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This Week in Poker: Poker Tournament News Sept. 13-19

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This Week in Tournament Poker


EPT Barcelona Open

Sebastian RuthenbergThe final table of the EPT Barcelona Open event took place on Sunday, Sept. 14, and Sebastian Ruthenberg took home the first-place prize worth €1,361,000 by emerging as the champion from a field of 619 players. The young German added his first EPT title to the gold bracelet he won at the 2008 World Series of Poker. Ruthenberg defeated fellow 2008 WSOP bracelet winner Davidi Kitai and EPT San Remo champion Jason Mercier at the final table. The top 64 places were paid in the event, and other professionals to cash included  Thierry Van Den Berg (58th place), Michael Greco (51st place), Casey Kastle (50th place), Hafiz Khan (42nd place), Chad Brown (34th place), Joe Pelton (27th place), Michael Keiner (25th place), Ramzi Jelassi (20th place), Jonas Molander (14th), and Jonas Klausen (11th place).

Here are the final-table results:

1: Sebastian Ruthenberg — €1,361,000
2: Fintan Gavin — €792,000
3: Davidi Kitai — €455,000
4: Daniele Mazzia — €351,000
5: Dren Ukella — €292,000
6: Jason Mercier — €227,000
7: Samuel Chartier — €178,000
8: Martin Nielsen — €119,000

WPT Borgata Poker Open

Vivek RajkumarVivek Rajkumar won his first WPT title at the Borgata Poker Open last night in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the Borgata Hotel and Casino. Rajkumar dominated the final table, sending four of his opponents to the rail and winning the title in just 48 hands (a new record for the shortest WPT final table ever). Among his victims were Mark Seif and Dan Heimiller. The event drew 516 players, and Rajkumar walked away with a first-place prize worth $1,424,500. The top 54 places were paid, and among the pros to cash were Tiffany Michelle (46th), Justin Scott (44th), Adam Gerber (39th), Brandon Cantu, (32nd), Ryan Young (30th), Vinny Pahuja (28th), Ted Forrest (27th), Nam Le (24th), Chris Bell (23rd), Nick Frangos (13th), Thayer Rasmussen (12th), Steve Dannenmann (11th), Michael Binger (10th), and John Myung (7th).

Here are the final-table results:

1: Vivek Rajkumar — $1,424,500
2: Sang Kim — $750,000
3: Dan Heimiller — $387,500
4: Jason Strochak — $337,500
5: Mark Seif — $287,500
6: Andrew Knee — $237,500

World Series of Poker Europe

The second World Series of Poker Europe event begins today. The first preliminary event will be a £1,500 no-limit hold’em tournament that lasts four days. Other preliminaries include a £2,500 H.O.R.S.E. event and a £5,000 pot-limit Omaha event. The £10,000 no-limit hold’em main event begins Sept. 27 and ends on Oct. 2. Check out the full WSOP Europe preview on Card Player for more information.

U.S. Poker Championships


The U.S. Poker Championship began on Sunday, Sept. 14 at the Taj Mahal. This long tournament series features 23 preliminary events, which lead up to the $10,000 no-limit hold’em championship that begins on Oct. 5 and runs until Oct. 8. Last year, Adam Gerber took home the top prize of $606,095 when he defeated Louis Lee heads up at the final table. At press time, the first four preliminary events had booked a winner, and no big-name professionals had captured a title.

Card Player Player of the Year (POY) Update

John PhanPOY Standings:

John Phan — 6,677
Erik Seidel — 4,580
David Benyamine — 4,148
Sebastian Ruthenberg — 3,648
Michael Binger — 3,600
David Pham — 3,582
Erick Lindgren — 3,459
Vinny Pahuja — 3,450
Edward Sabat — 3,413
Shannon Shorr — 3,388

POY Movement

Sebastian Ruthenberg won his first EPT title in Barcelona this past week, and he also won 2,400 POY points and jumped into fourth place on the POY leader board. Ruthenberg also won a WSOP bracelet this summer when he took down the $5,000 seven-card stud eight-or-better world championship, earning 1,248 POY points. Ruthenberg now has 3,648 POY points total and sits in fourth place overall. Two players at the EPT Barcelona Open also added to big wins from earlier in the year with a final-table appearance in Spain. Davidi Kitai was the second European player to win a gold bracelet at the 2008 WSOP who played at the EPT Barcelona final table, joining Ruthenberg. Kitai busted out in third place and took home 1,600 POY points, bringing his total to 3,200. Kitai now sits in 13th place. Jason Mercier finished in sixth place in Barcelona, and it marked the second time he had made an EPT final table in the last three EPT tournaments. Mercier won EPT San Remo in April. He was awarded 800 POY points for his sixth-place finish in Barcelona and he now holds 2,720 total. He is currently in 27th place.

John Phan increased his first-place lead to 6,677 POY points total by placing in seventh place in a $5,000 no-limit hold'em tournament at the Borgata Poker Open. He received 276 POY points and $45,600 for the latest cash during his hot streak. Vivek Rajkumar took home the most points at the Borgata this week, winning the WPT championship event, and 1,920 POY points. He now holds 2,585 total, and this puts him in 29th place on the POY leader board.

Looking Ahead

World Series of Poker Europe

Event No. 1 — £1,500 no-limit hold’em this is a new event for 2008):

Friday, Sept. 19, 1 p.m.: Day 1A — 10 60-minute levels
Saturday, Sept. 20, 1 p.m.: Day 1B — 10 60-minute levels
Sunday, Sept. 21, 1 p.m.: Day 2 — play down to final table
Monday, Sept. 22 1 p.m.: Final table

Event No. 2 — £2,500 H.O.R.S.E.:

Monday, Sept. 22, 2 p.m.: Day 1 — six 90-minute levels
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2 p.m.: Day 2 — play down to final table
Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2 p.m.: Final table

Event No. 3 — £5,000 pot-limit Omaha:

Wednesday, Sept. 24, 3 p.m.: Day 1 — eight 60-minute levels
Thursday, Sept. 25, 3 p.m.: Day 2 — play down to final table
Friday, Sept. 26, 3 p.m.: Final table

U.S. Poker Championship

Friday, Sep. 19, 11:15 a.m.: Event No. 6 — $500 H.O.S.E.
Saturday, Sep. 20, 11:15 a.m.: Event No. 7 — $500 no-limit hold'em
Sunday, Sep. 21, 11:15 a.m.: Event No. 8 — $300 no-limit hold'em
Monday, Sep. 22, 11:15 a.m.: Event No. 9 — $300 seven-card stud
Tuesday, Sep. 23, 11:15 a.m.: Event No. 10 — $300 no-limit hold'em (six-handed)
Wednesday, Sep. 24, 11:15 a.m.: Event No. 11 — $300 pot-limit Omaha eight-or-better
Thursday, Sep. 25, 11:15 a.m.: Event No. 12 — $300 no-limit hold'em
Friday, Sep. 26, 11:15 a.m.: Event No. 13 — $500 no-limit hold'em (six-handed)

Heartland Poker Tour Onamia, Minnesota

Sunday, Sept. 21, 9 a.m.: $1,500 no-limit hold'em main event