Donald Maloney Wins WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship for $487,874
The WPT Borgata Poker Open $3,500 Championship came to an end after five grueling days of play and when the last chance saloon had closed for business it was Donald Maloney claiming the first-place prize of $487,874, along with his first WPT title.
Maloney is a Glendale, Arizona native who is a former hockey player. He talked about his previous career as well as plans for his future.
“I feel like hockey and poker are my two greatest talents,” he said. “I still skate all the time and they are pretty much my two biggest hobbies. I’d like to get back into hockey at some point if I can. I’ve got to not be injured to start a year one time, that would be fun. Other than that, I’d like to get into management potentially just like my dad did.”
“Poker is great and I love playing tournaments, I plan to be back and hope to be back in the winner’s circle.”
The final day of the tournament began with just six players and when only three remained a deal was struck. After the adjusted payouts were determined the players decided that five days was long enough and all moved in blind for the title.
“The last hand was pretty interesting,” he said. “The guys had decided that they were exhausted and really didn’t want to play anymore, so we decided to do a flip. It went runner-runner straight, so it was definitely meant for me to get the title and I’ll always remember it, I guarantee.”
When asked if Maloney had any final words he said, “Poker is great and I love playing tournaments, I plan to be back and hope to be back in the winner’s circle.”
Main Event Final Table Results
|1||Donald Maloney||Glendale, Arizona||$487,784*|
|2||Uke Dauti||Stanhope, New Jersey||$464,338*|
|3||Kevin Albers||Milford, Michigan||$378,664*|
|4||Dave Farah||Fairfield, New Jersey||$227,077|
|5||Jerry Maher||Warren, New Jersey||$171,386|
|6||Victor Ramdin||Bronx, New York||$130,000|
*Denotes three-way deal.
Final Table Action
The fifth and final day of the WPT Borgata Poker Open saw just six of the original 1,156 entries return to play with first-place originally slated to be $616,186. The day began with Victor Ramdin drawing first blood as he fought back from a large chip deficit between him and his remaining foes. Albers was next to take a stab at shifting the leader board when he turned three fives against Dave Farah and moved all in. Farah called and Albers double early in the day, moving Farah down to fourth on the totem pole.
It was just after the first break when Farah opened blind from under the gun and Albers three-bet light because of this, holding jack-eight of diamonds in the cutoff. Ramdin woke up in the big blind with two kings and moved it all in. Farah folded instantly but Albers took his time, ultimately he elected to call after already having so much invested and the two tabled their hands. A dry nine-high flop rolled out and Ramdin was in a great spot to double up. The turn peeled off a seven, giving Albers two different straight possibilities and the ten on the river was one of them. The room was shocked as well-known WPT champ Ramdin exited in sixth place.
Albers continued to roll soon after and took down a couple more pots within the next few hands. In one, he had pocket nines against the king-jack of Uke Dauti and the flop came down nine-high. Dauti three-barrelled all the way to the river and Albers called down with his set of nines, pulling in another massive pot as he then took over the chip lead. Almost two hours went by before Borgata regular Jerry Maher found himself on the shorter side of things. Maher opened with four-three of clubs from the cutoff and Dauti defended his big blind, holding ace-seven. The flop came down ace-seven-five with two clubs and both players put all of their chips in the middle on what was essentially a flip. Unfortunately for Maher, the turn shut down all of them when a seven peeled off, leaving him drawing dead to the river as he took an exit in fifth place.
Farah was on a rollercoaster of a day and the final four was no different. Farah instantly took down a large pot from Dauti to climb back up to almost what he started the day with but Dauti took it all back and then some in the very next hand. Dauti opened with jacks and fired on every street thereafter. Farah called down the whole way with just a pair of tens on a board showing three overs to his pair. Dauti tabled a turned straight and Farah was then left short once more.
This time Farah wouldn't bounce back as Maloney limped from the small with a pair of nickels and Farah checked behind, holding queen-seven. The dealer fanned out queen-seven-five on the flop and the two put it all in on what was the biggest cooler of the day. Farah failed to catch up, sending the pot to Maloney Farah was eliminated in fourth for a respectable $227,077.
The tournament then went on an unscheduled break where the remaining three worked out a deal and decided on adjusted payouts. Maloney took home the lion's share for $487,784 with Dauti pulling in $464,338 for his second-place finish and Albers taking $378,664 for third. The three then moved all in blind for the title and Maloney found himself taking that down as well thanks to a runner-runner straight.