And then there were six left standing in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Once again, the TV-aspect of the World Poker Tour kicked in and the final table of the latest stop on the WPT will be on a two-month delay and played down across the country in Las Vegas. The Borgata Winter Poker Open will have to wait to crown its champion. But for now... six players are still in the hunt for the WPT title, a boatload a cash, bragging rights, and a seat into the season-ending Tournament of Champions... which will gone down in late May at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas.
The one who is bummed out the most is Brian Altman. Because when you're on a heater... you're on a mofo heater and don't want to stop because you gotta press those hot streaks for as long as the poker gods are blessing you and you're playing at peak confidence. Alas, this delay could not come at a worst time for Altman. Over the last two weeks, he's been running godlike. He binked the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida last week and advanced to another WPT final table up in AC. In a perfect world, Altman plays out his heater and probably ships the Borgata for back-to-back wins. Ho hum... that will not be the case because this TV final table will be taped in two months.
The Borgata Casino in AC always hosts their annual Winter Poker Open in January and the primary spot on the East Coast for poker action for almost the last twenty years. If you could never make it down to the Bahamas or the Aussie Millions, you always had the Borgata Winter Poker Open in AC. Hey, it's not down under and it's not the Caribbean. So you don't have kangaroos, but you have plenty of guys in tracksuits name Anthony and half the room looks like extras from The Sopranos.
The $3,500 buy-in WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event attracted 1,290 runners. They created a prize pool worth $4.1 million. Only the top 162 places paid out with $675K to the champion. Most of the cheesesteak was set aside to the top few spots.
Way after Midnight Jersey time, Peter Vitantonio bubbled the final table in seventh place. Brian Altman took him out with King-Queen against Vitantonio's Ace-Queen. Vitantonio flopped top pair. Altman turned a Broadway gutshot draw. The on the river sealed Vitantonio's fate. Altman caught a runner-runner Broadway straight to win the pot and secure a spot in the delayed TV final table in Vegas. Vitantonio bounced in seventh place and he banked $110K. Not too shabby, eh?
Brian Altman, Veerab Zakarian, James Anderson, Andrew Hanna, Bin Weng, and Nathan Russler are the final table combatants. Zakarian bagged up the lead with almost 12M. Anderson is second with 10M and Altman is right behind in third in chips with 9.87M. Weng also is close by with 9M. Hanna is next to last with 6.7M, while Russler rings up the rear with a shade under 4M.
The final six will be fighting for $675K in cash plus a seat into the season ending Tournament of Champions at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas.
The delayed final table will be played out on April Fool's Day at the HyperX eSports Arena at the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas. Yes, the final six will wait 60 or so days until their final throwdown. Tune in then to find out if Brian Altman wins his third WPT title and second one this year. Or perhaps Veerab Zakarian goes wire-to-wire for the victory?
Notables who cashed at the 2020 WPT Borgata Winter Open included... Alex Queen, Patrick Serda, Matt Waxman, Jesus Martinez, Donald Maloney, Maurice Hawkins, Ari Engel, Stephen Song, Lara Eisenberg, Tony Cousineau, Craig Varnell, Brock Wilson, Olivier Busquet, Shannon Shorr, Darren Elias, Matt Glantz, Joe McKeehen, Tom Cannuli, Mike Sowers, Brock Parker, Taylor von Kriegenbergh, Galen Hall, Je Wook Oh, Shawn Cunix, Frank Stepuchin, Vinny Pahuja, Stan Lee, Savid the Dragon, Jeffrey Gross, Kou Vang, James Pupillo , Adam Hendrix, Paul Chang, Julius Heftler, Dan San toro, Kristine Zakaite, and Dien Le.
2020 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open
Prize Pool: $4,129,290
1. Veerab Zakarian 11,990,000
2. James Anderson 10,040,000
3. Brian Altman 9,865,000
4. Bin Weng 8,890,000
5. Andrew Hanna 6,730,000
6. Nathan Russler 3,990,000
Final Table Payouts: