Vrooman (Greenville, NC)$43,669
10Tom Hu (Oakton, VA)$28,729

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