Borgata poker open – results, recap, photos, & highlights

The Borgata Winter Open may be the new kid on the block but the annual Borgata Poker Fall Opener is a long-running tradition.

US poker players know the journey to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker requires some preparation and often a few warm-up tournaments to sharpen their skills.

The Borgata in Atlantic City has hosted this season opener since 2004 and it’s become a favorite among East Coast poker pros.

Josh Hicks Wins Second Borgata Fall Poker Open Title

Continue reading below for a complete recap of the 2018 Borgata Fall Poker Open. 

€1m GTD) Monday, Oct.7 

Josh Hicks wins the $2M GTD Legends event for $408k

November 6, 2021:

Atlantic City has long been known as America's answer to Benidorm, which is to say that when the US east coast gets too hot in the summer, people head down to the shore to cool off. In November, it's probably the other way round. Nevertheless, the latest instalment of The Return attracted a big enough field for a huge guaranteed prize pool. In the end, 1,735 entrants battled it out for a slice of the $2 million prize pool. After eight days of action-packed poker, New Jersey local Josh Hicks got his hands on the huge top prize of $408,459 after he beat David Coleman heads-up. Hicks has $3.4 million in career live earnings according to TheHendonMob but this was comfortably his biggest score to date. For runner-up Coleman, it was somewhat of a consolation prize. The PokerStars pro recently final-tabled the Main Event of the World Series of Poker but things didn't go quite so well when all happened in the US. Coleman took home almost $270k for his second-place finish.

Final Table Results

John Racener Wins First Ever Borgata $2M GTD The Return!

October 12, 2019: After eight days of action-packed poker, the first ever Borgata $2M GTD “The Return” was won by . The famous EPT and WSOP champion collected a massive $264,500 for the win while Mats Fäldsten had to settle for $162,160 as runner-up. The tournament drew 1,679 entries over the course of eight days, generating a total prize pool of $2,074,500 - $444,900 more than the guaranteed prize money. Among those who cashed were Eric Afriat (11th), Alan Keating (42nd), Tim Reilly (47th), Andrey Zhigalov (56th), Robert Mizrachi (63rd), Bill Klein (77th), Joanne Lyons (86th), and Chris Moorman (97th). "This might be the best tournament result I’ve ever had," said Racener. "I’ve won two bracelets but this feels different. It’s been five years since I played much poker at all and then I came here and won the WPT Latin American Championship in June and now I’ve won here. Maybe I’ll be playing more poker now." 

Hype for Borgata $2M GTD "The Return" Poker Tournament

PokerListings is hiting the ground running for its media coverage this month at the . We've got a booth set up to hand out free stuff, including tickets to online poker rooms and merchandise from our friends at Poker In The Park and Red Dragon Energy. We also have a couple of big poker book giveaways underway. ** **

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But back to the action at the Borgata. was the man everyone was talking about as he went into Day 7 of the tournament as one of the favorites to take it down. The popular Polish poker player Michal Szymoniek lead the way with 11,275,000 but Toby Lewis wasn't far behind with 10,400,000. Other big stacks included Jonathan Depaolo (9,925,000), Alan Keating (9,225,000) and Christopher Moorman (8,975,000). Other notable names included Joanne Lyons (4,725,000), Robert Mizrachi (4,275,000), Bill Klein (3,500,000), Matt Berkey (3,325,000), Olivier Busquet (2,925,000), and 2003 WSOP Main Event champion . 

Day 7 Top 10 Chips Counts

David Clossan Wins Third Borgata Fall Poker Open Title

October 16, 2018: After nine days of action-packed poker, the annual Borgata Fall Poker Open ended with another US champion. This time it was David Clossan who defeated a field of 797 entries to win the $1.2million main event for $240,618. It’s the third Borgata Fall Poker Open title in five years for Clossan and it moved him into an elite group of players who have won three or more major titles at the Atlantic City venue. Clossan survived a final table that included two-time WSOP bracelet winner , WPT champion , and WSOP Circuit ring holder . When the dust had settled, it was Clossan standing alone with the trophy and the top prize. “Winning here always means a lot because it’s not easy,” he said. “There are so many good players that it’s humbling to win here.” 

Final Table Results

Michael Patraikas Wins record-$breaking Borgata Fall Poker Open Main Event for $272k

October 16, 2017: After ten days of action-packed poker, the annual Borgata Fall Poker Open ended with a new champion. This year more than 1,000 players took part in the main event, setting a new record for the biggest BFOP main event in history. When the final hand was dealt it was Michael Patraikas sitting across from Thomas Hallstrom. Less than an hour later Patraikas rolled in a bluff to take down the tournament and the top prize of $272,521. “It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” Patraikas said. “I knew I had a good hand but I just made a move and luckily he called.” Hallstrom had to settle for $157,617 for his efforts. 

