Borgata Fall Poker Open Main Event Goes to Three-Time WPT Champ Darren Elias, Moves Him Past $5 Million in Career Earnings

The 2017 Borgata Fall Poker Open $2,700 Main Event attracted 473 runners, and in the end, it was three-time World Poker Tour winner Darren Elias who came out on top to win $293,062. That score vaulted him over $5 million in career earnings.

Darren Elias notched the fifth-largest score of his career to move over the $5 million mark in career earnings. (Image: Borgata)

Two-Time Millionaire

The win also marked the second year Elias has crossed the seven-figure mark. Back in 2014, when he won two of his WPT titles, he had a career-high $1,317,085 in earnings. With one month to go in 2017, he has won $1,068,274.

The win marked the fifth-largest cash of Elias’ career, which is now comprised of $5,200,356 in career earnings. His biggest cash of $843,744 came in September 2014 when he won the WPT Borgata Open Championship, while his second-largest of $326,776 when he won the 2017 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic. His other WPT win came three years ago when he won the WPT Caribbean for $127,680.

Speaking of the WPT, Darren Elias ended up clashing with Keven Stammen, who won the 2014 WPT World Championship at Borgata for $1.35 million. The two made it to three-handed play, and played a big pot in Level 30 (50,000/100,000/10,000).

It happened when Stammen moved all in for 1.415 on the button with pocket deuces and Elias called from the small blind with the A♣6♣. It was a flip, and while Stammen held on the Q♠J♥8♦ flop, he fell behind when the 6♠ paired Elias. The 6♦ river improved him to trips, and Stammen was sent packing in third place for $103,232.

That six-figure score moved Stammen up to $5,284,474 in career earnings, which is just ahead of Elias.

Three-Hour Heads-Up Match

The elimination of Stammen in third place allowed Elias to take 8.74 million in chips into heads-up play against Mark Kaganovsky, who held 5.45 million.

In the final hand of the tournament, which came after three hours of heads-up play, the blinds were 120,000/240,000/40,000 when Elias raised to 500,000 holding the K♥J♥ and Kaganovsky defended with the 10♦4♦ to see a Q♥10♥10♠ flop. Kaganovsky checked and then called when Elias bet 500,000, which brought about the 9♠ on the turn.

Kaganovsky checked, Elias bet 1.35 million, and Kaganovsky check-raised all in for 4.575 million. Elias snap-called with his straight, and he improved to a flush on the 5♥ river. Kaganovsky had to settle for second place and a $169,186 consolation prize.

Others to cash the event were former Survivor contestant Albert Destrade (11th for $14,911), World Series of Poker bracelet winner Mike Wang (14th for $11,470), 2015 WSOP Main Event champ Joe McKeehen (25th for $7,112), and 2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas winner Christian Harder (45th for $5,735).

Final Table Results
1 Darren Elias $293,062
2 Mark Kaganovsky $169,186
3 Keven Stammen $103,232
4 Paul Lambrakis $83,159
5 Mickey Woll $65,380
6 Daniel Wach $54,484
7 Shankar Pillai $43,587
8 Brett Apter $33,264
9 Patrick Maritato $22,941

Written by
Chad Holloway
Splitting his time between his native Wisconsin and Las Vegas, Chad Holloway gave up a potential law career to follow his passion and play and write about poker. His background includes a long stint as a senior writer for a major poker news site. Long well-known throughout the poker community for his incisive and in-depth commentary and reporting, we are proud to have Chad on board as part of our CardsChat writing team, where he will be covering everything from the World Series of Poker to interviews, features, and more.

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