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Day 4 - The 2006 WPT Borgata Poker Open

Six Players Remain To Battle For A $1.5 Million Dollar First Place Prize At The WPT Televised Final Table Set

For the past three days, the big question at the 2006 Borgata Poker Open dealt with the WPT televised final table. Who would claim a seat? Which of the starting field of 540 would play poker in front of millions of Americans? On day four, six players emerged with the answer, and a real shot at the $1.5 million first-place prize.

With World Poker Tour TV crews building the final table set in the Borgata Events Center, the casino's actual poker room served as the backdrop for day four. At 11 p.m. EDT, the 27 remaining players gathered around the final three tables, and play began in level 18 with $6,000-$12,000 blinds and $2,000 antes.

Bette Carswell, a player who gained attention for not only being one of the last female participants remaining, but also for playing in her first tournament with a buy-in over $50, became the day's first casualty. A victim of pocket 10s versus the pocket aces of Shane Smith, Carswell's 27th-place finish ($26,190) proved to be only the first of a series of high-profile eliminations.

Crowd favorite John Phan, who entertained onlookers with his aggressive playing style and outgoing table personality, made a dramatic exit from the BPO when Jennifer Tilly flopped a set of deuces to crack Phan's pocket aces. Visibly shocked, Phan exited the BPO as the 26th-place finisher ($26,190).

Arguably the most popular and well-known player left in the remaining field, Barry Greenstein survived for nearly two hours on a short stack. But increasing blinds forced Greenstein to push his last $100,000 in preflop with Jspade 6spade. Ronnie Ebanks called with Kheart Qclub, and Greenstein's tournament run ended in 23rd-place ($26,190).

The elimination that led to the redrawing for the final two tables involved Ebanks, and a king, but ended with much different results. On a Qdiamond 6club 5diamond flop, Ebanks called an all-in reraise by Chris McCormack. Flipping over Kdiamond Kheart, Ebanks had a huge lead over McCormack's Qheart Jdiamond. Then the Qclub spiked on the river. Ebanks' elimination in 19th place ($26,190) sent the Borgata Poker Open into two-table action.

Four spots later, the battle for chip boss took a decidedly one-sided turn. The action started when Jennifer Tilly, the last remaining female player in the BPO, raised $60,000 and Mark Newhouse called. With Kheart Jheart 7diamond coming on the flop, Tilly bet $95,000 and received another call from Newhouse. When the Qclub came on the turn, Tilly bet again, tossing $300,000 into the pot, and Newhouse reraised her all in. After deliberating for several minutes, Tilly called. Newhouse's Aheart 10diamond gave him a commanding lead over Tilly's Qspade 7spade. Coming into action fourth in chips, Tilly pushed the rest of her stack over to Newhouse after the Aclub river. The win shot Newhouse up to the top of the leaderboard, and made Tilly the 15th-place finisher ($52,380).

An hour after Tilly's departure, Bill Blanda's flopped set of fives fell to Newhouse's turned diamond flush (12th place - $68,094), Avdo Djokovic saw his pocket queens fail to hold up against Brock Parker's ace-king (11th - $68,094) and the 2006 Borgata Poker Open moved to a final table.

The chip counts and final table seating were as follows:

1. Mark Newhouse - $3,666,000 (seat #3)
2. Chris McCormack - $2,594,000 (seat #4)
3. Athansios Diakos - $2,020,000 (seat #1)
4. Chris Bell - $1,750,000 (seat #9)
5. Shawn Chaconas - $1,260,000 (seat #7)
6. Brock Parker - $736,000 (seat #5)
7. Blaise Ingoglia - $510,000 (seat #6)
8. Louis Russo - $458,000 (seat #8)
9. Anthony Argila - $446,000 (seat #10)
10. David Sklansky - $420,000 (seat #2)

Newhouse continued to build on his chip lead by making Parker the first elimination of the final table. With Parker all in preflop, Newhouse provided the definition of "running hot" when his 9club 9diamond caught four clubs on the board to make a flush and crack Parker's pocket aces (10th place - $68,094).

In the words of the great Yogi Berra, it was "déjà vu all over again" for Shawn Chaconas on his ninth-place finish ($104,761). After folding pocket queens preflop to Chris Bell's pocket kings (both players showed) on an earlier hand, Chaconas was eliminated from the tournament when he made an all-in reraise with pocket queens, and Bell called…with pocket kings.

Much like the money bubble on day three, the WPT televised final table bubble burst fast. On the first hand after the dinner break, Athansios Diakos became yet another Newhouse victim after his Kspade 10spade failed to improve against the chip boss's pocket queens.

Less than half an hour later, Louis Russo pushed all in preflop and both Bell and Newhouse called. With no action on the Adiamond Aspade Kspade Jspade 7diamond board, Russo showed pocket nines, and Newhouse mucked as Bell turned over Kheart 10diamond. Bell's better two pair sent Russo home in seventh place ($209,521) and put an end to day four of the 2006 Borgata Poker Open.

The final chip counts were as follows:

1. Mark Newhouse - $7,025,000
2. Chris McCormack - $3,000,000
3. Chris Bell - $1,200,000
4. Blaise Ingoglia - $840,000
5. Anthony Argila - $700,000
6. David Sklansky - $665,000

The six players return at 5 p.m. EDT for the World Poker Tour televised final table.

Stay tuned to for live updates, chip counts, photos, videos, and for a new episode of "The Circuit."