We knew it was worth mentioning that John DiBella and Will Failla were at the same table. Failla's stack was steadily shrinking as his table 3 was just shuffling chips around for an hour (Failla was even watching a movie on his iPad), but it was DiBella who got his last 40K.
DiBella put Failla all in with ace, jack, looking weak against Failla's pocket kings. But a jack on the flop and then another on the river sent Failla packing before the bubble has broke.
One titan down, one still in it. Down to 22, 18 get paid
Brian Morgan (Ganesvoort, NY) is the big stack with 200k after hitting a full house with pocket 7s
against AK early in the day.
Morgan has been in the bloodstock business, the buying and selling of horses, "for many years," he says.
Morgan makes it to Borgata when he can for tournament poker and when he's not making hands, he's checking out horses to see how many hands tall they are.
He says he bought Afleet Alex as a yearling before the horse went on to win two legs of the cripple crown. The owners of Afleet Alex, the 2005 Belmont Stakes and Preakness winner, pledged a portion of the colt's earnings to Alex's Lemonade Stand to help fight childhood cancer.
Robert Stan of Bridgeport found himself at the top of a three way all-in when he rivered a set of nines (he held pocket 9s). That beat ace, jack and pocket jacks and added 100K to his stack. Needless to say, the last jack didn't show.
They're down to 35 players and have consolidated to four tables. But two of the biggest names left in the field still find themselves matched at the same table.
John DiBella and Will 'The Thrill' Failla are matched at Table 3.
DiBella just won better than $82,000 at the World Poker Finals earlier this month and had a $1.7 million payday in January at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event.
Failla is a Borgata regular who already has a couple of minor cashes at the Borgata Fall Poker Open, among many Borgata Poker Open cashes in his career. And, of course, he won last year's WPT legends of Poker Event.
Part-time poker dealer, part-time poker pro Ilya Dyment (Brooklyn, NY) captured his first Borgata Open title today, beating one of the best heads-up. Dyment collected $13,038 for the win over Chris Reslock (Atlantic City, NJ).
Poker pro Chris Reslock is one of only four players to hold three Borgata Open titles and he narrowly missed being the fist to capture a fourth Open event win today. His second place finish was good for $7,077. That is still quite an accomplishment considering that he was next-to-last in chips at the start of day two.
Behrooz Shahrzad (Kensington, MD) held the chip lead coming into day two but "I went card dead" he said. He busted out in 3rd place, earning $4,470.
Professional poker player Will 'the Thrill' Failla (Commack, NY) is making his mark on this series. This was his fourth final table with earnings totaling over $52,000. Today he finished 5th for $2,607.
Another notable pro making day two was Allen 'Chainsaw' Kessler (Las Vegas, NV) who busted out just a couple of spots from the money.
Ilya Dyment has numerous cashes and final tables here, but was very happy to capture his first title. "It was a long time coming." He'll be back in a couple of days to play in the main event.
1 - Ilya Dyment (Brooklyn, NY) $13,038
He and Chris Reslock got 4 bets in pre-flop and the last chips went in on the flop of J 8 4.
Behrooz had KK83 and one 5k chip left.
Chris had AAJ9 and was at risk.
The last two fell 6 Q and Chris' Aces held up to scoop the pot.
Behrooz tried to come back with his single chip. He tripled up on the next hand, then chopped the hand after that, but the final hand had him rivering the nut flush at the same time Chris Reslock made a full house.
Behrooz finished in 3rd place, earning $4,470.
At the start of heads-up play, Ilya Dyment had 725k. Chris Reslock had 425k.
James 'Smiley' Chin (New York, NY) was all-in and in bad shape with pocket Queens against a player holding pocket Kings.
James 'Smiley' Chin
Then the board ran out A Q Q K J and Smiley flopped Quad Queens to take the pot, sending his opponent out the door.
James chipped up to ~60k.
On the next hand, Smiley flopped the nut flush against Stephen Reynolds, (Little Egg Harbor, NJ) who had flopped the nut straight. They got all-in on the turn and Smiley busted another one, chipping up to ~80k.
