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Huge Turnout at The Borgata, My old friend Jay Berger

by Roy Winston |  Published: May 04, '08


Today was the first day of the $2,000 Borgata which was guaranteed to have a $500,000 prize pool which would be 500 players. With every field in poker shrinking, the Borgata Event exceeded capacity and all expectations with close to 800 players. They had to turn away players, which is lousy for those turned away, but says something about the way Tab DuChateau and the Borgata run things. The day for me was very slow at first, unable to find a playable hand in the first 4 levels. Then I double up a short stack when I flop a set of jacks to his queens. The day began to pick up just before the dinner break when I doubled up twice just when I thought I was about done, with top pair top kicker against the same aggressive young player. This event starts deep stack with 30,000 in chips and I chipped up to 90,000 and then had a little trouble. One of the players who started the day at the table (about half were gone) and was loose passive and readable called my late position raise. I had 8 9 and raised 2.5 big blinds, he thought for a long time in the big blind and finally called. I put him on a small pair, and sure enough the flop comes 2 5 6, and I was sure he flopped a set. It wasn't all bad with a flush draw and a gutter ball. I bet about half the pot to see were I was at, hoping he would smooth call and let me see the river for free. He raises me about half the pot and I call. The J comes on the turn which gives me the flush and before a millisecond goes by he says "all in." I think for a moment and dismiss the idea of him having a bigger flush and call. He tables 5 5 and shazaam the 2 comes on the turn. I lose a 125,000 pot and have to go on life support. Of course the guy who won the pot starts screaming over and over again "ship it." What a jerk, I think you need to be a gratuitous winner, I understand some excitement, but when you suck out on the river after you put your money in way behind, come on.

The table breaks a few minutes later (that always seems to happen) and I wind up at Steve Dannenmann's table. I have known Steve for a while, but we have never played at the same table. He is really a nice person and we had a good time. So here I am with 16,000 in chips and in the big blind for 1,600 when UTG + 1 raises 3 big blinds and 6 others call. One guy is all in for 2,000 in chips. I say to Steve who has already folded, I think I'm going all in dark. I have never done this in an event but there is a first time for everything, and I push all in. No one call except the guy who was in for 2,000. I turn over K 4 and although I lose the main pot the side pot was almost enough to double me up. So I chipped up to just below average by the end. Tomorrow is another day and hopefully I can get some hands and good situations.

One last thing I'd like to mention is that an old friend of mine that I used to work with in Atlanta, Dr. Jay Berger has met me here in Atlantic City to play poker with. He is a physician in Atlanta who won a WPT boot camp a couple of years ago and has been playing regularly both live and online with some success. We were both single guys in our early thirties back then and would spend our free time playing golf and chasing women. Here we are a few years later and nothing has changed except now we've added poker to the mix. It is great reconnecting with an old friend. He also made it to day 2 with a similar chip stack to me.

For more information on Roy Winston, you can visit his website: or send him an email:

Roy Winston finished 16th in 2007 Card Player, Player of the Year race. He won the WPT Borgata Poker Open and finished the year with well over $2 million in tournament poker winnings. Roy plays online exclusively at Full Tilt. For more information on Roy Winston, you can visit his website: or send an email to: with your questions or comments. The contents presented herein on this blog are purely the opinions of Roy Winston, and are not intended to reflect or promote the opinions of any other person, group, or entity. If you like what I write than thanks for reading, and if not well, thanks anyway.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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