Local Player Jim Roberts Tops Field of 4,515 at Borgata for $378,391
Jim Roberts just retired last year. But his nest egg just got a whole lot heftier after he navigated through a field of 4,515 to pocket $378,391 for winning Borgata Winter Poker Open Event #1: $600 Deep Stack.
Roberts, a local recreational player, only had about $7,400 in cashes before this week, the best of those being for $2,440 from a small turbo event at Foxwoods.
Official Final Table Results
It took six starting flights to build up that massive 4,515-entry field, producing a prize pool in excess of $2.3 million. Mike Dentale, Joey Galazzo, Anthony Maio, David Jackson, Nick Palma and Alex Bolotin were among those who made deep runs but missed out on the final table, with the latter bubbling courtesy of Borgata Poker Ambassador Vinny Pahuja.
According to the live updates, Roberts went into the final table with one of the shortest stacks — only about 15 big blinds — while Ryan Hohner was the one leading the way with 22 million at 200,000/400,000/40,000.
However, Roberts found an early and critical double at the final table when he was dealt and got his last 12 big blinds in against Mark Kaganovsky and his . An ace on the flop locked it up for Roberts, and soon after Kaganovsky busted in ninth.
Short-stacked Alex Rocha, one of PokerNews' players to watch at last year's WSOP, next went out in eighth when he lost a flip to Yuebin Guo.
Roberts then found his next big double when three players saw an flop for the minimum. Roberts fired in a pot-sized wager of 2 million with what turned out to be top two pair, and he was lucky enough to run into aces and nines held by Agenor Souza. The last two cards came nine-free and Roberts doubled up, leaving Souza with crumbs and (not long after) a seventh-place finish.
Following Michael Forca's elimination in sixth, Roberts won perhaps his most key pot. He called a raise to 1.8 million from Guo at 400,000/800,000/100,000 and the flop came . Guo check-jammed when Roberts bet 2 million, and Roberts called immediately with a set of threes. Guo, a Borgata regular with several wins under his belt at the venue, was in a nearly hopeless position with and had to settle for fifth while Roberts took command of a huge stack of 61 million, more than half of the total chips in play.
Pahuja had survived a long while with a short stack but finally met his end in fourth when he jammed 15 big blinds over a button raise from Eric Eng and failed to overcome with .
Roberts would hit two pair against a set held by Hohner to cost himself most of the chips he had won, but then he picked up nines against Hohner's fives to double right back through. Those two would then go heads-up after Roberts held with trips when he got stacks in on the turn against Eng, who had a combo draw but bricked to finish in third.
Hohner was down more than 3-to-1 in chips going into heads-up play and sat with just 20 big blinds, so he needed to make a move early. He did so shoving over a button raise with , but ran into Robert's . An eight hit on the flop and that was curtains for Hohner, sending the Borgata trophy and the massive payday to Roberts.
Photo courtesy of Borgata
Be sure to complete your PokerNews experience by checking out an overview of our mobile and tablet apps here. Stay on top of the poker world from your phone with our mobile iOS and Android app, or fire up our iPad app on your tablet. You can also update your own chip counts from poker tournaments around the world with MyStack on both Android and iOS.