Poker Coverage:

John Riordan Takes Down Card Player Poker Tour Venetian Main Event In Las Vegas

Card Player’s Own Barry Shulman, Moreno Brothers Highlight Stacked Final Table

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The Venetian Resort Las Vegas played host to the Card Player Poker Tour for the 11th time, building upon a history that dates back to 2013. More than $19 million has been paid out in CPPT events at the property, including the $816,750 prize pool for this latest tournament.

After five days of action, it was longtime poker pro John Riordan who finished with all of the chips, nabbing his eighth career title and the $176,221 first-place prize.

“I wasn’t expecting much coming into the final table, coming in sixth of nine,” said Riordan. “But I knew if some good things happened it was anybody’s tournament. I’m very happy and fortunate that it turned out to be mine.”

Riordan made his move late in the tournament, battling with a short stack most of the way until a string of good cards vaulted him up the leaderboard.

“The biggest turning point came on [day 2], where I had the starting stack all day long. Then I went from 100,000 to 2,000,000 in two hours, just winning everything, making tons of hands. It was very fun.”

Riordan now has $2.6 million in total earnings. His biggest score remains the $210,180 he pocketed for taking down the WSOP Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club main event back in 2011 when he was just 19 years old. It’s where he earned the first of his five Circuit rings. The Florida native also won a U.S. Poker Open tournament in 2021.

In addition to the title, trophy, and payout, Riordan also picked up 900 Card Player Player of the Year points, a race sponsored by Global Poker.

The tournament featured three starting flights and re-entries, allowing players plenty of opportunities to find a bag. The final 82 advanced to day 2, but only 46 would make the money, earning a minimum payout of $5,430.

Ben PalmerNotables with deep runs included WSOP main event champ Ryan Riess (40th), five-time bracelet winner Jeremy Ausmus (31st), WPT champion and bracelet winner Dylan Linde (22nd), high roller crusher Chance Kornuth (20th), and WPT champion James Romero (12th).

Connor Stuewe and David Jackson were just a couple weeks removed from a heads-up showdown in the $1,600 MSPT Venetian main event. The two made a deal that saw each take home about $155,000. In the CPPT event, Jackson took 24th place, while Stuewe’s run ended in 18th.

Jayakrishnan Nair was the day 1C overnight chip leader but lost a huge pot at the final table when he ran A-K into both pocket kings and pocket aces to lose the majority of his stack, ultimately sending him to the rail in ninth place. This was the second final table of the year for Nair, who took second in February’s L.A. Poker Classic main event.

It was a cooler that got Ben Palmer as well. The Florida native has made The Venetian a second home of his over the years, racking up 145 cashes and $1.28 million in earnings at the property alone. Palmer, who won the 2019 WPT Venetian main event, had to settle for eighth place this time after he ran his pocket jacks into pocket aces.

Barry ShulmanCard Player’s very own Barry Shulman was looking to match his wife with a CPPT Venetian main event title of his own. (Allyn Shulman won the inaugural CPPT Venetian event back in 2013 for $293,966.) Shulman was cruising to a huge stack when his pocket kings were cracked by A-K late on day 2. He was later sent home in seventh when his pocket sevens were bested by pocket eights. The two-time bracelet winner now has more than $5.9 million in career earnings.

Former Card Player employee turned tournament pro Andrew Moreno was the next to fall, losing most of his stack when his two pair went down to a rivered set. This was Moreno’s fifth final table of the year, which also includes a title he won at Venetian in February for $242,293. He now has $3.5 million in tournament earnings.

Dan ColpoysAlthough he had been eliminated, Andrew wasn’t in a hurry to leave the final table area. He had to sweat his brother Johnnie, who was still at the table and playing for a six-figure payday.

The next player to be eliminated was Dan Colpoys. The MSPT champion, who has found recent success in high roller events, found himself grumbling on social media about the tournament’s ultra-deep structure just minutes after sitting down for day 1A. Of course, it’s called the DeepStack Extravaganza for a reason, and Colpoys ironically ended day 1 as the overall chip leader. His run finally ended in fifth place when he ran his A-J into A-K, bringing him to $2.8 million in career earnings.

Zach McDiarmid lost the rest of his chips in similar fashion, running A-10 into A-K. This was the third largest score for McDiarid, who made a deep run in the 2021 WSOP main event for 46th place. This time he took fourth.

Three-handed play took about 90 minutes and featured some big swings on the leaderboard. In the end it was poker vlogger Johnnie “Vibes” Moreno’s turn to fall, ironically losing with two pair to a rivered set, just like his brother Andrew. (Both pictured below.)

Johnnie had joked that he was on the fence about playing in the tournament until he saw Andrew bag the second-biggest stack on day 1A. The two automatically swap 5% of their action with each other in any event they both play. This time, however, it was Johnnie who had to pay out with the larger cash.

Heads-up play was a much shorter affair. Although Riordan and Carl Oman started with nearly identical stacks of 60 big blinds each, it didn’t take too long to determine a champion.

Carl OmanOn the final hand, Oman raised the button and Riordan defended his big blind. The flop fell KHeart Suit 5Club Suit 2Heart Suit and Riordan checked. Oman made a continuation bet and Riordan check-raised. Oman called, and the turn was the 3Diamond Suit. Riordan bet, and Oman thought it over for a bit before moving all in. Riordan snapped him off with a flopped set a fives, and just needed to fade four outs when Oman showed AClub Suit 2Club Suit for a wheel draw. The river was the 2Spade Suit, but Oman’s trips weren’t enough.

Oman is having a solid year on the felt. After winning a small event at Venetian in February, he also won the WPTDeepStacks California main event for $301,550, and finished second at the Venetian DeepStack Championship senior’s event for another $138,568. He now has $720,000 in lifetime earnings.

Final Table Results

Place Player Payout POY
1 John Riordan $176,221 900
2 Carl Oman $120,900 750
3 Johnnie Moreno $84,416 600
4 Zach McDiarmid $60,004 450
5 Daniel Colpoys $43,433 375
6 Andrew Moreno $32,026 300
7 Barry Shulman $24,065 225
8 Ben Palmer $18,434 150
9 Jayakrishnan Nair $14,400 75