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Erik Cajelais Wins $5,000 World Poker Challenge 10

Preliminary Poker Events Come to a Close as Players Gear Up for Championship

The 2006 World Poker Challenge $5,000 no-limit hold'em event 10 shut the door on preliminaries this week. And Player of the Year candidates put their money down for a last crack at discount-rated points. The next and final Bellagio Five Diamond event is the Doyle Brunson North American Poker Classic, which has a $15,000 price tag.

Erik SeidelThe $5,000 no-limit hold'em tournament 10 hosted 251 players competing for a grand total $1,217,350 prize pool, with 28 players getting paid.

Notable players who missed the final table but walked away with money were Eugene Todd in 25th place, WSOP final tablist Rhett Butler in 24th place, the colorful and coordinated Dan Alspach (Mr. JJ Liu) coming in in 22nd place, and Nenad Medic, who took home 21st-place prize money.

Day 2 saw 19 players returning to battle it out for feature table positions, with three WSOP and WPT champions in attendance. Joe TehanJoe Tehan (WPT) came in comfortably with over a million in chips, and twice that of multi-bracelet winner Erik Seidel (WPT/WSOP). "Tex" Barch was only $50,000 behind Seidel, while Shannon Shorr was in fifth position going into day 2 with a lot more than the tournament at stake. Shorr had been sliding around the POY leader board all week and at the onset of event No. 10, he was seeded fifth behind Jeff Madsen. John Gale (WSOP) was nearly tied with Shorr in chips, while Nick Binger (Michael Binger's brother), Brandon Steven, Mike Thurman, and Steve Song came in with average stacks. "The Armenian Express" Grigorian was currently in 11th position going in and two-time WPC final tablist Justin Bonomo started the day short-stacked with only $50,000.

Here were the eliminations in order before play reached the final table:

15. Jerry Fahim
14. John Gale
13. Nick Binger

Each player took home $11,920.

12. Chris Grigorian
11. David Kim

Each was awarded $14,300.

The final q0racked up their chips and were seated at the feature table.

Seat No. 1 - Mike Thurman $250,000
Seat No. 2 - Joe Tehan $1,000,000
Seat No. 3 - Steve Sung $170,000
Seat No. 4 - Erik Cajelais $250,000
Seat No. 5 - Tex Barch $100,000
Seat No. 6 - Shannon Shorr $250,000
Seat No. 7 - Francois Safieddine $200,000
Seat No. 8 - Erik Seidel $250,000
Seat No. 9 - Zachary Cherry $80,000
Seat No. 10 - Justin Bonomo $150,000

The short-stacked Safieddine made the first move, against Seidel with a pocket pair and it sent Safieddine to the rail in tenth place with $14,300.

Steve SungThurman was eliminated by Sun, who also had a pocket pair, and went home in ninth place with $19,070.

Tehan took a couple of hits before the end of the next round, and then Cherry and Bonomo both doubled up through him. His million-dollar stack had been reduced to less than $300,000, as he traded chip leads with Seidel and Sung, who were tied for first.

In the next round, Tehan gained some ground, doubling up through Seidel and putting a hurt on his final tableShannon Shorr bankroll.

Barch and Shorr went head-to-head and Barch lost, this time with a pocket pair, when Shorr spiked a higher pair on the river. Barch went home in eighth place with $23,835.

Seidel couldn't overcome the hand that decimated out his stack. He was soon after eliminated by Sun in seventh place with $29,795.

Cherry was nearly broke before Tehan took him down with sevens in the hole. Cherry had two high off-suited cards, but the dealer spread a little flop, a little turn, and an ace on the river, to send Cherry home in sixth place with $41,715.

Meanwhile, Tehan had gained some ground and was back up to about $600,000 when he sent three-time WPC final tabler Justin Bonomo to the rail in fifth place. Tehan made a flush on the river and Bonomo walked away with $53,635.

Tehan's next victim was Shorr, who came in with a high pocket pair, but the hand was trumped when Tehan hit his king on the river, sending Shorr home in fourth place with $71,520. Shorr earned enough points to bring him up to fourth position on the POY leader board, behind J.C. Tran and Nam Le, with Mizrachi still holding the lead.

Erik CajelaisWhen three-way action began between Tehan, Sung, and Cajelais. Sung was in the lead, but Tehan and Cajelais took turns pounding away until Sung ran out of chips. He went home in third place with $125,145.

Heads up between Tehan and Cajelais, Tehan was way behind with $360,000. Cajelais had over $2 million.

After nearly two hours of masterful heads-up play, during which Tehan actually grasped the lead between rallies, the deciding hand was dealt.

Cajelais opened for $110,000 on the button and Tehan moved all in. Cajelais called with pocket jacks and Tehan had pocket tens. But the board missed both players, awarding Cajelais the pot and the tournament.

Joe Tehan finished runner-up to Cajelais, but still took home over a quarter million dollars ($250,290).

Erik Cajelais won the bracelet, $405,230 and a $25,000 seat in the World Poker Tour Championship.



15 years ago

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15 years ago

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15 years ago

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