For burgeoning pro Michael Marder, 25, of Sewell NJ, the 2012 Borgata Summer Open is always going to be about pocket sevens that didn’t hold up as he took second place in the open’s championship event.
The sevens went down to eventual champion Melad Marji’s Ace, Queen, as Marji caught a queen on the flop and took the final hand.
Tough break, but somehow Marder’s $110K second place money probably offered some consolation.
But it was another tournament at the open, the Borgata’s introduction of the fast becoming infamous, "All in or Fold" tournament, that should be the real highlight for Marder.
Hey, work with me here.
Anyway, Marder actually cashed in third for the tournament that drew 135 players with a total buy-in of better than $20,000.
If you haven’t heard about this version of Hold’Em, it’s pretty simple. Any move has to be all-in. The game which seems to have gotten its start, or at least its initial popularity, online, moves pretty fast.
But Marder went another way, he played tight – very tight.
“I really wasn't 100 percent sure what to expect when I entered,” Marder tells the Borgata poker blog. “I mean it was a bounty tournament and with re-buys, so I expected it to be pretty wild. And I figured I'd be re-buying three or four times.
“But I do think that it's a really interesting game from a poker point of view,” he says. “ I mean the risk and rewards that it offers kind of has you thinking that you should really be waiting for a very strong hand. But, you know, a lot of people weren’t thinking that.”
With a $150 buy-in, some were obviously feeling good about taking risks and then re-buying. But they didn’t last.
“I think those of us who were there at the end all kind of figured it out,” he says. “I mean we all knew we had to play tight and I think most of the field figured that out. Those that didn’t were gone pretty fast.”
Still, it’s a wild and wooly format even if the tight player gets the upper hand.
If you’re looking to take a shot, Borgata introduced an “All in or Fold” tournament on our daily schedule July 11. The $50 + $15 + $50, double green chip bounty tournaments are held Wednesdays at 11pm. So far response has been strong with better than 60 players on average. Get the rundown here.
As for Marder, his Borgata Summer Open Championship finish (his biggest cash) starts off a great run for the Borgata regular, who just went pro at the beginning of this year.
“I've really been playing since I was 17 with my friends,” he says. “I did play some online, but not really that much. Just a little in college. It really started when I turned 21 and I started coming to Atlantic City. I played a lot $1-$2 and small tournaments all while working part-time. But last January, I started doing a lot better and that's when I just decided to play poker full-time."
It was a good decision. Anyone who can master “All in or Fold” the first time out, knows something.