Photo Recap: Day 3 of the WPT Borgata Poker Open
Level 25: 12,000-24,000, 3,000 ante
By BJ Nemeth
John DAgostino, Olivier Busquet, Brandon Novena, Dwyte Pilgrim, Mike Sexton, Melanie Iglesias, Travell Thomas, Giuseppe Pantaleo, Lee Childs, Andrew Badecker, Saturnino Rodriguez, Featured Blog, Borgata, Season IX, Tournaments, Borgata Poker Open
Day 3 came to an end at 12:23 am ET when the field reached the final 27 players (from a record-setting field of 1,042). Here are the official chip counts, along with the number of big blinds in each stack. (The action is in Level 25, with blinds at 12,000-24,000 and a 3,000 ante.)
1. Brandon Novena - 3,343,000 (139 bb)
2. David Grana - 2,224,000 (92 bb)
3. Michael Simhai - 2,032,000 (84 bb)
4. John D'Agostino - 1,933,000 (80 bb)
5. Olivier Busquet - 1,676,000 (69 bb)
6. Lee Childs - 1,579,000 (65 bb)
7. Christian Iacobellis - 1,560,000 (65 bb)
8. Sean Nolan - 1,559,000 (64 bb)
9. Daniel Makowsky - 1,483,000 (61 bb)
10. Dwyte Pilgrim - 1,300,000 (54 bb)
11. Jeff Papola - 1,214,000 (50 bb)
12. Kia Mohajeri - 1,211,000 (50 bb)
13. Emad Alabsi - 1,000,000 (41 bb)
14. Matthew Kolodziej - 973,000 (40 bb)
15. Ofir Mor - 971,000 (40 bb)
16. Benjamin Klier - 867,000 (36 bb)
17. Rick Bordain - 866,000 (36 bb)
18. Andrew Youngblood - 737,000 (30 bb)
19. Mike Sexton - 640,000 (26 bb)
20. Kyle Loman - 637,000 (26 bb)
21. Sachin Ramrakhani - 632,000 (26 bb)
22. Vichien Siprajim - 553,000 (23 bb)
23. Kent Beaver - 550,000 (22 bb)
24. Anthony Harb - 543,000 (22 bb)
25. Douglas Kim - 538,000 (22 bb)
26. Robert Infanzon - 385,000 (16 bb)
27. John Leonard - 240,000 (10 bb)
The official seating assignments have also been released, and you can find them by clicking here.
With all the basic data out of the way, here's a photographic look back at Day 3 of the WPT Borgata Poker Open.
Marc Goldman showed up to Day 3 more than an hour late. Fortunately, Goldman started the day fifth in chips, and an hour of blinds barely dented his stack. (A corner of the bag was ripped open so the dealer could properly blind off the chips.) Goldman survived through the money bubble, and finished in 51st place, earning $10,340.
Giuseppe Pantaleo adds someone else's chips to his towering stack in the early levels of Day 3. Pantaleo started the day second in chips with 668,100.
Royal Flush Girl Melanie Iglesias checks in on the progress of her friend Irv Gotti shortly before the field reached the money. Gotti has played in about a dozen major tournaments in recent years, but this marked his first successful cash. While the $9,339 he earned for 56th place doesn't mean much to the successful music producer, Gotti was extremely proud to get his first in-the-money finish.
Kimberly Lansing interviewed Irv Gotti about what it means to get his first cash, and you can watch the video by clicking here.
With 102 players remaining, the final 12 tables began hand-for-hand play until two more players were eliminated. Travell Thomas was the short-stack on the bubble with about 20,000 in chips -- less than a starting stack on Day 1. Thomas successfully folded his way through the money bubble, and then busted in 97th place, earning $6,671 in the first WPT tournament that he ever entered.
After the field reached the money, Giuseppe Pantaleo had emerged as the chipleader. Pantaleo had so many chips that he needed help carrying the racks when he had to move to a new table. As it turned out, he also needed help holding onto his chips, because Pantaleo busted late in the day in 31st place.
With 50-something players left in the field, Lee Childs (left) plays a hand against Mike Sexton (top right). Sexton was the aggressor preflop, three-betting Childs, but then Childs raised back after Sexton bet out on a flop of 1054. Sexton tanked for several minutes before he forfeited the pot to Childs.
