After two days of poker from the best of the best, including 2010 Borgata Poker Open WPT champion Dwyte Pilgrim and Matt Stout, Jesse Yaginuma (Silver Spring, MD), a heads up specialist, used his skill to defeat Mike Tauman (Metuchen, NJ) for the $1k (Event 15) title at the 2011 Borgata Spring Poker Open.
On the final hand, Jesse’s 9 kicker just edged out Tauman’s 7 kicker. Both hit an ace on the flop and all the chips got in on the turn. Yaginuma will take home $42,486 for his first place victory. “I played well and ran well” said Jesse who came back from a 3 to 1 heads up deficit.
Five friends were enjoying adult beverages from the rail but went out for food right before the final hand. “It’s nice having friends support you” said Jesse.
Michael Tauman from (Metuchen, NJ) was ecstatic to take home $23,367 representing the biggest poker score of his life. If Tauman failed to river a set of sevens before the bubble, he would have been long gone. His long time girlfriend supported him today in the Signature Room.
So how did we get to our classic heads-up match?
Day 2 started with 17 of the 146 players returning for their shot at the $146,000 total buy-in. Yaginuma, the 2009 Borgata Poker Open Heads Up Champion, got off to a great start and built his 192k chip stack to 550k and was the chip leader at the final table.
After winning lots of small pots, Yaginuma knocked out Andy Egan (Hickessin, DE) in 4th place ($11,330) and at one point, while 3-handed, had more than half the chips in play with 1.6 million compared to 350k each for Tauman and third place finisher Steve Russell (Coolville, OH), who took home $13,454.
Tauman began the day 6th in chips and knocked out Dwyte Pilgrim (Brooklyn, NY), the September 2010 Borgata Poker Open Champion in 5th place($8,497) when his AK bested Pilgrim’s AQ. Tauman was short stacked three handed, but started to make a move when he doubled through Yaginuma with AJ against Yaginuma’s pocket 7s. That, coupled with Tauman eliminating Steve Russell (Coolville, OH) in 3rd place ($13,454) gave Tauman the chip lead when heads up play began.
Tauman played well according to his opponent Jesse but it looked like experience took over in the end.
The other notable final table-ist was Gordon Eng (Cliffside Park, NJ), who finished 8th ($4,249). Eng won the $1,500 Event in the 2010 Spring Poker Open, but as one of the shorter stacks day didn’t run well. The final blow came when Eng held KQ and was eliminated by Adam Geyer (Austin, TX) who turned a full house with K8.
Geyer finished 6th ($7,081), while Christian Kohl (Suffield, CT) 7th/$5,665, Gordon Eng, Matt Iles (Atco, NJ) 9th/$31,86 and Anthony Villano (Englishtown, NJ) 10th/$2,382 rounded out the top 10.