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Young Poker Pro David Daneshgar Wins WPC Event 5

The Quiet Riot Shakes Up Card Player POY Leader Board


David DaneshgarDavid Daneshgar isn't a household name. Yet a glimpse into his poker past unveils some impressive results after very little time on the circuit. It's a wonder the press has kept such a lid on this tournament torpedo, but it's most likely due to Daneshgar's ability to fly under the radar. As his unassuming nature isn't a target for cameras and analysts, it's precisely that tool of deception under the lid of his warhead. Daneshgar's byline results have translated into more than 20 final tables, three victories, and 33 cashes, amounting to over $1.2 million in what can jokingly be referred to as "lifetime" winnings over the past two years. No one saw him coming, especially not the top five Card Player Player of the Year board leaders that everyone seems to be squawking about. But on Wednesday, the stealthy Daneshgar quietly propelled himself into fourth position in the POY standings.

The Bellagio's 2006 World Poker Classic $5,000 no-limit hold'em preliminary event had an elite showing with some of poker's biggest names in attendance. Tony Cousineau, Michael Binger, Noah Boeken, Barry Greenstein, Eugene Todd, Erik Seidel, Mark Cole, John Juanda, Jesse Jones, Carlos Mortensen, Can Kim Hua, Mimi Tran, Jimmy Tran, Chris Grigorian, and, Dan Shak were among the notable players.

After 159 eliminations, day 2 began with only 16 players and the 175 entrants created an $848,750 prize pool paying 18 spots. First place paid $330,105.

Stan Wasserkrug cashed in 18th place, just making the payday cut off. And Erik Seidel went home in 17th place just before the 12th round whistle blew. Both went home with $8,235.

Every player had been saddled with $10,000 coming out of the gate, so by the second day, a gazillion chips were in play. The clear leader on day 2 was Amir Nasseri, with 225,500. But he was only sitting on 60,000 more than Fabrice Soulier, with 165,500. Daneshgar and Tim West were nipping at Soulier's heels, and Daniel Shak, Tony Cousineau, and Paul McCaffrey were still in the running for Wednesday's marathon. Noah Jefferson and Kris Fields teetered over the 100,000 mark, while Event 3 runner up Gevork Kasabyan's chip count was in the upper double digits. Right behind him were Justin Bonomo and Jimmy Tran, while Ramesh Hulugalle, Noah Boeken, Mike Crystal, and Cornel Cimpan entered the day as the short stacks.

Without enough ammo, Mike Crystal was the first man out on Day 2, in 16th place, taking home $8,235. Gevork Kasabyan, Cornel Cimpan, and Jimmy Tran, went out in 15th-13th respectively and cashed in at $9,055. Noah Jefferson went home in 12th place and Kris Fields bubbled the final table. Both players took home $9,880. After two hours of six-handed two-table play, the "top 10" were established.
Final Table
1. David Danshegar with $350,000
2. Tony Cousineau with $200,000
3. Dan Shak with $165k
4. Justin Bonomo with $120,000
5. Paul McCaffrey with $100,000
6. Fabrice Soulier with $200,000
7. Amir Nasseri with $175,000
8. Tim West with $400,000
9. Ramesh Hulugalle with $80,000
10. Noah Boeken with $60,000

Noah BoekenDaneshgar started with the button. West was relatively safe, with wildcard Nasseri in front, and short-stacked Hulugalle behind. Nasseri had experienced a downslide since returning from day 1 and was clearly shaken. Hulugalle and Boeken were severely short stacked and huddled in late positions, and the rest were relatively even going into 10-handed play.

When the button reached Boeken, he pushed. It was folded around to his neighbor Hulugalle, who called. Boeken turned over 10-4 and Hulugalle showed pocket sixes. The flop came K-Q-7, missing both players, and the turn was another queen, Boeken was hoping for the board to pair one more time, but an ace came on the river. Boeken was out in 10th place, taking home $9,880.

Nasseri went all in short-stacked with pocket eights. West, next to act, called with pocket tens. The board cameAmir Nasseri A-5-5-3-3, sending Nasseri home in ninth place with $13,170.

Young gun Bonomo was West's next victim. When the action came around, Bonomo moved all in from the small blind with K-Q. Two doors down, West called with A-3 offsuit. The board came J-5-2 rainbow and Bonomo needed to pair the board to win. But Bonomo missed and West took him down with only a high card. Bonomo went home in eighth place with $16,465.

