$2,500 + $200 Championship Deep Stack NLH
Twenty-three-year-old Melad Marji (Atlantic City, NJ) essentially decided to flip for $88,034, the difference between first and second place money, when he called Michael Marder's six-bet-shove pre-flop. Marji came out on top of the flip when his AQ outran Marder's pocket 7s on the board of Q J 9 K T. Marji picked up $198,078 and the beautiful Borgata trophy in his first win in a live tournament.
Michael Marder (Sewell, NJ) came up short, finishing second for $110,044. Marder ran well through the whole four day event, getting good hands and having them hold up (until the last one). In contrast, Melad Marji kept getting his good hands cracked. On day 1B, near the end, he was in contention for the $3,000 bonus for end of day chip lead. Then his pocket Aces were cracked by K6 suited that made a flush, costing him 60,000 chips. Today his pocket Aces were cracked by Anthony Maio's pocket Queens, when Maio turned a Queen. Anthony Maio (Bensalem, PA) eventually finished 4th for $55,022.
Third place went to another Borgata regular, Yat 'Tony' Cheng (Brooklyn, NY). His tournament life rested on a coin-flip with AQ against Marji's pocket 5s. In that case the pair held up and Cheng finished 3rd for $68,227. This is his largest reported cash, but not his highest finish. Cheng won a $500 WSOP Circuit preliminary event in 2010 for over $55,000. Later that same year, he finished 2nd in a Borgata $1k Deep Stack No Limit event for almost $54,000.
The elder statesman at this final table was John Aglialoro (Haddonfield, NJ) at 68 years of age. John is best known for making the final table of the 1994 WSOP Main Event, where he finished 7th for $43,680. He won the 2004 US Poker Championship for over $691,000.
Aglialoro was short-stacked at the start of play and narrowly avoided finishing 10th by catching a 2-outer on the river. He took that double-up and parlayed it into a 7th place finish ($28,978) when he was on the receiving end of a bad beat.
2011 Borgata Summer Open Champion Tyng Low (Flushing, NY) made it to day two, but fell short of the money when his AJ lost a flip to pocket 7s. Other big names that failed to cash: Bill Gazes, Howard Wolper, Bo Toft, and preliminary event winners Paul Vacchio and Collin Whyte. Cuong Phung (Atlantic City, NJ) busted out of the Championship event, only to go on and win his second Borgata Open title in Wednesday's $200 Deep Stack event.
The Double Play and Re-Entry features of this event helped to generate a total of 305 entries over two starting days. Total buy-ins of $762,500 crushed the $500,000 Guarantee. The final 36 players earned a payday, with bonuses for the end of day 1A & 1B chip leaders.
The $3,000 bonus for chip leader on day 1A went to Eugene Fouksman,
(Manalapan, NJ) a 2007 WSOP Circuit Champion. Eugene made it to day
three and the money, finishing 23rd for $5,502. The day 1B bonus went
to Cathy Dever, (Ephrata, PA) who busted out on day two before reaching
The 2012 Borgata Summer Open Championship event first-place money of $198,078 is the biggest payday Melad Marji has ever seen. The college dropout is headed for Las Vegas on Sunday to play in the WSOP Main Event, hoping his run-good continues for an even bigger payday.
Final Table Results
1 - Melad Marji (Atlantic City, NJ) $198,078
2 - Michael Marder (Sewell, NN) $110,044
3 - Yat 'Tony' Cheng (Brooklyn, NY) $68,227
4 - Anthony Maio (Bensalem, PA) $55,022
5 - Vitaly Kovyazin (Brooklyn, NY) $42,550
6 - Michael Melkersen (New Market, VA) $35,948
7 - John Aglialoro (Haddonfield, NJ) $28,978
8 - Dennis 'Mike' Summers (Charlottesville, VA) $21,642
9 - Matt McElwee (Catonsville, MD) $14,673
10 - Robert Melo (Howard Beach, NY) $9,537