The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, NJ welcomed back tournament poker players in the early days of 2023 with The Return Poker Championship, a four-event festival with more than $4 million in guaranteed prize money.
The first event on the schedule was the $2,200 buy-in no-limit hold’em mystery bounty event. The tournament attracted a massive field of 1,361 entries, creating a final prize pool of $2,670,340.
The final day of the tournament was running for approximately 18 hours before a nine-way deal between the entire final table brought the event to an unusual conclusion at 5:00 a.m. local time. The remaining nine contenders made an ICM chop of the main prize pool, which resulted in Sam Laskowitz securing the title and the largest payout of $146,609. This was the second-largest score ever for the New York state resident, trailing only the $256,170 he earned as the runner-up in the 2022 World Series of Poker Colossus event.
Anthony Maio took home $142,054 as the second-place finisher, while bracelet winner Ryan Eriquezzo earned $132,093 for his third-place showing.
The final nine also ultimately agreed that each remaining player would get one of the nine bounties still up for grabs, which included a $250,000 grand prize bounty. The bounties would be drawn in a randomized order that was decided by high cards. The shortest stack at the table when the deal was made belonged to Ryan Dodd. He was second in line to pull a bounty and managed to draw up the quarter-million dollar bounty.
Check out a video of his lucky pull via PokerNews’ live coverage of the event:
In the early morning hours, the BorgataPoker</a> The Return $2,200 Mystery Bounty final table worked a deal. A $250,000 envelope was still in play and they agreed to each take a random draw.<br><br>The short-stacked <a href=”https://twitter.com/ryandodd_77?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>ryandodd_77 was the lucky winner!
Recap -> https://t.co/oyrWTwrZkt pic.twitter.com/O1lXKE3PQA
— PokerNews (@PokerNews) January 4, 2023
Here is a look at the final table payouts from the main prize pool after the nine-way deal:
And here are the bounties that were pulled by the final nine (in order from first to last):
Baruch Forst – $500
Ryan Dodd – $250,000
Francis Anderson – $25,000
Constantine Bogiatzis -$500
Anthony Maio – $500
Samuel Laskowitz – $25,000
Maxim Urvantsev – $500
Ryan Eriquezzo – $500
Benedetto Bianco – $500
Winner photo credit: PokerNews / Rachel Kay Miller.