The Borgata Winter Open’s highest value tournament concluded Wednesday night with Michael Tauman winning top honors.
After two grueling days of play, Michael Tauman would be proclaimed the winner of this year’s Borgata Winter Open Event #10 – $450 Deepest Stack No-Limit Hold’em, when his 7♣6♣ cracked the pocket rockets of second place finisher Mark Rebuck.
The tournament would draw an impressive 327 entries, all of whom would start with a monstrous 50,000 chip starting stack. Day 1 play continued on into the wee hours of the morning – concluding after nearly sixteen hours of play, with 35 runners still in contention for the title.
Andy Hwang, winner of last year’s Borgata Winter Open Main Event, began Day 2 with the chip lead. But when play resumed Tauman would begin bobbing and weaving his day towards the top of the leaderboard. And by the time play was seven handed, he had surpassed the 2 million chip barrier.
Final Table Action
Hwang would extend his lead to 4.4 million before losing nearly all his chips to Rebuck when his Ace-queen lost a critical flip to Rebuck’s pocket Jacks. But two double-ups later and the resilient pro would be right back in the hunt. Greg Wish would fall in sixth place, followed shortly after by Nicolas Markatos in fifth. Markatos’ finish would be good for nearly $7,500.
Then, the newly-replenished Hwang would double Rebuck up yet again. This time, Hwang would three-bet Tauman’s opening raise to 1.1 million. From the big blind, Rebuck would shove for a mere million more, and Hwang was resigned to call. Hwang showed A♥7♠ and Rebuck A♣K♣. The outcome was never in question as Rebuck flopped a straight draw, and rivered Broadway. Hwang was left with 1.8 million and Rebuck’s more than double-up gave him nearly 5 million.
Amazingly, Hwang would once again regain the chip lead. Soon after, Monro Secor was eliminated in fourth when his K-Q couldn’t overcome Tauman’s pocket Kings.
Hwang’s luck would finally run out when his A♦3♥ would be dominated by Tauman’s A♠10♥. A flop of 2♦4♣6♠ gave Hwang some additional outs, but when the turn and river bricked out, Hwang’s roller coaster of a final table would finally come to an end.
Heads-Up Play: Tauman vs. Rebuck
Thanks to his timely elimination of Hwang, Tauman would enter heads-up play with a commanding chip lead (11 million to 4.5 million). Rebuck would find an early double after his A♣Q♣ held up over Tauman’s Q♠6♣, but his good fortunes would not last for long.
After nearly 30 minutes of heads-up play, the fateful final hand was dealt:
Tauman would raise from the button with an attractive holding of 7♣6♣. Rebuck put in a third bet with Aces, and Tauman called in position. The flop of 6♦6♠9♣ was a dream scenario for Tauman, giving him well-disguised trips. Rebuck checked, Tauman fired, Rebuck jammed and of course Tauman called. Rebuck would not improve on the turn or river, and would be sent packing in utter disbelief. Perhaps the nearly $19,000 in second place prize money will make him feel better. Tauman would be awarded $34,130 and an illustrious Winter Open trophy for his first-place efforts.
Other News: Event #99, Thursday’s Headlines
The other big tournament of the day served as a replacement for the cancelled Event #12 – $260 + $40 $150,000 Guarantee. Event #99 – $200 + $30 NLHE would draw 378 entries – impressive given that snowstorm “Janus” would make traveling to the Borgata nearly impossible.
Play began at 1 pm and would not conclude after 5 am in the morning. The remaining four players (Trevor Deeter, Toby Kasser, Mohd Eid and Brain Rosengarten) were all extremely short stacked, and decided to make a deal as opposed to returning for a second day of play.
Thursday featured two main events – Event #13 $350+$50+$100 Deep Stack Black Chip Bounty and Event #14 – $1,500+$150 Heads-up NLHE.