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Found 7 results

  1. After last month's decision by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcementregarding the "Chipgate" scandal at the Borgata Winter Poker Openin January, it was thought that was the end of the story. As it turns out, that may have been premature, as six players have entered a lawsuit against the casino for the resolution of the case. According to Chad Holloway of PokerNews, the six players – Duane Haughton, Michael Sneideman, Cuong Tran, Alvin Vatanavan, Christopher Korres, and Cuong Phung, all members of the 27-player field when the tournament was suspended – enlisted the aid of attorneys William Pillsbury and Maurice VerStandig to file the lawsuit on Tuesday in the Superior Court of New Jersey. The lawsuit issues several charges against Borgata and seeks damages beyond what the settlement in April reached. There are four counts levied against Borgata in the suit: negligence, breach of contract, breach of implied contract, and negligence per se. The players, who were awarded $19,323 in the decision by the DGE, came to the amount they're seeking, an extra $33,756.44 per player, to get what they would have received ($53,079) if they had finished in 27th place. The players allege the negligence charges due to "inadequate" security surveillance that was on the site for the tournament. The players state that the tournament took place in an "overflow" area that lacked the proper cameras and that the tournament staff itself didn't keep tabs on the total chips in play and stop the tournament when it noticed that there were counterfeit chips on the felt. According to the complaint, "Each of these breaches was such that the Borgata operated the Winter Open in a manner inferior to that in which a reasonably prudent casino would have operated the Winter Open. The breaches, individually and cumulatively, caused the Final 27 to incur damages... But for these breaches, the Final 27 would have divided the remaining prize pool, whether by election of the pro rata chop value or by playing down to a single winner. The Final 27 have been damaged." The players also allege that some of the members of the 27-player field received more than the agreed-upon $19,323. The complaint states that players who have signed a confidentiality agreement have received payouts "over and above the paid sum to various members of the Final 27." The players are seeking a jury trial in the New Jersey courts. The first event of the 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open was halted in January after the discovery of 800,000 in counterfeit chips. The event, a $2 million guaranteed tournament, had already paid hundreds of players to that point and still had the majority of the prize pool to award. First place was to have paid $372,123. After a few days of investigation, it was discovered that one of the players in the tournament, Christian Lusardi (pictured), was allegedly responsible for the introduction of the counterfeit chips after he tried to flush 2.5 million in counterfeits down the toilet of his hotel room. Lusardi is currently in jail awaiting trial. In April, the DGE determined that all players would receive their buy-ins back for the tournament and that the final 27 would receive $19,323 each. The players' attorneys have stated that the lawsuit against Borgata is still in its formative stages. A summons has to be issued by the court and Borgata officials would have to be formally served with the paperwork, which could take up to two weeks. Attempts to contact the legal team representing the players by PocketFives have, as of yet, gone unanswered. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. [caption width="640"] Chris Leong won the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Friday night. (WPT Live Updates/Joe Giron photo)[/caption] While some final tables follow a wire-to-wire run by chip leaders, others see short stacks come from the back of the pack to claim the title. That’s exactly what happened in Atlantic City, as Chris Leong outlasted a massive 1,171 player field to claim the World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open title and a $816,246 score. The six-handed table battled through a tactical and slow first level of play, the action really kicked off in one of the first hands of Level 31. Chip leader Rafael Yaraliyev opened to 285,000 from the cutoff and after action folded to Wantman, who was in the big blind, he three-bet to 700,000. Yaraliyev pushed his stack forward to put Wantman to a decision for his remaining 3,400,000 and the Massachusetts native snap-called, turning over [poker card="qh"][poker card="qd"]. It was a flip for the short stack’s life, as Yaraliyev held [poker card="ad"][poker card="kd"] and that flip went the chip leader’s way on the [poker card="as"][poker card="8s"][poker card="7c"][poker card="6s"][poker card="8d"] runout. Wantman hit the rail in sixth place, while Yaraliyev took control of close to 40% of the chips. Yaraliyev then tried to put that chip advantage to use over the next level, as he had 2009 WPT World Champion Yevgeniy Timoshenko on the ropes a few times. The first encounter saw Timoshenko flip for his tournament life with [poker card="Kc"][poker card="Qc"] to Yaraliyev’s pocket fours but after the [poker card="8h"][poker card="7c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4s"][poker card="6h"] runout, he had to settle for a chop. A few hands later, Timoshenko finally did double his short stack, as his [poker card="jh"][poker card="th"] flopped a straight against Yaraliyev’s [poker card="8d"][poker card="8s"] on a board of [poker card="ac"][poker card="kd"][poker card="qs"]. Unfortunately for Timoshenko, the high blinds and antes didn’t allow him to get much traction after that double, as he was eliminated in the next level by Leong. That’s where the New Yorker’s run towards this WPT WPO Championship title started, as he dispatched the former World Champion while holding [poker card="qc"][poker card="qs"]. Timoshenko re-shoved over Leong’s early position open for just over 10 big blinds and his [poker card="4h"][poker card="4s"] couldn’t improve, confirming his fifth place elimination. The only other "world champ" at the final table was next to go, as reigning WSOP Main Event champion Joe McKeehen then found himself as the short stack. He got a handful of shoves through but eventually, he was all-in and at risk to Yaraliyev, who still controlled a sizable chip lead at that stage of the tournament. Yaraliyev held [poker card="as"][poker card="ts"] to McKeehen’s [poker card="kd"][poker card="qh"], with the bracelet winner moving all-in for 3,100,000 after Yaraliyev opened in early position. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="kc"][poker card="js"][poker card="9d"][poker card="7s"] runout completed the elimination and McKeehen bowed out right before the podium spots in 4th place. In the very next hand off the deck, Liam He, another short stack, was all-in and after some thought, Leong called to put him at risk from the small blind. In his encounter with Timoshenko, Leong needed to hold to score the knockout but this time, he needed to hit, as he held [poker card="5h"][poker card="5c"] to He’s [poker card="7h"][poker card="7c"]. He did just that, as the [poker card="9d"][poker card="5s"][poker card="3s"] flop gave him a set and left He drawing to running cards or the final two sevens in the deck to stay alive. Neither came, as the [poker card="2s"] and [poker card="kd"] completed the board and moved Leong into heads up play with a 3:2 disadvantage. That disadvantage quickly disappeared, as Leong won a 20,000,000 chip pot in one of the first hands of heads up play, four-betting pre flop and calling two big bets on a board of [poker card="ac"][poker card="8d"][poker card="2s"][poker card="4h"][poker card="9c"] with [poker card="ah"][poker card="ks"]. Top pair-top kicker was good to swing that 3:2 ratio in his advantage and from there, it looked like the title was only going to be a few hands away. That was, until Leong and Yaraliyev exchanged multiple double ups, shifting the chip lead back and forth close to a half dozen times before Leong scored the title winning elimination. With the level set to go up in just a few seconds, Leong moved all-in from the button and Rafael Yaraliyev snap called in the big blind, tabling [poker card="qh"][poker card="qc"]. Leong threw over [poker card="ac"][poker card="8s"] and he was looking for a bit of revenge with his medium ace, as Yaraliyev doubled through Leong in the previous level [poker card="ad"][poker card="7h"] over [poker card="9c"][poker card="9d"]. This time, it was Leong’s turn to spike the ace though and he did, as the [poker card="ad"][poker card="6d"][poker card="4s"][poker card="jd"][poker card="5c"] runout confirmed the elimination and crowned the newest member of the WPT Champions Club. Final Table Payouts Chris Leong - $816,246 Rafael Yaraliyev - $487,288 Liam He - $297,288 Joe McKeehen - $249,267 Yevgeniy Timoshenko - $206,160 Matthew Wantman - $166,803
  3. The Borgata Winter Poker Open starts this week in Atlantic City. The $2 million guaranteed opening serves as an opportunity for many players to earn a breakthrough score with a deep run. John ‘jalesi’ Alesi found his own breakout in April when he chopped the same event on the Spring Poker Open schedule and won over $81,000 in the process. The cash validated Alesi’s non-linear path to a poker career that he built after graduating from Rutgers University in 2016. Alesi built a modest bankroll during his time in school and made the decision to immediately forego pursuing a career modeled on his English degree to instead write his own narrative. Alesi makes most of his living playing online poker in New Jersey coupled with major tournament series on the East Coast. The cash game mindset built within Alesi took time to transition when he first started to play more tournaments. At this time last year, Alesi was in the latter stages of pivoting his poker life toward MTTs. “The adjustment from live cash to live MTTs is an interesting one,” Alesi said. “When I initially started playing poker, tournaments didn’t have much appeal to me. I wasn’t into the concept of playing for an entire day or more and not making any money. I think something that took some getting used to is handling the bad beats and sudden exits well. You just have to have the mentality of ‘On to the next one,’ and that takes experience to fully develop.” An example of Alesi’s perseverance paying off took place at the start of this month. In the January 7 Sunday Special on PokerStarsNJ, Alesi overcame a field of 268 to win the vaunted event for the first time. The gold medal boosted Alesi’s bankroll by $10,194 and put some wind at his back coming into the Winter Poker Open. If he can make a few deep runs to start the year, Alesi would like to play more larger buy-in events than what he is accustomed to. “My goal is really to just put the time in on and off the table. I plan to play a lot and travel to some events that I haven’t been before. A big result in the WPO would allow me to play a bigger WSOP schedule and take some shots.” Alesi took the first of these “shots” in October when he played the $3,500 World Poker Tour event at Maryland! Live. That shot came close to resulting in a cash for Alesi but an unlucky break near the bubble cost him and he finished outside the money. Always level-headed, Alesi took the hit in stride and used the lessons learned by playing with some of the best in the world and used it to make back-to-back Day 3 appearances in the Parx Big Stax series later that month. Alesi finished fifth in the Big Stax 500 and collected $23,888. “I think just the experience of playing in larger buy-ins that many people never get a chance to play was rewarding in itself. They were good opportunities to get comfortable playing higher stakes and learn to treat them like normal tournaments,” Alesi said. When he first entered the poker world for a full-time living, Alesi gave himself 18-24 months to see where road less traveled might take him. Coming into the start of 2018, Alesi is excited that he has another year of poker to look forward to before reevaluating his plans. At the rate his game is progressing, Alesi could be in for a year of strong finishes and potentially his first six-figure score. Alesi’s journey, like many others, starts at the Borgata and it will be interesting to see where things end up by December.
  4. When the final table of the World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open started on Wednesday night in Las Vegas, Viny Lima was the shortest stack of the six players remaining. Over the course of the next 10 hours, Lima refused to go into the night quietly and eliminated his final four opponents to take home $728,430 and his first World Poker Tour title. Ian O'Hara waited 41 days for his shot at WPT title but only managed to get to play for a little over 30 minutes on Wednesday night before busting. Brandon Hall raised to 350,000 from the cutoff with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qs"] and action folded to O'Hara in the big blind and he moved all in for 5,125,000 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="9h"]. Hall called instantly and then watched the board run out [poker card="5d"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3c"][poker card="td"][poker card="9d"] to eliminate O'Hara in sixth place. While the first elimination of the night came quickly, fans inside the HyperX Esports Arena had to wait another six hours for the next one. Action folded to Lima in the small blind and he moved all in for 11,500,000 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="8c"] and Daniel Buzgon called all in for 5,400,000 from the big blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="9h"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="jh"][poker card="7c"] flop put Lima comfortably ahead and after the [poker card="5s"] turn and [poker card="8d"] river failed to save him, Buzgon was eliminated in fifth place. The BorgataPoker.com ambassador tweeted following his elimination. Brandon Hall spent some time at the top of the chip counts on Wednesday but ultimately couldn't stay there. From UTG, Lima raised to 1,500,000 with [poker card="jd"][poker card="js"] and