Hubbard breaks BPO barriers in A.C.

December 28, 2015, Jo Kim, Dave Lukow, Michael Young  

Stephanie Hubbard won the opening event of the Borgata Fall Poker Open after chopping the remaining prize pool three ways, becoming the first woman to win a BPO event and pocketing $160K. She was chipleader after Day 1A and Day 2.

“I was very excited to bag the chip lead on 1A,” she said. “I felt like this was my tournament to win and wanted to continue the momentum from Day 1 throughout.”

Hubbard, Matt Stout and Jim Lillis played for $10K differences.It was Stout’s second time finishing second in a BPO event, losing to Asher Coniff earlier in 2015.

“I knew Matt was hungry for a win after being heads-up before,” Hubbard said. “I had a 5-to-1 lead and just wanted to small-ball him and swing the chip advantage.”
Stout earned $102K while Lillis won $65K for third.

In the other big story, Brooklyn pro Mike Dentale took down the main event for $336K, pushing his career earnings past the $1M mark. Jason Paster finished second ($189K) and Henry Lu was third ($121K).

The Borgata Winter Poker Open runs Jan.†19-Feb. 5 and sports a $3 million guarantee as part of the World Poker Tour BorgataChampionship.

Delaware

DOVER DOWNS: On Jan. 1, there will be a $10K guarantee with a $125 buy-in at the Crown Royal Poker Room. There’s also a $30K guarantee ($240) on Jan. 2 and a $2,500 guarantee ($40) on Jan. 3.

There are many cash-game promotions this month, too. After 25 hours of play, players receive $2 per hour of comp dollars and there will be other comp promotions throughout the month so see the poker room for details.

HARRINGTON RACEWAY: The poker room has added a new tournament on Thursday nights. It’s a $75 mixed bounty with $10 bounties and the game is limit hold’em and Omaha/8. The tournament’s defending champ will have a $50 bounty, but if the champ wins again then that player gets to keep the bounty. Also, on Wednesdays, a $1K guarantee Omaha-O/8 mixed event runs and has become a popular tourney.

Maryland

HORSESHOE BALTIMORE: The poker room is hosting a multiday, $350 buy-in, $100K guarantee at the end of the month that is certain to garner a lot of attention. This is not the usual $350 event that runs Saturdays at 11 a.m. as that tournament sports a mere $20K guarantee. The first-day flights for the $100K will be Jan. 29-30 with Day 2 on Jan. 31. For more info, call the poker room.

MARYLAND LIVE: Throughout January, the poker room is giving away four packages to see the Super Bowl in San Francisco. They will include hotel, airfare and two parties before the game. Drawings will be on Sundays. Tickets can be earned by hours played throughout the week. Call the room for more details.

CHARITY POKER IN DC: All In Enterprises again is hosting annual World Series of DC Poker. Lead-up events will be Jan. 31 and Feb. 6 with the main event Feb. 14. Visit allinenterprises.org for details.

Connecticut

FOXWOODS: The December edition of Foxwoods Casino’s popular MegaStack Challenge was still running at press time in Connecticut, including the $1,650 main event, which guaranteed $300K. Overall, the MegaStack Challenge guaranteed more than $1 million in payouts.

Early winners included Brian Altman, who won the $600 opening no-limit hold’em event for $84,208; Aaron Augusten of Boston captured Event 3 ($300 NLHE) by winning $7,053 and the trophy after an eight-way chop.

Paul Zarcone of Holbrook, N.Y., won the $230 Omaha/8 event and $3,462 while Joseph Kosko of Southington, Conn., won the trophy and $3,730 in the $230 NLHE event while Ralph Macri of Redding, Conn., won the top prize of $5K after a five-way deal.

On the heels of this successful MegaStack Challenge, Foxwoods has planned another one for Feb. 5-15, and this one guarantees $725K. The $1,650 main event runs Feb. 13-15 and guarantees a $300K prize pool.

There will be two starting flights on Day 1, one at 11 a.m. and the next at 5 p.m. Players start with 30K chips and blinds are 40 minutes for the first 12 rounds, increasing to an hour after that. For more on this series, including a pair of $100K guarantees, see the ad in the January edition.

New York

TURNING STONE: The poker room is hosting a $50K guarantee on Jan. 7-10 with a $250 buy-in (see the ad in January edition).

