Saturday, September 22, 2012


$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Ben Hamnett - $818,847
2012 WPT Borgata Poker Open Champion

Ben Hamnett (Pittsburgh, PA) came to the WPT Borgata Poker Open final table ranked fifth out of six players in chips.  He wasted no time, doubling up through the chip leader Matt Burnitz (Bear, DE) on the third hand of play to take the chip lead.  Even though the final table was six handed, these two continued to clash throughout the day, but when the last cards were dealt, Ben Hamnett came out on top.  He claimed $818,847 in prize money, the WPT Borgata Poker Open trophy, and will have his name permanently inscribed on the WPT Champions Cup.

Hamnett didn't let his starting chip deficit deter him. "A lot of people play with blind aggression and you know if you get in a hand with them, one of you is going to go broke...I don't play like that, but I try to punish people, winning a lot of small pots.  I want people to feel like if they get in a hand with me, its not going to be a coin flip....something bad is going to happen."

That's what happened on the third hand of the day.  Second place finisher Matt Burnitz called Hamnett's all-in on the river on an Ace-high board.  Both players held an Ace, but Hamnett had the better kicker and doubled up.

David 'Lefty' Diaz (Memphis, TN) earned his first WSOP bracelet this summer and was hoping to add another title to his already impressive tournament resume.  He got his chips in ahead of Steve Brecher (Reno, NV) but was run down on the river.  Diaz finished 6th for $167,337.

Steve Brecher's name is already on that WPT Champions Cup from his 2009 win at the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star ($1,025,500).  He was in the hunt for a second WPT title today, but after losing a sizable pot to Ben Hamnett, he became the short-stack and despite doubling up once, he found himself all-in with top pair and a straight draw against Hamnett's flush and straight draws.  Hamnett made the flush and Brecher busted in 5th place ($206,821).

Ofir Mor (Woodmere, NY) made his second final table appearance in this event in two years.  In 2010, he was at this same final table, finishing 3rd ($266,835).  Today he started the table dead last in chips, but moved up to 4th place ($250,065).  He was dispatched by eventual 3rd place finisher Tyler Patterson ($298,950).

Matthew Burnitz was unable to overcome the 2:1 chip deficit he faced when heads-up play began.  It only took about 30 hands and it was over.  His last ~4 million went in pre-flop with JT suited and was trailing Ben Hamnett's KQ.  A Queen on the board sent the pot to Hamnett.  Burnitz took second place and $488,850. 

In an unusual twist, this final table of six was comprised of all professional or semi-professional poker players -- not an amateur in the bunch.  The final two also took advantage of the re-entry aspect of this event.  Both Hamnett and Burnitz played on day 1A, busted out, and re-entered on day 1B.  "I can't even remember that far back"  Hamnett said about his first starting day.  Both turned this five-day-long tournament into a six-day-long event, and were looking forward to getting some rest.

All the entries from days 1A and 1B combined for a total field of 1,181 entries and created total buy-ins of $3,897,300.  In addition to the final 110 players that earned a piece of the prize pool, a $10,000 bonus was paid to the end of day 1 chip leaders.  Day 1A chip leader Robert Boyko (Yonkers, NY) failed to make the money, but walked away with his $10,000 bonus.  Day 1B chip leader Brian Lemke (Norristown, PA) held on and made the money, finishing 67th for $8,762 (in addition to his $10k bonus).

Several former champions turned up for this event.  Last year's winner Bahbak 'Bobby' Oboodi (Morris Plains, NJ) made it all the way to day four, only to bust out 2 spots from the money (112th place).  The 2010 WPT BPO Champion Dwyte Pilgrim (Brooklyn, NY) held on to cash, finishing 109th for $7,070.  2009 winner Olivier Busquet (New York, NY) made it to day two, but didn't make day three.

Other WPT champions who played but did not cash include Carlos Mortensen, Gavin Smith, Barry Greenstein, Andy Frankenberger, Will 'the Thrill' Failla, Jonathan Little, Tommy Vedes, and Matt Salsberg.