Hall called from the big blind with [poker card="2c"][poker card="2h"]. The board ran out [poker card="ah"][poker card="6s"][poker card="5s"][poker card="kd"][poker card="7s"] to send Hall packing in fourth place. Down to just eight big blinds, Joseph Di Rosa Rojas moved all in from the small blind with [poker card="qd"][poker card="4c"] and Lima called from the big blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="6c"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="qs"][poker card="6s"] flop gave Lima two pair and neither the [poker card="3d"] turn or [poker card="th"] river improved Rojas and he was eliminated in third. Farah started heads up play with a 5-3 chip lead over Lima, but the early stages of heads up play saw Lima flip the script and eventually take a 4.5-1 lead of his own. After an hour of play, Lima and Farah clashed one final time. Farah moved all in from the button with [poker card="9d"][poker card="5d"] and Lima called with [poker card="kh"][poker card="jh"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="js"][poker card="5h"] flop gave both players a pair but kept Lima ahead. The [poker card="2c"] was no help and the [poker card="ks"] river gave Lima an unneeded second pair to eliminate Farah, who started the day with the chip lead, in second place. Final Table Payouts Viny Lima - $728,430 Dave Farah - $485,611 Joseph Di Rosa Rojas - $359,555 Brandon Hall - $268,810 Daniel Buzgon - $202,942 Ian O'Hara - $154,734
  5. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. The World Poker Tour has taken over Las Vegas this week with three final tables at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel and Casino. The LA Poker Classic, the Gardens Poker Classic, and the Borgata Winter Poker Open are all going to crown champions this week and Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters preview all three final tables in the first of four podcasts from the city of Las Vegas. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  6. Just nine days ago, Brian Altman won the World Poker Tour Seminole Lucky Hearts Poker Open for the second time in his career. On Thursday, Altman made the final table of the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open and now has a shot at a third WPT win. The final six players now head to Las Vegas to play down to a winner on April 1 at the HyperX Esports Arena at Luxor. [ptable zone=“Borgata Poker”][ptable zone=“GG Poker”][ptable zone=“Global Poker Article Ad”] Altman might be the headliner, but he doesn't have the chip lead. Veerab Zakarian bagged up 11,990,000 and will be the player on top when play resumes in April. Joining Zakarian and Altman at the final table is James Anderson, Bin Weng, Andrew Hanna, and Nathan Russler. The BWPO field of 1,290 created a $4,129,290 prize pool with the eventual champion taking home $674,840 which included a seat in the $15,000 WPT Tournament of Champions. WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Final Table Seat #1: Nathan Russler - 3,990,000 Seat #2: James Anderson - 10,040,000 Seat #3: Andrew Hanna - 6,730,000 Seat #4: Bin Weng - 8,890,000 Seat #5: Veerab Zakarian - 11,990,000 Seat #6: Brian Altman - 9,865,000 Day 4 began with 28 players still in contention including former #1-ranked PocketFiver Ari Engel, reigning WPT Borgata Poker Open champion Donald Maloney, Season XVII WPT Montreal winner Patrick Serda and Season XVI Tournament of Champions winner Matthew Waxman. It took just over 13 hours to go from 28 down to a final table of six. Engel was eliminated by Altman after the pair battled in a five-bet pot with Engel holding [poker card="as"][poker card="jd"] and Altman with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"]. The [poker card="ks"][poker card="qd"][poker card="7d"] flop gave Altman a set and Engel never saw another diamond or a ten and was eliminated in 24th place. Maloney's tournament ended after getting it all in with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qh"] against Derek Marmen's [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"]. Zakarian took out Waxman in 13th place. Serda was eliminated in 10th place by Altman. On a [poker card="9h"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3h"][poker card="9s"][poker card="qd"] board and with 1,200,000 in the pot, Altman moved all-in forcing Serda to a decision for his tournament life. Serda eventually called and showed [poker card="kh"][poker card="qs"] which was second best after Altman tabled [poker card="ad"][poker card="9c"]. Altman then closed down the action on the Borgata leg of the event when he eliminated Peter Vitantonio on the TV table bubble. The final six players will now wait until April before reconvening in Las Vegas to play for their share of the remaining $2,037,833 prize pool.