Dwyte Pilgrim has been called one of the best "minor league" tournament poker players in the game, earning more than $740,000 in smaller events since he began playing the tournament circuit two years ago. While he has earned three rings on the WSOP Circuit, Pilgrim said, "The circuit ring is definitely a great accomplishment. … That's a great place to start, but you know, the WPT is the place to be. World renowned." This is Pilgrim's first cash in a WPT event, but he has his eyes firmly focused on making the televised final table, surviving Day 3 with an above-average stack of 1,300,000. Pilgrim added, "Last year, I think I was the 'Rookie of the Year.' This is my first year contending with the big dogs."
Even when he's out of focus, Mike Sexton is still recognizable as the Poker Hall of Famer that he is. When Sexton originally signed on to be a commentator for WPT final tables, his contract stipulated that he couldn't play in any events (except for the WPT Celebrity Invitational). In the last few years, that restriction has been removed, and Sexton plays a few events each year. This marks his first cash in a WPT event, and it came on the day before his birthday. Yes, Wednesday is Mike Sexton's birthday, and he'd probably like to gift himself by reaching the final six -- Sexton is still alive with 640,000 in chips.
Brandon Novena (standing, center) celebrates after eliminating Andrew Badecker (seated, right) on a bad beat. Badecker three-bet all in from the big blind with AJ, and Novena tank-called with A9. Novena paired his nine on the flop to bust Badecker in 30th place and increase the size of his own chip stack. Novena had a rough start to this tournament, dropping down to less than 1,400 in chips on Day 1. But Novena not only survived, he thrived. He went on a rush in the second half of Day 3 to finish the day with a huge chip lead -- nobody else finished within a million of Novena's 3,343,000.
With 28 players remaining after midnight, play continued until one more player was eliminated. Defending champion Olivier Busquet (foreground, bottom right) was the big story at Table #3, and he finished the day fifth in chips with 1,676,000. Could Olivier Busquet become the first player in history to successfully defend a WPT title the following year? You'll have to follow the live updates on Wednesday to find out if he can reach the final six.
In the final hand of Day 3, Saturnino Rodriguez (far left, wearing black) and John D'Agostino (seated, center) got it all in on a board of 972. Rodriguez's AK (ace high) could only hope for a flush on the board to chop the pot against D'Agostino's 99 (set of nines). But the final board showed 972810 to give the pot to D'Agostino. The chip stacks had to be counted down to see who had more chips, and this photo was taken as it was determined that Saturnino Rodriguez had been eliminated in 28th place -- bringing Day 3 to an end at 12:23 am ET.
John D'Agostino started Day 3 as the chipleader and finished the day fourth in chips with 1,933,000. But it wasn't an easy ride in between, as D'Agostino was up and down for a while. D'Agostino has experience on his side; while he has taken a tournament hiatus in recent years to focus on cash games, he has made two televised WPT final tables here at Borgata in 2005 and 2006. (This photo was taken moments after the final hand, right before D'Agostino counted and bagged his chips.)
Dwyte Pilgrim was one of the 27 surviving players at the end of the night, and the 1.3 million in chips in this bag puts him slightly above average heading into Day 4.
Day 4 begins tomorrow (Wednesday) at 11:00 am ET, when the final 27 players return to play their way down toward the televised WPT final table (six players). While all of the action to this point has been in the Borgata's Event Center, Day 4 will take place in the Borgata Poker Room. Why? So the WPT Crew can transform the ballroom into the stage for Thursday's final table.
Return to WorldPokerTour.com for complete live coverage, including chip counts, photos, and video interviews with Kimberly Lansing.
06:19 AM, 09/22/10
Dwyte Pilgrim Chips Up
Level 23: 8,000-16,000, 2,000 ante
With over 100,000 in the pot and the board reading T97A8, Dwyte Pilgrim puts in a hefty check-raise against Sean Nolan. Nolan calls and mucks when Pilgrim shows JJ for a jack-high straight.
Dwyte Pilgrim, Borgata, Season IX, Tournaments, Borgata Poker Open
"Nice hand," Nolan says.
"You had a nice hand too," Pilgrim responds. He is now up to 700,000.
09:14 PM, 09/21/10
You Got Me
Level 17: 2,000-4,000, 400 ante
On a flop of K98, Guiseppe Pantaleo checks, Dwyte Pilgrim bets 15,000, and Pantaleo calls. The turn is the 9 and both players check. The river is the 10. Pantaleo bets 27,000, Pilgrim raises to 84,000, and Pantaleo calls.
Giuseppe Pantaleo, Dwyte Pilgrim, Borgata, Season IX, Tournaments, Borgata Poker Open
Pilgrim says "you got me" and throws his hand into the muck while Pantaleo shows 109 to take the pot.
Guiseppe Pantaleo - 760,000
Dwyte Pilgrim - 323,000
11:45 AM, 09/21/10