Samuel Laskowitz Wins Borgata The Return Mystery Bounty Event; Ryan Dodd Draws $250K Bounty
Table Of Contents
It's safe to say that big-time tournament poker has returned to Atlantic City! The Return - A Borgata Championship Event kicked off with the $2,200 Mystery Bounty Event, a tournament that attracted 1,361 entries and awarded a $2,670,340 prize pool.
Day 2 wrapped up after 18 hours with one of the most unique finishes possible in a poker tournament. After 17 hours of play and an hour of deliberations, a one-of-a-kind deal was struck between the final table of nine players, a deal that included the bounties.
Finishing as the official tournament champion for $146,609 in prize money was Samuel Laskowitz of Bayport, New York, who entered the final table holding a slight chip lead and was therefore given the best of the ICM deal. The score was the second-largest of his career, only behind a $250,000 win from June of 2022.
Right behind Laskowitz in chips was Anthony Maio, who ended with $142,054 in prize money to add to his over $1 million in career earnings.
In third place, Ryan Eriquezzo took home $132,093. The day was an eventful one for Eriquezzo as he led the field in terms of the number of bounties collected on the day, but kept on drawing the minimum $500 time and time again, much to his increasing dismay.
$2,200 Mystery Bounty Event Final Table Results
|1||Samuel Laskowitz||Bayport, NY||$146,609*|
|2||Anthony Maio||Jamison, PA||$142,054*|
|3||Ryan Eriquezzo||New Haven, CT||$132,093*|
|4||Baruch Forst||Toms River, PA||$123,817*|
|5||Maxim Urvantsev||Brooklyn, NY||$122,844*|
|6||Benedetto Bianco||Franklin, NY||$116,700*|
|8||Francis Anderson||Poughkeepsie, NY||$104,084*|
|9||Ryan Dodd||Runnemede, NJ||92,098*|
*denotes final table ICM deal
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Big Bounty Ups the Drama
The ever-exciting mystery bounty format was at its peak as the $250,000 grand prize bounty remained unclaimed all the way until the final table, which was a large driver in all decision-making and ultimately in the deal decision.
At 5 a.m. local time, the final table was reached and the players began to discuss a deal. After the players agreed to ICM chop the prize pool, the question became what to do with the remaining nine bounties given Borgata regulations prevented players from playing it our for just the bounties, one of which was the $250,000 along with a pair of $25,000 pulls remaining as well.
An idea was suggested by Benedetto Bianco, which was ultimately agreed upon. Each player would take one of the remaining bounties and draw based on a random order decided by the high card.
So at nearly 6 a.m. local time, the anticipation swelled as the remaining nine players lined up in random order to draw for the remaining bounties, ultimately a replacement for any final table poker action. The drama did not last long from there as Ryan Dodd, who was the short stack at the final table, fished out the grand $250,000 prize on the second draw.
In the early morning hours, the @BorgataPoker The Return $2,200 Mystery Bounty final table worked a deal. A $250,00… https://t.co/NSFDcQDkXt— PokerNews (@PokerNews)
Francis Anderson went on to draw one of the remaining $25,000 bounties and the final big bounty was claimed by Laskowitz when he drew the last $25,000 to go along with his trophy.
Final Bounty Draws Results
|Order of Draw||Player||Bounty Drawn|
Final Day Action
The day began with 397 players and would need to shed a fourth of the field before the mystery bounty portion began with 300 players, which would happen after about an hour.
The mood substantially changed with the introduction of the mystery bounties, as there was now the possibility that as much as $250,000 could be won, which became the main drama of the day.
The $100,000 draws came out of the barrel fairly early, as Anthony Cicali became the first player to pull a six-figure bounty. Less than an hour later, Michael Haberman scored the other $100,000 card as his celebrations were heard by the whole room.
The drama of the looming $250,000 began to become the story as $500 after $500 was pulled with the tease of the grand prize still looming. It lasted all the way until the final table where the aforementioned conclusion would unfold.
Follow along with PokerNews for all the action here at The Borgata as The Return with a $3,000,000 guaranteed prize pool kicks off on Wednesday at 11 a.m. local time with Day 1a.
Click here to follow updates from the $5,300 The Return ($3M GTD)!)