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Borgata Poker Open Final Table Preview

Some of the Bad Boys of Poker Will Make for an Interesting Final Table


The World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Classic continues the season VI trend of final tables packed with notable players. Any table with Mike "The Mouth" Matusow is instantly notable, and Haralabos Voulgaris and Eugene Todd are also fan favorites. We're expecting an exciting night when the action kicks off at 5 p.m. ET.

Here are the official seating assignments and chip counts:

Seat No. 1: Heung Yoon - $3,090,000
Seat No. 2: Roy Winston - $5,355,000
Seat No. 3: Haralabos Voulgaris - $1,465,000
Seat No. 4: Mark Weitzman - $1,750,000
Seat No. 5: Mike Matusow - $2,965,000
Seat No. 6: Eugene Todd - $2,190,000

And the prizes they'll be playing for:

First - $1,575,280
Second - $832,725
Third - $434,560
Fourth - $380,240
Fifth - $325,920
Sixth - $271,600

And now a little background information on all six players:

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Heung "Scott" Yoon

Heung YoonHeung Yoon will readily admit that he is the least-experienced player at this final table. He started playing poker online, and has been playing for about two years. In that time, the biggest tournament cash of his "career" was just $168. Yoon is definitely a newcomer to $10,000 buy-in events. He won his seat in this event in a $240 satellite and is now guaranteed at least $271,600.

Yoon was short stacked for much of day four, and several other players seemed to be waiting him out, expecting him to bust in seventh place. But Yoon played very tight, and he managed to double up in a few key spots - now he's got the second-most chips at the final table. Will he continue his tight play to slide a few spots up the payscale, or will he loosen up now that he's reached the televised WPT final table?

Yoon is Korean by birth, but educated in the U.S., and he is a real estate agent in Virginia. He is married with two sons.

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Dr. Roy Winston

Roy Winston Roy Winston is a California doctor who was born and raised in New York City. His physician days might be behind him, as he begins focusing more and more on his poker career. He reached the final three tables of this year's World Series of Poker main event (earning $333,490 for 26th place), and is the new high-stakes no-limit poker host at the Bicycle Casino. This is his first WPT final table, but he has two cashes in WPT events in 2006.

Winston finished days one and two with chip counts near the average, but came on strong on day three to finish second on the leader board with 2.5 times the average stack. With a late surge on day four, he heads to the final table as the big stack with over $5 million in chips - $2 million more than his closest competitor.

While Winston went deep in the WSOP main event, this will be his first televised final table, and if he can finish fourth or higher (expectations are high with that many chips), this will be the biggest cash of his career.

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Haralabos Voulgaris

Haralabos Voulgaris Haralabos Voulgaris (also known as "Haralabob") is best known to WPT fans as the "guy in the suit" who finished second to Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi in the 2005 L.A. Poker Classic. At the time, Voulgaris concealed his real job as a sports bettor and generally didn't seem very comfortable at the table. If you only know Voulgaris from that appearance, then you don't know him at all.

Check out his appearance on Card Player's radio show, "The Circuit," which has become a fan favorite as one of the funniest ever recorded. He can also be seen on the GSN show, "High Stakes Poker" in the season four episodes airing now, and he might have the record for most appearances in the video interviews at Voulgaris is funny and well-spoken, and if someone at the TV table gets him talking, his real personality should show through.

Voulgaris has over $1.2 million in career earnings, but he lacks a high-profile victory. As the short stack entering the final table, he faces a tough challenge. But one thing is certain - he won't be wearing a suit.

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Mark Weitzman

Mark Weitzman Mark Weitzman may not be a household name, but he has been a professional poker player for 20 years, with six WSOP final tables under his belt (four of them in variations of deuce-to-seven). The biggest cash of his career came with a fourth-place finish in a 2005 WSOP event, worth $108,555. He's already guaranteed to make more than twice that.

Weitzman was in fourth place on the leader board for day one, but had a rough day two - he actually finished the day with fewer chips than he started with. But he was still alive to make a big comeback on day three, finishing third in chips, and now he heads to the final table fifth in chips with six players remaining.

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Mike Matusow

Mike MatusowIt would take a book to fully explain the force of nature that is Mike "The Mouth" Matusow. Fortunately, most poker fans are already very familiar with him, so I'll just cover the highlights here.

With more than $5.6 million in career tournament earnings, Matusow is in 23rd place on the all-time money list; a victory here would push him over $7.24 million, and all the way up to 13th place, ahead of Erik Seidel.

This is Matusow's third WPT final table (fourth if you count the invitation-only WPT Bad Boys of Poker III), but his highest finish was second place in the Bellagio Cup III earlier this season. However, he is now in the running for season VI Player of the Year - a fourth-place finish here will tie him with Jonathan Little for the lead, and a third-or-higher finish will give Matusow the lead outright.

Matusow is currently ranked 37th in Card Player's Player of the Year rankings, but this final table will push him to at least 15th place, and a victory here will take him all the way to 4th.

Matusow has won two WSOP bracelets ('99 and '02), but he is best known for his recent performances in the WSOP main event. In '04, he was cast by ESPN as the villain, continually taunting eventual champion Greg Raymer, only to have Raymer bust him late in the tournament. (Raymer and Matusow are now friends). Shortly after the WSOP, Matusow found himself in county jail for six months on drug charges. He returned to poker in time for the next Series, but his '05 WSOP was horrible - until the main event. Everything finally came together for Matusow, and he played his way all the way to the final table, and by the time he got there, he was the fan favorite - villain no more.

Perhaps the greatest performance of Matusow's career came in the 2005 WSOP Tournament of Champions. He outlasted an extremely tough table, and his clashes at the final table against Phil Hellmuth became legendary. Matusow's victory in the TOC completed perhaps the greatest personal and professional comeback in poker history.

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Eugene Todd

Eugene Todd Eugene Todd (Bro) was born in Russia and raised in New York. A stockbroker-turned-professional poker player, this is his second WPT final table. He finished fifth at the 2005 WPT Mirage Poker Showdown and was eliminated by Gavin Smith, whom he still holds a (joking) grudge against - on his WPT bio sheet, when listing the WPT Mirage, he added "Gavin Sucks" in parentheses.

Since that time, Todd has made multiple appearances on Smith's various radio shows (such as Card Player's "The Circuit"), and he is a definite fan favorite. It only takes a few minutes of listening to Todd to realize that much of his vocabulary centers around the suffix "-bro." Many fans refer to him as "Eugene Todd Bro" because of this - he adds it to most sentences the same way that Scotty Nguyen adds the word "baby."

The highest cash of Todd's career came at one of the most exciting final tables of the 2006 WSOP. Phil Hellmuth was going for his (then) 10th bracelet in $5,000 no-limit hold'em and Todd was facing Hellmuth, Marcel Luske, Isabelle Mercier, and Vinny Vinh. While Todd didn't win the bracelet (neither did Hellmuth), his third-place finish was worth $233,000 and a lot of respect.

Todd is eager to improve on his earlier fifth-place finish at the WPT, and soften those memories of losing to Smith. Even with $1.17 million in career tournament earnings, he is still looking for his first major victory, and a WPT title could propel this larger-than-life player to a new tier of poker fame.