Final Table Results

    • bested the field in the $2,100 Borgata Fall Poker Open event to collect a triumphant $244,981 payday. 

$320 entry bought him a seat in a hugely contested tournament and after cashing in that event, Sasha went on to win the biggest prize of them all. 

“When I busted the $320 event I decided to play the bigger one and thankfully it worked out,” he said. “I’ve been playing these events my whole life so this feels great.” 

The last day began with seven players remaining and just two hours were needed to crown a winner.

Andrew Lekkis lasted only moments into the day and was the first casualty, leaving a field of six to fight for the title.

That number quickly diminished with Jeremy Gilbert and Frank Reyes going out in fifth and sixth place respectively.

With just four players left, heads began to turn as the prize jump was significant.

Despite this, Patrick Foster was the next to hit the rail in fourth place, leaving Mateo, Sasha and Hallstrom to battle it out for the top three.

Despite being the short stack, Antonios Mateas played superbly and caught Hallstrom short to propel himself into front of the pack.

This didn’t last long however, as an early confrontation between the two leaders saw Sashoway ahead with a superior hand and stack.

With that, Tom Halles was sent to the sidelines and play paused while staff prepared a seat for him at the feature table.

Hopes of a South African victory were soon crushed though, as Sasha opened with a raise, receiving a call from Hallstrom. The flop brought nothing to Hallstrom’s hand and he checked along with Sasha. When Sasha bet the turn, Hallstrom came over the top, putting Sasha to a decision. After some contemplation, he moved all-in for roughly eleven million chips and Hallstrom made the quick call. 

Sasha showed 

Hallstrom drew discardingly for his straight but found the and was forced to tap the table in frustration as his BFOP dreams were shattered. 

Sasha picked up his well-deserved trophy and will spend the rest of the week wearing a huge smile. 

Event 1 Final Table Results

Joelle Bourke Wins the Borgata Fall Poker Open Ladies Event for $30k

October 14, 2017: New Jersey local Joelle Bourke has had a poker dream or two over the last few years and this weekend she turned those dreams into a reality by winning two Borgata Fall Poker Open events. 

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On October 12 she collected a check for $2,742 after winning Event #7 $300 + $50 Marathon No-Limit Hold’em for a field of 61 players and two days later she did it again. 

This time she played Event #16 $320 + $40 Ladies Championship and saw off a field of 32 ladies to win the top prize of $30,459. 

“Last night I looked at my schedule and realized I could play both tournaments,” she said. “Yesterday’s win helped me understand my range and I think that helped today.” 

Another help was an amazing rail. 

“They were incredible,” she said. “Whenever I looked uncertain they gave me that extra boost.” 

With her two wins this year Bourke has easily surpassed her live poker earning which stood at $6,707 according to before this weekend. 

“My goal for next year is to play the Las Vegas Ladies Championship so anybody who is thinking about playing should play these events because winning one of these can make a world of difference.” 

Ladies Event Final Table Results

Germany’s Christian Deibler Wins Borgata Fall Poker Open Main Event for $272,521

October 15, 2016:

After nine days of action-packed poker, the annual Borgata Fall Poker Open ended with a new champion. This year more than 900 players took part in the main event, setting a new record for the biggest BFOP main event in history. When the final hand was dealt it was Christian Deibler sitting across from Thomas Hallstrom. Less than an hour later Deibler rolled in a bluff to take down the tournament and the top prize of $272,521.

“I cannot describe how I feel right now,” he said. “This has been a dream of mine for a long time.”

Hallstrom had to settle for $157,617 for his efforts.

Main Event Final Table Results

Chris Moorman Wins Event 1 for $244,981

October 14, 2016: $320 buy-in usually secures you a deepstacked tournament with a healthy prizepool but, occasionally, it buys you a seat in an absolute monster of a tournament. Such was the case this week when UK pro Chris Moorman turned his small investment into a massive $244,981 payday.

Even better? The £320 entry fee actually tied a bow on a perfect week for Moorman who, earlier in the week, locked up his eighth WSOP bracelet.

“It was a tough tournament but once we got down to final table there were a couple of players I recognized from previous Borgatas,” Moorman said. “I have played a lot of big tournaments in Las Vegas but this one really is special.

