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This Week in Tournament Poker
World Poker Tour Legends of Poker
The final table of the WPT Legends of Poker took place on Thursday, Aug. 28 at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, California. The $10,000 buy-in event produced a first-place prize of $1,091,428, and that prize was won by John Phan. Phan became only the third player ever to make back-to-back WPT final tables, joining Lee Watkinson (2004) and Danny Wong (2007). Phan claimed his first WPT title with the win, and he now has made three of the last six WPT final tables since March. The event attracted 373 entrants, which is down from last year’s turnout of 485 entrants. A few other players that made a deep run in the event, but just missed the final table, were Layne Flack (eighth place) and Lee Markholt (13th place). Here is a list of the final table results from the event:
1st Place: John Phan -- $1,091,428
2nd Place: Amit Makhija -- $563,320
3rd Place: Zachary Clark -- $281,645
4th Place: Paul Smith -- $246,450
5th Place: Trong Nguyen -- $211,245
6th Place: Kyle Wilson -- $176,035
Read the event's final-table recap.
Asian Poker Tour Macau
Day 1A-1B of the Asian Poker Tour event got under way on Aug. 28 and 29 in Macau, China, and with the same time difference in effect that Americans experienced during the Beijing Olympics, results are already available for both day 1A and day 1B. There were 257 entrants in the $5,300 buy-in event. The first-place prize will be $500,000, and the chip leader heading into day 2 is Ryan Gentry with 86,000. Notable professionals still alive in the event include J.J. Liu, Mel Judah, and Kenny Tran. The APT Macau championship event will crown a winner on Aug. 31.
Heartland Poker Tour -- Mount Pleasant
David Peters emerged from a field of 300 other entrants at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, to take home $130,178 in prize money by winning the $1,500 Heartland Poker Tour main event. Peters also claimed 720 POY points for the win. Read the article about the event.
Empire State Hold’em Championships
This $5,000 no-limit hold'em championship event was won by Justin Schwartz, who took home $71,000 and 288 POY points at the Empire State Hold'em Championships. Schwartz overcame a field of 61 other entrants at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York. The final table also included Shaun Deeb, who finished in sixth place and took home $18,049, as well as 96 POY points.
WWCS Presents the River
Jim Carroll won $700,000 when he won the $2,000 no-limit hold’em main event and edged out 1,450 players at the WinStar Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Carroll also earned 1,200 POY points.
Card Player Player of the Year Update
John Phan — 6,401
Erik Seidel — 4,580
David Benyamine — 4,148
Michael Binger — 3,600
David “The Dragon” Pham — 3,582
Erick Lindgren — 3,459
Shannon Shorr — 3,388
Vinny Pahuja — 3,270
Men “The Master” Nguyen — 3,230
David Chiu — 3,120
On day 4 of the WPT Legends of Poker, John Phan needed to finish in at least seventh place to surpass Erik Seidel on the Card Player Player of the Year leader board. Late on day 4, he was close to his goal with eight players remaining, and that was when “The Razor” moved all in against Layne Flack. Flack called all in against him, and they turned up their hands. Phan held pocket sevens to Flack’s pocket aces, but the board brought not just one 7 but both that remained in the deck, to give Phan the pot and the POY lead.
With Flack out of the tournament, Phan was guaranteed the POY lead, but he was not done there. He continued to play well and made the TV final table of six with the second-most chips in play. As mentioned before, Phan finished in first place at that final table, winning 2,220 POY points, and he now has 6,401 POY points. Seidel trails Phan by 1,821 points after holding a 399-point lead over Phan before Legends began. This is a huge lead-change in the POY race, and it is the first time that Seidel has not held the lead since before the WSOP began.
Next week will feature a number of poker tournaments on four different continents. The conclusion of the Asian Poker Tour will take place in Macau on Aug. 31. The day after that, the Asia Pacific Poker Tour stop in Macau will begin on Sept. 1. The $3,200 no-limit hold’em main event will run from Sept. 1-6 and feature three day-one flights. The $19,250 no-limit hold’em high-roller event will begin on Sept. 7 and end on Sept. 9.
The Partouche Poker Tour main event begins on Sept. 3 in Cannes on the French Riviera, and it will run until Sept. 7. The event features a €8,500 buy in and has a €2 million-guaranteed prize pool.
The Sun City Million Dollar Poker Tournament will take place in Sun City, South Africa and begins on Sept. 4. The event features a $3,000 buy-in with a $600 rebuy and $1,000 add-on. The prize pool is guaranteed at $1.5 million, and the champion will be crowned on Sept. 7.
In the U.S., the $5,000 championship event of the Gulf Coast Poker Championship will begin on Sept. 4 at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi, and run until Sept. 6 (NOTE: This is not a WPT event, the $10,000 WPT Southern Poker Championship will take place Jan. 16-19 at the Beau Rivage). The first of 12 preliminary events leading up to the $10,000 WPT championship event at the Borgata Poker Open begins on Sept. 3 at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.