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2,000 players enter Borgata Summer Poker Open

19 June 2007

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- As Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa approaches the first anniversary of the opening of its 85-table Poker Room -- the largest poker room in Atlantic City --- the Summer Poker Open continues to sizzle with action. With over 350 entries in Saturday's $1,000 + $80 No Limit Hold 'Em Event, topping off the weekend entries for the Summer Poker Open to 2,000, one would never know the World Series of Poker (WSOP) was underway in Las Vegas. In the first four days of Borgata's Summer Poker Open, over one million dollars in prize money was awarded, solidifying Borgata's position as the East Coast's premier poker destination.

Ray Stefanelli, Director of Poker Marketing for Borgata, commented, "This weekend has been an overwhelming success, culminating in great endings to the main events. Our room was filled with poker pros, local players, and people checking out what Borgata poker is all about."

Saturday's $1000 + 80 buy-in event saw fierce competition with 352 players vying for their share of the $352,000 prize pool. The richest event to date at the 2007 Summer Open featured great players from all over. Seen amongst the field, was former WSOP Main Event Champion, Robert Varkonyi, who took down $2 million in 2002. Robert was not the only famous face in the field; making the final table in this event was Joe Simmons, former manager of the groundbreaking hip-hop group, The Roots. In the poker world, Joe is best known for making the final table of Borgata's Winter Poker Open Main Event, taking home nearly half a million dollars for his fourth place finish in January.

Simmons controlled the chip lead for much of the final table, but Daniel Apicella slowly gained control of the tournament. Simmons then went all in against the short stack, John "JJ" Hurley, and lost. Simmons took home $28,688 in third place prize money. Hurley was at a significant disadvantage in head's up play, but kept chipping away at Apicella's stack. Just as Hurley seemed poised to make a move, he went all-in and lost. Hurley took home $59,136 for second place. The champion, Apicella won $107,350 for first place. "It is a great feeling to win in my home poker room. We are heading out to celebrate at B Bar and will be back for next week's Main Event."

On Thursday nearly 400 players took to the tables for the $500 buy-in event #2. Joe Cutler, an amateur player from Long Island, NY, captured the championship and $58,713 in first place prize money. Mike Matrone of Marlboro, NJ, finished second with $32,340 in second place prize money. The third place finisher was Robert Zarzycki, who took home $15,689. A vocal Matrone was disappointed with losing, but ready for more poker action during the Borgata Summer Poker Open.

"I will be back for more at the Summer Open," said Matrone. "I already have Bobby Flay (Steak) reservations for this weekend!"

The Main Event on Friday (Event #3) was the $750 + 60 No Limit Hold 'Em Event. There were 309 entries, creating a $231,750 prize pool. Marc Lunenfield of Virginia Beach, VA, finished first, taking home $70,683 in prize money. Ronnie Kevin of Richland, NJ, finished in second place, taking home $38,934. Mark Tomasko finished third with $8,887 in prize money.

Sunday's action featured the fan favorite, Ladies Event- $260 + $40 No Limit Hold 'Em at 11:00 AM. The 7-Card Stud Main Event begins at noon. The 2007 Borgata Summer Open offers players a chance to participate in some of Atlantic City's richest tournaments including Texas Hold 'Em No Limit, Texas Hold 'Em Limit, 7-Card Stud, and the Ladies-Only Tournament.

In addition, each day of the tournament features, super satellites, second chance cash, and sit-and-go tournaments. The Championship Event is a four-day event, starting on Saturday, June 23rd, concluding on Tuesday, June 26th. Players will start with $50,000 in tournament chips and play in one of the best-structured tournaments around.

Players and fans can follow the action on the ACTV Blog available at and The blog features live updates and commentary on notable hands. There are regular video updates available on the blog from poker commentator "Iron" Mike Hofeld.

On-Site Registration for all Borgata Summer Open events is in the Poker Room, where all tournaments will take place.

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