  7. For almost two decades, poker fans have been pestering Brian Koppelman and David Levien to write a sequel to Rounders. In the final scene Mike McDermott jumps in a taxi in New York City and tells the driver to take him to the airport. "So where you headed?" "I'm going to Vegas." "Vegas, huh?" "Yup." "Good luck man." The cab drives off into the distance and the credits roll as Counting Crows' Baby, I'm a Big Star Now plays, but what happens after Mike gets to Las Vegas? Well, Kopelman and Levien are busy with their hit show Billions, and a sequel seems highly unlikely, but 2020 World Series of Poker Online Event #1 winner Jonathan Dokler might just be writing it on his own. Six months ago, the 27-year-old had a good-paying job at a trading firm in New York City. "I decided it wasn't the life for me. I quit my job, moved out to Vegas," Dokler said. He didn't take a cab to Kennedy though - he took a train to Newark and then flew to Las Vegas. Everything started coming together about a month earlier though. Still working his 9-5, Dokler went to Atlantic City to play in some Borgata Winter Poker Open events. "I took a Greyhound from New York to Atlantic City for a quick trip, a couple of days before I had to get back to work. I hadn't even quit my job yet but I was planning to very soon," Dokler said. Dokler, with all of four live cashes to his credit totalling a little more than $21,000 in earnigns, beat out 76 other entries to win a $5,000 High Roller event for $100,829. Some of the players that he outlasted included former #1-ranked PocketFiver Paul Volpe, Faraz Jaka, Ian O’Hara, Jerry Wong, Christian Harder, and Jake Schwartz. "It was a small field, only 77 people, so it's nothing crazy, but it was cool to play that event, against that class of field and have a good result," Dokler said. Having picked up the game in college in 2013, Dokler's competitive side fueled his desire to get better at the game. He began playing more, watching Run It Once videos, and talking over hands with friends. As time went by, Dokler grew more and more passionate about the game and he kept flirting with the idea of playing professionally. The bus ride back to New York City gave Dokler time to think and the Borgata win made it crystal clear to him that he needed to follow his gut. In early March, Dokler packed up his stuff and left for Las Vegas. His original plan was to use Las Vegas as a home base of sorts as he travelled the world playing poker. "I was actually planning on travelling for a lot of tournaments. I was going to be in South America for some of the big PokerStars stuff, and I wanted to play the Irish Poker Open, WPT Amsterdam," Dokler said. That’s when Dokler's 2020 story - and everybody else's - really lost the narrative. "I got out here, I had an Airbnb for a couple of days and one of the places I went to go eat after finishing a session, they'd shut down. That's how I found out about the shut down in Vegas," Dokler said, referring to the coronavirus pandemic that shuttered casinos and many Las Vegas businesses. He did not bring many personal belongings with him to Las Vegas, so he quickly ditched the Airbnb and found an apartment to rent and began getting set up to play as much online poker as possible. He had the necessities though, even if he didn't have the essentials. "I didn't have toilet paper for the first month or so, but I had a computer and an internet connection, enough to keep me happy," Dokler said. Happy indeed. In late March, Dokler earned $77,910 and a Circuit ring for winning WSOP Circuit Super Series Event #9 ($500 NLHE Monster Stack) on WSOP.com. That was really just a pre-cursor to last Wednesday when Dokler kicked off the WSOP Online by beating 1,714 other entries to win Event #1 ($500 NLHE Kickoff) for $130,425.75 and a WSOP bracelet. But even as Dokler was grinding his way towards the win, he was multi-tabling events across multiple sites and didn't think anything would come of it. "I was playing a lot of tables so I wasn't even paying super close attention to the bracelet event until it was actually getting kind of close," Dokler said. "I had some more interesting spots that didn't really pan out and I was able to run up a bunch of chips in the bracelet event and make that happen." So inside of six months, Dokler won six figures in a live event, quit his job, moved across the country, quarantined himself in a new apartment, won a WSOP Circuit ring and then became the first WSOP bracelet winner of 2020. He might be relatively new to the scene, but he understands his recent run is thanks to a combination of his skill and some luck. "I have friends who are much better at poker than me that don't have any bracelets and there are also players that are worse than me that have multiple bracelets," Dokler said. "I'm glad I won but the bracelet itself I don't attach any particular significance to it." With three weeks of events left, Dokler plans to continue to grind as much of the WSOP.com schedule as possible and hasn't yet made up his mind about leaving the country to play the GGPoker bracelet events. "I actually haven't decided yet. It's tough because you've gotta get set up in a different country and all that," Dokler said. "And I'm not sure if the borders are going to be open yet. We'll see."

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