WSOP Runner-Up Jesse Sylvia Wins WPT Borgata Open for $821k
Despite a couple of third-place finishes in WSOP events in 2014 and 2015, Sylvia seemed destined to be another footnote - albeit a very rich one - in poker history.
That all changed on Friday when Sylvia took down the Main Event of the WPT Borgata Poker Open for his first major poker title.
Colossal Collapse by Farid Jattin
The $3,500 WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event kicked off last Sunday and the $3 million guaranteed event drew a strong field of 1,179. The event easily beat the guarantee with a prize pool of $3.77 million.
After five days of play, the six-handed final table was reached with Colombian poker pro Farid Jattin holding almost half of the chips in play.
Sylvia made the final table but started as one of the short stacks. He quickly put himself back into contention by tripling through both Simon Lam and Jattin, moving all in with pocket fours against the A-K of both opponents.
From this point, Jattin took beat after beat and went somewhat on tilt. Jattin bluff-shoved against Sylvia with 5s-4c and Sylvia made the call with A-K. He eventually made Broadway to take the chip lead and put Jattin on the short stack.
Jattin then shoved pocket eights into the aces of Zach Gruneberg to go from starting the final table with the almost 50% of the chips to being the first player eliminated.
Ultimately, heads-up play in the event came down to Gruneberg and Sylvia. Heads-up started with players nearly even in chips and neither player was able to gain momentum early on.
Eventually, Sylvia was able to gain control after spiking a flush to drag a massive pot. From there Sylvia dominated to the point where Gruneberg was forced to call off his chips with As-2c against J4 for Sylvia.
Sylvia flopped a jack to take the hand and his first major poker title and $821,811. His victory also earns him a seat into the season ending WPT Tournament of Champions.
Largest Cash Since 2012
Short of winning the Main Event or the Poker Central Super High Roller Bowl, Sylvia is going to be hard pressed to top his runner-up cash of $5.29 million in 2012.
His victory on Friday earned him $821,811, easily his second-largest live poker cash. Sylvia has two other six-figure scores since finishing runner-up to Greg Merson in 2012.
In 2014, Sylvia earned $189,497 for a 3rd-place finish in the $25k High Roller at the WSOP APAC. Last year he finished 3rd in a $3k NL Event at the World Series of Poker for $211,731.
Friday's victory is the first time that Sylvia finished above 3rd place in a tournament since 2012. After his win Sylvia has $6.82 million in live earnings.
This moves him to 2nd all-time on the Massachusetts All-Time Money List behind Dan Colman.