TRamesh Hulugallehird in line on West's hit list was Hulugalle. Hulugalle pushed all in with his last $40,000 from the button. It was folded around to West who called in late position. Hulgalle showed AdiamondQdiamond, West had Qheart7heart. The flop came Kdiamond10heart3heart, and though Hulugalle was still in the lead, West had muddied the waters with a sudden flush draw. The turn paired Hulagalle's ace, but a Kheart sealed the win for West and Hulugaulle went home in seventh place with $20,580.

Shak knocked out Soulier when, on the button, Soulier pushed, hard. It was folded around to Shak who called. Soulier turned over 8club 8heart, but Shak flashed Qspade Qclub. The board was useless to Soulier, who went home in sixth place with $28,815.

Soulier had declared his all-in bet verbally, and Shak had agreed without any drama, so the visual was less thanFabrice Soulier spectacular. But the hand's outcome suddenly changed the face of the game and put a veteran player back into the driver's seat.

Before the scooped pot, all six players were about even in chips. However, a couple of hyper-bettors were taking the Pac Man approach, chasing pots like they were giant cherries ready to expire. But all at once, nearly $800,000 in tournament chips had landed in Shak's corner, and the Bryn Mawr native now had the power to knock the wind out of some sails.

Seat No. 1. David Daneshgar $180,000
Seat No. 2. Tony Cousineau $100,000
Seat No. 3. Dan Shak $890,000
Seat No. 4. Paul McCaffrey $200,000
Seat No. 5. Tim West $380,000

Paul McCaffreyMcCaffrey knocked Cousineau out of the shoe, when the young Trojan called a Hail Mary by Cousineau. Cousineau had A-2, but McCaffrey was holding big slick. Each spiked an ace on the flop, but Cousineau needed to nail his kicker. It didn't happen, and Cousineau went home in fifth place with $37,045.

Daneshgar was the short stack. With the chip monster acting behind him and a young bronco in front, Daneshgar wasDan Shak facing two challenges. But in a pivotal hand, Daneshgar doubled up through Shak when his pocket tens tripped up on the flop, leaving Shak drawing dead after the turn. Daneshgar went into the next hand with about $200,000.

Daneshgar netted McCaffrey by limping in from the small blind with Aspade Kclub. McCaffrey, not realizing the trap, pushed all in with Kspade Qdiamond. The board came Jspade 9heart 6heart 4heart 5club and Daneshgar nearly doubled up again. McCaffrey was on the rail in fourth place with $49,385.

McCaffrey's chips were Daneshgar's equalizer, and quickly he'd built back up to around $600,000. Meanwhile, West was munching away at Shak.

In a classic Daneshgar clandestine move, he stirred up some action with a modest $40,000 raise on his option. Next to act, Shak pushed all in. Daneshgar called and turned over pocket queens (Qdiamond Qclub). Shak showed Aspade 9club. The underdog got an ounce of hope when the flop of Jheart 8club 7spade gave him three to the inside straight. Then another 8heart came on the turn, and Shak would need a 10 or an ace to win. But ironically, the Qheart bid Shak adieu as he waved goodbye in third place with $90,560.

Daneshgar stared down at West from his mountain of $1.7 million in chips. West was way behind with $690,000.

Tim WestThe two went on a break and haggled for a while. Right after the break they went on another break and haggled some more. Finally, Daneshgar took his seat and said, "Let's play." The two rallied back and forth and West was able to pull in a few pots, but he had a long way to go if he wanted to take down the title and this year's Borgata Poker Open champion. Tim picked the wrong moment to make his move and push all in from the button. Daneshgar called him immediately. West showed his Kdiamond Jclub offsuit. Daneshgar turned over Adiamond Aheart. The board came 4club 3club 2spade and West walked over to Daneshgar's side of the table to congratulate him. But on the turn, the Aclub came andDavid Daneshgar gave West four to the flush. However, the river was the 2diamond and the tournament was over.

Runner-up Tim West went home with $181,115.

David Daneshgar took down the title, another bracelet, and $330,105. Included in the prize package was a $25,000 seat into the World Poker Tour Finals in April 2007.

The 648 points he earned propelled Danesgar from 10th to fourth position on the Card Player POY leader board. But the race is far from over and those in the running are racing to this year's finish line via the Bellagio's WPC.