AMATEUR ONLINE PLAYER WINS POKERSTARS FESTIVAL NJ MAIN EVENT
 
Jason Acosta turns 5,000 StarsCoins into $38,220.
 
Amateur New Jersey player Jason Acosta (30), who mainly plays his poker online, has taken down the $1,100 buy-in main event of the Pokerstars Festival New Jersey, turning his entry from a 5,000 StarsCoins satellite into a $38,220 main prize after getting the better of 207 other players.
 
The win was triple his best previous cash.
 
Acosta qualified for the tournament by playing in a 5,000 StarsCoin satellite on PokerStarsNJ, and managed to survive through to the third day, when he was one of 23 players still standing. He continued to quietly stay out of trouble and build his chips stack, but when the final table stage was reached, with pro player Matt Affleck holding the chip lead, he was still one of the short stacks.
 
Unfazed by his relatively low chip count, Acosta played an audacious game and prospered from it to enter the heads up stage against the more experienced and well respected Michael Gagliano. At that point Acostas prospects did not look, given the Gagliano’s reputation and the fact that the poker pro held a 7 to 1 lead in chips.
 
Again, Acosta remained calm and with impressive skill and some good cards he eroded Gaglianos advantage until he managed to grab the chip lead from him and started to pull away, cannily playing some really good hands and becoming increasingly aggressive to maintain and increase his chip count and finally eliminate an impressive opponent.
 
Gaglianos runner-up prize was worth $28,116 – his second five-figure cash in the Pokerstars Festival NJ following his earlier victory in the $2,000 buy-in Six-Max event which open the festival.
 
Other final table cashes included:
 
Eli Kim $20,683
David Johnston $15,215
Matt Affleck $11,193
Sridhar Sangannagari $8,234
Rocco Dicondina $6,057
Peter Smyth $4,455
 
In related news, PokerStars Mindsports Ambassador Jennifer Shahade was defeated at the post in the festivals High Roller event by Jack Duong, who earned $15,520 for his victory. The $2,200 buy-in event attracted just 16 players, creating a prize pool of $31,040.