Paul Spitzberg is a veteran poker player at 67 years young, but proved he could hang with the young guns at this final table. He claimed top honors and $68,888 and his first Borgata Open Series trophy. Jeff Papola was hoping to claim his third Borgata Open title here tonight, but came up short, finishing second for $40,575.
Spitzberg held the chip lead for a good portion of day two and carried that lead to the final table. When third place finisher Tom Gleason busted Borgata regular Miguel Borrero in 6th place, Gleason usurped Spitzberg's lead by a nose. Spitzberg reclaimed the lead when his AT won a huge flip against Gleason's pocket 9s with four players remaining.
Jeff Papola took the lead with three players remaining and then dispatched Tom Gleason in third place ($24,498). It looked like Jeff had the title sewn up when he had pocket Kings and Spitzberg was all-in holding K8 of spades on a flop of Q 7 5 with one spade. Then running spades gave Spitzberg the back-door flush, a huge double-up, and the chip lead once again.
The final hand was a race between Papola's AT and Spitzberg's pocket 5s. Papola got no help from the board and it was over.
This event drew 902 entries over two starting days for total buy-ins of $315,700. Day two began with 175 surviving players, but only the final 90 would get paid. With 93 players remaining they were approaching a break. Three players busted out just before the break, so upon returning, the final 90 players learned they were in the money without any hand-for-hand play.
Paul Spitzberg played day 1B on Monday, April 8th, which was his 67th birthday and only entered once. He says he went card dead after level four on day one and limped into day two with only 95k (101st out of 175 returning players).
Then today Spitzberg had pocket Aces five times and they held up. Once he was all-in with AA against KK and QQ -- and his Aces held up, tripling him up. He also cracked pocket Aces a couple of times, once when his pocket 4s flopped a set.
Paul Spitzberg won a Deep Stack Double Play event here at Borgata in August 2012 for nearly $40k, but until tonight, he had never won a Borgata Open Series event. Today, he gave himself a $68,888 birthday present and the shiny new Borgata Open trophy is the icing on his cake.
Final Table Results
1 - Paul Spitzberg (Tenafly, NJ) $68,888
2 - Jeff Papola (Monmouth Beach, NJ) $40,575
3 - Tom Gleason (Blackwood, NJ) $24,498
4 - Alex Smith (Highland Park, NJ) $20,517
5 - Samuel Tucker (Odenton, MD) $16,843
6 - Miguel Borrero (Jersey City, NJ) $13,627
7 - Joe Cappuccio (Hammonton, NJ) $10,871
8 - Dionysuis Bass (Yonkers, NY) $8,268
9 - Alex Vargas (Lodi, NJ) $5,665
10 - Anh Le (Mullica Hill, NJ) $3,675