“Winning this helps put the icing on the cake of what has already been an unbelievable week,” he said. “I had a game plan coming in and I kind of stuck to it even though there were some very good players at the table.”

Indeed there was a wealth of experience at the final table including 2003 Fall Poker Open Champion Tom Schneider, who finished in eighth place. Tim Reilly cashed in sixth place and John Racener made his way to fifth.

Moorman paid all of them – and plenty more – honorary mention.

“Everyone who busted from that final table deserves credit because we were all very good,” he said.

Event 1 Final Table Results

Joanne Lyons Wins the Ladies Event for $30,459

October 12, 2016: Earlier this month Joanne Lyons wrote her name into the history books as the first ever female champion at the World Series of Poker when she won the monumental Colossus event.

Overnight she transformed from a part-time amateur into a poker icon and qualified for the $10k one-year-anniversary celebration where she finished 32nd.

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Since then the New Yorker has played a flurry of tournaments on the East Coast and this week added another victorious photo to her burgeoning collection of winning smiles.

Lyons overcame a field of 52 players to take down the $320 buy-in Ladies Event and collect a top prize of $30,459.

“This is only the second ladies event I’ve ever played and, obviously, the first I’d ever won,” Lyons said. 

“To come here and win another event like I won at the WSOP is unreal. It’s such an honor.”

Ladies Event Final Table Results

Bryan Piccioli Wins the Borgata Fall Poker Open $2,100 Main Event for $723,301 

October 13, 2015: After nine days of action-packed poker, the annual Borgata Fall Poker Open ended with a new champion. This year more than 800 players took part in the main event, making this the largest BFOP main event in history. When the final hand was dealt it was Bryan Piccioli sitting across from John Rutkowski. Less than an hour later Piccioli rolled in a bluff to take down the tournament and the top prize of $723,301. 

“I couldn’t be happier right now,” he said. “Getting my picture on the wall with all the other champions is a great way to end an unbelievable year for me.”

A year ago Piccioli cashed in several Borgata events, locking him a spot in the Poker Hall of Fame. Finding his name in the elite company of past Borgata champs like , , , , Daniel Negreanu and , amongst others, was more than enough inspiration for the Maryland native to make 2015 a poker-playing year of his own.

Rutkowski had to settle for $437,164 for his efforts.

Main Event Final Table Results

Jeff Fielder Wins the Seniors Event for $67,202 

October 12, 2015: After a decade of trying, has finally won a Borgata title. 

Fielder, who turns 60 in February, overcame a field of 270 players to take down the $525 buy-in Seniors Event and earn the coveted Borgata championship trophy as well as the top prize of $67,202. 

“It feels awesome,” he said. “This is my 10th Borgata event and I’ve final tabled a few times but I’ve never won one. Every final table here has made me want to keep coming back.” 

The win moves Fielder close to the top of the all-time money list for the event, jumping him up to second with more than $400k in career earnings. 

“The seniors moniker can be misleading,” he said. “I feel like I’m one of the young guys at the table half the time.”

May 2014 Seniors Event winner David Silverman was Fielder’s chief rival at the final table but Fielder managed to send him to the sidelines in third place to set up heads-up play with George Karpouzis. Fielder held the chip lead for the majority of the heads-up match before putting Karpouzis to the test. 

“He had me covered so I figured he’d be willing to gamble,” he said. “I guessed right.”

Guessing right has been a theme for Fielder throughout his poker career and, now that he’s gotten a taste for guessing right in Borgata Main Events, there’s a good chance we’ll see his name circulating the trophy more frequently.

Seniors Event Final Table Results

Brian Altman Wins the Borgata Fall Poker Open Main Event for $575,375

October 14, 2014:

After nine days of non-stop poker the 11th annual Borgata Fall Poker Open concluded with Brian Altman claiming the top prize of $575,375.

This isn’t Altman’s first major title - that came at the 2012 WSOP when he won the Senior’s Championship - but it certainly ranks up there.

“This feels really great,” he said. “The fields here are crazy and the competition is tougher than the Seniors event at the WSOP.”

Altman overcame that tough competition by outlasting Shaun Deeb heads-up. Deeb actually held a big chip lead early in the match but Altman fought his way back and eventually scored a double knockout to send Deeb home with $363,811.

“He was definitely the chip leader and he was aggressive,” Altman said. “At one point I was getting pounded but I managed to hang in there and get a few doubles.”

