Failla wins his 7th Borgata Poker Open title in A.C.



The Borgata Summer Open ran July 14-31 as 497 players gathered for the $500K guarantee main event.The $2,500 championship generated a $1.1M prize pool, including re-entries. Will “the Thrill” Failla took home his seventh BPO title and $238,301.

“I love playing at the Borgata,” he said.“It’s the house that Thrill built. I run good there, feel good there, love it there.”

Failla was short-stacked for the most of the tournament but chipped up with only a few players remaining.

Other notables at the final table were Paul Volpe, Mike Linster, Tyng Low and Jack Duong. Linster, who was chipleader with two tables left, finished ninth ($22,176).

“Will’s been doing this for a long time,” said Linster, reflecting on his 10 years of playing with Failla. “He plays a bit different than most people do as far as making big folds and getting away from hands in tough spots that most people would bust out on.”

Duong, who started Day 3 as chipleader, took seventh ($42,135). Duong, who won a World Series bracelet this summer, has been playing tournaments since his first cash a couple of years ago at the Commerce in L.A.After being a regular at Parx in the $10-$10 NLHE game a few years ago, Duong went broke early into his poker career.

“I had to adjust my game and start from $1-$2 NLH again,” he said.It took two years to build up his bankroll, but with patience Duong improved his play in tournaments and cash games.“I feel much better about my game. The roller-coaster ride has definitely changed my perspective on bankroll management and game strategy.”

The Borgata Fall Open returns Sept. 8-25.The schedule includes a combined prize pool of nearly $7M, featuring Event 1’s $2M guarantee ($560) and the $3M guarantee WPT Championship for $3,500.

PARX: The Big Stax Series ran July 28-Aug. 17 and the first event ($330) drew 1,500 players.With Joe Cappuccio out in fifth place and Kevin Grabel in fourth, the final three chopped $456K. Peter Mendelsohn took home $65,905 with the most chips and Daniel Dagostino claimed the trophy and second place ($55,970).Alexandru Danilov was third ($54,501).

The $550 event drew 762 players as Greg Gerhartz fell to Daniel Bak in heads-up play. Bak won $84,493 as Gerhartz, after entering the tournament late in Day 2, ran up his stack as chipleader on Day 3 but earned $50,292 for second.Some of the notables at the table were Joe “Black” Reddick (fourth, $20,775), Jose Montes (fifth, $16,167) and Joe Palma (seventh, $9,363).While all three have had multiple final-table finishes, Palma holds the record at Parx.

Marguerite Spagnuoulo claimed the series’ first women’s event, putting her earnings at near $100K and giving her bragging rights as one of the most feared female players in the region.

The $1,100 main hadn’t completed at press time and will be recapped in an upcoming issue.

New York

SENECA NIAGARA: There were 504 entries in the $600 Summer Slam main event as William Liang won the title and $61,535 from the $267,498 prize pool. Steven Solodiuk banked $37,610 for second while Newton Graziano was third ($24,931).

Liang, 29, is a project manager for a software company in Toronto. The victory brings his live earnings to $68,984.

Graziano, from Cheektowaga, N.Y., cashed for the 12th time, earning more than $121K. Daniel Wagner of West Seneca was fourth ($17,334). Actor Kirk Acevedo (Blue Bloods, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Grimm) was fifth ($12,974).

Rick Block won Event 1 ($200 NLHE) after a six-way chop earned the pro from Alden, N.Y., $15K. Ray Williams was second ($10K) followed by John Elia ($9,881). The event had 569 entrants for a $91,893 prize pool.

Joseph D’Antuono, via a four-way chop, grabbed top honors in the $50 Event 3. The North Tonawanda, N.Y. player earned $6,351 from the event that had 961 runners and a $38,400 pool.


DELAWARE PARK: The poker room hosts the Mid-Atlantic Poker Championship on Oct. 14-26. There will be 16 events, including a $1,500 pot-limit Omaha championship (Oct. 21-22), a $585 heads-up championship (Oct. 22-23) and the $1,090 Mid-Atlantic Poker Championship (Oct. 23-26).

DOVER DOWNS: If you’re lucky enough to pick up this issue in time, the Crown Royal Poker Room is hosting the Delaware Poker Championship until Sept. 7, and this event is an Ante Up Set Sail Series.

The $560 main event features a $100K guarantee. At the first break of each of the five tournaments, an Ante Up Poker Cruise package for two for the Nov. 7 sailing out of Tampa, Fla., will be raffled off. All players active in the tournament or a cash game will receive one raffle ticket.

Also this month, look for the Five Card Charlie promotion that runs daily noon to midnight. Whenever the five community cards in hold’em games add up to 21 or less the table will receive back-to-back $25 splash pots.

If you didn’t get to the DPC in time, you’re in luck. The Masters Poker Series runs Oct. 28-Nov. 1 and also will be an Ante Up Set Sail Series.
For each event players enter in the seven-event series, they’ll be given a drawing ticket. On Nov. 1, tickets will be drawn until five winners claim an Ante Up Poker Cruise package for two on the April 18 sailing out of Port Canaveral, Fla.

The Masters Poker Series features seven no-limit hold’em events with two $550 main events as one is open to all players and one is open to players aged 45 or older. Among the events is a $125 Meet the Masters event featuring several of MPS pro. A total of $150K is guaranteed over the course of the series, and all cashers in all events will earn Ante Up Poker Tour Player of the Year points.

HARRINGTON RACEWAY: There will be splash pots during NFL games beginning Sept. 10. For each quarter of the game, there will be a $100 splash pot added to a random table.

MARYLAND LIVE: The World Poker Tour visits Sept. 23, the first time the WPT has been in Maryland. There will be four events, including the $3,500 main event on Sept. 25 and the $7,500 high-roller Sept. 28. See the ad on Page 27 of our September issue.

Also on Sundays, there will be $25K in drawings and Live Flops run all month.


FOXWOODS: The WSOPC, with a guaranteed $1.3 million in prizes, was wrapping up as Ante Up went to press. Look for results in our next issue.

In the meantime, don’t forget the World Poker Finals runs Oct. 3-19. The three-day $2,700 main event, which sports a $500K guarantee, begins Oct. 16 and has two Day 1s. There will be $1.6 million in guarantees over the course of the series. Please see the ad in the September issue for all of the details.

Meet Dominic DeMarco

Dominic DeMarco is a dealer and part-time floor manager at the Crown Royal Poker Room at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino. He is a 46-year-old resident of Washington Township, N.J., and has been dealing since January 2012. He has worked at Dover Downs since 2013.

When you play, where do you play? I like to play at Bally’s and Parx. I would like to play at Borgata, but because I have dealt there, I can’t play.

What is the biggest tournament that you have dealt? The Borgata Open was the biggest. This had thousands of players and was over a couple of weeks.

What are some of the ways you enhance the tables while dealing? I try to personalize the game if I hear a player’s name or they are wearing a team hat or jersey. I like to refer to them as the team or city. I also try my best to control the action and keep the game moving. – Michael Young

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine