2012 WPT Borgata Poker Open, Day Four: Matthew Burnitz In Solid Lead At Final Table

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The 2012 World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open has reached its penultimate day with six men who will vie for the championship of the event later this afternoon.

At the start of action on Thursday, there were 27 players remaining with Patrick Eskandar holding onto the chip lead over Matthew Burnitz. Making a strong run at his second ever WPT championship was Steve Brecher, who was anchored in third place, while notable names such as Vinny Pahuja, Lee Childs, Tyler Patterson, Kyle Bowker and Matt Brady were arranged behind them. There were even two women, Helen Ellis and Jamie Kerstetter, in the pursuit of the largest prize so far this year on the WPT Season XI schedule.

Almost as soon as the cards hit the air, the players started hitting the doors of the Borgata from elimination. Jean Gaspard was the first to find his way out of the tournament, his pocket tens falling to the pocket Queens of David Diaz, and within the next hour of play Michael Hickman, Philip Consolo, Ellis, Barry Hutter, Todd Terry, Maurice Paradis and Farhan Madhani would follow Gaspard to the cash out cage. When Michael Glick was bumped off in nineteenth place, the remaining eighteen players redrew for seats with Brecher and Jeff Williams battling it out for the chip lead.

The early pace couldn’t be sustained as the action slowed down entering mid-afternoon. Eskandar moved back up the leaderboard when he took around 100K in chips from Burnitz when Eskandar hit quad nines against him. He would donate those chips back to his opponents, however, when he doubled up Kerstetter after her pocket Jacks found a set on the flop against Eskandar’s pocket Queens.

Brecher made his claim for this championship as the afternoon wore on. After raising the pot, Brecher saw Williams bump it up again to 230K and Brecher made the call. On the J-4-2 flop, Williams led out and, this time, it was Brecher who made the three bet to 815K. After a moment of thought, Williams moved all in and Brecher made the call. The former WPT champion was in difficult shape, his A-J finding a pair on the flop but behind Williams’ pocket Kings, and he stood up to leave the felt once an eight came on the turn. Miraculously, however, an Ace came on the river to save Brecher, catapulting him into the lead with over six million chips and decimating Williams’ stack to just over two million.

Brecher would use his newfound tournament life to start knocking off opponents. He eliminated Jeremy Brown and Bowker to push his stack over the ten million mark while the rest of the field tried to catch up with him. Once Kerstetter and David Heck were eliminated from the tournament, the unofficial ten handed final table gathered to determine the six men who would come back this afternoon.

The early going of the ten handed final table wasn’t a good span of time for Brecher. He doubled up Diaz to drop from the chip lead and, following the dinner break, Diaz extended that lead in eliminating Scott Schwalich. Eskandar’s misery from the afternoon action would continue into the evening; although he made the unofficial final table, he never could get anything going on the day and was eventually bumped off by Ofir Mor in ninth place.

Over the next two hours, the eight men on the table would work their way to the six survivors who will determine this championship. Tyler Patterson and Williams would go to battle, both holding A-Q, and expected to chop the pot. The fates of poker sometimes don’t work that way, however, as Patterson would find four clubs on the board to go with his Ace of clubs to make a flush, debilitating Williams’ stack to only 100K and putting Patterson’s name in the race for the championship. On the very next hand, Williams would be out in eighth place at the hands of Burnitz.

Burnitz then went on a run that would put him on the pole position for today’s action in the Borgata. He knocked a hunk of chips from Diaz’ stack and, once Mor eliminated Brady in seventh place, ended up with exactly nine million in chips to lead the pack:

Seat 1: Matthew Burnitz – 9,000,000
Seat 2: Steve Brecher – 5,755,000
Seat 3: David Diaz – 7,150,000
Seat 4: Ben Hamnett – 4,720,000
Seat 5: Ofir Mor – 3,600,000
Seat 6: Tyler Patterson – 5,260,000

The final table of the WPT Borgata Poker Open will start at 3:30 (Eastern Time) today and it will be live streamed on the WPT website. “The Raw Deal” host Tony Dunst will be joined by Jonathan Little and the last two champions of the Borgata, defending champ Bobby Oboodi and Dwyte Pilgrim, in calling the action, which will begin online at 4:30.

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