Busy time on tap for A.C.-Philadelphia poker

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There are several events scheduled in 2015 that may give players something to look forward to in the Atlantic City-Philadelphia region. The year will be kicking off with the Restock the Shelves charity event in multiple poker venues on Jan. 19, hosted by Ante Up and Blue Shark Optics.

There are also talks of regulating Internet gaming in Pennsylvania. SugarHouse will be opening its new building in the fall with a permanent poker room. Philadelphia will begin the construction of the recently passed license for Live Casino and Borgata will host its Winter Open Jan. 13-30.

BORGATA: The Fall Open (Nov. 4-20) had eight guarantees for the series that totaled $2.475M. There were 44 events and the opening tournament drew 2,191 entrants for the $1M guarantee.

Jeff Gilbert from Bensalem, Pa., won the event after firing only one bullet to claim his first trophy and $184,902. Among the notable players was Rocco Luciano of Philadelphia with a 13th-place finish for $7,970.

Steve Wolansky of Florida took home the main-event trophy and $330,887 after four days of grinding. Taylor Von Kriegenbergh ($186K) fell victim to Wolansky when they were heads-up as Wolansky’s postflop straight draw ended up completing a runner-runner flush. Paul Volpe finished fourth ($95,016).

It was Wolansky’s second major title in 2014 after grabbing a World Series of Poker bracelet over the summer.

PARX: Big Stax IX was under way as the January issue went to press. The Big Stax 300 event gathered 1,410 entrants with 214 players making it into Day 2 after four Day 1 heaters.
The final four players competed for three levels, but in the end it was Chad Rosow of New York who took home his first trophy.

It was a tough competition for Rosow, for the other three opponents were all respected notables with numerous cashes.

Eric Rivkin, a respected player from the region, was fourth.

“Typically, I always crush hard on Day 1s especially at Parx and Borgata, but then run into stacked tables thereafter and countless spots where I’m favored but run bad,” Rivkin said.
He took home $18,887, adding to his live earnings of $400K.

Rosow adds $73,561 to his earnings of $11K, making it his biggest cash-in in his poker career.

Finishing 56th was Moe Farah, who now stands as the leader of Parx all-time cashes. Farah has proved to be a solid player in the Philadelphia area with 18 cashes this year in nearby tournaments, 10 being final tables. In the past year, Farah has collected trophies from the Borgata Open and Parx Big Stax, as well as a World Series of Poker Circuit ring.

Farah’s most recent victory was the Big Stax six-max in October for $10,563, making his live earnings nearly $200K. Farah had three-way chopped the six-max with Will Failla earlier in 2014.

A longtime player, but only playing seriously for the past two years, Farah has built a strong reputation to be feared in the area. He makes it look easy, but to the contrary Farah has a strong will and mentality of a winner.

“I’ve been determined to get better, putting in a lot of hours and hard work to improve my game,” he said.

— Email Jo Kim at anteupjokim@gmail.com.