The 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open continued on Saturday with the conclusion of three side events. Most notably, the two-day Event 15: $200,000 Guarantee Six-Max NLHE Re-Entry came to a close with none other than Matt Affleck taking home the top prize.
Also wrapping up on Saturday were Event 17: $100,000 Guarantee Big Stack NLHE Re-Entry and Event #18: $560 Omaha Eight-or-Better Semi-Turbo. Joseph Galazzo and Johannes Mueller both took titles in these events, respectively.
Headlining the day was the exciting conclusion to the six-max event. After a total of 373 entries, the field was whittled down to the final 43 on Day 1. Many notables returned to the felt for the second day, but it was ultimately Matt Affleck who was able to conquer the field and pocket the $88,643 first-place prize.
The top 36 players made the money and the bubble burst relatively quick in the day. Tournament regular Amanda Musumeci was the one to pop bubble when her ace-king flopped top-top. By the river, her opponent moved all in and she called to eliminate him from play.
From there, the field lost names like Joey Couden, Aaron Steury, Zohair Karim, and James Carroll. Musumeci later found herself all in and at risk with queen-high and a gutshot draw against Byron Kaverman's king-high with four to a flush. Kaverman paired his king on the turn and eliminated Musumeci from play.
The field continued to shrink with players like Andrew Kelsall, Ronit Chamani, and Chris Moon all hitting the rail before the final table was reached. Robert Portas became the unofficial final table bubble boy when he moved all in before the flop holding . Caufman Talley called with and the board ran out , leaving Portas with nothing but felt in front of him. He took home $13,568 for his seventh place finish.
Tony Sinishtaj became the first casualty of the final table when his failed to win a race against Talley's pocket sevens. Following Sinishtaj out the door was Andy Hwang who called for his tournament life on a completed board of . Hwang rolled over but could not best Affleck's . He was eliminated from play in fifth place for $25,869.
Kaverman fell soon after as another victim of Affleck's domination of the table. His fourth-place finished netted him a payday of $33,467. Affleck continued to rule the table as the day wore on, busting Talley in third place. The two were engaged in a preflop all in with Affleck holding against Talley's . Affleck seized a tighter grip on the lead after the flop gave him a set of fives. The dropped down on fourth street and the two players watched as the completed the board. This card, of course, gave Talley a flush but it also provided Affleck with a full house, allowing him to send Talley to the rail in third place.
This left Affleck heads up with Josh Brikis for the money and the title. Affleck held a dominating chip lead, and after a short while the match came to a head. The two were involved in a classic race situation before the flop for Brikis' tournament life.
The board ran out , giving Affleck the nut flush and allowing him to take home the trophy.
Event #15 Final Table Payouts
The one-day $100,000 Guarantee Big Stack No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry event saw huge success with a whopping 730 entries. This led to a total prize pool of $247,835 which knocked the guarantee out of the park. The entire event was quite the marathon of poker, lasting over 19 hours. In the end, it was Joseph Galazzo who laid claim to the $57,486 in first-place prize money.
The final table began with Galazzo representing the third-largest stack on the felt. Philippe Casciola became the first elimination of the final table after his were unable to improve against Patrick Truong's during a preflop all in. Casciola collected $4,709 for his ninth place finish.
Chris Coward fell next, moving all in before the flop against Press. Coward held and was in a dominating position against Press' . The flop spelled disaster for coward, though, as it brought one of the three remaining eights, pairing Press and sending Coward packing. He collected $13,631 for a fifth-place finish.
Once four-handed play began, Galazzo quickly reduced the field by one after a confrontation with Truong. The flop read and the two got it all in for Trong's tournament life. Truong held and was hoping to improve against Galazzo's . The turn and river failed to provide improvement and Truong was eliminated in fourth place.
Soon after, Galazzo opened with a raise before the flop only to have Don Rawlins three-bet all in. Galazzo called and tabled . Rawlins rolled over and the two were five community cards away from a potential elimination. The board fell down , giving Galazzo a straight to the seven and sending Rawlins home in third.
This left Galazzo heads up with Press, each player hoping to earn over $54,000 in first-place prize money. The match came to a conclusion when Galazzo limped on the button at 40,000/80,000/10,000. Press raised to 350,000 and Galazzo shipped all in over the top. Press called for his tournament life but was dejected to find Galazzo holding two aces in the hole.
The board fell , which gave Press a bit of hope with a backdoor diamond draw. A fourth diamond dropped down with the on the turn, but nothing materialized as the completed the board and Press was eliminated as the runner-up.
Event 17 Final Table Payouts
The one-day Omaha Eight-or Better Semi-Turbo event ran through its field of 85 entries rather quickly as the day progressed. The tournament drew a total prize pool of $41,225 and advertised a first-place prize of $14,428.
The final table was reached when James Van Alstyne was eliminated as the bubble boy in tenth place. Headlining the final table was none other than tournament regular Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler. After Van Alstyne's elimination, the likes of Michael Bickel, Bob Lynch, Zack Spicer, and Joe Patti became the first four casualties of the final table.
From there, blinds continued to increase and tournament participants doubled up. Dave Brady found a double against Matt Shoup and soon afterward Kessler was able to score a double as well. With only about 17 total big bets in play, the final five opted to make a deal. Johannes Mueller, who was the overwhelming chip leader at the time of the deal, was awarded the largest prize and the victory.
"Not bad for never playing in an Omaha tournament," Mueller said after his win.
Event 18 Final Table Payouts
Be sure to stay tuned to the PokerNews Live Reporting Blog for all of the latest updates from the tournament floor as the 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open continues with the $3,000,000 Guarantee Main Event!