Last week, PokerNews told you about Will "The Thrill" Failla winning his fifth career Borgata Open title (the record for the most trophies in a Borgata Open series), taking down the $1,090 buy-in no-limit hold'em re-entry event. Now that the World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open Main Event is underway, let's catch you up with some other prelim winners.
Saul Claims Heads-Up Bounty Title
After winning an event during the 2012 Borgata Winter Open, Kevin Saul added another Borgata title to his résumé by winning the 2013 Borgata Poker Open $2,000 NLHE Heads-Up Bounty for $37,248. Saul did so by defeating a 64-player field including matches against Orson Young (quarterfinals), Jeffrey Coon (semifinals), and David Paredes (finals).
According to the Borgata Poker Open Blog, Saul and Paredes battles for nearly four hours in their best-of-three match. On the final hand, Saul won a race with the against Paredes’ to earn the title.
Parades actually won the first match, while Saul took the second thanks to a well-timed bluff. In the hand, the board read and Saul shoved. Eventually Parades folded and Saul showed jack high.
"It was a tough spot, I was very close to calling," said Paredes, "but I didn't want to call off the second match." He went on to add: "It was a close call between jamming, check-calling, and check-folding. I'll replay that one, and I'm still not sure what the right option was."
2013 Borgata Poker Open $2,000 NLHE Heads-Up Bounty
O’Donoghue Wins the Max in Event #17 $1,000 NLHE Six Max
Last year, Brian O’Donoghue made a name for himself by winning consecutive tournaments at the Borgata Poker Open. Wouldn’t you know it, O’Donoghue was back to his winning ways in this year’s contest by winning Event #17 $1,000 NLHE Six Max for $60,663.
O’Donoghue did so by defeating a tough final table that included World Series of Poker Circuit ring winner Daniel Gilmer (7th - $9,729); Abe Faroni, who was notching his 11th career Borgata cash (6th - $12,591); 2012 WSOP Circuit Caesars Palace champion Kevin Calenzo (5th - $17,169); 2011 Borgata Spring Poker Open winner Russell Crane (4th - $21,747); and WSOP bracelet winner Ronnie Bardah (3rd - $27,470).
However, it was O’Donoghue and another Borgata trophy winner, Alexander Rocha, who would face off in heads-up play. According to the Borgata Poker Open Blog, O’Donoghue began with a 7-to-1-chip lead and clinched victory when his overcame Rocha’s when a six hit the flop.
"This is prestigious," O'Donoghue said. "Everyone in the poker world was saying this was a crazy tough final table, so to win it means something."
2013 Borgata Poker Open Event #17 $1,000 NLHE Six Max
WPT Player of the Year Claims First Borgata Title
Thanks to a three-handed chop, WPT Season XI Player of the Year Matt Salsberg captured his first Borgata title in Event #19 $1,500 No Limit Hold’em. Salsberg went on to win the title by defeating two-time Borgata champ (titles in 2009 and 2011) Jesse Yaginuma.
"It's always great to go deep in a tournament," said Yaginuma after the tournament. "I haven't been back to Borgata for a few years, so it's great to be back and do well."
"It's great," Salsberg said of his win. "I won a couple of flips and really had to grind a short stack."
Salsberg immediately jumped into Day 1a of the WPT Borgata Main Event, though he wasn’t able to get anything going and eventually busted. Salsberg then opted to re-enter on Day 1b, according to his post on Twitter.
2013 Borgata Poker Open Event #19 $1,500 NLHE
The Borgata Poker Open $3,500 World Poker Tour Main Event, which boasts a $3 million guaranteed prize pool, is happening now. PokerNews will provide daily updates for the duration of the five-day event, so be sure to keep an eye out for those.
*Data courtesy of Borgata Poker Blog.