Elite poker play was on display at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa this weekend as the 2007 Borgata Winter Poker Open continued. Chatter and laughter filled the air as the cards hit the table for the start of the Ladies Only Tournament on Sunday. The mood was more subdued Saturday as the 18 remaining players took their seats to resume play in the $1,500 buy-in event. The field encompassed several elite pros as well as past winners of the Borgata Poker Open. Leonard Cortellino of Lewiston, ME, survived the tough field and took home $200,860 in first place prize money.
Sunday’s Final Table featured superb, deliberate play. The players battled back and forth as if it was a chess match. Jeremy Shor, the winner of the $1,500 event at the 2006 Borgata Poker Open overcame a short stack to finish fourth with $47,775. Frank Lupo took home $54,600 for third place. Cortellino was left heads up with one of the top players in the world, James Van Alstyne, who earned $105,788 for his second place finish. Van Alstyne’s experience and pro status could not push him past Cortellino. Van Alstyne was drained after battling heads up noting: “It is disappointing not to win, but this was a great tournament with great atmosphere and I still won ($105,788).”
Cortellino followed in the footsteps of Louis Esposito, the winner of Saturday’s $1,000 buy-in event, starting the second day of competition as the short stack. Cortellino commented, “I think I had less pressure at the start of the day since I was at the bottom of the chip count. I kept grinding away and my stack grew.”
Saturday action featured the Event #3 Final Table, the $1000 buy-in tournament at Borgata Winter Open. Louis Esposito of Glen Dale, NY, won the tournament and the $174,466 in first place prize money. Jonathan Chehanske of Brigantine, NJ, finished in second place with $96,091 in prize money. Chehanske honed his poker skills in Borgata’s new 85-table Poker Room. “I’ve played some of my best poker today, but I’m still happy with second place money.” Akio Ishige, who made a final table during the $500 buy-in event, finished in fifth place with $37,560 in prize money.
The weekend’s poker action also featured the $1,000 buy-in Big Three Super Satellite. Five players won a $10,000 WPT Voucher, a $5,200 Event #9 Voucher, a $2,650 Event #7 Voucher, and $2,150 in cash. The winner was Fritz Stoner, the past winner of the $750 buy-in event at the 2006 Borgata Poker Open. Matt Stout, who made two final tables during the 2006 Poker Open, finished in third in the Big Three.
Celebrity players such as Steve Danneman began arriving in larger numbers over the weekend. Many will be playing in Monday’s $2,500 and Wednesday’s $5,000 buy-in No Limit events. “Momma” Mizrachi, the mother of Card Player’s 2006 Player of the Year, Michael Mizrachi, and a celebrity in her own right, competed in Sunday’s Ladies event.
About Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
Borgata is a joint venture of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) and MGM MIRAGE (NYSE: MGM). Located at Renaissance Pointe in Atlantic City, it features 2,000 guest rooms and suites, 161,000 square feet of gaming, 200 gaming tables, 4,100 slot machines, 14 destination restaurants, 11 retail boutiques, a 54,000 square foot spa, 70,000 square feet of event space, and parking for 7,100 cars. For more information on Borgata or to obtain a copy of this press release, please visit http://www.theborgata.com or use AOL keyword: borgata. Additional news and information on Boyd Gaming can be found at http://www.boydgaming.com; additional information on MGM MIRAGE can be found at http://www.mgmmirage.com.
WPT Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq: WPTE) is a company engaged in the creation of internationally branded entertainment and consumer products driven by the development, production, and marketing of televised programming based on gaming themes. WPTE is the creator of the World Poker Tour(R), a television show based on a series of high-stakes poker tournaments that airs on the Travel Channel in the United States and more than 150 markets globally. With the WPT in its fifth season, WPTE has launched a second series on the Travel Channel, the Professional Poker Tour(TM), which focuses on the play of poker’s leading stars. WPT also operates a real-money online gaming website, http://www.wptonline.com, which prohibits wagers from players in the U.S. and other restricted jurisdictions. WPT Enterprises currently licenses its brand to companies in the business of poker equipment and instruction, apparel, publishing, electronic and wireless entertainment, DVD/home entertainment, casino games, and giftware. The company is also engaged in the sale of corporate sponsorships. For show information, tools for improving poker play, and other WPT news, fans may log on to http://www.worldpokertour.com. WPT Enterprises, Inc. is a majority owned subsidiary of Lakes Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: LACO). Photos and media information can be found online at: http://www.worldpokertour.com/media. (WPTEF)