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Alex Aqel Leads 177 Day 2 Survivors in the 2019 Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship Event

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  • Attreyee Khasnabis January 30, 2019
  • 4 Minutes Read

With only four events left to declare winners, the 2019 Borgata Winter Poker Open is on the home stretch.

The star attraction of the series, the $3 Million GTD WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open (WPO) Championship has now reached Day 3 with 177 hopefuls, who are all guaranteed to finish in the money. Leading the charge will be Day 2 chip leader Alex Aqel (cover image) with his massive stack of 1,260,000. He will be joined by Chase Bianchi (1,230,000) who is the only player beside Aqel with over 1 Million in chips.

The only Indian contender gunning for gold at the series was poker maestro and PokerStars Team pro Aditya Agarwal. He had a good start at the event and advanced to Day 2 with a workable stack of 89,600, but sadly his promising run ended before the money line was breached.

Running alongside the Championship event was the Black Chip Bounty Deep Stack NLH and Double Black Chip Bounty 8-Max Semi-Turbo NLH. Deric Williams shipped the Black Chip Bounty Deep Stack NLH, after a heads-up deal with Rafael Polanco and banked $10,401 in prize money along with the trophy. Meanwhile, an anonymous player claimed the title in the Double Black Chip Bounty 8-Max Semi-Turbo NLH for $32,931, after defeating Joe Cheong heads-up.


WPT Borgata WPO Championship Event – Day 2 Recap

Out of the 665 players who began Day 2, only 177 survived the day`s onslaught. Representing India at the series was the country’s poker icon Aditya Agarwal. He qualified through Day 1B with 89,600 in chips.

Aditya Agarwal
Aditya Agarwal

Agarwal was seated alongside Jose Montes, Harrison Gimbel, Craig Varnell, David Larson, Anthony Maio, Ryan Olisar and Fikret Kovac at the start of Day 2. As usual, he kept his rail back home updated about his progress throughout the day.

Unfortunately, Agarwal busted out after level 11.

Indian-origin players Shankar Pillai and Mukul Pahuja had a good day at the felts.

During level 11, Pillai doubled up through an opponent to climb up to 125,000 in chips, but he lost some of his chips to Nick Schwarmann towards the end of the day. When the bags were brought out signalling the end of the day’s play, Pillai held an impressive 766,000 in chips.

Shankar Pillai
Shankar Pillai

Pahuja hit a flush against an opponent early on and his stack increased to 124,000. During level 14, he found a double up through multiple WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth. He eventually bagged 118,000 in chips.

Mukul Pahuja
Mukul Pahuja

It took 15 hands of hand-for-hand play on the money bubble, and on the 16th hand, Chris Tryba‘s fell short against Dylan Gang‘s . The runout was of no help to Tryba and he walked away empty-handed.

Chris Tryba
Chris Tryba

Other notables who also fell short of the money line included Ralph Massey, Daniel Santoro, Shawn Cunix, Ronit Chamani, Sheraz Nasir, Ben Yu and Brett Butz.

The remaining 177 players for Day 3 are all guaranteed to finish in the money. Headlining the survivors will be Alex Aqel who amassed 1,260,000 in chips. Chase Bianchi (1,230,000) and Aqel are the only two players to cross the 1 Million-mark.

Alex Aqel
Alex Aqel

Other noteworthy stacks include Ben Bianco (759,000), Arianna Son (706,000), Brian Yoon (654,000) and Bobby Oboodi (559,000).

Top 10 Chip Counts At the End of Day 2

1. Alex Aqel – 1,260,000

2. Chase Bianchi – 1,230,000

3. Nick Schwarmann – 919,000

4. A.J. Kelsall – 895,000

5. Dylan Gang – 872,000

6. Brian O’Donoghue – 856,000

7. Zach Donovan – 843,000

8. Ping Liu – 837,000

9. Dave Peay – 830,000

10. Rafael Oliveira – 770,000


Side Events

$330 Black Chip Bounty Deep Stack NLH

The Black Chip Bounty Deep Stack NLH had a delayed start due a shortage of poker tables, as a majority of the tables were required for Day 2 of the Championship event. However, once the event got underway, it managed to pull in 241 entries.

Following the elimination of Sundiata DeVore in third place, the two finalists, Deric Williams and Rafael Polanco, began to discuss an adjusted payout deal. Although Williams held the chip lead, they agreed to split the remaining prize pool evenly.

Deric Williams
Deric Williams

Both players received $10,401 each in prize money, but Williams collected the trophy.

The final table finishes and payouts have not been made available yet.

$1,260 Double Black Chip Bounty 8-Max Semi-Turbo NLH

The Double Black Chip Bounty 8-Max Semi-Turbo NLH attracted 97 entries, but the player who ultimately took down the event wished to remain anonymous.

The anonymous player squared off against Joe Cheong in the heads-up play. Cheong’s were cracked by the winner’s which bettered to a pair on the board . The winner took home $32,931 in prize money, while Cheong pocketed $17,87 for his runner-up finish.

Joe Cheong
Joe Cheong

Final Table Results (USD)

1. Anonymous- $32,931

2. Joe Cheong- $17,877

3. Will Failla- $11,291

4. Javier Zarco- $8,468

5. Lou Galasso- $6,586

6. Mike Nye- $5,645

7. Dave Stefanski- $4,705

8. Brock Wilson- $3,764

9. Thai Ha- $2,823

Content & Images courtesy: World Poker Tour/

Keep following PokerGuru for more exciting updates from the 2019 Borgata Winter Poker Open!

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