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Harvey Vandeven Wins Card Player Poker Tour bestbet Jacksonville Main Event

by Diana Cox |  Published: Dec 01, 2013


Harvey VandevenHarvey Vandeven became the first winner of Season II of the Card Player Poker Tour when he bested a field of 255 players in the $1,500 no-limit hold’em $300,000 guarantee bestbet Jacksonville main event, taking home the title, the trophy and $76,598. The championship event came down to Vandeven and T.K. Miles heads up for the trophy and with the elimination of Richard Swain as the third-place finisher, the two quickly agreed on a chop.

With a 2.64 to 1 chiplead over Miles, the two agreed on a fifty-fifty chop and the trophy for Vandeven. Had they played it out, the winner would have taken home $96,395 and $56,801 would have gone to the second-place finisher.

The win and cash-out was the largest of his career.

“The final table was great. It’s very nice was well run and well put on,” Vandeven said.“We had a great time and the final table as a bunch of good guys, we were playing poker and having a great time and just forgetting about the money.”

The final tables was quick, lasting only four hours.

“Last night we played until 2:30 am trying to get rid of one player to go from ten to nine and today in the first hour it went from nine to five,” Vandeven said. “It’s crazy how it changes.”

Vandeven, the owner of a construction company in Ocala, Florida, said he enjoys the challenge of playing with the pros.

“Poker is a hobby for me so getting to play and compete with guys that play every day is really challenging and I had to get a little lucky to survive against these guys,” he said. “It feels really good and that is why I play. For the challenge of winning.”

T.K. MilesAaron Lucas was the first elimination of the day when he moved all in preflop for his last 115,000 from the hijack seat with 8Heart Suit6Heart Suit. Yi Li called from the big blind with AHeart SuitQClub Suit and the board ran out 10Diamond Suit7Spade Suit4Heart SuitKHeart SuitKSpade Suit to end Lucas’s tournament.

Internet pro Adam Shuman was the next to go as the eighth-place finisher. Harvey Vandeven raised to 50,000 from under the gun and Richard Swain called from the button. Shuman announced he was all in for 198,000 with ASpade SuitAClub Suit and Vandeven got out of the way. However, Swain called with KSpade Suit3Spade Suit and picked up a king-high flush on a board of QSpade Suit7Spade Suit7Diamond SuitJSpade Suit3Club Suit to send Shuman to the rail.

Eddie Mroczkowski, who finished day 1a second in chips with 145,900 and was seventh overall out of the 55 players who survived both day 1a and 1b when day 2 began, was the seventh-place finisher. The Jacksonville pro was all in from the button with KDiamond SuitQClub Suit and T.K. Miles called from the small blind with ASpade Suit7Spade Suit. The board ran out 10Heart Suit6Club Suit5Heart Suit10Diamond Suit6Heart Suit and Mroczkowski was eliminated.

Belal Assi, who began day 2 as the overall chipleader with 241,600, followed Mroczkowski to the rail as the sixth-place finisher. After losing a large pot to Benjamin Beebe a few hands prior, Assi was all in preflop from the big blind for 205,000. Miles had him covered from the button and called. Assi showed KSpade Suit10Spade Suit and Miles held ASpade SuitJDiamond Suit. The board ran out QSpade Suit5Spade Suit4Heart Suit9Club Suit5Diamond Suitto make Assi the sixth place finisher.

Li, who had been fairly quiet throughout the final table, followed as the fifth-place finisher when he moved all in pre flop for 490,000 with AClub Suit8Spade Suit. Vandeven called from the small blind with 8Heart Suit8Diamond Suit and Li’s hand failed to improve on a board of 10Diamond Suit7Club Suit2Spade Suit4Heart Suit4Club Suit.

Beebe immediately followed Li to the rail as the fourth-place finisher. Miles moved all in from the small blind with ADiamond SuitAHeart Suit and Beebe call for his tournament life from the big bind with ASpade Suit2Spade Suit. A flop of AClub SuitJDiamond Suit2Club Suit left Beebe drawing nearly dead and the 6Diamond Suit on the turn ended his tournament. The river was the meaningless 8Club Suit and Beebe left the table.

Ben Beebe“I started the day eighth in chips,” Beebe said later. “So I can’t complain.”

Swain became the third-place finisher when he moved his short stack all in from the small blind with 8Heart Suit7Heart Suit with the board reading 10Diamond Suit8Spade Suit6Spade Suit. Vandeven called from the big blind with JDiamond SuitJSpade Suit and the board completed 3Diamond Suit2Diamond Suit and Swain was eliminated.

