Mar 13 8:05 pm

BPPS 500 (Day 1A): Lee Moving Up Leadboard After Break

Level 11 (600/1,200/200)
Total Day 1A Entries: 133
Players Remaining: 54
Chip Average: 63,000

Brian Lee (Boston, MA)

Brian Lee (Boston, MA)

The players have just returned from their final break of this Day 1A session, later than they would have liked as the Poker Room fire alarm went off during the break and delayed play.

But, that has been cleared up and the remaining field will play two more levels before bagging and tagging chips heading into Day 2.

While some players are starting to get short despite this deep, long structure, Brian Lee isn’t having that problem, as he’s joined the Century Club as he’s playing close to 120,000 and is near the top of the Borgata Poker Player’s Series leaderboard.

Lee’s last rated score is from well over six months ago, when he notched a top fifteen finish in a WSOP Circuit event at Foxwoods but he seems to be making good on a “return” to poker and will look to continue to chip up through the last two levels of Day 1A.

Lee might have his work cut out for him though, as Jose Montes was just moved to his table and Joe McKeehen is seated to Lee’s immediate left.

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Mar 13 7:20 pm

BPPS 500 (Day 1A): Faces In The Crowd (Part V)

Level 10 (500/1,000/100)
Total Day 1A Entries: 133
Players Remaining: 68
Chip Average: 60,000

We’ve shamefully gone close to eight hours without mentioning a single female player on the Borgata Poker Player’s Series blog and with the tournament field mid-way through Level 10 there are just three female players remaining, all with tournament resumes that are more than impressive.

judy

Judy Bielan might be hampered with a below average stack, but the former WSOP Circuit champion looks determined to make a Day 2 push to build on a Winter Poker Open that saw her cash in all three “deep stack” events.

nancy

Nancy Martin has also been hovering near the chip average for the last few levels as well as hovering near the $100,000 mark in terms of career tournament earnings. She’ll look to spin up her stack and surpass that century mark here in the BPPS 500.

lana

While the other two female players remaining in today’s field are near the chip average, former Borgata Poker champion Lana O’Brien looks to be one of the chip leaders as she is well over the 100,000 chip mark after eliminating Michael Bonita in a massive pot.

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Mar 13 6:54 pm

BPPS 500 (Day 1A): Gilbert Over Average After Break

Level 9 (400/800/75)
Total Day 1A Entries: 133
Players Remaining: 68
Chip Average: 60,000

James Gilbert (Bensalem, PA)

James Gilbert (Bensalem, PA)

While some of the bigger stacks haven’t faired that well after the post-dinner restart, James Gilbert has returned and done the opposite, moving himself up and over the chip average with just a few minutes remaining in Level 9.

Gilbert is at one of the tougher remaining tables here in the Borgata Poker Player’s Series, as he’s seated with past Borgata Champions Thai Ha and Howard Wolper, but while those two players have Borgata titles on their resumes, Gilbert’s Borgata victory trumps them both.

That was during last year’s Fall Poker Open, when Gilbert outlasted a massive field to win the opening event of that series, claiming just under $185,000 for the victory, his first since a WSOP Circuit win in 2012.

Gilbert’s been quiet since that huge score, only recording a minimum cash at the Parx Big Stax X series this year, but he’s looking like a serious contender here in the BPPS 500 and will certainly use the experience he earned during last year’s victory through the rest of this Day 1A session.

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Mar 13 6:43 pm

BPPS 500 (Day 1A): Bledar Cuts Down The Big Stack

Level 9 (400/800/75)
Total Day 1A Entries: 133
Players Remaining: 68
Chip Average: 60,000

Bledar Karafili (Queens, NY)

Bledar Karafili (Queens, NY)

Michael McGuinness returned from the dinner break with the chip lead but he hasn’t held that position for very long as he just doubled up a short stack that has put a new name atop the Borgata Poker Player’s Series 500 leaderboard.

The action was picked up pre-flop with McGuinness three-betting from the big blind to 6,700 after Steven Sarmiento opened the action and got two callers, one of which was Bledar Karafili.

The three named players would see a flop of with McGuinness leading out for 8,000.

Only Bledar would call and he’d see the pair the board on the turn, with McGuinness wasting no time putting in his entire stack of blue 5,000 chips, putting Bledar all-in if he were to call.

He did, instantly tabling after McGuinness said, “You got it.” apparently trying to use his big stack to bully the short stacked player.

It wouldn’t work as he was drawing to three outs as he held nothing more than King high and after the came on the river, he’d be sending nearly 40,000 chips across the table, with Bledar now playing well over the chip average as one of the bigger stacks in the room.

Now that we are back from the dinner break and only have four levels remaining in this Day 1A session we will start to get into the “meat and potatoes” of the reporting as the remaining updates will be centered around big hands and chip leaders as we continue to thin the field and move closer to Day 2.

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Mar 13 6:15 pm

BPPS 500 (Day 1A): Back From Dinner, Playing Four More Levels

Level 9 (400/800/75)
Total Day 1A Entries: 133
Players Remaining: 72
Chip Average: 55,000

The remaining Day 1A field has returned from their short dinner break to Level 9 and will play four more levels before the surviving players bag and tag their chips for Sunday’s Day 2 session.

The updates will continue up to the end of Level 12, leaving just over three hours of play with the end of Day 1A coming around 9:30 PM.

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Mar 13 5:48 pm

BPPS 500 (Day 1A): Dentale Over 100K Into Dinner

Level 9 (400/800/75)
Total Day 1A Entries: 133
Players Remaining: 81
Chip Average: 49,000

Mike Dentale is one of three players over the 100,000 chip mark heading into the short dinner break here in the BPPS 500.

