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Fred Samelian Wins Card Player Poker Tour Caribbean Cruise Main Event

Las Vegas Resident Earns $13,200 Aboard The Oasis of the Seas


CPPT Caribbean Cruise champion Fred SamelianAfter four days of exciting poker action while at sail around the Caribbean, Fred Samelian has emerged as the first-ever Card Player Poker Tour Caribbean Cruise $1,100 main event champion. The 66-year-old construction executive from Las Vegas, NV earned $13,200 and 120 Card Player Player of the Year points as a result of capturing this, his second career tournament title.

“This is very, very exciting and I’ve got to tell you that doing this on a cruise ship with the Card Player Cruise folks is absolutely fantastic. I’d like to thank Linda Johnson, Jan Fisher, Mark Tenner, the Card Player Magazine people who sponsored this, and the Shulman family, Barry and Allyn. They put on a great, great show,” said Samelian after the win. “If anybody hasn’t been on a poker cruise, this is the place to do it. You gotta come play this tournament.”

A total of 43 entries were made in the event, hosted by Card Player Cruises aboard the incredible Oasis of the Seas cruise ship during a 7-night cruise around the Caribbean. This built a total prize pool of $41,280 which was paid out to the top-five finishers. These final five were set on day 3 with the elimination of Card Player publisher Barry Shulman on the bubble.

The final five returned today, each guaranteed a payday of at least $3,720. The first player to be eliminated was 42-year-old Bob Deemer of Pittsfield, MA. The computer programmer for ESPN entered the day third and chips, but lost a massive pot early in the day. Deemer raised to 36,000 under the gun and Fred Samelian called from the small blind. The flop brought the JClub Suit3Spade Suit2Diamond Suit and Samelian bet 75,000. Deemer moved all-in and Samelian quickly called with the 2Spade Suit2Heart Suit for a flopped set. Deemer revealed his ASpade SuitJDiamond Suit for top pair, which was in all sorts of trouble. The turn and river brought the 9Spade Suit and the 9Diamond Suit, giving Samelian a full house and the chiplead, while Deemer hit the rail in fifth place, earning $3,720.

Marie-Josee McDuffNot long after, Matthew Burnitz raised under the gun and Marie-Josee McDuff raised to 84,000 with only 6,000 behind Burnitz moved all-in and she of course snap-called. McDuff was in the lead with the ASpade Suit9Spade Suit and Burnitz held the JClub Suit10Club Suit. McDuff increased her lead with a AClub Suit3Spade Suit3Heart Suit flop. The 7Club Suit on the turn gave Burnitz hope however, and that hope soon turned to joy as the KClub Suit hit the river, giving Burnitz the flush and eliminating McDuff in fourth place. The 32-year-old police officer from Montreal, CA earned $6,200 and became the highest-finishing female player in a CPPT main event.

Burnitz started the day as the shortest stack, but after eliminating McDuff and winning a number of other sizable pots, he overtook the chip lead. The next key hand arose when Fred Samelian raised to 40,000 from the button and Burnitz called from the big blind. The flop brought the 5Club Suit2Diamond Suit2Spade Suit and both players checked. The turn saw the 10Club Suit hit the felt, sparking a torrent of action. Burnitz quickly announced that he was all-in and Samelian instantly called and revealed the KClub Suit9Club Suit for the second-nut flush. Burnitz had turned top two pair with the 10Diamond Suit5Spade Suit, and was well behind heading into the river. The KDiamond Suit changed nothing, and Burnitz was left crippled with roughly four big blinds while Samelian took a gigantic lead. The 44-year-old professional poker player from Bear, DE was eliminated the next hand, earning $8,260 for his third-place finish.

Fred Samelian and Nate PattenHeads-up play began with Samelian holding 960,000 chips to Nate “Big Country” Patten’s 310,000. Patten was twice all-in with the second best hand, making a straight on the board the first time to chop and a straight on the river to double-up. On the final hand of the tournament, Patten limped from the button and Samelian checked his option.

The flop brought the QDiamond Suit3Diamond Suit3Heart Suit and both players checked. The KHeart Suiton the turn prompted a 50,000 bet from Samelian and Patten called. The KDiamond Suit hit the river and Samelian moved all-in. Patten, who had most of his chips in the middle, called with the 6Club Suit3Club Suit for threes full, but Samelian flipped up the KClub Suit5Club Suit for kings full, good enough to win him the pot and secure him the title and the $13,200 first-place prize.

Patten, a 26-year-old private military contractor from Auburn, Kentucky earned $9,900 for his runner-up showing.

With that the Card Player Poker Tour Caribbean Cruise main event is complete. After a voyage that took the Oasis of the Seas from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to Labadee, Haiti, Falmouth, Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico, the ship will return to Florida early on Saturday, April 20th.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at this final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Fred Samelian $13,200 120
2 Nate Patten $9,900 100
3 Matthew Burnitz $8,260 80
4 Marie-Josee McDuff $6,200 60
5 Robert Deemer $3,720 50