World Series of Poker Europe

Brian Lemke Wins Borgata Spring Poker Open Main Event for $276,949

Brian Lemke

The day prior to hosting the World Poker Tour World Championship, Borgata in Atlantic City concluded the 2015 Borgata Spring Poker Open Main Event, a tournament that attracted 447 entries. After four days of intense play, Brian Lemke emerged victorious to capture the $276,949 first-place prize.

It wasn't the first time Lemke, who hails from Norristown, Pennsylvania, found success at Borgata. Back in 2012, he won the $560 no-limit hold'em reentry event at the 3rd Annual Borgata Spring Poker Open, a victory that awarded him $111,076.

However, the best result on his poker résumé came back in 2009 when he topped a field of 655 players to win the $5,000 no-limit hold'em event at the World Series of Poker. He did so by defeating perennial high roller Fabian Quoss in heads-up play.

With his latest win, Lemke brought his lifetime earnings up over $1.5 million.

Final Table Results

1Brian Lemke$276,949
2Andy Spears$159,886
3James Gilbert$97,558
4Ben Zamani$78,588
5Justin Zaki$61,787
6Joe Kuether$51,489

According to updates from the event, the final table lasted 100 hands, and it was on Hand #72 that Lemke began to run away with things. Well known poker pros Joe Kuether and Justin Zaki had already fallen in sixth and fifth place respectively, and with four players left and the blinds at 40,000/80,000/10,000, Lemke raised to 175,000 from the button and was met by a big three-bet from Ben Zamani. Lemke then four-bet jammed and Zamani, the second biggest stack at the table, called off for roughly 3.5 million.

Zamani: {a-Clubs}{k-Spades}
Lemke: {a-Spades}{j-Hearts}

Zamani, who finished fourth in the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for $1 million, had the best of it, and was primed to double after the flop came down a safe {9-Spades}{8-Spades}{4-Clubs}. Unfortunately for Zamani, disaster struck when the dealer burned and turned the {J-Clubs}. The {7-Clubs} blanked on the river, and just like that Zamani was out in fourth place for $78,588.

On Hand #98 of the final table, with the blinds at 50,000/100,000/10,000, Andy Spears moved all in from the small blind and James Gilbert called off his short stack from the big.

Spears: {a-Spades}{4-Hearts}
Gilbert: {k-Spades}{q-Diamonds}

Gilbert needed some help, but he was left wanting as the board ran out a dry {j-Clubs}{9-Diamonds}{3-Spades}{8-Hearts}{3-Hearts}. Gilbert, who had won Event #1 of the 2014 Borgata Fall Poker Open last November, exited in third place for $97,558.

When heads-up play began, Lemke held 8.01 million in chips to Spears' 5.4 million. Despite being fairly deep, the match was over in just two hands after Lemke bested Spears, who took home $159,886 for his runner-up finish.

Meanwhile, Event #10 $1,000 buy-in $100,000 GTD Six Max, a tournament that attracted 200 runners, also played out on Friday and saw Zo Karim defeat Mid-States Poker Tour Pro Nick Pupillo to lay claim to the title – his second Borgata Open title — and the $51,410 first-place prize. Pupillo, who was recently the subject of a PokerNews feature article, took home $30,555 for his runner-up finish.

*Lead photo courtesy of Borgata.

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