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We’re back with even more news state side as the The WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open continues. We managed to catch up with a very special contributor Lana O’Brien aka @lanaob22 as she told us her thoughts on the tournament and a few sick sick hands she’d seen out there on the felt so far:

It started with a little bit of controversy…

“Well the first event of the Borgata Poker Open ended with some controversy, as play was suspended with 27 players remaining. The NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement ordered the event canceled due to a finding that one or more entrants improperly introduced counterfeit chips into the tournament, and the 1B chipleader, Christian Lusardi, was recently arrested.

I was not among those final 27, as (spoiler alert!) I did not cash in the first event. However, I had a great time playing and seeing friends.

Time to hit Fatburger!



 I spend most days with two kids under 2.5, so just the drive down to the Borgata is a vacation! I arrived about 45 minutes before the tournament’s 10am start time and there was no line (sweet)! I grabbed a greasy bacon, egg and cheese from Fatburger that hit the spot and headed over to my seat.

One of the last things I took from my house was my phone charger, but suddenly my battery was at 20% and I couldn’t find it. Thankfully, I asked up at the tournament podium and none other than Borgata Tournament Director Tab Duchateau dug around his bag until he produced one. Thanks again Tab!

Slowly slowly does it…

My table started out playing four-handed and things were pretty slow in the early levels. In one of my first hands at the table I raised AK and bluff raised the river after I missed the board, taking it down. Always feels nice to pull off a bluff early.

A good player named Matt sat down and doubled the first hand he played. Early on I raised 76s and triple barreled, getting him to fold on the river (phew). I don’t normally bluff that much, but every time I hit the board people were sucking out on me, so I had to win somehow.

Meeting Men “The Master”…


Men the Master sat down and promptly won two pots from me, one where he floated a Q92hh flop with A3 and turned an A on my flopped top pair. The other hand I flopped top pair and he went runner runner flush with Q8s. Bob “Uncle Krunk” Panitch sat down and got me to fold AQ on a terrible board.

Apart from flopping a set early and getting a couple streets of value, the biggest hand I played was when I defended my big blind with QTo and check called three streets with top pair. I also got lucky once when I got in with Q9 v. AQ on a Q high flop and binked a 9 on the river.

Breaktime with the partypoker pros


 During breaks I caught up with partypoker player Jamie Kerstetter and my friend “Action Bob” Hwang, and grabbed some of the vegetarian chili. A tourney grinder named Kevin McColgan recommended it over Twitter last series, and in my opinion it’s the best option for food in the event center.

And Then It All Came Crashing Down….


Sadly, it all went downhill after the chili. I lost with QQ to AK and 88 all in pre-flop. I misplayed a hand where I checked top pair on the flop, called the turn and lost to a rivered gutshot. I doubled with KK v. QQ only to lose a chunk when my KT lost to K9 on KQ9 board. I finally busted when Ben, the nice guy on my right, 4xed from the CO and I shoved my last13 big blinds with 99 and lost a flip to his AQ.

So Go On What The Heck Would You Do?

I’ll leave you with a hand where I was pretty lost. New player who looks like a regular sits down and limps the last hand of 400/800/50 under the gun. I raise on the button to 3200 with AQs, and he shoves all in for 28k. I have about 95k.

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