The SuperStacks Hold’em Series, which featured 14 events and $100K guarantee main event with a $570 buy-in, finished in early December. Jay Mortensen of Syracuse, N.Y., who has had quite a few five-figure scores in his poker career, took down the main-event title for $34,612, beating 300 players. He has nearly $214K in career earnings and the tournament beat the guarantee, paying $150,500 to the field. Hayden Glassmen of Rochester, N.Y., was second ($22,124) and Christopher Chabris of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., was third ($14,824).

Other winners in the series included Christopher Siriano of Camillus, N.Y., who won the opening event, which sported the other $100K guarantee. The $250 event drew 863 entries to easily surpass the guarantee, paying out $181,230, including $27,168 to Siriano. Albert Smith of Ithaca, N.Y., won Event 2 ($330 bounty) for $2,460; Mary Maltbie of Fabius, N.Y., won Event 3 ($225 bounty) for $1,500; Daniel Mazza chopped Event 4 ($230 NLHE) with Zouheir Ibrahim for $1,300 each; Richard Vanneil of Weirsdale, Fla., won Event 5 ($225 bounty) for $1,720; Chris Moroch of Yonkers pocketed $1,300 for winning Event 6 ($230 NLHE) and Jeff Beachy won the final event, a deepstack turbo good for $1,970 after chopping with Mike Burke.

In other Turning Stone news, the poker room hosts the $125 Syracuse Crunch Knockout Tournament on Jan. 6 at 7 p.m.

Players from the Tampa Bay Lightning’s AHL minor-league hockey team will be wearing their Crunch jerseys in the field and if you eliminate one, you win their jersey, which they will sign. Players start with 10K chips and will have 20-minute blinds. Registration begins at 6 p.m.

SENECA NIAGARA: Kurtis Boutelle outlasted 290 players to win the $1K Fall Poker Classic Main Event and nearly $63K at the Niagara Falls poker room, which guaranteed $200K for the tournament’s prize pool.

From Frewsburg, N.Y., Boutelle, 29, works as a machine operator. The win was his first on the live circuit, but he has cashed five times.

Nathan Torrance was second ($39,557) and Alex Visbisky was third ($28,512). A resident of Liverpool, N.Y., Torrance cashed for the seventh time and more than $66K in career earnings. The cash was the eighth for Visbisky and the richest of his career. David Battaglia of nearby Buffalo was fourth ($21,063), followed by Silvio DeRubeis ($15,669) and Ryan Rivers of Niagara Falls ($11,816).

West Virginia

HOLLYWOOD CASINO CHARLES TOWN: The West Virginia property has launched Dueling for Dollars. The object of the game is for the player to choose whether their card is higher or lower than the community card.

To begin, each player makes a wager before receiving a card. The player may select the player’s or the dealer’s wagering spot. If the player selects the player spot, the player is wagering that their card will be higher than the community card. If the player selects the dealer spot, the player is wagering that their card will be lower than the community card.

Once all wagers are made, the dealer distributes one card per player and draws the community card. Players betting correctly receive even money, while those betting incorrectly lose the wager. In the event of a tie, player and dealer duel by each drawing another card, the winner of which takes 1x the original wager for victory, or the player may surrender and forfeit half of the wager.

“We couldn’t be more excited to announce the addition of Dueling for Dollars to our lineup of table games,” VP of gaming Bill Florence said. S

Meet Jon Butler

Jon Butler has worked in the SugarHouse Casino’s poker room as a shift manager since the opening of its temporary tent in November 2014.

How long have you worked in the poker industry and where did you begin? Eleven years with no experience or official training. I got hired at the Tropicana in A.C.

I quickly moved on to the Borgata and worked there for 10 years before getting hired at SugarHouse. I learned a lot while at Borgata.

I was very fortunate to be able to learn from some of the best people in the industry. Between working the live games and helping with tournaments, I was able to develop a strong understanding of the game from business side.

Are there any differences in the players or games between Atlantic City and Philadelphia? From what I have seen in Pennsylvania poker rooms, the players seem to be more local. A larger percentage of players are recreational.

They seem to come in after work and play for a few hours before calling it a night.Atlantic City has its share of local players, but it also has a national draw, though that is diminishing. That is one of the reasons I left Atlantic City. With the increase in casinos, most noticeably in Pennsylvania, I worry Atlantic City won’t last. Philadelphia’s population is so large that I don’t see this being a problem here. — Jo Kim