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Darren Elias Wins World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open for $843,744

Darren Elias

Darren Elias is no stranger to big tournament scores, but on Friday he earned the largest of his career — both online and live — by taking down the World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open to the tune of $843,744.

On Friday, the final six players from a 1,226-entry field returned for the finale of the event. The third time at a WPT final table proved to be the charm for Elias, who waited as 25-year-old Kane Kalas, the son of the late Philadelphia Phillies sportscaster Harry Kalas, eliminated four players on the way to heads-up play. Elias then scored the final knockout to capture the title.

The score proved a career-high for the 27-year-old poker pro, and marked the first major title on Elias' live poker résumé. In addition, Elias was awarded a seat to the season-ending WPT World Championship, which coincidentally will be held at the Borgata in the spring.

Final Table Results

1Darren Elias$843,744
2Kane Kalas$500,364
3Jose Serratos$308,067
4Aaron Overton$259,012
5Blake Bohn$213,999
6Ray Qartomy$174,637

According to the WPT live blog, action resumed in Level 32 (80,000/160,000/20,000) and it took just four hands for the first elimination to occur. It happened when Kalas opened for 375,000 from the cutoff seat and then called when 48-year-old Ray Qartomy, a businessman born in Jordan and raised in the United States, three-bet all in for 1.475 million from the button.

Darren Elias Wins World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open for 3,744 101
Kane Kalas

Qartomy: {a-Diamonds}{j-Spades}
Kalas: {a-Clubs}{a-Spades}

It was a bad spot for Qartomy, but he got a little help on the {j-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{8-Spades} flop. Another jack would give him the double, but it wasn’t meant to be as the {5-Hearts} blanked on the turn followed by the {2-Diamonds} on the river. Qartomy was eliminated in sixth place and took home $174,637 for his performance.

On the very next hand, Aaron Overton opened for 350,000 under the gun and Kalas three-bet to 755,000 from the cutoff. Mid-States Poker Tour Team Pro Blake Bohn, who was second in chips at the time, then four-bet to 3.06 million from the small blind. Overton folded, and Kalas thought for a minute before moving all in. Bohn snap-called off for 8.365 million and discovered the bad news.

Bohn: {q-Hearts}{q-Spades}
Kalas: {a-Clubs}{a-Diamonds}

Kalas had woke up with back-to-back aces, and Bohn was in trouble. The {10-Spades}{9-Spades}{8-Clubs} flop gave him a gutshot straight draw, but he missed it as the {9-Diamonds} fell on the turn and the {A-Hearts} hit the river. Bohn was sent packing in fifth place for $213,999 while Kalas pulled out to a huge chip lead.

The next elimination wouldn’t come until Hand #44 of the final table, which occurred in Level 34 (125,000/250,000/25,000). It happened when Overton, a 32-year-old poker pro from Philadelphia, moved all in for 2.85 million holding the {a-Clubs}{2-Hearts} on the button and Kalas called with the {j-Spades}{j-Clubs}. The {a-Hearts}{6-Spades}{2-Diamonds} flop was kind to Overton as it gave him the lead with two pair, and the {7-Spades} turn meant all he needed to do was dodge a jack on the river to double. That proved easier said than done though, as the {J-Hearts} spiked on the end. Kalas made a set and Overton was bounced in fourth place for $259,012.

On the next hand, Kalas raised to 500,000 from the button and then called when Jose Serratos, a 31-year-old rental property manager from Detroit, moved all in from the big blind.

Kalas: {7-Diamonds}{7-Spades}
Serratos: {k-Hearts}{9-Hearts}

It was a flip, but Serratos needed to improve to stay alive. He didn’t do it on the {8-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}{4-Spades} flop, and the {2-Spades} turn left him wanting. The dealer burned one last time and put out the {Q-Spades} on the river, meaning Serratos missed and had to settled for third place and $308,067 in prize money.

Kalas began heads-up play with a 2-1 chip lead, but over the course of the next 42 hands Elias was able to pull out to a small lead of his own. In what would be the final hand of the tournament, which happened in Level 37 (250,000/500,000/75,000), Kalas raised to 1.125 million, Elias called, and the flop came down {10-Spades}{7-Hearts}{4-Clubs}. Elias check-called a bet of 1.525 million, the {K-Diamonds} appeared on the turn, and Elias checked for a second time. Kalas bet 3.225 million, Elias check-raised all in, and Kalas snap-called off for 13.25 million.

Kalas: {a-Spades}{k-Hearts}
Elias: {k-Spades}{4-Hearts}

Kalas had turned top pair with top kicker, but it was no good as Elias held two pair. The {3-Spades} river failed to help Kalas, and he had to settle for runner-up and a $500,364 consolation prize.

Prior to this victory, Elias' largest live score came back in 2011 at the Borgata Poker Open where he placed fifth for $230,610. Online, Elias boasts two bigger scores than that, one for $396,988 and the other for $574,695, but both have been topped by his performance in Atlantic City this time around.

Congratulations to Darren Elias, winner of the WPT Borgata Poker Open for $843,744. Check out his winner’s interview below:

*Data and photos courtesy of WPT Live Blog.

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