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2013 Borgata Poker Open: Kevin Saul, Matt Salsberg & Brian O'Donoghue Claim Titles

Matt Salsberg

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 {k-Diamonds}{q-Diamonds} against Paredes’ {9-}{9-} 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 {10-Spades}{5-Spades}{3-Spades}{k-Hearts}{9-Hearts} 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

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

Kevin Saul
Kevin Saul

1stKevin Saul$37,248
2ndDavid Paredes$18,624
3rdJeffrey Coon$9,312
4thJeff Gross$9,312
5thMichael Linster$4,656
6thMatthew Rock$4,656
7thAaron Massey$4,656
8thOrson Young$4,656

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 {6-Hearts}{5-Hearts} overcame Rocha’s {4-}{4-} 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

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

Brian O’Donoghue
Brian O’Donoghue

1stBrian O’Donoghue$60,663
2ndAlexander Rocha$36,055
3rdRonnie Bardah$27,470
4thRussell Crane$21,747
5thKevin Calenzo$17,169
6thAbraham Faroni$12,591
7thDaniel Gilmer$9,729

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

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

Runner-up Jesse Yaginuma
Runner-up Jesse Yaginuma

1stMatt Salsberg$47,360
2ndJesse Yaginuma$25,710
3rdJayakrishnan Nair$16,238
4thMichael Melkersen$12,178
5thMichael Gagliano$9,472
6thRoger Lussier$8,119
7thJohn Iraj$6,766
8thThomas Hoglund$5,413
9thKen Aldridge$4,059

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.

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