For Deeb it was a case of close but no cigar. The young gun has cashed in six Borgata events this year and clearly isn’t afraid of putting his chips on the line.

“It was pretty standard heads-up match until the end,” Deeb said. “I thought I played nearly perfection poker at the final table but you have to win at least one coin flip to win a tournament and I wasn’t able to do that.”

Main Event Final Table Results

Christina Lindley Wins the Ladies Event for $49,504

Christina Lindley

October 12, 2014: Despite picking up her first poker book just two years ago, has had a whirlwind year capped off by winning the 2014 Borgata Fall Poker Open Ladies Event.

Last year she used that win to quit her job as a nurse and devote herself entirely to a career in poker.

“Today I quit my job as a nurse and the Borgata was the place I chose to tell myself congratulations,” she said. “Now I’m here a year later winning this event again.”

She outlasted a field of 187 opponents to claim the top prize of $49,504 and proved that last year’s win was no fluke.

“Practice pays off,” she said. “I practice every day so when I get here I’m comfortable.”

Juliette Essayag came into this event with the most recent Ladies title - having won the WSOP event in the summer - but fell just short this time around, finishing in third place.

Ladies Event Final Table Results

Brian Altman Leads After Day 3 of $2,100 Borgata Fall Poker Open Main Event

October 11, 2014: After six grueling hours of play Brian Altman leads the way into the final day of the $2,100 Borgata Fall Poker Open Main Event with a better than 3-1 chip lead.

This isn’t unfamiliar territory for Altman who made it to the final table of last year’s WSOP Seniors Championship where he placed third. His opponent at the final table will be looking to make it to the televised stage as well.

Twenty-three year old Shaun Deeb finds himself in second chip position fresh off a seventh place finish in the WSOP Event 46 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em affair.

Deeb has been busy this year racking up numerous cashes on both coasts and clearly doesn’t mind risking chip pressure in order to gain position.

Here’s how the chips look heading into tomorrow’s finale:

  • Brian Altman - 14.725 million
  • Shaun Deeb - 5.025 million
  • Robert Holzkampf - 3.475 million
  • Farhan Vinhi Childress - 2.825 million
  • Bruce Brissman - 2.425 million
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The heads-up match is expected to begin at 2pm local time.

Chip Counts

Event #12 $320 + $40 Ladies Championship - Level By Level Update

October 11, 2014: Down to the last table! Section 18 is the only remaining section left in the Ladies Championship and Juliette Essayag is the big stack with Robyn Cohen close behind.  

Just four eliminations away from determining the final table, Tiffany Taylor and Cristina Lindey are also in contention.  

Check back with us as soon as the final table is set!

Level 26: Blinds 20,000/40,000/40,000 Ante Post

Fourth place goes to Katie Ouimet ($14,904) followed by Albert Cummings in third (£17,408) and on to the final table we have Robyn Cohen in second (£22,012). Heading to the Ladies Event final table for the second year in a row is Juliette Essayag, who held a big stack advantage throughout the heads-up match to clinch the victory ($49,504).

Level 25: Blinds 15,000/30,000/30,000 Ante Post

In level 25 Albert Cummings eliminated Howard Greenstein in eighth place and then followed it up with the elimination of Tracy Grzelewski in seventh.  

Level 24: Blinds 12,000/25,000/25,000 Ante Post

Level 24 started with the break and when we returned to play there were only 19 players left. Within five hands of play Jan Fronek was eliminated in ninth place by Robyn Cohen.  

Before the elimination Cristina Lindley extended the lead with 18.2m while Cohen was in second with 15.1m and Juliette Essayag was close behind with 14.6m.  

Level 23: Blinds 10,000/20,000/20,000 Ante Post

Just two levels until dinner break! Section A is down to just six players with Cristina Lindley holding the chip lead with 15.2m, Juliette Essayag in second with 12.1m and Robyn Cohen in third with 9.7m.  

Section B is down to five players with Lori Komaichi holding the lead for that section with 8.3m. Notables still in the hunt include two-time Bracelet winner Juliette Essayag with 7.7m and last year’s Borgata Fall Poker Open Ladies champ Cristina Lindley with 5.8m.  

Notables we lost in level 23 included Shauna Lynn Deeb (34th), Madi Watt (36th), Louie Geppert (37th), Violette Deal (38th), Gaynor Ochterbeck (39th), Donna Lindley (40th) and Michele Mattei (41st).

Level 22: Blinds 8,000/16,000/16,000 Ante Post

Sixty players began the day and we’re down to 27. Section A is led by Cristina Lindley with 12.4m, followed by Robyn Cohen with 9.8m and Juliette Essayag with 9.7m.  

