Borgata Winter Poker Open - Day 3
2006, Jason Kirk  

Day Three of the Borgata Winter Open started off with only 33 players, thanks to a quadruple elimination on the last hand of play on Day Two. That left a mere 27 players to knock out of contention before the WPT final table could be set up. However long it might take, play would continue until there were only 6 players left.

In the beginning it looked as if the day might progress quickly. The final $14,783 winners were determind in the first 20 minutes of play. Erik Seidel, who came into the day as one of the shortest stacks, was eliminated in 33rd on the first hand when he ran into Q-Q. Just a few hands later Marc Nantais was busted in 32nd by Denis Ethier's A-A, and Michael Mizrachi busted Chris Reslock in 31st when his K-T outflopped Reslock's 6-6. When the money went up the action didn't stop, though. By the end of the first half-hour of the day Leonard Green went out 30th, Greg Cash finished 29th, and Jorge Arias finished 28th after Dane Jorgensen's Q-J outdrew his T-T.

The remaining 27 players were consolidated onto three tables before play resumed. In this time John D'Agostino lost the chip lead, giving it up to Kenny Schuyler. Also lost were Mike Sica in 27th place (T-9 suited vs. 8-8), Vlad Mezheritsky Jr. in 26th, and Ronnie Cauthen in 25th (J-J vs. A-Q). Bill "The Stunning One" Edler ran K-J into Michael Mizrachi's flopped two pair with J-2 to leave in 24th, Denis Ethier ran 9-9 into Cliff Josephy's A-A to leave in 23rd, and Jim Lester ran 8-8 into Louise Francoeur's A-A to take 22nd. European Poker Tour founder (and the first man ever to win $1,000,000 on a televised poker tournament) John Duthie left in 21st after being crippled by Erick Lindgren, Richard Kirsch was eliminated in 20th by Kenny Schuyler, and Dennis January finished 19th when he couldn't crack Erick Lindgren's Q-Q with T-T.

Just 2.5 hours into play, the final two tables had been set. Don "Final Table" Mullis held the chip lead with $1.7M in chips, with Erick Lindgren ($1.4M) and Kenny Schuyler ($1.3M) close behind. Over the next two hours, things would change drastically. First was the elimination of Pete Skyllas in 18th place at the hands of Michael Goodman. Then, Schuyler doubled Josh Spiegelman up and helped Stuart "The Donator" Patterson triple up. Next, Dane Jorgensen went out in 17th when he got all his money in preflop with J-J against Michael Mizrachi's Q-Q, followed quickly by Will Tong in 16th when his desperation all-in with A-8 ran into Amnon Filippi's A-J. Finally, Mizrachi rivered a straight on Schuyler to claim a huge pot and take the chip lead.

When the players returned from a break to play the $8,000-16,000 blind level, two more players quickly left the building. Gene Todd's desperation push with K-5 of diamonds ran into Josh Spiegelman's A-Q, eliminating him in 15th place, and Michael Goodman's 8-8 ran into Erick Lindgren's J-J to send him home in 14th place. Then Kenny Schuyler began to rebuild his stack when he got his money in with J-J against John D'Agostino's 4-4. Richard Dabal left a short time later in 13th place at the hands of Amnon Filippi, and Louise Francoeur capped off an incredible run in 12th place when her Q-Q ran into Peter Feldman's A-A. As the dinner break approached, only 5 more players had to be knocked out to move on to the TV table.

Once the players had eaten, the first elimination came quickly. Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy, the Day One chip leader, flopped two pair with 9-7 suited and got his money in ahead of Michael Mizrachi's Q-Q, but Mizrachi turned a queen to send Josephy home in 11th place. The pace proved to be impossible to keep up once the last two tables were consolidated to one 10-handed table, though, and play slowed down dramatically. Nearly two and a half hours of moving chips around the table to one another would pass before there was another player eliminated. That player was Kenny Schuyler, who moved in with top pair, top kicker on a 7-3-2 board only to find himself up against Amnon Filippi's flopped set of 3's.

During the long lull, John D'Agostino came storming back from being crippled early in the day, showing great patience as he climbed back up the leaderboard. Just before Level 22 started he found himself in 2nd chip position with $1.175M. This allowed him to get more involved in hands and give himself a chance to make the TV table. Playing the role of roller coaster at this stage was Michael Mizrachi - he took several pots down without showing his cards but also mucked without showing on several others. The biggest pot of the day went to him just before 11 PM, when he made a great call with Q-Q after Don Mullis had moved all-in before the flop with J-J. That gave him another million chips to work with - definitely a dangerous prospect for everyone else at the table - and knocked Mullis out in 9th place.

The last two players went quickly. Joe Miceli left in 8th when his K-Q flopped top pair but was outdrawn by John D'Agostino's open-ended straight draw. Peter Feldman took the most crushing beat of all on the TV bubble - the Full Tilt Poker online qualifier was eliminated when his A-A was cracked by Josh Spiegelman's A-K, leaving him high and dry one hand away from the TV table. After nearly 12 hours in the Borgata poker room, the day's play had finally been completed.

Final table play was set to begin at 5 PM EST on Wednesday, February 1, with Erick Lindgren and Michael Mizrachi sitting atop the leaderboard. This is Mizrachi's second WPT TV table of the year already, which should give him some sort of edge. Lindgren is no stranger to the WPT set, though, and as a former WPT player of the year he can't be ruled out as a favorite. Then, of course, there's always the possibility of a hometown favorite like John D'Agostino taking home the title (as Al Ardebili did in the fall at the last Borgata event). One way or another, it should be a great final table.

Final Table Lineup (by seat)

Amnon Filippi 820,000
Stuart Patterson 1,060,000
Erick Lindgren 2,635,000
Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi 2,040,000
John D'Agostino 1,340,000
Josh Spiegelman 1,635,000

Day Three Money Finishers

33. Erik Seidel (Henderson, NV)
32. Marc Nantais (Alfred, Ontario, Canada)
31. Chris Reslock (Atlantic City, NJ)

30. Leonard Green (Huntingdon Valley, PA)
29. Greg Cash (Mount Ida, AR)
28. Jorge Arias (Boca Raton, FL)
27. Mike Sica (N. Brunswick, NJ)
26. Vlad Mezheritsky (Brooklyn, NY)
25. Ronnie Cauthen (Pawley's Island, SC)
24. Bill Edler (Las Vegas, NV)
23. Denis Ethier (Durham, NC)
22. Jim Lester (Cincinnati, OH)

21. John Duthie (London, England)
20. Richard Kirsch (Pampass Beach, FL)
19. Dennis January (Vancouver, WA)
18. Pete Skyllas (Astoria, NY)
17. Dane Jorgensen (Chesterfield, VA)

16. Will Tong (Astoria, NY)
15. Eugene Todd (Brooklyn, NY)
14. Michael Goodman (New York, NY)

13. Richard Dabal (Rochelle Park, NJ)
12. Louise Francoeur (Palm Beach, FL)
11. Cliff Josephy (Muttontown, NY)
10. Kenny Schuyler (Long Branch, NJ)

Final Table
9. Don Mullis (Willmington, NC) - $46,196
8. Joe Miceli (New York, NY) - $55,436
7. Peter Feldman (Harper Woods, MI) - $73,914

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