The newest WPT Champion Ben Hamnett is only 29 years old and has been playing poker professionally for about seven years.  His largest cash before this event was for almost $40k in the WSOP main event this summer.  For Hamnett, poker is a means to an end.  He's into entertainment and wants to start a film production company.  This windfall may help him make that happen.

Final Table Results
1.  Benjamin Hamnett (Pittsburgh, PA):  $818,847
2.  Matthew Burnitz (Bear, DE): $488,850
3.  Tyler Patterson (Everett, WA): $298,950
4.  Ofir Mor (Woodmere, NY): $250,065
5.  Steve Brecher (Reno, NV):  $206,821
6.  David Diaz (Bartlett, TN):  $167,337

Event 27 Recap

$170 + $30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

The final event of the Borgata Poker Open has Alex Rumbaugh (Tacoma Park, MD) on top just ahead of Ed Cybulski (Laurel Springs, NJ),  Lenny Green (Huntingdon Valley, PA), Andrew Interdonato (Washington, DC), and John Shul (Morris Planes, NJ).

Rumbaugh took home the trophy and the $14,196 top prize.
"It feels pretty good," said the soft spoken recent graduate of University of Maryland.  "By far," he added when talking about this being the best poker moment of his amateur career.

While Rumbaugh was subdued, Shul was pretty happy with his 5th place finish after nearly missing the final table.

Rumbaugh was in tough shape against Daryl Boatwright (Deptford, NJ) who flopped a full house with 12 players remaining. Rumbaugh had trip 8s on the hand, but when the board paired he got new life with a bigger boat as he tripled up to almost one million chips.

"What can I say, I'm a luck box," said Rumbaugh, "but that's poker."

Boatwright regained his composure and made the final table, but his luck didn't change. Against Cybulski, Boatwright hit a cooler with two pairs, but couldn't overcome Cybulski's flopped straight and finished sixth.

Cybulski used his good fortune to finish 2nd, just ahead of Green (3rd) and Interdonato (4th).

This was Interdonato's second final table of the series (Event 10, 9th place / $3,967) and there's a reason he keeps coming back to Borgata.

"They have the best fields, the best structures and the best staff," he said. "I've played a lot of poker in a lot of places and Borgata does it best."

The day began with 319 entries for a total buy-in of $63,800. Borgata notables who made the money included Eric Rivkin (14th), Kerry Small (15th), and Paul Vacchio (35th).

But in the end, Rumbaugh is the latest trophy winner as he wraps up a series that had 27 trophies handed out over 17 days.

Final Table Results

1st Alex Rumbaugh (Tacoma Park, MD) $14,196
2nd Ed Cybulski (Laurel Springs, NJ)$7,890
3rd Lenny Green (Huntingdon Valley, PA) $4,892
4th Andrew Interdonato (Washington, DC) $3,945
5th John Shul (Morris Planes, NJ) $3,051
6th Daryl Boatwright (Deptford, NJ) $2,578
7th Daniel Yoo (Palisades Park, NJ) $2,078
8th Tony Bruschi (Atlantic City, NJ) $1,552
9th Chris Zaffuto (Hoboken, NJ) $1,052
10th Jim Freebody (Middle Island, NY) $684

Event 27 Winner: Rumbaugh

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

Alex Rumbaugh (Tacoma Park, MD) 
A wild and crazy finish ends ups with Alex Rumbaugh on top just ahead of Ed Cybulski (Laurel Springs, NJ),  Lenny Green (Huntingdon Valley, PA), Andrew Interdonato (Washington, DC), and John Shul (Morris Planes, NJ).
Rumbaugh wins the final Borgata Poker Open trophy of the series and the $14,196 top prize.

Event 27: 2nd Place - Cybulski

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

Ed Cybulski (Laurel Springs, NJ)

Event 27: 3rd Place - Green

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

Lenny Green (Huntingdon Valley, PA)

Event 27: 4th Place - Interdonato

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

Andrew Interdonato (Washington, DC)

Event 27: 5th Place - Shul

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

John Shul (Morris Planes, NJ)

Event 27: 6th Place - Boatwright

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

 Daryl Boatwright (Deptford, NJ)

Daryl Boatwright and Ed Cybulski (Laurel Springs, NJ) both think they're trapping each other on a board of 2♣ 6 3 8♣.  All the chips are in on the turn and Cybulski says, "I flopped it," as he shows 45 for the straight.
Boatwright flopped two pairs with 2 3♣ and says, "put a two or three out there," but it's not meant to be as the river bricks. Boatwright misses his boat and finishes in 6th place.

Event 27: Still Grinding

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry 

 Super Six (and the Dealer!)

The final six have been trading chips the last few levels.  The average stack is 1.3 million (16 bb) as blinds are 40k/80k/10k ante.

Event 27: 7th Place - Yoo

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

 Daniel Yoo (Palisades Park, NJ)

Daniel Yoo is all in with J 10 for his last 300k, but John Shul (Morris Planes, NJ) takes him out with 8 4 when he hits two pairs.

Event 27: 8th Place - Bruschi

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

Tony Bruschi (Atlantic City, NJ)
After getting a much needed double-up Tony Bruschi's tournament ends with 5♠ 6.  Bruschi hits a five on the flop, but John Shul (Morris Planes, NJ) answers with an ace on the river with his A♣ 10.
Bruschi's all in is for 308k, but gets $1,552 for finishing in 8th place.

Event 27: 9th Place - Zaffuto

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

Chris Zaffuto (Hoboken, NJ) 
Chris Zaffuto ships a double-up to Tony Bruschi (Atlantic City, NJ) when his KJ is behind the A 7 of Bruschi.  Bruschi not only hits an ace, but the four flush with the 7 to take 200k from Zaffuto, leaving him with less than 100k.
After Zaffuto gets one double-up, he's knocked out by Daryl Boatwright (Deptford, NJ) whose pocket 8s hold against pocket 2s.

Event 27: Final Table

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

Seat-Name-Chip Count

1 Chris Zaffuto (Hoboken, NJ) 278k
2 Lenny Green (Huntingdon Valley, PA) 534k
3 Ed Cybulski (Laurel Springs, NJ) 750k
4 Daryl Boatwright (Deptford, NJ) 929k
5 Tony Bruschi (Atlantic City, NJ) 297k
6 -Empty-
7 Andrew Interdonato (Washington, DC) 2.5 million
8 John Shul (Morris Planes, NJ) 1.3 million
9 Daniel Yoo (Palisades Park, NJ) 690k
10 Alex Rumbaugh (Tacoma Park, MD) 1.25 million

Event 27: 10th Place - Freebody

 $170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

 Jim Freebody (Middle Island, NY)

Freebody doesn't get to take his seat at the final table as his elimination comes at the same time as Jane Mignanelli (Franklin Square, NY) elimination at the other table.

Freebody has 8 8♠ vs A 8 of Andrew Interdonato (Washington, DC), but Interdonato call for the ace and hits it on the river.
Freebody is out in 10th place for $684, as the remaining nine players draw for their final table seats.

Event 27: 11th Place - Mignanelli

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

John Shul (Morris Planes, NJ) has been running hot and he flops the joint to eliminate Jane Mignanelli (Franklin Square, NY).

Mignanelli is all in for 100k with AK vs Shul's 3 4 and the flop of 2 5 6 gives him a straight.

Shul who was on the brink of elimination now has more than 1.2 million chips.

Mignanelli earns $684 for her 11th place finish.

Event 27: Shul Busts Wedra & Triples Up

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

We pick up a three-way all in after the flop of 38 8♣:

John Shul (Morris Planes, NJ) is at risk for 292k and has 8♠ 6♠, trip 8s

Angelo Wedra (Palisades Park, NJ) is also at risk in a side pot for another 145k with Q Q♣

Daryl Boatwright (Deptford, NJ) has both players covered and has 3 3♠ for a full house

"Come on baby, hold up," says Boatwright, who's looking for the double knockout, and with that the 6♣ peels off to give Shul a higher full house.  The 10♠ on the river changes nothing and Shul gets the triple up and now has more than 900k.

Boatwright loses ~150k on the hand as Wedra finishes in 12th place for $684.

Event 27: 13th Place - Harmeson

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

Blinds 15k/30k/4k ante

Andrew Interdonato (Washington, DC) raises to 120k, Mike Harmeson (Philadelphia, PA)  moves ll in for 292k and Interdonato tanks saying, "I think I'm behind."

