New Jersey pro Darren Elias is rapidly cementing his place among the elite tournament players with yet another excellent victory – taking down the Borgata Championship Fall Poker Open Main Event for $293,062 and passing the $5million mark in tournament earnings.
A few years back he was described as ‘the best player you’ve never heard of’ by Cardplayer magazine’s Julio Rodriguez, but there’s no excuse for that now after Elias won his 14th 6-figure cash by finishing ahead of 472 other entries in the $2700 buy-in event held at the famous Atlantic city casino.
The field boasted former WSOP Main Event champ Joe McKeehen and this year’s PokerStars Champion Bahamas Main Event winner Christian Harder – both eventually cashing without troubling the top tier of the payouts – but it was Elias who led the way, his previous Borgata win and 3 WPT titles showing his ability to close out tournaments and earning him the nickname ‘End Boss’.
The official final table was a tough affair, with 21st place-finisher Anne Antimony joining Kane Kalas and Jamie Kertstetter in the commentary booth to follow the action – action which soon saw Dan Wach run a river bluff which ended his hopes in 6th spot as Mark Kaganovsky rivered the flush and tank-called.
It was the Elias and Kaganovsky show for the most part, although former WPT Championship winner Kevin Stammen put up a spirited fight until Elias performed a double-hit on him, catching his bluff and then hitting runner-runner sixes to dispose of the Ohio man in third, leaving the title up for grabs.
The 5:2 chip advantage ‘End Boss’ Elias held didn’t last long, but the deciding hand was a classic, described on the excellent Borgata blog as follows….
‘After nearly three hours of heads up play Kaganovsky was all-in holding 10♦ 4♦ on the Q♥ 10♥ 10♠ 9♠ board. Elias made the call with K♥ J♥ and his turned straight improved to a flush on the 5♥ river.’
Not quite the Royal Flush river Elias might have been dreaming of, but good enough to lift the trophy and the huge payday and lift him to just outside the top 100 on the all-time USA money tournament winners list, and into 8th spot in the New jersey all-time rankings – a top spot held by none other than Phil Ivey.
Official Final Table Results