PokerNews Cup Seminole May Deep Stack 888poker XL Inferno

Event 9: $300 $100,000 Guaranteed Big-Stack NLHE Reentry

Level Info

Level 32
Blinds 100,000 / 200,000
Ante 30,000

Players Info

Prize Pool $212,605
Event 9: $300 $100,000 Guaranteed Big-Stack NLHE Reentry
Day 1 Completed

Jimmy Lillis (1st), Thomas Balla (2nd), and "Rey Mysterio Jr." (3rd) Chop Event 9 for $33,000 Each

Jonathan_Zaun • Level 32: 100,000-200,000, 30,000 ante
Jimmy "Bagels" Lillis - 1st Place
Jimmy "Bagels" Lillis - 1st Place

After a grueling day on the felt which spanned nearly 20 hours in sum, a three-way chop was arranged to end Event 9 at the Borgata Spring Poker Open.

Jimmy "Bagels" Lillis signed for first-place money and won the random hand to decide who held the trophy. Thomas Balla took down second on the official scorecard, while a player who declined to provide his name throughout the tournament was third. Each player took home $33,000 for their deep run through a huge field, a well-deserved reward after spending nearly 24 hours playing poker.

The $300 buy-in, $100,000 Guaranteed Big-Stack NLHE Reentry event proved to be a smashing success, attracting 843 entries and reentries to generate a $212,605 prize pool. Among the notable names to show up before being showing the door were Men "The Master" Nguyen, Chris Tryba, DJ MacKinnon, James Woods, Megan Milburn, and Tony Sinishtaj.

The usual hubbub surrounding the money bubble was a bit protracted, with three players going bust on the same deal of hand-for-hand play and a premature announcement from the tournament staff leading to mass confusion. After a nearly hour long wait, Gary Rosenzweig discovered that he had failed to make the money, despite hearing congratulations on over the microphone and participating in the collective cheer which always signals the bubble bursting.

Pros like Joe Kuether (56th) Anthony Maio (53rd) did manage to make the money, but each fell short far short of their perpetual goal of the final table.

Tags: Anthony MaioChris TrybaGary RosenzweigJimmy LillisJoe KuetherMen NguyenThomas Balla

Ship It Holla Balla

Jonathan_Zaun • Level 32: 100,000-200,000, 30,000 ante
Thomas Balla
Thomas Balla

After Jimmy Lillis opened for 600,000 from the small blind, Thomas Balla flatted from the big blind and the dealer fanned the {9-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}{9-Spades}.

Lillis then shoved all in for 2.55 million and Balla beat him into the pot while firmly announcing "call, nine!"

Balla tabled {8-Clubs}{9-Clubs} for trip nines and Lilly's {8-}{6-} was crushed. The {8-Spades} on the turn left Lilly drawing dead, and the river was the {10-Clubs}.

After this hand the chip counts were essentially evened up, and talk of a chop began in earnest. Stay tuned for details on that arrangement.

Thomas Balla 6,200,000 3,900,000
Jimmy Lillis 5,500,000 -100,000

Tags: Thomas Balla

Shove-Fest at the Sleepover

Jonathan_Zaun • Level 32: 100,000-200,000, 30,000 ante
If sleep eventually overcomes the remaining three players, something tells us Jimmy "Bagels" LIlly will have no problem playing with his eyes closed
If sleep eventually overcomes the remaining three players, something tells us Jimmy "Bagels" LIlly will have no problem playing with his eyes closed

This one-day tournament is a few hours away from living up to its name, as play has been underway for more than 19 hours.

The three remaining players appear to be punch-drunk and delirious at this point (except for Jimmy "Bagels" Lilly, who remains uncannily calm, as if influenced by some unseen force).

Every hand is played between laughs, jokes and fleeting stories, as the trio tries to stay awake while playing for the five-figure score.

Meanwhile, not a flop has been found for several hands running, with open-shoves from a short-stacked Thomas Balla, or button raises from his opponents, getting through each and every time.

Tags: Jimmy LillisThomas Balla


Gene Mazza Eliminated in 4th Place ($14,351)

Jonathan_Zaun • Level 31: 80,000-160,000, 20,000 ante
Gene Mazza - 4th Place
Gene Mazza - 4th Place

After getting through with a number of open-shoves and prelop three-bets, Gene Mazza tried again after the player with no name opened to 375,000 from the button.

Mazza three-bet jammed for his last 1.5 million and the unknown soldier tanked for about two minutes while talking himself through the hand.

"I don't want to call..." he said to Mazza. "But I think I have to here. Maybe I'll hit my man..."

While the mystery man was deliberating, Mazza put in his two sense, responding succinctly after hours of subdued silence.

"Don't double me up," he said. "I'm dangerous if you double me up."

"He speaks English!" said the man who dare not speak his name. "First thing I've heard you say in six hours other than all in."

Finally, seemingly motivated by Mazza's speech, the anonymous man made the call, showing down {6-Hearts}{6-Spades} to find himself racing against Mazza's {k-Clubs}{q-Hearts}.

The flop of {4-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}{8-Hearts} came in a flash, and when it did the table's ghost had indeed hit his man, spiking a set of sevens to leave Mazza drawing dead. The {k-Hearts} came on the turn just to give Mazza a reason to always remember the forgotten man's face, and the river came {8-Spades} to make things official.

Mazza finished in 4th place for $14,351, while the man without a name moved one step closer to having his preciously guarded secret identity enter the public record on the Borgata's tournament winner website.

Rey Mysterio Jr. 8,500,000 1,600,000
Gene Mazza Busted

Tags: Gene Mazza

Dom Gaccino Eliminated in 5th Place ($9,567)

Jonathan_Zaun • Level 31: 80,000-160,000, 20,000 ante
Dom Gaccino
Dom Gaccino

Dom Gaccino made his stand with {a-Diamonds}{j-Clubs} and found himself ahead of Jimmy "Bagels" Lillis, who held the {K-Clubs}{q-Hearts}.

The final board read {k-Spades}{2-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{5-Spades}{9-Spades} by the end though, and Bagels' flopped pair of kings were enough to claim a huge pot, sending Gaccino to the rail in the process.

Jimmy Lillis 7,600,000 3,700,000
Dom Gaccino Busted

Tags: Dom GaccinoJimmy Lillis