Mike Dentale is one of three players over the 100,000 chip mark heading into the short dinner break here in Day 1A of the BPPS 500.

We’ve yet to see very many “big” stacks emerge through the first eight levels of play here in Day 1A of the Borgata Poker Player’s Series, but it’s all relative as a 100,000 chip stack is heaps with these 45 minute levels.

There are very few players over the century mark as the remaining Day 1A field heads to their half hour dinner break and Mike Dentale (Brooklyn, NY) is one of them, joined by early leader Michael McGuinness and former Borgata Champion Steven Sarmiento.

Dentale is looking to regain the form he ended last year with, as the last two months of 2014 saw Dentale make three four figure scores, almost notching three straight Main Event Final Tables, just missing out on the Borgata Fall Poker Open Championship Final Table notching a top ten finish at both the Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open Main Event and the WSOP Circuit Atlantic City Main Event.

Those three scores netted Dentale just over $110,000, moving himself over the $800,000 mark in terms of career tournament earnings and while he is a two-time Borgata Poker champion, Dentale will be the first to admit that he still has his best poker ahead of him as he’s come extremely close to some massive results and that the “breakthrough” major tournament victory isn’t far away.

The BPPS will serve as a good warm-up for Dentale and other players, as these structures will mimic the “championship” formats of both of next month’s big events as the Borgata will host a Spring Poker Open Championship and the WPT World Championship, events that Dentale will look to take down once and for all.

This “warm-up” could turn into much more than that, as Dentale is near the top of the leaderboard going into the dinner break, with a complete rundown of chip counts ¬†being listed below:

Michael McGuinness – 115,000
Mike Dentale – 110,000
Steven Sarmiento – 105,000
Thai Ha – 90,000
Thomas Coan – 85,000
Joe McKeehen – 80,000
Justin Morrell – 70,000
Dan DiZenzo – 65,000
Ken Silberstein – 65,000
Daniel Buzgon – 60,000
Aristedes Santana – 55,000

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Mar 13 5:13 pm

BPPS 500 (Day 1A): Half Hour Until “Dinner”

Level 8 (300/600/75)
Total Day 1A Entries: 133
Players Remaining: 81
Chip Average: 49,000

While it wasn’t listed in the original structure sheet, the Borgata tournament staff have decided to give the remaining Day 1A field a modified dinner break at the end of Level 8, as six 10 minute breaks doesn’t really allow players to get a true “break” or a real meal.

This half hour dinner break will begin at the end of this level and before the players head on that break, we will update you on some of the bigger and notables stacks in the room as we will be left with just over three hours of play when play resumes.

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Mar 13 5:10 pm

BPPS 500 (Day 1A): Faces In The Crowd (Part IV)

Level 8 (300/600/75)
Total Day 1A Entries: 133
Players Remaining: 81
Chip Average: 49,000

During the last two “Faces In The Crowd” posts, we’ve featured some of the bigger names in both the live and online poker regional scenes but with this player profile we are featuring some players who are still looking for that “breakthrough” score to put their names on the poker map.

justin

Despite being new to the tournament scene, Justin Morrell has put together some decent results through his first two months of full-time play, notching back-to-back scores at the Parx Big Stax X series and then another $1,000 score at the WSOPC in Baltimore. But, he may be headed towards his best finish to date, currently leading a tough table here in the BPPS 500.

geno

Geno Raman has started 2015 on a tear, notching a half dozen results through the first two months of the year, moving himself over the $25,000 mark in terms of career earnings. But, despite having over 20 rated cashes to his name, he’s never made a five figure score, something that he’ll look to achieve this weekend.

peter

While Raman started 2015 hot, Peter Lew ended 2014 even hotter, making three straight major tournament Final Tables, including two during the December Borgata Deep Stacks Challenge. Those three results would earn Lew close to $15,000 as he looks to make his first big score of the new year.

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Mar 13 4:30 pm

BPPS 500 (Day 1A): Flight Frozen At 133

Level 7 (250/500/50)
Total Day 1A Entries: 133
Players Remaining: 94
Chip Average: 42,000

The opening flight of the Borgata Poker Player’s Series 500 has been frozen at 133 entrants and the remaining 90 or so players will now play six more levels before bagging up chips for Sunday’s Day 2 session.

Players that did not make it through the late registration period or bust out before the end of Day 1A can fire their second bullet in tomorrow’s Day 1B flight and should see tremendous value even for a non-guaranteed event as there is already close to $65,000 in the prize pool.

That number should at the very least double tomorrow, as this event seemingly takes the place of the always successful “Saturday Series” which consistently draws massive fields.

The updates will continue from the field as we will play down through Level 12 tonight after which players will bag and tag for Day 2.

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Mar 13 4:21 pm

BPPS 500 (Day 1A): Faces In The Crowd (Part III)

Level 7 (250/500/50)
Total Day 1A Entries: 133

In the last “Faces In The Crowd” post, we featured players with some of the more impressive tournament resumes in the Day 1A field of the Borgata Poker Player’s Series 500 and we continue that trend, but move our focus to the virtual felt, as the next three players are some of the top online players in New Jersey.

azzaro

Mike Azzaro has close to $160,000 in live tournament earnings but some of his biggest recent results have come in BorgataPoker.com $100,000 GTD Sunday Majors as he’s defeated that event multiple times over the last year.

haberman

Mike Haberman is making his first “live” appearance of the year here in the BPPS after spending the majority of the last two months grinding online, earning results that have put himself in the top three of the 2015 BLUFF Online Player of the Year rankings.

horter

Speaking of the BLUFF OPOY Rankings, everyone in New Jersey is trying to do what Christopher Horter did last year, as he won the first OPOY title, while earning close to $200,000 in combined live and online results.

Play online anytime, anywhere in New Jersey on BorgataPoker.com.

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