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Russell Crane Wins Borgata Fall Poker Open $1 Million Guaranteed Championship Event

Russell Crane

The $2,700 buy-in $1 Million Guaranteed Championship Event at the Borgata Fall Poker Open concluded on Thursday with the final day of play from Atlantic City. Topping the 625 entries to earn the $361,747 first-place prize was Howell, NJ's Russell Crane.

Championship Event Final Table Results

1Russell CraneHowell, NJ$361,747
2She Lok "Gary" WongForest Hill, NY$203,394
3Tyng LowFlushing, NY$128,063
4Ken SilbersteinEdison, NJ$103,957
5Tony Abi-YaghiToms River, NJ$82,864
6Kyle BowkerWalton, NY$68,551
7Scott BlackmanEgg Harbor Twp, NJ$54,992
8John HolleyNiceville, FL$41,432
9Cliff JosephyMuttentown, NJ$28,626
10Alex ShteymanEdison, NJ$19,586

With a big field of 625 entries, a prize pool of over $1.56 million was up for grabs. The top 63 places were paid out, and it was Melad Marji who bubbled in 64th place.

According to the Borgata Fall Poker Open live blog, Marji fell with the blinds at 2,500/5,000/500. Orson Young opened with a raise, Jeremy Menard reraised, and then Marji reraised all in for around 120,000. After Young folded, Menard called with {A-}{K-}. Marji held pocket fives and couldn't survive as Menard went on to make a full house.

Menard would go on to finish in 25th place, earning $8,286.

Entering the third and final day of play, just 36 players remained. It was Jake Schwartz who held the chip lead, but his run would end in 24th place worth $8,286. Notables to follow Schwartz to the payout desk were Keith Crowder (21st - $8,286), Amnon Filippi (17th - $10,546), Michael Marder (16th - $10,546), Mike Dentale (15th - $14,313), Alex Rocha (12th - $19,586), and Mike Linster (11th - $19,586).

Crane began Day 3 in 26th chip position out of the final 36 players, but he worked his way up the chips counts to enter the final table as the leader. Following the elimination of Alex Shteyman in 10th place, Crane disposed of Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy in ninth, John Holley in eighth, and Scott Blackman in seventh. Then, it was Tyng Low who busted Kyle Bowker out in sixth place.

From there, Tony Abi-Yaghi finished in fifth place and Ken Silberstein in fourth, leaving Low, Gary Wong, and Crane left.

With the blinds all the way up to 50,000/100,000/10,000, Crane raised to 250,000 on the button, and Low moved all in from the big blind. Crane quickly called with {A-}{A-} and was well out in front of Low's {K-}{3-}. The board ran out {8-}{5-}{2-}{Q-}{Q-} to give Crane the pot and eliminate Low in third place.

By busting Low, Crane took 13.25 million in chips into heads-up play against Wong's 5.55 million. After a bit of play, Wong battled back and even took a slight lead from his opponent. Despite losing his lead, Crane didn't become discouraged and eventually regained the lead before putting an end to the affair.

On the final hand, the blinds were 80,000/160,000/20,000, and Wong opened to 480,000 on the button. Crane called, and the two saw the flop come {10-Hearts}{8-Hearts}{7-Spades}. Crane checked, and Wong fired 1 million. Crane check-raised all in, and Wong called to put himself at risk. Crane held the {A-Hearts}{5-Hearts} for a flush draw and Wong had {10-}{6-} for top pair plus a gutshot straight draw.

Following the {9-Hearts} on the turn, Crane had made his flush to leave Wong drawing dead. The river completed the board with the {2-Clubs} to officially send this one into the record books. For his second-place result, Wong earned $203,394, while Crane walked away with the title and $361,747 in prize money.

For Crane, this win marks the largest of his live poker career and his third title from Borgata. He now has over $1.4 million in live tournament earnings.

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