The official final table was set in the early morning hours of Sep. 9 with the elimination of Jason Cummings, who saw his tournament life come to an end when he got into a pot with Miles and Beebe. Miles raised to 40,000 and Beebe called. Cummings called out of the big blind and the flop fell QHeart Suit9Diamond Suit5Heart Suit. Miles continued for 60,000 and Beebe got out of the way. Cummings moved all in with QClub SuitJSpade Suit and Miles snap-called with AClub SuitQDiamond Suit. The board completed 6Club Suit7Diamond Suit and with Cummings out in 10th place the official final table was set.

Other notables who showed to make a run at the top prize included David Tuthill, James Joyner, Harrison Gimble, Joseph Couden and Dan Makowsky.

The event not only marked the beginning of Season II of the Card Player Poker Tour, it was also the first Card Player series held at bestbet Jacksonville.

“I think it went very smoothly, we have professional staff on both sides and there was a lot of excitement in the room,” Deb Giardina, Vice President of Poker Operations said. “We beat the guarantee and first place will leave with almost $100,000. We are very happy and we look forward to our next Card Player event.”

Season II of the Card Player Poker Tour officially kicked off Aug. 29 at bestbet Jacksonville with a 13-event preliminary tournament series highlighted by event no. 14: $1,500 no-limit hold’em $300,000 guarantee main event.

Vincent CarusoThe series started off with a bang after event no. 1: $350 no-limit hold’em $100,000 guarantee drew 533 entries and beat the promised prize pool by nearly $60,000. That tournament was ultimately won by Vincent Caruso of Charleston, South Carolina, who had come to bestbet specifically for the first tournament of the series. The soon-to-be groom said he would now be able to play the main event with his winnings, but he was eliminated on day 1a.

“We will always run a guarantee for the first event of a series that will have several starting days,” Giardina said. “We like doing the series and next time we will add a Player of the Series leaderboad.”

The largest buy-in preliminary event of the series, event no. 11: $570 no-limit hold’em was won by Adam Farjam. bestbet also offered a unique all-in or fold tournament for a $240 buy-in where players were forced to either go all-in or fold each hand. The unusual tournament was won by Jesus Muniz who pocketed $1,900.

“Players were really happy with the tournaments and liked that Card Player was here,” Jesse Hollander, Associate Director of Poker Operations said. “They liked the live updates and seeing themselves on the internet and in the magazine. They liked the opportunity to play prelims and seeing their names and faces out there for the world to see.”

Main Event Final Table Results:

1. Harvey Vandeven – $76,598
2. T.K. Miles – $76,598
3. Richard Swain – $37,868
4. Benjamin Beebe – $26,335
5. Yi Li – $19,622
6. Belal Assi – $15,147
7. Eddy Mroczkowski – $11,705
8. Adam Shuman – $8,606
9. Aaron Lucas – $6,197

Tournament Winners:

Event no. 1: $350 no-limit hold’em $100,000 guarantee: Vincent Caruso
Event no. 2: $240 H.O.R.S.E: Wenzel “Tiny” Werner
Event no. 3: $240 limit Omaha 8 or better: Tim Duecker
Event no. 4: $240 no-limit hold’em: Chad Brown
Event no. 5: $350 no-limit hold’em w/bounties: Ronald Harbert
Event no. 6: $240 no-limit hold’em: Richard Hartert
Event no. 7: $350 pot-limit Omaha 8 or better: Jeffrey Trudeau
Event no. 8: $240 no-limit hold’em: William Childs
Event no. 9: $350 no-limit hold’em: Jonathan Henry
Event no. 10: $240 no-limit hold’em turbo: Justin Bold
Event no. 11: $570 no-limit hold’em: Adam Farjam
Event no. 12: $240 all-in or fold no-limit hold’em w/bounties: Jesus Muniz
Event no. 13: $240 no-limit hold’em w/bounties: Mark Monsees
Event no. 14: $1,500 no-limit hold’em $300,000 guarantee main event:

bestbet Jacksonville offers four major tournaments series a year and plenty of entertainment for players on and off the felt. The poker room features 70 tables, an expansive simulcast wagering facility with 120" television screens to watch and wager on greyhound and thoroughbred races or jai alai. bestbet also features full food and beverage service and is located conveniently near the airport.

“Although we don’t’ have a hotel, we have a great relationship with several hotels that are within one mile of our property. We are able to offer great poker rates and all players need to do when they arrive is say they are coming for a poker event,” Giardina said. “The beaches here are wonderful and if players want to stay on the beach, that is only a ten or 15 minute drive. There are all kinds of activities if players want to take a break from poker for a little bit.”

For more information on the Card Player Poker Tour, click here.