After a minute, Interdonato calls and sees he's actually way ahead.

Interdonato: AQ
Harmeson: AJ

Interdonato hits a queen on the flop and knocks Harmeson out in 13th place, good for $526.

Event 27: 14th Place - Rivkin

 $170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

Eric Rivkin (New York, NY) moves his short stack all in with 10 6 and is behind the J 9 of Jane Mignanelli (Franklin Square, NY). Mignanelli hits trip 9s to knock Rivkin out in 14th place which earns him $526.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Event 27: Coming Up Small

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

Blinds 12k/24k/3k

Kerry Small (Ventnor, NJ) moves all in for 190k and Daniel Yoo (Palisades Park, NJ) isolates from the BB by moving all in as well.  Alex Rumbaugh (Tacoma Park, MD), who called from the cutoff (but was really trying to raise), is forced to fold.

Yoo dominates Small with AJ vs A6 and hits a jack on the turn to win with a pair of jacks.

Small is out in 15th place for $526.

Event 27: 16th-18th Places ($447)

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry


16 Chuck Spero (Netcong, NJ)
17 Mark Dikker (Morganville, NJ)
18 Mark Kaganovsky (Brooklyn, NY)

WPT BPO: Champion - Hamnett

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Ben Hamnett (Pittsburgh, PA)

When the final hand was played, Ben Hamnett held all 35 million chips in play.  After five long days, he is the newest member of the WPT Champions Club.

Ben has been playing poker professionally for seven years now, but his biggest tournament cash before today was for almost $40k in the WSOP main event this summer.

He said if he won this tournament, he wanted to use the money to start a film production company, so now he can make that dream come true.

WPT BPO: 2nd Place - Burnitz

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Matthew Burnitz (Bear, DE)

Blinds increased to 250k/500k with 75k ante.

On the first hand of the new level, Matthew Burnitz opened for 1.05 million.

Ben Hamnett announced he was all-in.

Matthew called all-in.

Ben was ahead with KQ off.

Matthew had JT suited.

The board fell Q 8 2 3 5 and it is over!

Ben Hamnett takes the pot with a pair of Queens.

Matthew Burnitz finished in 2nd place, earning $488,850.

Matthew is an IT Engineer and semi-professional poker player, who actually entered this event twice because he busted out during the re-entry period.  He began this final table as the chip leader, but came up just short of the win.

Event 27: 18 Player Redraw

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry



1 Mark Kaganovsky (Brooklyn, NY)
2 Chuck Spero (Netcong, NJ)
3 Jim Freebody (Middle Island, NY)
4 Tony Bruschi (Atlantic City, NJ)
5 Chris Zaffuto (Hoboken, NJ)
6 Lenny Green (Huntingdon Valley, PA)
7 Ed Cybulski (Laurel Springs, NJ)
8 Andrew Interdonato (Washington, DC)
9 Mike Harmeson (Philadelphia, PA)

Table 2


1 Alex Rumbaugh (Tacoma Park, MD)
2 Angelo Wedra (Palisades Park, NJ)
3 Kerry Small (Ventnor, NJ)
4 Daniel Yoo (Palisades Park, NJ)
5 John Shul (Morris Planes, NJ)
6 Jane Mignanelli (Franklin Square, NY)
7 Mark Dikker (Morganville, NJ)
8 Daryl Boatwright (Deptford, NJ)
9 Eric Rivkin (New York, NY)

WPT BPO: Hamnett Cruising

$3300 + $200 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship NLH

Ben Hamnett raised and Matthew Burnitz called.

On the flop of K J J, Ben bet 675k.  Matthew raised to 1.5 million.  Ben Hamnett moved all in.

Matthew surrendered.

Ben is up to 31 million.  Matt's down to 4 million.

Event 27: Player Down, Down to 2 Tables

$170 + 30 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

Angelo Wedra (Palisades Park, NJ) uses pocket aces to eliminate Hans Anderson (Converse, TX) in 19th place for a $395 payday.

The final 18 players a redrawing for seats on the final two tables.