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Guy Klass Wins 2017 Card Player Poker Tour Seneca Main Event

46-Year-Old Truck Salesman Tops 271-Entry Field To Win $58,608

by Erik Fast |  Published: Jan 17, 2018


The Card Player Poker Tour returned to the Seneca Niagara Casino for the second straight year. The Fall Poker Classic series ran from Nov. 3 – 13 in the 23-table poker room, which is open 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. There were seven events with guaranteed prize pools of $360,000 across the series.

Throughout the 10 days of action there were several exciting tournament options, including a tag team event and a pot-limit Omaha event, but the marquee tournament of the series was unquestionably the 2017 CPPT Seneca Fall Poker Classic $1,000 buy-in, $200,000 guaranteed no-limit hold’em main event. Guy Klass came out on top in that event, securing the title, the CPPT trophy and the first-place prize of $58,608. In this article we will take a look back at how the event played out.

2017 CPPT Seneca Fall Poker Classic Main Event Kicks Off

The main event featured two starting flights, each beginning at 11 a.m. local time on Nov. 10 and 11. A total of 95 entries were made on flight 1A with 19 players making it through to day 2. The chip leader at the end of the night was Leo Kaplin, who finished second in the $300 event that kicked off this series, cashing for $22,256 after outlasting all but one opponent from a field of 636 entries. Kaplin took 358,500 into day 2. Other large stacks that survived day 1A included llan Kandiah (336,500), Joe Catalano (301,200) and Ernie Guardarramas (212,500). Cameron Bartolotta, who finished second in this event in 2016, bagged up 135,000 heading into day 2.

Day 1B drew 176 entries to bring the final number of entries to 271 for the event. As a result the prize pool swelled to $239,212 in total, blowing by the $200,000 guarantee. That meant that the top 27 players would make the money in this event, with a min-cash of $1,818 and a first-place prize of $58,608. Day 1B saw 38 players survive to day 2, including overall chip leader Paul McLean with 468,000.

Making The Final Table

The remaining 57 survivors from flights 1A and 1B combined into one field for day 2. From that group only 27 players would make the money and earn a min-cash of at least $1,818.

The two largest stacks coming into day 2 were Paul McClean and Leo Kaplin. Both players made the money, but neither was able to survive to the final table. Kaplin finished 16th for a $2,990 payday while McClean placed 11th for $4,545. McClean was eliminated when his pocket aces were outrun by the straight and flush draw of Mark Roberts. The two got all of the chips in on the turn, and Roberts hit both draws on the river to send McClean to the rail.

The chip leader heading into the final table was Ernie Guardarramas with 1,855,000. There were just less than 8 million chips in play, with the average stack being 903,333. Hassan Jamil (1,297,000), Jason Sagle (1,290,000), Lou Procopio (1,110,000) and Roberts (1,048,000) also bagged up seven-figure stacks.

Crowning A New Champion

The final table began with Guardarramas out in front of the pack while Guy Klass entered the final table as the shortest stack with nine players remaining. His 139,000 stack was worth less than six big blinds when play resumed. He was able to find a triple-up right off the bat and then was able to build from there. Klass won a race with the 4Spade Suit 4Club Suit against Lou Procopio’s AClub Suit QSpade Suit, flopping a set to send Procopio to the rail in sixth place ($11,004).

Klass was now right in the thick of things, and from there on he was able to take control of the short-handed final table. Guardarramas may have began the day as the leader, but he was trending the opposite direction from Klass. He ultimately was eliminated when he moved all-in from the cutoff with the QHeart Suit 8Heart Suit only to run into Mark Roberts’ ASpade Suit AHeart Suit. Guardarramas did not come from behind and was left quite short. He was eliminated in fifth place for $14,592 on the following hand.

Klass knocked out Hassan Jamil in third place ($26,553) to take more than a 3:1 chip lead into heads-up play with Mark Roberts. Klass likely felt comfortable in this position, seeing as he has had plenty of success on the felt in 2017. Back in April he came out on top of a field of 267 entries to win the 2017 Western New York Poker Challenge, which also was held at the Seneca Niagara Casino & Resort. Klass was right at home, and it didn’t take long for him to close out the win.

The blinds were at 30,000-60,000 and an ante of 5,000 when the final hand of the tournament was dealt. The two players saw a flop of ASpade Suit 5Heart Suit 2Diamond Suit and Roberts bet 300,000. Klass moved all-in and Roberts quickly made the call with the AHeart Suit 5Heart Suit for two pair. Klass was in trouble with the ADiamond Suit 8Spade Suit, but quickly turned the tables by spiking the 8Club Suit on the turn. Roberts was left needing to hit a five in order to double up. The five did not come and Klass secured the pot and the title while Roberts was sent to the rail as the runner-up with $36,839.

With that Klass became the 2017 Card Player Poker Tour Seneca Fall Poker Classic $1,000 no-limit hold’em main event champion. The 46-year-old truck salesman from nearby Buffalo, New York topped a field of 271 entries to win the $58,608 top prize and 480 Card Player Player of the Year points, enough to move him into 413th place in the overall standings. This was his third POY-qualified final table of the year, bringing his earnings to $157,629 so far on the year.

Klass is the 11th CPPT champion of the tour’s fifth season. For more information on the tour check out

Learn More About The Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino!

The Seneca Gaming and Entertainment poker room is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the first floor of the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel. The 23-table room features 13 big screen televisions, free wifi, free drinks, free parking, player rewards and spreads a large selection of hold’em, stud and Omaha games. The gaming floor offers roughly 4,000 slot machines, table games and keno.

The world-class gaming facility opened in 2002 as the result of an $80 million remodel of the Niagara Falls Convention and Civic Center into a full-service casino. The property also features fine dining, star-studded entertainment, a health and wellness spa and many other premium guest amenities. For more information, or to book a room, call 716-299-1100 or visit the casino homepage. ♠