The World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Winter Poker Open is currently underway at the famous Borgata casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The tournament series began on 15th January and will be in books by 1st February. The venue has become a lot more special, especially after a man who earned $5 million with only putting $5 in a cards game recently.
The tournament to open the series was $600 DeepStack NLH and featured a guarantee of $2 million. It had a total of six starting flights which together created a colossal playing field of 5,130 entries and the guarantee was crushed, creating a new prize pool of $2.7 million.
American pro Pascal Zaklama was the crowned champion of the first event. He took home $328,695 (~INR 2.33 Crores) as the 1st place cash prize. There was a 3-way deal made following which Zaklama took the lion’s share out of the ICM chop. An anonymous player was part of the deal and took the same cash prize as Zaklama, but the latter was officially the winner. Vladimir Alexandrov ($216,000) finished 3rd in the tournament.
Zaklama has made a fortune winning this tournament. He has cashes from live tournaments dating back to 2007, but wasn’t to be seen till 2016. He has played and cashed in relatively lower-stakes tournaments in the past. The Borgata finish is his first 1st place finish and with this, the player will look forward to playing a lot more tournaments in the future, having a good bankroll to support him.
At one point in the gameplay, Zaklama got lucky after shoving with Ace-Jack on the Final Table. He ran into Daniel Cai’s Ace-Queen but fortunately for Zaklama, the flop gave him both an Ace and a Jack. The turn also produced a Jack, making a full house and doubling instantly.
With remaining 4 players, Zaklama proceeded to finish off Cai. Both checked the flop after Zaklama limped. The flop came to 10h 3s 2c and Zaklama called with 10c 8c, with a top pair. That was when Cai shoved for around 11 million with his 9c 3c. The turn of 6s and the river of Kc couldn’t save Cai and got eliminated at 4th for $153,164.
The remaining three players all opted for a deal and the top 2 got the same amount, leaving the rest for USA’s Alexandrov. On Day 1 of the Kickoff event Zaklama was confident about winning it and had declared, “I may not be smiling now but I will be tomorrow” and the prophecy was fulfilled.
Apart from this, the series’ Event #6 – #340 Seniors Deepstack NLH saw Barry Leventhal win it back-to-back for $12,447. The win came six months after Leventhal beat 166 entries to win Borgata Summer Poker Open $340 Seniors for $7,352.
Final Table Pay-outs of the Kickoff Event:
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