WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Preview: $728,430 Awaits Winner

WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table
WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table takes place on March 13 (photo: World Poker Tour)

The World Poker Tour’s third Las Vegas final table next week will be the Season XVII WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open. The final six from the booming 1,415-entry field will look to crown a champion on Wednesday, following the conclusion of the WPT L.A. Poker Classic on Monday and WPT Gardens Poker Championship on Tuesday. Dave Farah is leading the final six with a first-place prize of $728,430 awaiting the winner.

Joining Farah and his chip-leading stack of 18.85 million will be Brandon Hall, Daniel Buzgon, Joseph Di Rosa Rojas, Ian O’Hara, and Vinicius Lima. Come Wednesday’s return to action, the players will have been on a 41-day hiatus.

If you’d like to relive the action leading up to the final table, you can do so by reading our extensive recap right here.

What Are They Playing For?

With 1,415 entries, the Season XVII WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open generated the largest WPT Main Tour event at Borgata and the third-largest WPT Main Tour field in history. The prize pool topped $4.5 million to easily surpass the $3 million guarantee and up top is a juicy $728,430, which includes a $15,000 seat into the season-ending Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions, and a luxurious Hublot Big Bang timepiece.

1st Place: $728,430
2nd Place: $485,611
3rd Place: $359,555
4th Place: $268,810
5th Place: $202,942
6th Place: $154,734

WPT Champions Cup
WPT Champions Cup at Borgata (photo: World Poker Tour)

How To Watch the Season XVII WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Final Table

The final table for the Season XVII WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open will play out on March 13, starting at 4 p.m. PT at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The event started at the end of January at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and reached the final table just before the calendar rolled over into February. The final table will be filmed for broadcast as part of the WPT’s televised schedule of events. You can wait for that airing on FOX Sports Regional Networks, or you could tune in live to the stream of the events that can be viewed on PokerGO. If you don’t have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code “POCKET5S” for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan.

Let’s meet the Season XVII WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table.

Ian O'Hara
Ian O’Hara (photo: World Poker Tour)

Seat 1: Ian O’Hara – 5,100,000

Ian O’Hara is often a name that rolls off fellow players’ tongues when asked who the best young player is in the game today, especially if you’re looking for upcoming talent in the United States.

With more than $2.2 million in live tournament earnings and a respected reputation from his peers, O’Hara packs a big punch coming into the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open finale. He’s never reached a WPT Main Tour final table, though. O’Hara’s closest call was a ninth-place result in the Season XIV WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic worth $89,875.

The most prominent live tournament victory of O’Hara’s young career came during the 2016 Coco Poker Open in Coconut Creek, Florida. He won the $2,500 Championship Event for $212,830. The largest live tournament score for O’Hara, to date, is a runner-up result in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $25,400 High Roller in 2015, when he chopped the event with Jason Mercier. O’Hara actually got more prize money than Mercier, winning $527,313, but Mercier officially scored first place.

O’Hara has 5.1 million in chips entering the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table, which is good for fifth overall.

Dave Farah
Dave Farah (photo: World Poker Tour)

Seat 2: Dave Farah – 18,850,000

Dave Farah is from New Jersey and came into the Season XVII WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open with just more than $80,000 in live tournament earnings. His run in this event is now the largest of his live tournament career, but it isn’t the first time he’s made the money in a World Poker Tour event at Borgata.

In the Season XV WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, Farah placed 41st from a field of 1,312 entries to win $13,607. In Season XVI, also in the Borgata Winter Poker Open, Farah finished 75th from a field of 1,244 to score $8,623. This season’s run is now his third consecutive deep run in this event and he could truly make his third time a charm by capping it off with a WPT title.

Farah doesn’t quite have the huge chip lead that Darren Elias has at the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table or Frank Stepuchin has at the WPT Gardens Poker Classic final table, but he does have 18.85 million of the 56.5 million in play, which is 33.3%. He’s also got a good chunk more than Hall’s second-place stack of 14.1 million.

