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Pascal Zaklama Wins 2019 Borgata Winter Poker Opener for $328,695

Pascal Zaklama

The 2019 Borgata Winter Poker Open is currently taking place out in New Jersey. While the annual festival will culminate with the $3,500 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event, it kicked off this past weekend with Event #1: $600 DeepStack NLH, a tournament that featured a $2 million guarantee.

With a monster 5,130 entrants, a $2.7 million prize pool was created. After numerous starting flights and three official days of play, Pascal Zaklama came out on top after a three-way deal, taking the official win despite splitting prize money evenly with another (anonymous) player, along with Vladimir Alexandrov ($216,000).

Borgata Opener Final Table Results

1Pascal Zaklama$328,695
3Vladimir Alexandrov$216,000
4Daniel Cai$153,164
5Ray Medlin$120,919
6Fady Khabbaz$94,048
7Noam Muallem$68,252
8Andrew Hanna$47,562
9Vincent Masino$30,740
10Apostolos Vasiliadis$20,691

Borgata Opener Final Table Action

According to updates from the event, Zaklama got lucky to stay alive with eight players left. That is when he shoved all in holding ace-jack only to run it into the ace-queen of Daniel Cai. Fortunately for Zaklama, the flop contained both an ace and jack, and another jack on the turn secured him the double with a full house.

With four players remaining, Zalkama would finish off Cai. It happened in Level 40 (500K/1M/1M) when Zaklama limped the small blind holding the {10-Clubs}{8-Clubs} and Cai checked his option with the {9-Clubs}{3-Clubs}. Zaklama checked the {10-Hearts}{3-Spades}{2-Clubs} flop and called when Cai moved all in for around 11 million. Neither the {6-Spades} turn nor {k-Clubs} river helped Cai and he was sent to the rail in fourth place for $153,164.

With three players remaining, the triumvirate opted to strike a deal. Having a slight lead at the time, Zaklama was crowned champ and received $328,695 in prize money. The runner-up, who wished to remain anonymous, got the same amount, while Alexandrov finished in third place.

Prior to the win, Zaklama had just $7,881 in lifetime earnings with a prior career-best of just $2,810 for finishing ninth in a $1,000 no-limit hold’em tournament at the 2007 Mandalay Bay Poker Championships.

Coincidentally, Zaklama hinted at his success back on Day 1 when he bagged a short stack.

“I may not be smiling now but I will be tomorrow,” he said at the time.

Barry Leventhal Goes Back-to-Back in Seniors

In other 2019 Borgata Winter Poker Open news, Barry Leventhal topped a 145-entry field to win Event #6: $340 Seniors Deepstack NLH for $12,447.

The win came six months after Leventhal bested a 166-entry field to win the Borgata Summer Poker Open $340 Seniors for $7,352, meaning he won back-to-back in Borgata Senior events.

It also brought Leventhal’s lifetime tournament earnings up to $553,111, most of which have come in Atlantic City. His career-best of $69,000 came when he finished seventh in the 2008 Borgata Summer Poker Open Championship, and in 2006 he won a $550 NLH event at the Trump Classic to win $59,337.

Seniors Final Table Results

1Barry Leventhal$12,447
2Eric Siegel$6,962
3Joseph Umdenstock$4,220
4Steven Blixt$3,376
5Alyse Kaplan$2,532
6Lisa Pickell$2,110
7Peter Carroll$1,688
8Ben Laves$1,266
9Joseph Frezza$949
10John Slaughter$844
Barry Leventhal
Barry Leventhal goes back-to-back in Borgata Seniors events.

Photos courtesy of the Borgata.

  • Pascal Zaklama topped a 5,130-entry field to win @BorgataPoker 2019 #BWPO2019 Opener for $328,695.

  • Barry Leventhal took down back-to-back Senior events at @BorgataPoker #BWPO2019

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