466.075: JEDIAL PIRES 387.500: DANIEL WALSH 373.860: EMANUEL FAILLA 306.400: MATTHEW ILES 263.075: ROBERT GOTTFRIED 262.675: PAUL VACCHIO 258.825: DILIP RAVINDRAN 256.875: KHALED ALWAN 253.063: WARREN WIGGINS 252.900: AUSTEN JOHNSON 251.588: KEVIN MCCOLGAN 246.750: ASHER CONNIFF 246.050: BRUCE YAMRON 245.600: TOBY KASSER 237.750: MOHAMMAD AMJADI 236.250: HYON KO 229.338: DOUGLAS MACKINNON 223.088: TONY TRAN 219.738: HARRY KOROTKI 202.488: XIAOFENG HU
Borgata regular Gordon Eng (Cliffside Park, NJ) is making his Fall Poker Open debut today.
Lots of other familiar faces already in action in the Signature Room:
Just to name a few:
Jeremy 'the Big Dog' Brown
The final nine players elected to turn a two-day tournament into a one-day marathon and in the end its Kevin McColgan (Douglassville, PA) who outlasted the field at the Borgata Fall Poker Open.
On the final hand, McColgan beat Aaron Massey (Elmwood Park, IL) with 10♥ 10♠ against A♠ K♣ to take the title, the trophy and the $25,462 top prize.
"This is great," said McColgan, who has a lot of respect for Massey. "He's really good," says McColgan. "We stayed out of each other's way most of the day until we got down to three."
And the feeling is mutual.
"He's a well deserving champion," said Massey. "He played really well. I'm happy with how I played, I made very few mistakes."
The only fly in the ointment for Massey and McColgan was Jay Jaffe (Morganville, NJ). He got multiple double-ups before McColgan knocked him out to set up the winning coin flip.
It looked like the tournament would bag and tag as planned at 2am, but a blitz of eliminations gave the players the option to conclude on Day 1.
One of the biggest hands came when chip leaders Al Wasserberger (Chicago, IL) and Elliott Zaydman (Glen Rock, NJ) collided in a 700k chip pot just after the final 18 made the money. Wasserberger cracked pocket kings with two pairs which left Zaydman with 1,500 chips and eventually an 18th place finish.
Wasserberger road the big stack to a fourth place finish, but gave way to McColgan who was the first player to crack the one million chip mark and he stayed there the rest of the way.
The day began with 175 entries for a total buy-in of $87,500.
Those making the money included WSOP bracelet holders Greg Ostrander (15th) and Shawn Busse (13th), along with Paul Vacchio (8th) who made his third final table of the series.
The decision to finish in one day was something that played to McColgan's strength.
"I can play for a long time," he said after 20 hours of poker, "The stacks are deep, I like to play a lot of small pots so that was good for my game."
Both Massey and McColgan will take some time off before gearing up for the Borgata Fall Poker Open Championship event which starts this weekend.
Final Table Results
1 Kevin McColgan (Douglassville, PA) $25,462
2 Aaron Massey (Elmwood Park, IL) $14,004
3 Jay Jaffe (Morganville, NJ) $8,063
4 Al Wasserberger (Chicago, IL) $6,790
5 Sam Akiki (Allendale, NJ) $5,093
6 James Tedrow (Youngwood, PA) $4,244
7 David Fried (Marlboro, NY) $3,395
8 Paul Vacchio (Inwood, NY) $2,546
9 Ari Engel (Las Vegas, NV) $1,910
10 Kori Hunter (Ellicott City, MD) $1,698
$500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)
Jay Jaffe doubles 308k through Aaron Massey when he hits a flush on the river. The hand drops to Massey to 700k, but he doubles through Kevin McColgan two hands later.
Massey's AK flops a king against the McColgan's pocket 10s.
Massey is up to 1.4 million, while McColgan has been cut in half.
The final 17 players are done for the night and Behrooz Shahrzad (Laurel, MD via Iran) is the chip leader with 148,500.
The average stack is 68k (7 big bets) with limits going to 5k/10k.
Play resumes 1 pm Friday as the field looks to make the top 9 and the money before playing for the $13,038 top prize.
Behrooz Shahrzad 148,500
Will "the Thrill" Failla 133,000
Rich Wisberg 110,000
Robin Lee 88,000
Jason Rivkin 81,500
George Gavin 81,000
Ilya Dyment 77,500
Gloria LoRusso 74,000
William Gerics 73,000
Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler 58,000
Candace Verrastro 46,500
Rich Rubenstein 38,000
Adel Shakerian 32,000
Andrew Chapman 35,000
Jeff Moses 29,500
Chris Reslock 27,500
Robert Reardon 12,500