The penultimate day of the latest World Poker Tour event is at hand as the final table has been determined for the 2017 WPT Borgata Poker Open in Atlantic City, NJ. Coming to the six-handed table, Matt Parry has taken a sizeable lead as Day 3 chip leader and Jersey native Cliff Josephy hangs on by the short stack.
24 men came back to the tables on Thursday with the goal of being one of the final six at the end of the night. Josephy was the only player who was over the four million mark in chips (4.079 million, to be exact), but that didn’t mean there weren’t challenges awaiting him. Parry (3.398 million), Day 2 chip leader David Gerassi (3.354 million), Gregory Weber (2.651 million) and Will Givens (2.426 million) rounded out the Top Five as the cards went into the air on Friday.
Although the 24 men were guaranteed $16,306 for their efforts, every man was staring at the $789,058 (not to mention the seat at the WPT Tournament of Champions and their name being etched into the Champions’ Cup) that the eventual champion would receive. As such, the early play was tentative as players guarded their chips. Poker pro Erik Cajelais was one of the early casualties, however, with the Canadian running a suited A-7 into Veselin Katrandzhiev’s K-Q off suit and getting unlucky when a King hit on the turn.
The start to Josephy’s Day 4 was good as he extended his lead over the field. After opening the betting off the hijack, Alexander Farin popped his remaining 400K or so in chips into the center from the button. Josephy paused briefly before making the call and finding himself leading, his A-10 routing Farin’s A-6. A ten on the flop extended Josephy’s lead and, although the turn would bring a gut shot draw for Farin, the river paired to keep the former “November Niner” in front to take the hand to move up to almost five million chips and the knockout of Farin.
It wasn’t the same story for another former chip leader, Gerassi. On a Q♦ 3♦ 3♥ 2♦ flop and turn, Gerassi put the pressure on Gregory Weber by moving all in. Gerassi covered Weber and Weber took his time to make the call, burning through four of his six “time extension” chips before finally making the call. It turned out to be the correct move as Weber’s J♥ J♦ had Gerassi’s J♣ 9♦ drawing dead. A river 5♦ would momentarily elate Gerassi until he realized that Weber’s diamond Jack beat his diamond nine, sending the nearly six million chip pot and the chip lead to Weber; Gerassi was left with scraps with 387K and soon after hit the rail in 21st place.
Weber and Josephy ruled the roost when the redraw came at two tables (along with Parry, who eliminated Jason Gooch in 17th place to reach five million in chips), but the threesome would unfortunately end up on the same table against each other. You might think that they would have stayed away from each other but, on the eight handed tables, it was inevitable that there would be conflicts. Parry was the one who took advantage of these squabbles, first cutting some chips out Weber and they rivering a seven-high straight against Josephy to pick up another chunk of chips to take over the lead. What wasn’t happening were eliminations, however, as it took more than five hours (including a dinner break) to get down to the unofficial final table.
Parry was dominant at this point, holding 7.075 million in chips and only Weber within shouting distance with his 5.6 million in chips. Josephy struggled through the time leading to dinner, dropping down into the pursuit pack as the players tried to determine who would be the six men who would come back on Friday for action.
Once again it was Parry who would take advantage of the action. He quietly kept accumulating chips before he brought the evening’s festivities to a close with its last elimination. On the 49th hand of the unofficial final table, Parry would raise the betting and Muarem Kica moved all in over his bet. The call for Parry was a pittance of his sizeable stack and it was the correct one, his A-K holding the edge over Kica’s 7-6. The King on the flop basically ended the proceedings and, once a four fell on the turn, Kica was drawing dead. The formality of the river tossed salt on the wound as a seven came, but Kica was already on his way to the cage for his seventh-place money as Parry took a sizeable lead:
1. Matt Parry, 9.11 million
2. Gregory Weber, 6.99 million
3. Thomas Paul, 6.1 million
4. Jia Liu, 4.81 million
5. Guo Liang Chen, 3.85 million
6. Cliff Josephy, 2.95 million
Today’s final table from the Borgata will be taped for future broadcast on the Season XVI schedule of the WPT on Fox Sports 1. It will also be live streamed on PokerGO (with a 30-minute delay) beginning at 3:30PM (Eastern Time) for those who have a subscription to the site. It promises to be an exciting table as Josephy has the “hometown edge”…whether that will carry him to the title – or whether Parry’s dominance will continue – are going to be the highlights of the evening’s action.