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Al Ardebelli is the WPT Borgata Poker Open Champion

The final table of the Borgata Open concluded today at the exquisite Borgata Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was a special moment for me because I finally got to cover a World Poker Tour final table. After four days the field of 515 players was dwindled down to six players after a brutal 18 hour session to end Day 3. Last year's winner Daniel Negreanu was eliminated on the first day.

Here's who made the final table including chip counts:

  • Seat 1: Robert "Action Bob" Hwang (Clark, NJ) $1,795,000
  • Seat 2: David Singer (Mamaroneck, NY) $3,200,000
  • Seat 3: Al Ardebili (Jersey City, NJ) $1,425,000
  • Seat 4: Kathy Liebert (Las Vegas, NV) $1,045,000
  • Seat 5: John D'Agostino (Seymour, CT) $2,295,000
  • Seat 6: Richard Festejo (Margate, NJ) $540,000

Kathy Liebert has won one WSOP bracelet and made two WPT final tables (not including Ladies' Night). She's looking for her first WPT victory. More importantly, no female has ever won a regular WPT event. Also making the final table were pros John D'Agostino and David Singer. In 2003, David Singer made the final table in the main event at the WSOP and made one final table at this year's WSOP. Plus any table is going to be fun if you have a guy named Action Bob at it! Robert "Action Bob" Hwang from RGP fame had plenty of railbirds. Richard Festejo is the local favorite and lives in nearby Margate, New Jersey.

The prize pool was over $5 million. Here are the final table payouts:

  • 1st: $1,498,650
  • 2nd: $799,280
  • 3rd: $427,115
  • 4th: $349,685
  • 5th: $299,730
  • 6th: $249,775

John D'Agostino was involved in an early pot with Ricardo Festejo. D'Agostino raised and Festejo moved all in over the top. John reluctantly called with K-10. Ricardo Festejo showed A-K and led the entire way. An ace fell on the river and Festejo picked up a $1 million pot.

In the first hour, Kathy Liebert had two big hands, A-A and K-K, but no one paid her off.

David Singer flopped a set with 10-10. However, Ricardo Festejo had a straight and a flush draw on a board of 10d-Jd-3h-9h with Qh-Jh. Both players were all in. The river was an 8 and Ricardo Festejo doubled up again when he caught his straight. At the end of the first hour of play, John D'Agostino was the chip leader with over $ 2.2 million in chips. David Singer was not far behind with $2.1 and Kathy Liebert was the shortstack with $1 million.

The second hour of play slowed down until Kathy Liebert moved all in with A-Q. John D'Agostino called with J-J. Al Ardebili said he folded a Queen, but it didn't matter because Kathy flopped an ace. The turn and river didn't help John D'Agostino and Kathy doubled up. Her stack grew to $1.4 million.

By the end of the second hour, Robert "Action Bob" Hwang was the chipleader with $2.5 million. Richard Festejo was not far behind with $2.3 million. Al Ardebili was the short stack with $1 million. He moved all in with 3c-3s and David Singer called with Js-9h. Al flopped a set. On the turn David picked up a straight draw but the river didn't help him. The case 3 fell and Al Ardebili hit quad 3s. He doubled up and David Singer became the short stack.

On Hand 73, David Singer was eliminated in 6th place by Action Bob. Singer had A-8 and Action Bob showed 6-6. David Singer could catch any of his over cards and he was knocked out. He won $249,775. A new WPT record was set for the most hands played before the first elimination. The previous record was 52 hands which occurred at the Legends of Poker at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles last month.

Kathy Liebert moved all in with A-8. John D'Agostino called with K-Q. Kathy flopped an ace and turned two air when an 8 hit. She doubled up and had $1.5 million in chips. Al Ardebili and Action Bob both had $2.4 million in chips.

Richard Festejo doubled up against Action Bob. Festejo had 5-5 and Action Bob showed Qs-Js. Both players moved all in on the flop of 4c-4s-8s. Action Bob didn't catch a flush or an over card and Festejo doubled up. Action Bob and John D'Agostino were all in preflop. Action Bob was short stacked and had 10h-9s while John D'Agostino showed 10-10. They both flopped straight draws on a board of J-9-8. The turn and river didn't help Robert "Action Bob" Hwang. He was knocked out in 5th place and won $299,730. Ricardo Festejo emerged as the clear chip leader with over $4 million. Kathy Liebert was the short stack with $1.5 million.

John D'Agostino was knocked out in 4th place by Ricardo Festejo. Both players were all in on a flop of Q-3-4. Festejo had Q-8 and D'Agostino had Q-2. The turn and river didn't help D'Agostino and he won $349,685. Festejo amassed a huge chip lead. He had over 85% of the chips in play.

Al Ardebili doubled up against Ricardo Festejo. Ardebili had Q-Q and his Hilton Sisters held up against A-J. Kathy Liebert said she folded A-J. With a short stack, Kathy Liebert moved all in with A-7. Al Ardebili called with Qs-10s. He flopped a ten and a flush draw. Kathy's hand did not improve and she was eliminated in 3rd place. She played excellent poker for four days and held on with a short stack at the final table. She won $427,115 for third place.

Both players were about even in chips. On the first hand of heads up play, Al Ardebili raised to $600K. Richard Festejo did not hesitate and he pushed all in. Ardebili eventually folded and Festejo took the chip lead. Then I witnessed one of the craziest hands since I started covering poker tournaments. On a board of K-7-2, Ardebili checked, Festejo bet $1 million, and Ardebelli moved all in. Festejo thought for several minutes and called with A-2. It was an unbelievable call! Ardebelli showed 3d-2s and was dominated until a 3 spiked on the turn to give him two pair. Festejo still had outs but the river didn't help him. He doubled up Ardebelli. Festego's stack dropped to $1.1 million to Ardebelli's $9.2 million.

After four hands of heads up play, we had a new WPT champion. Al Ardebelli won $1,498,650 and a seat in the WPT Championships at the Bellagio. Richardo Festejo won $799,280 for second place. Richardo Festejo moved all in with 8h-7h. Al Ardebili showed Ah-9c. The flop was: K-5-2. The turn was a 5 and the river was 6. Al Ardebili won the WPT Borgata Open win Ace high. Congrats to Al and Ricardo! Both players won satellites to get into this event. And Kathy Liebert made history with the highest finish ever by a female on the WPT.

Follow all the action on Dr. Pauly's Online Poker blog with play by play updates and on the spot photos from the World Poker Tour Borgata Open.

[Results for this event are in the World Poker Tour Season 4 - Borgata Poker Open Results.]

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