Level 36 (200,000/400,000/40,000)
Total Entries: 1,757
Players Remaining: 1
Average Stack: 44,000,000
Over the last few opening Borgata Poker Open events, there have been a handful of close calls when it comes to female players making deep final table runs. The last three September Borgata Poker Open $2,000,000 GTD events have seen their female players nearly claim titles, as Alida Veliu finished 3rd in 2013, Patti Haggerty finished 4th in 2014 and Jessica Dawley notched a 5th place finish in that same event this year. Stephanie Hubbard isn’t foreign to deep Event 1 runs either, as she notched a 10th place finish in this event during the 2014 Spring Poker Open.
Coming into today’s Day 3 session with just ten big blinds, Hubbard likely would have been happy just making the final table. After picking up an early double and winning another few sizable pots before the ten-handed redraw, there was no doubt that she was going to best that finish here today. A few hours into after that redraw, it looked like Hubbard’s title to lose, as she played nearly perfect poker, building her stack and then using that stack to notch the final five eliminations en route to her first ever major tournament title.
Opening BPO events aren’t the only tournaments that Hubbard has had close calls in before, as her career resume shows that she’s fallen just short of that elusive trophy more than a few times. In total, she has over a dozen final table appearances and we imagine that those close calls and this breakthrough was why Hubbard was so emotional about this massive win.
As soon as the final river card hit the felt, Hubbard was a wide range of emotions, celebrating with a mixture of excitement and relief. The excitement of a $160,000 score and the relief that all those near misses weren’t for naught. We’ve seen some supportive rails over the last few BPO series and Hubbard’s growing cheering section was there to share in the victory, making the win even sweeter for the part-time poker player.
That part-time status might change after this Event 1 win but it won’t change Hubbard’s schedule this week, as she’ll be back at the pharmacy that she runs bright and early tomorrow morning. She’ll return to her full-time job as the first ever female winner of a Borgata Poker Open opening event and while she said that she “always felt people questioned her abilities” prior to this event, after the win the only one question that really needs answering came from Hubbard’s roommate Christine Brewer.
“Where are we going to put the trophy?”
That concludes the FPO blog’s coverage of the $500,000 GDT opening Fall Poker Open event. The FPO blog will continue to bring you updates from Event 4 which is currently playing towards the money bubble and a complete Event 1 recap will be posted tomorrow morning.