Joseph Di Rosa Rojas
Joseph Di Rosa Rojas (photo: World Poker Tour)

Seat 3: Joseph Di Rosa Rojas – 5,800,000

Joseph Di Rosa Rojas is the first of two players at this WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table who is making his first WPT Main Tour cash. The other is Vinicius Lima.

Di Rosa Rojas, a Venezuelan, does have a World Series of Poker gold bracelet, though, so it’s not as though he hasn’t been to the winner’s circle before in a marquee event. Di Rosa Rojas won the 2017 WSOP Marathon tournament, topping a field of 1,759 entries to score $690,469.

Entering the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table, Di Rosa Rojas is fourth in chips with 5.8 million and fourth on the Venezuelan all-time money list. A finish in second place or better would move Di Rosa Rojas to second on that list, and a finish in third would jump him to third.

Brandon Hall
Brandon Hall (photo: World Poker Tour)

Seat 4: Brandon Hall – 14,100,000

Brandon Hall has had some quiet years recently when it comes to poker, but he’s back on the big stage and looking for another big trophy to add to his trophy case. This time, it’d be the WPT Champions Cup.

Hall’s first big live poker score came in 2009 when he took first place in the Aruba Poker Classic for $753,330. In that tournament, Hall defeated Robert Mizrachi in heads-up play to win the title. A handful of years later, Hall finished runner-up in a $1,500 buy-in WSOP event for $381,885.

Hall has had some success on the felt during the hiatus in this event. In late February, he finished third in the Parx Big Stax 1100 event for $55,241.

Hall enters the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table second in chips with 14.1 million.

Vinicius Lima
Vinicius Lima (photo: World Poker Tour)

Seat 5: Vinicius Lima – 3,550,000

In similar fashion to Di Rosa Rojas, Vinicius Lima is making his first WPT Main Tour cash with his run in this event. Reaching the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table and already earning $154,734 is Lima’s largest live tournament score, and he’ll be the shortest stack returning for the final table. Overall, he boasts $263,186 in live tournament earnings ahead of his finish in this one.

Lima only has one prior six-figure result on record, which came from a $1,600 buy-in tournament in Las Vegas when he won $102,149 with a third-place finish. In 2016, Lima won the Poker Night in America Grand Poker Series Main Event for $56,366.

Lima’s stack to start the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table will be 3.55 million.

Daniel Buzgon
Daniel Buzgon (photo: World Poker Tour)

Seat 6: Daniel Buzgon – 9,100,000

Like O’Hara, Daniel Buzgon has enjoyed a close call on the World Poker Tour. In fact, Buzgon’s reached a WPT Main Tour final table twice before in his career. Both came in Season X when Buzgon finished third in the WPT Borgata Poker Open and fourth at WPT Jacksonville, winning $335,433 and $94,624, respectively. The Borgata score is, to date, the largest live tournament score of Buzgon’s career.

Buzgon is sponsored by BorgataPoker.com, so he’s representing the home team in his trip to the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table. Entering the final table, Buzgon, a New Jersey native, has $2.035 million in live tournament earnings.

Buzgon is third in chips entering the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table with 9.1 million.

Hublot WPT Player of the Year Implications

With a prize pool of more than $4.5 million, the maximum amount of Hublot WPT Player of the Year points will be up for grabs in this one, with the winner getting 1,400 points. The rest of the point earnings for the final table as follows.

1st Place: 1,400 points
2nd Place: 1,200 points
3rd Place: 1,100 points
4th Place: 1,000 points
5th Place: 900 points
6th Place: 800 points

No player in the final six has previously accumulated Hublot WPT Player of the Year points in Season XVII.

At the end of Season XVII, the Hublot WPT Player of the Year will win a $15,000 WPT Passport that can be used as buy-ins to any Season XVIII global WPT event. Second place in the race earns a $7,500 WPT Passport and third place gets a $2,500 WPT Passport.