$400 + $50 Omaha H/L 8B
After 2 3/4 hours of heads-up play Tim D'Alessandro takes down the Omaha H/L 8B tournament by defeating Brent Keller (Horsham, PA) to win the $18,624 first prize.
D'Alessandro began the marathon with a 1.2 million to 300k chip lead, but skill and structure allowed both players to battle with Keller flipping the tables before D'Alessandro rallied to win the final hand with 5♦ 7♦ J♠ Q♠.
"This is great," says D'Alessandro, "this is the first big tournament where I was heads up and win outright, it feels good to finally take one down."
On the winning hand D'Alessandro hits a flush on the turn to end the tournament.
"Of course I'm disappointed," said Keller who cashed for $10, 243, "it's hard work."
Keller was one of several players in the 160 player field with impressive credentials. Keller has two Omaha WSOP circuit rings, while 'Miami' John Cernuto (Las Vegas, NV - 3 bracelets) and Chris Reslock (Atlantic City, NJ - 1 bracelet) were also in the field. Cernuto finished 13th ($1,086), while Reslock didn't survive past Day 1.
36 players returned for Day 2 to take their crack at the $64,000 total buy-in as 18 players cashed. The most impressive run came from Leonardo Palermo who finished third ($5,898) which, coupled with his 4th place finish in Event 1, gives him nearly $54,000 in the two events.
"Sleep can wait," said Palermo, who's played 52 hours of poker against 12 hours of sleep during the last three days. "I really wanted to win this," says the Jersey Shore restaurant owner. "But I'm not disappointed, I was blessed to make two final tables and played the best I could play."
In the end it was solid play that led to the long heads-up battle and was gratifying for D'Alessandro, who's prior best Borgata finish was second place ($28,812) in the Limit tournament during the 2006 Winter Open.