Section B is being paced by Lori Komaichi with 8.2m, while Cindy Hadish is close behind with 8m.  

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Level 21: Blinds 6,000/12,000/12,000 Ante Post

Level 21 brought the din of football announcers shouting through the air as the Giants and Eagles battled it out on the TVs above. Despite the distraction players kept falling.  

Notable women we lost in this level included Staci Greenberg (52nd), Elizabeth Montanti (53rd), Donna Lindley (54th), Barbara Enright (55th), Shannon Fisher (56th), Katrina Pilati (57th) and Jan Fisher (58th).  

Level 20: Blinds 5,000/10,000/10,000 Ante Post

Players are officially down to the money! In level 20 we lost Michele Rosales in 61st place, followed closely by Mimi Tran in 60th.  

Level 19: Blinds 4,000/8,000/8,000 Ante Post

Seventy players began the day and we’re down to 64. Top three stacks after level 19 are: Jan Fronek (17.3m), Cristina Lindley (16.7m) and Robyn Cohen (12.7m).  

Big names we lost in level 19 included WPT Ladies Champion Leana Morrison in 65th place and 2008 NAPT Championship runner-up Annie Duke in 66th.  

Level 18: Blinds 3,000/6,000/6,000 Ante Post

Just one level completed in Section B but in that level we lost a number of notables including Shannon Fennell (71st), Adam Spinella (72nd), Janet Trogianovski (73rd), Jochen Zuzich (74th) and Lee Salzano (75th).  

Level 17: Blinds 2,500/5,000/5,000 Ante Post

Section A is in the bag and we’re onto Section B. Top three stacks after level 17: Cristina Lindley (15.2m), Robyn Cohen (10.5m) and Jan Fronek (9.9m).  

Section B just took their seats so check back with us when they’re done without incident.

Level 16: Blinds 2,000/4,000/4,000 Ante Post

The first casualty of the day was Linda Lee in 84th place.  

Notables at the bottom of level 16 include recent WPT Bellagio Five Diamond winner Angela Jordison in chip lead with 18.3m, two-time Bracelet winner Juliette Essayag in second with 14.2m and 2013 Borgata Fall Poker Open Ladies Champ Cristina Lindley in third with 13.7m.  

Rounding out the top five is Robyn Cohen with 11.5m and Jan Fronek with 11.1m.  

Level 15: Blinds 1,500/3,000/3,000 Ante Post

All the big stacks hold in level 15 including Angela Jordison (17.8m), Juliette Essayag (13.6m), Cristina Lindley (12.9m) and Robyn Cohen (11.7m).  

Notables we lost in level 15 include Jane Thompson (91st), Rebecca French (92nd) and Lisa Hamilton (93rd).  

Level 14: Blinds 1,200/2,400/2,400 Ante Post

Only the first level in the bag and the big stacks are holding strong. Top four stacks after level 14 are: Angela Jordison (17.8m), Juliette Essayag (13.6m), Cristina Lindley (12.9m) and Robyn Cohen (11.7m).  

Level 13: Blinds 1,000/2,000/2,000 Ante Post

First level of the day in the books. Here’s the top four stacks after level 13: Angela Jordison (16.5m), Juliette Essayag (12.5m), Robyn Cohen (11.2m) and Cristina Lindley (11.2m).  

Day 2 Getting Underway

Chips in the air in 15 minutes! 

Level 12: 750/1,500/1,500 Ante Post - Level by Level Update

Only one level allowed before play must move to Day 2. In the last level we lost notable players Betty Ann Robinson (152nd), Harriet Barrett (153rd), Linda Lee (154th), Shirley Hurwitz (155th), Diane McLaughlin (156th), Joyce Hogstedt (157th), Margaret Earnshaw (158th), Debbie Levine (159th) and Judy Kaye (160th).  

When play resumes in 20 minutes the top four stacks are: Angela Jordison (15.7m), Juliette Essayag (12m), Robyn Cohen (11.3m) and Cristina Lindley (11.1m).  

Level 11: 600/1,200/1,200 Ante Post - Updated Chip Counts

Women continue to trickle back into the room but we’re still not at full capacity. Here are the top four stacks after level 11: Angela Jordison (15.2m), Juliette Essayag (11.8m), Robyn Cohen (11.2m) and Cristina Lindley (11.1m).  

Level 10: 500/1,000/1,000 Ante Post - Updates Chip Counts

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