Another champion crowned in Atlantic City
The $2,700 Borgata Fall Poker Open took place in Atlantic City earlier this week and 625 players came out to the Garden State for the chance to win a share of the $1 million guaranteed prize pool. At the end of the tournament, New Jersey local poker player Russell Crane was the one to claim the $361,747 first place prize.
The large field meant that the prize pool far exceeded the guarantee and with $1.56 million up for grabs, it didn’t take long for the action to get heated at the Borgata casino. A total of 63 players made it into the money and Malad Marji bubbled in 64th place after being eliminated by Jeremy Menard.
When the third and last day of the tournament began, there were 36 players still left at the tables and Jake Schwartz was the chip leader. However, he wasn’t able to keep on to his stack for long and was eliminated in 24th place for $8,286.
Stacking up chips
The eventual champion started the last day with a fairly small stack that placed him 26th amongst the remaining 36 players. He slowly increased his stack over the first part of the day to enter the final table as the chip leader. Crane then went on to further increase his lead by eliminating Cliff Josephy, John Holley and Scott Blackman to leave just six players remaining in the tournament.
Tyng Low made it five by eliminating Kyle Bowker and Tony Abi-Yaghi followed him to the rails not long after that. With Ken Silberstein out in fourth, only three players remained at the final table.
The blinds were beginning to take a toll on the stacks and at 50,000/100,000/10,000, Crane started with the raise from the button to 250,000 and Low pushed his remaining stack to the middle of the table from the big blind. Crane didn’t waste any time before calling with pocket Aces to have Low’s K-3 dominated. The board didn’t save Low and Crane took the big pot before going into heads up play against Gary Wong.
At this point, Crane had 13.25 million chips while Wong only had 5.5 million to work with. After playing for a while, Wong managed to fight back and even get the lead at one point but Crane was not discouraged and eventually got back in control before ending the tournament.
During the final hand of the Borgata Fall Poker Open, Wong raised to 480,000 from the button and Crane made the call. The flop came Th-8h-7s and the action was checked to Wong, who fired the first bullet worth 1 million chips. Crane then shoved all-in and Wong called and was at risk. Crane showed Ah-5h for a flush draw and Wong had T-6 for top pair and a straight draw. The 9h on the turn gave Crane the nut-flush and Wong had no more outs to hope for. The 2c on the river officially completed the hand and Crane claimed the title and the $361,747 prize, while Wong would have to settle for $203,394.
It is the largest win in Crane’s live poker career and the third title he won at Borgata, with over $1.4 million in tournament earnings.