Asher Conniff Wins Opening Event at Borgata Spring Poker Open

 Asher Conniff Borgata Spring Open

Asher Conniff has been a successful poker player in New Jersey, both live and online. (Image: Mohegan Sun)

Asher Conniff isn’t exactly a household name in the worldwide poker community just yet. But with results like the ones he has been putting up lately, he’s certainly making the case that he could be a breakout star in the future.

Conniff won the first event of the 2015 Borgata Spring Poker Open in Atlantic City, winning $203,231 after finishing on top of a field of 2,408 players.

The prize money total came as the result of a deal that took place with three players remaining.

Conniff agreed to split up the majority of the prize money with Matt Stout and Carlos Alvarado before the three played out the remainder of the tournament with $20,000 remaining up for grabs for the winner.

Alvarado Nearly Defends Event Title

Alvarado went out in third place, but it would be impossible to talk about this tournament without mentioning just how incredible his result was. Alvarado won this same event in 2014, making his back-to-back performance an impressive feat.

But a repeat title wasn’t to be, as Conniff finished off Alvarado when last year’s champion moved in on a flop of 7♦ 3♦ 3♣. Conniff called with pocket nines, while Alvarado held 6♦ 4♦ for a straight flush draw. But without any help on the turn or the river, Alvarado was out, leaving Conniff and Stout heads-up for the title.

Conniff was a huge favorite, as he held a nearly 5-1 chip lead heading into the heads-up match. Before too long, Stout shoved all-in from the button with Q♥ J♥, and was called by Conniff, who held K♣ T♦.

Neither player improved on the board, leaving the king as the deciding card and making Conniff the champion. Stout took home $140,000 for his second-place finish.

Conniff Has Been Successful in Live, Online Arenas

The victory is the largest of Conniff’s live poker career: while the Brooklyn-based player has plenty of cashes at the Borgata and four at the World Series of Poker, his total earnings before this victory only amounted to about $176,000.

But this is far from the first time that Conniff has made headlines in recent months.

According to Bluff.com, he is one of the leaders in the race for New Jersey Online Player of the Year, at one point being in front after winning two events during January’s Garden State Super Series II on partypoker.

While other players have since surpassed him in the rankings, his combination of online and live success has still garnered plenty of attention.

Conniff has also been seen on television recently, having made an appearance on Poker Night in America against some of the top names in poker. Conniff earned his seat at the televised table by winning a qualifier tournament on 888.com in New Jersey.

“I’ve probably seen every episode of High Stakes Poker ever,” Conniff told PokerNews. “So playing with Hellmuth, Jen Tilly, and all the rest was definitely an experience, and it was a little surreal knowing I’m a part of something I grew up watching.”

The Borgata Spring Poker Open will continue with a total of 17 events running through early May. The most prestigious event is the World Poker Tour World Championship, a $15,000 buy-in tournament that begins on April 25.

Ed Scimia
Written by
Ed Scimia
Ed Scimia is a freelance writer and author from Bethel, Connecticut. He is the author of Catching Fish: Your Practical Guide To Beating $1/$2 No-Limit Texas Hold'em Games, which once spent a few hours at #1 on the Amazon Kindle bestseller list for poker books. Ed also serves as the Chess Expert for About.com. In the winter, Ed enjoys curling, which really is an Olympic sport.

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