Down 20:1 in chips heads-up, Olivier Busquet mounted the comeback of the century and won the 2009 World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Poker Open. Busquet entered the six-handed televised final table as the chip leader.
Beginning the day with just five big blinds to his name, Kenny Nguyen was the first to go, exiting on the third hand of final table play. Nguyen pushed with pocket eights pre-flop only to run into Busquet’s pocket kings. The board ran out A-J-2-10-7 and Busquet scooped the pot, sending Nguyen packing $156,000 richer for his efforts.
Fifteen hands later in a battle of the blinds, Keith Crowder hit the skids in fifth place, earning $188,000. Prior to Crowder moving all-in, Jeremy Brown told him, “I will felt you if you move all-in.” Crowder shoved from the small blind with a scant 10-4 of spades and Brown called from the big blind with pocket eights. The board came 4-2-2-5-J and Brown boosted his chip stack to nearly eight million.
Yanick Brodeur’s run through the WPT Borgata Poker Open came to an end on the 53rd hand of final table play. Brodeur went out on a bad beat, calling Brown’s all-in pre-flop with A-K. Brown turned over A-Q and found himself way behind. The flop came 9-8-6, keeping Brodeur in the lead, but a queen on the turn would be his demise. No king hit the river and Brodeur was shown the door in fourth place for $216,000, not a bad return on investment for his $3,500 buy-in.
Ivan Mamuzic was ousted in third place for $251,000. Brown raised from the button and Mamuzic pushed all-in over the top. Mamuzic flipped over pocket threes, while Brown showed pocket sixes, a 4:1 favorite pre-flop. Brown spiked another six on the flop and running tens secured his victory in the hand, setting up a heads-up showdown with Busquet. Having eliminated Mamuzic, Brodeur, and Crowder, Brown held a 3:1 edge in chips entering heads-up play.
By 20 hands into heads-up action, Brown had improved his edge to 20:1, holding 29.2 million chips to Busquet’s 1.4 million. Then, Busquet mounted a comeback of epic proportions. Busquet doubled up with pocket queens against 9-7 after Brown’s straight and flush draws failed to hit to narrow the lead to 5:1. On a flop of 8-7-6, Brown pushed all-in over the top of a raise by Busquet, who called for his tournament life with 9-10 for the nuts. Brown showed J-8 for top pair and Busquet was suddenly just a 3:2 underdog in chips.
Busquet took the chip lead after picking off Brown’s bluff with Q-2 on a board of A-K-6. Then, Brown struck back. On a board of Q-9-10-K-Q, Busquet bet out 1.5 million and Brown raised to 4.5 million. Busquet called the three million chip raise only to see Brown table K-Q for a boat. The hand sent Brown back into the chip lead by a 3:2 margin. The two were nearly even in chips until Busquet made top pair on a J-9-5-9-4 board with J-10, enough to rake the six million chip pot and reclaim the chip lead for good.
On the final hand of the Borgata Poker Open, Brown raised to 1.2 million pre-flop and Busquet called to see a flop of 4-4-3. The chips quickly found their way into the middle, with Brown showing 5-2 for an open-ended straight draw and Busquet revealing A-4 for trips. The turn came a seven and, calling for an ace or six, Brown watched as the river was a five, shipping the $925,000 first place prize to Busquet. Second place was worth $453,000.
Here is how the final table shook out at the WPT Borgata Poker Open:
1st Place: Olivier Busquet – $925,514
2nd Place: Jeremy Brown – $453,519
3rd Place: Ivan Mamuzic – $251,955
4th Place: Yanick Brodeur – $216,681
5th Place: Keith Crowder – $188,126
6th Place: Kenny Nguyen – $156,212
Next up for the WPT on U.S. soil is the Festa al Lago, which kicks off on October 21st from the Bellagio in Las Vegas. In the interim, WPT Marrakech will take place from October 11th through 18th. The non-televised event brings the WPT brand to the African continent for the first time.