After nearly two hours of non-stop heads-up play, Eric van Auken is our Limit Hold'em winner. He bagged $6,111 and his first Borgata Open trophy.
Another near miss for runner-up Joseph McKeehen, who finished second for $3,820. During the 2012 Borgata Poker Open, he had both a 2nd place finish ($200 Deep Stack NL, $28k) and a 3rd place finish ($1k NL, $15k). This math student knows how to add up the winnings. Last month he won a WSOP Circuit Championship for over $174,000.
When the final table was formed, van Auken was in the middle of the pack and Joseph McKeehen had a solid lead. When van Auken busted the 5th place finisher, however, he took over the chip lead. McKeehen and van Auken traded the chip lead several times before van Auken finally had all the chips.
This Limit Hold'em event drew a modest 45 players, creating total buy-ins of $15,750. The final five earned a payday. Among them were two former Borgata Open winners: Jake Ferro (4th place) won the $260 Deep Stack NLH event during the 2012 Borgata Poker Open ($22k); and Nick Mavro won the $500 NLH event during the 2012 Winter Poker Open ($43k).
Some of the notable players in this field included two time Borgata trophy winner Glenn Engelbert (Sicklerville, NJ), WSOP Bracelet holder Chris Reslock (Atlantic City, NJ), Al Riccobono (Ossining, NY) and Jason Rivkin (Eatontown, NJ). Riccobono was the bubble boy, finishing 6th. None of the others made the money.
Eric van Auken has been away from the poker world for a few years, concentrating on his family and buying & selling houses. He came back in a significant way today with this win.
Limit hold'em is his game and when he has time, he's found in the $20/$40 and $40/$80 cash games here at Borgata. When he was short-stacked earlier in the tournament, he put his name on the wait lists for those games, but luckily was still in the tournament when his name was called.
1 - Eric van Auken (Ridgewod, NJ) $6,111
2 - Joseph McKeehen (N Wales, PA) $3,820
3 - Jeff Jerome (Philadelphia, PA) $2,292
4 - Jake Ferro (Syracuse, NY) $1,681
5 - Nick Mavro (Queens, NY) $1,375