Since the Borgata Winter Poker Open left the World Poker Tour circuit, the Main Event continued to bring in strong numbers, and with the ability to lower the Main Event buy-in to $3,500, more players found the bankroll ability to play the tournament. It was a risky move on the part of the Borgata to take the event off the WPT roster, and while less recognizable faces now participate, the overall results are positive.
And with Jeff Madsen winning the 2010 Main Event, the tournament is back on the poker tournament circuit map.
The event began with 766 players for the $3,500 buy-in event, which created a prize pool of $2,527,800, strongly eclipsing the $2 million guarantee. After the starting days were complete, there were 134 survivors with Madsen in the chip lead with a significant stack of 880,700 chips. Day 3 saw the field dwindle to only 27 players, with Madsen falling to sixth place on the leaderboard and Matt Matros taking the top spot with 1,978,000 and Lee Childs right behind with 1,797,000.
Day 4 saw the field dwindle further, as players like Childs were eliminated as play progressed. Finally, with 11 players remaining, it was Donald Boivin who pushed all-in with pocket eights and Dave Fox holding , and a queen came on the flop to eliminate Boivin in 11th place, which was worth $31,876. That left ten players to take seats at the final table on February 5 as follows:
|Seat 1: ||Al Grimes ||4,100,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Jeff Madsen || 3,185,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Chan Pelton || 650,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Sirous Jamshidi ||4,750,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Dave Fox ||1,695,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Nick Kamen ||3,320,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Tom Marchese ||1,623,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Jonathan Hamilton ||1,555,000 |
|Seat 9: ||Ross Mallor ||880,000 |
|Seat 10: ||Matt Matros ||1,195,000 |
Instead of one of the shorter stacks being the first to move, it was Matros, who pushed with pocket sixes against the of Kamen. An ace came on the flop to give Kamen the advantage, and Matt Matros was eliminated in tenth place with $31,876.
Short-stacked Pelton was able to double up once to stay alive but soon tried it again with . Madsen called with pocket eights, and the board blanked from start to finish, leaving the pocket pair to hold up. Chan Pelton was gone in ninth place with $49,039.
Mallor was the next to attempt a double but got it all-in with K-Q against the A-10 of Grimes. That best hand only improved with two pair on the flop, and Ross Mallor was ousted in eighth place with $67,429 in prize money.
The chip counts for seven-handed play showed Jamshidi with a monstrous lead and 6.5 million in chips, while Grimes, Madsen, and Kamen all sat just under 4 million. Fox and Marchese held less than 2 million, but it was Hamilton with just over 1 million and the need to gather some momentum. And Hamilton did just that by doubling through Fox and leaving the latter with approximately 600K behind.
As play continued, another key play led to a new chip leader. Madsen went for a double-up with A-K of hearts versus the pocket kings of Grimes, and Madsen found hearts on the flop, turn, and river, allowing his flush to give him a double-up and nearly 7 million chips.
The aforementioned Fox finally made a move with A-7 offsuit. Grimes came over the top with K-Q, and Jamshidi called both players with K-3 of spades. After a king came on the flop and a queen on the river, Grimes took down the pot with two pair and a much-needed double-up, while Dave Fox was eliminated in seventh place with $91,949.
Grimes was still relatively short and got involved with Madsen. The two blinds went to see a flop, Grimes bet, and Madsen called. The on the turn brought a bet from Madsen and check-raise all-in from Grimes with for the draw. Madsen called with and trips, which only improved when the hit on the river to give him a full house. Al Grimes was sent to the cashier cage to collect $116,468 for the sixth place finish.
Kamen was the next to put his tournament life at risk, going all-in with but finding himself up against the pocket kings of Hamilton. The board couldn’t produce an ace for Nick Kamen, who finished the tournament in fifth place with $140,988.
The next elimination came courtesy of a big hand, one that started with Madsen and Hamilton going to see a flop. They checked to the on the turn, and a bet and call took them to the on the river. Hamilton bet with pocket threes, but Madsen raised all-in with pocket fours and the better set. Hamilton called and was severely crippled, pushing on the next hand with Q-J against the pocket kings of Jamshidi. Barkley Hamilton was gone in fourth place with $165,508.
It took only one hand to free the tournament of another player, as Marchese put his 4.6 million-chip stack at risk with pocket nines on the first hand of three-handed play. Madsen called with . The board came , and Madsen made two pair. Tom Marchese was eliminated in third place with $190,027.
The Borgata live reporting team noted that Jamshidi and Madsen entered heads-up play with even stacks. But after one hour of play, Madsen ground his way to 15 million chips while Jamshidi sat with 7 million. Another half hour saw Madsen climb to 20 million, leaving his opponent with approximately 3 million and a likely feeling of desperation.
Finally, the two clashed. Jamshidi was down to 1.9 million and pushed all-in with , and Madsen called with . The flop of was innocent, but the on the turn solidified Madsen’s lead. The on the river ended the tournament, leaving Sirous Jamshidi with a second place finish and $367,794.
Jeff Madsen won the Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event, which came with a $625,006 first place prize. He told the on-hand reporter, “It feels great… I played well the whole tournament, and while I don’t have to validate myself as a player, it’s nice to know that I’m successful and it gives me more reasons to keep playing the game.”