2017 Borgata Winter Poker Open Day 4: Final Table Determined, Nathan Bjerno Massive Chip Leader



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The final table for the World Poker Tour’s 2017 Borgata Winter Poker Open in Atlantic City, NJ, is shaping up to be a “one versus all” affair. The reason? Chip leader Nathan Bjerno, who garnered most of his chips in taking down two of the players who had been around the top of the leaderboard virtually the entire tournament, has almost a third of the chips in play.

34 players returned to the baize at the Borgata on Thursday with the difficult task of getting to the final six. Charles Coates held the lead with his 3.371 million in chips, but right behind him was Blake Bohn and his 3.024 million stack. With both players on the same table, the potential for fireworks was in the mix, but it would take some time for the fuse to be lit.

There was still a bit of play in the stacks (even short stacked Asher Conniff was sitting decently with his 406,000 in chips, good for 17 big blinds), so it took a bit of time before the first elimination of the day. That occurred when Day 2 chip leader Jack Duong pushed his stack all in against Shaun Deeb about 40 minutes into the day. Deeb was more than happy to call Duong’s push with his pocket Kings and Duong, with Big Slick, would hit on the K-J-10 flop for a gut shot straight draw. Unfortunately, Duong couldn’t find the filler for the hole in his straight – the Queen – on the turn or the river, sending him out of the tournament 34th place.

The next competitor out surprised many in the tournament room. Coming in with an even million chips, Olivier Busquet would send more than half of them to Bart Dowling after Dowling turned a set and rivered quad sixes against him. That wasn’t the most painful beat, however, as moments later Busquet would take on Bohn in the hand that would end his tournament.

After Bohn raised and Dowling called, Busquet would squeeze the action with an all-in move. Bohn looked him up (Dowling exited at this point) and the players turned their cards up. It was the classic race situation, Busquet’s A-10 off suit versus Bohn’s pocket eights. In the window was an Ace for Busquet, but the third card on the flop was an eight to give Bohn a set. Once an innocent trey and a four came on the turn and river, Busquet was suddenly out of the tournament in 33rd place.

Bohn was quite aggressive with those new chips and it paid off well for him. He would eliminate David Stefanski in 28th place and forced Adnan Mohammad to lay down another hand as his chip stack climbed to almost five million chips. After Tony Ruberto bluffed off a stack of chips to him, Bohn was in prime shape for the final table as his stack reached the 6.5 million mark.

That would be the epitome of Bohn’s day, however. He would bleed chips off over the course of the evening but reach the unofficial final table with about half the chips he had after Ruberto’s bluff. Those chips would hit the center against Bjerno, who had stormed out to a decent lead over the field by earlier knocking off Coates in tenth place with his pocket threes flopping a set against Coates’ pocket sixes. Bohn was in a different situation, however, as his A-K would need help against Bjerno’s pocket tens. It wouldn’t come as the board came down ten-high, giving Bjerno an unnecessary set against Bohn’s Ace-high and sending Bohn to the rail in eighth place.

After Jia Liu took down Thomas Penza in seventh place – Liu’s pocket Jacks handling Penza’s A♥ 8♥ with ease on a K-5-3-5-Q board – the official WPT final table was set with Bjerno over the 12 million mark in chips:

1. Nathan Bjerno, 12.415 million
2. Jia Liu, 6.815 million
3. Tyler Kenney, 6.03 million
4. Daniel Weinman, 5.41 million
5. Richard Foster, 5.13 million
6. Nicholas Immekus, 3.55 million

For those who plan to be in attendance for the final table action, it may be a long evening. Immekus, on the short stack, still has 44 big blinds to play with (the table was paused in Level 29 with blinds of 40K/80K with 10K antes), plenty of time for him to look for a moment to strike. Of the remainder of the table, Kenney is the best-known player of the lot, having made a WPT final table before (2014, a third-place finish at the WPT Legends of Poker). While he does have about a third of the chips, Bjerno is the epitome of that old axiom “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” as he tries to seal the deal in Atlantic City beginning at 2PM this afternoon (live stream with hole cards begins at 2:30 at WPT.com)

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