2014 Borgata Spring Poker Open: Alvarado Crowned Champion of $1 Million Guarantee
After four starting flights ran over three days attracted an astounding turnout which nearly topped 2,500 entries, Event 1 of the Borgata Spring Poker Open has come to an end. The $560 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em Reentry event sported a $1 million guaranteed prize pool, a promise which was easily exceeded by almost 500 entries. In the end, it was Carlos Alvarado who took down top honors (signing for first place money after agreeing to a four-way chop), earning $127,652 for besting the massive field. Alvarado is a grinder from Oceanside, New York whose previous high in terms of live earnings came back at the WPT Borgata Poker Open in 2012.
Joining Alvarado in the winner's circle were Adam Pace, Philip Neiman, and Kevin Grabel, each of whom pocketed the same payout after reaching the final four with relatively even stacks.
Final Table Payouts
*Denotes four-way deal
Pace is a recreational player from Staten Island, New York who topped his previous best cash of $9,998 (which came last January at the Borgata Winter Poker Open. Pace did has part to earn the coveted six-figure score every poker player dreams of, knocking Matthew Itkin out in 8th place before dispatching John Yanni in sixth place.
Nieman is also a New Yorker who proudly hails from the borough of Queens. Fittingly, it was a huge call with just a queen-high that helped propel Neiman to the win, as he correctly read Matthew Itkin's river bet for a bluff and looked him up with no pair to speak of. Neiman thanked his hometown group of Queens grinders, fellow poker playing friends who have helped him sharpen his skills over the years with regular home games and poker excursions to Atlantic City and other East Coast poker haunts.
Grabel is a member of the newest poker crew on the block - Team Kitten - a close-knit group of friends from Pennsylvania and New Jersey who regularly assemble to create some of the more boisterous rails the Borgata has seen. When we last saw Grabel during last year's Borgata Winter Poker Open, he was merely one of the Kittens standing in support of teammate Ray Ross, who made a final table appearance back in January. Now, after taking down more than $127,000 here today - by far the biggest live score Team Kitten can claim, he has earned the well-deserved title of Top Cat.
Event 4: $500 PLO Hi/Lo
After an undisclosed heads-up agreement between Vincent Firsching and Amnon Filippi, Filippi is the champion of Event 4 $500 PLO Hi/Lo. He earns $13,750 along with the trophy, while Fisching walks away with $7,464.
This is Filippi's first live tournament win since May of 2012, and the third of his career. The New York native has over $3 million in career tournament earnings.
Leonardo Palermo was in great position to capture the trophy for himself as the chip leader during three-handed play, but he lost back-to-back pots to Firsching and was eliminated by Filippi.
Filippi outlasted 89 opponents in this one-day pot-limit Omaha eight-or-better event at the 2014 Borgata Spring Poker Open. The top nine finishers earned a minimum of $1,179, and the bubble boy was Jinglin Chen. Chen was down to less than a big blind when he finally committed his last few chips with a pair of deuces, and Firsching flopped a pair of threes. The turn and river were both insignificant, and Chen exited empty-handed.
There is one more pot-limit Omaha main event scheduled during the BSO; Event 8: $450 Big Stack Pot-Limit Omaha. Be sure to check back for updates from that and every Borgata Spring Poker Open Main Event right here on PokerNews.
Event 3: $560 Deep-Stack NLHE Reentry
An impressive field of 292 players made the journey to Borgata today to take part in the $560 Deep-Stack No Limit Hold 'Em Reentry tournament and by the time play concluded a little after 2:30 am there were just 27 remaining. These players will go to bed knowing that when they return tomorrow that they will have turned a profit in this event as they are now in the money. The prize pool is $141,620 and 1st place will take home an impressive $39,650.
John Tavss floated around the chip lead most of the day and made a big push at the end of the night to end as the chip leader with 705,000 in chips. Sitting in 2nd place is James Gettinger who tangled with 4th place Maggie Morris in two key hands. The first saw Gettinger fold when Morris shoved all in with the nut flush draw and the other hand had Gettinger doubling up Morris when he tried to get her to fold on the bubble. Despite the two hands, Gettinger has 645,000 in chips while Morris has 588,000. Rounding out the top three is Joe Stiers who ended the day with 622,000.
Among those who took part in the tournament but were unable to cash were Timothy Little, Tony Sinishtaj, Fred Paradis, Katayon Khaterzai, Kenneth Lind, Gerard Kane, James Woods, Greg Ostrander, Joe Mckeehen, Adam Foster, Phong "VIP" Nguyen, and Luke Edwards.
Some of the names that have moved on to Day 2 were Nick Gandhi (489,000), Tom Dobrilovic (410,000), She Lok Wong (275,000), Michael Savino (133,000), and Anna Antimony (32,000). Antimony hung on for quite some time as the short stack including a hand where she doubled up with when she would hit an Ace to outdraw her opponent's .
The unfortunate bubble honors would go to Catherine Dever who started the day off hot but would end up losing a race on the last hand of the evening when her was unable to improve against Roger Lovett's .
Play will resume on Sunday, and if Saturday is any indication it's going to be a great end of the tournament. PokerNews will be there to capture all of the action. Tune in to find out who emerges victorious!