It was about 4am on Thanksgiving morning when the final trophy event of the 2018 Borgata Fall Poker Open came to an end and with it, the exciting November series was a wrap.Wenhao Ying – 1st Place – 2018 BFPO Championship
Earlier on Wednesday, a relatively unknown 24-year-old grad student named Wenhao Ying went wire-to-wire on the live streamed final table to claim 1st place in the $1 Million Guaranteed Championship event, along with $200,000* and his first Borgata title. In fact, this is his first title on record, more than doubling his lifetime earnings, which have all come in the previous 27 months.
Ying faced down a final table that included three very experienced pros: Paul Volpe, Brian Altman, and Matt Wantman. Altman ran into a cooler early that sent him out in 6th place, but the other two were there at the end with Ying. They agreed on adjusted payouts based on their chip standings which brought the four-day Championship to a close.Frank Lagodich – 1st Place – 2018 Fall Poker Open Kick-Off
The sixteen-day-long series was kicked off with the $500,000 Guaranteed Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em event. The prize pool came close to $800,000 and another young player claimed that title as well. First place and $128,359* went to 22-year-old Ohioan Frank Lagodich on his first-ever trip to Borgata. After getting heads-up with Borgata regular and poker pro Joe Cappuccio, Lagodich took the chip lead and the final two negotiated an adjusted payout with an even split of the remaining prize pool.
It was a good series for some of the “old school” Borgata tournament grinders as well. After several near misses, Bob Camano finally claimed his first Borgata title in Omaha/Stud High/Low Mix event. Andrew Klein booked his sixth Borgata win in the Old School NLH event, moving him into fifth place on the Most Wins at Borgata list. Howard Wolper waited until the final night of the series to make the money in Event 20, notching his 117th lifetime cash at Borgata, extending a record that’s going to be hard to beat.
The Ladies were once again in the spotlight, with two regulars claiming titles and setting records. BorgataPoker.com sponsored pro Katie Stone made the final six of the Deepest Stack NLH event and negotiated an adjusted payout giving her 1st place and $19,337*. This was her third Borgata title, putting her in a tie for first on the ‘Most Wins at Borgata by a Woman’ list. Until this series, Patricia Barsanti-Chou held this record. Just four days later, Anna Antimony won the Almighty Stack, coming out on top of a field of 1,073 runners to take the top prize of $91,586. This was also her third Borgata title, putting her in a three-way tie with Stone and Barsanti-Chou.
If there was a ‘Grind Until You Get There’ award, it would go to Carlos Matos for this BFPO series. He finished 5th in Event 9, the Deepest Stack, for $19,337*, then followed that up with a 3rd place finish in Event 15, the Saturday Series Deep Stack, for $14,432*. He finally got there and capped the series with a win in Event 19, the Deeper Stack, for $14,000* and his first Borgata Open trophy.
In total, more than $3.4 million was paid out in prize money in these 20 main events alone, not including satellites and secondary events, and 18 Borgata Fall Poker Open trophies found new homes. A complete list of main event winners is below.*Indicates Adjusted Payout
The daily tournament schedule has resumed in the Poker Room, with brief interruptions for Holiday Tournaments on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. There is also a DeepStacks Challenge Series running December 26th – December 30th.
It’s never too early to make plans for the 2019 Winter Poker Open, which runs January 15th – February 1st, and returns to Borgata’s spacious Event Center venue. The series will be capped by the World Poker Tour Winter Poker Open Championship, January 27-31.
On behalf of Borgata Poker Staff and bloggers Tim Kelliher, Chris Murray, and myself, thank you to all the players who participated and make Borgata tournament poker great. And thank you to the staff for the best-run events on the East Coast.
Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the coming Holiday season!