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This Week in Poker: Poker Tournament News Oct. 11-17

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This Week in Tournament Poker

World Poker Tour North American Poker Championship

The blinds began at 15,000-30,000 with a 5,000 ante, ensuring each player remaining the chance to play deep-stack poker at the final table of the $10,000 no-limit hold’em championship at the World Poker Tour North American Poker Championship. It took 38 hands for the first player to fall, short-stacked James Trenholm. He ran pocket sevens into the pocket kings of Gavin Smith, and he was eliminated in sixth place ($133,137).

Marc KaramCanadian professional Marc Karam has had a history of success at the NAPC. In much the same way he has made a habit of making final tables at the European Poker Tour Grand Final year after year (fourth in 2006, second in 2007), Karam cashed for the third year in a row in Niagara. He was one of the five Canadian at the final table in 2006, where he finished in sixth place, and he followed that up with a 25th-place finish last year. This was his second final-table appearance at the NAPC, but he was only able to make it to fifth place ($171,175). Karam’s fate was decided when he moved all in with pocket queens against the A-K of Glen Witmer, who hit an ace on the flop to win the hand.

During four-handed play, Witmer continued to win big pots, many of them from Smith, and he ran his stack up to 7 million (more than all three of his opponents, combined). Witmer raised to 200,000 on the button in hand No. 98, and Ryan Fisler reraised to 775,000 from the small blind. Witmer called, and the flop was dealt J 9 2, prompting Fisler to move all in. Witmer quickly made the call and turned over A J. Fisler held A K and he was drawing to slim outs, until the J on turn ensured that he was drawing dead, and Fisler was eliminated in fourth place ($228,234). Witmer was now near 10 million in chips, almost 75 percent of the chips in play.

Kathy Liebert’s fate was decided when Smith doubled up through her with A-9 over Q-J when an ace came on the flop of hand No. 105. Two hands later, Witmer finished the job when Liebert called off her short stack preflop with 8 7. Witmer held Q J, and the board was dealt K Q 3 5 10. Liebert was eliminated in third place, taking home $277,684 in prize money.

Heads-up chip counts:

Glen Witmer — 9,830,000
Gavin Smith — 3,815,000

Gavin SmithSmith was focused and quiet as he grinded his chip stack back up to 5,500,000 at one point against his amateur opponent. The crowd cheered him on loudly, as he had the lion’s share of the support in his corner, as well. In the end, the huge chip stack of Witmer proved too much to overcome, and 49 hands into heads-up play, things came to an end. Smith limped on the button, and Witmer raised to 500,000 from the big blind. Smith moved all in, and Witmer made the call. Their cards:

Smith: 5 5
Witmer: A K

Board: Q J 2 J A

Witmer hit an ace on the river to win the tournament and $1,090,589 in prize money. Smith received $532,545 in prize money for his runner-up finish. The win was Witmer’s first major tournament title. Here are the final-table results:

1st: Glen Witmer — $1,090,589
2nd: Gavin Smith — $532,545
3rd: Kathy Liebert — $277,684
4th: Ryan Fisler — $228,234
5th: Marc Karam — $171,175
6th: James Trenholm — $133,137

Asia Pacific Poker Tour Auckland

The inaugural Asia Pacific Poker Tour stop in Auckland, New Zealand, drew 306 entrants and broke the record for the largest poker tournament ever in the country. The total prize pool for the event was $856,000 NZD, with the top 32 players receiving prize money. The final day of play in this three-day event saw 11 players return to battle for a first-place prize worth $257,040 NZD, and Edward Holcroft (11th) and Eric Mutrie (10th) were busted heading to the final table of nine.

Wang Che Jung was the early aggressor at the final table, taking out four opponents, Wai Kwan Yuen (ninth), Michael Mariakis (eighth), Nathanael Seet (sixth), and Dan Sing (fourth) before he finally met his doom, falling in third place in a hand that marked the turning point at the final table. There was a large slowdown in play during five-handed action, and it took a few hours for Sing to eliminate Luke Stanford (fifth). After Kiwi Daniel Craker busted Jung in third place (Craker also eliminated Jani Karke in seventh place), he made quick work of Matthew Konecke (second) during heads-up play. Konnecke got all of his chips into the middle during the second hand of heads-up play with A-9, but Craker held pocket twos, which held up to give him the victory and $257,040 NZD for the first major victory of his career.

Here are the final-table results:

1: Daniel Craker — $257,040
2: Matthew Konecke — $162,791
3: Wang Che Jung — $85,680
4: Dan Sing — $59,976
5: Luke Stanford — $46,267
6: Nathanael Seet — $34,272
7: Jani Karke — $25,704
8: Michael Mariakis — $19,706
9: Wai Kwan Yuen — $14,565

Notable cashes: Tony Hachem (24th), Grant Levy (27th).

World Series of Poker Circuit event — Horseshoe Southern Indiana

The final table of the first World Series of Poker Circuit event of the 2008-2009 season was contested on Tuesday at the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino in Elizabeth, Indiana. This was the sixth time that a WSOP Circuit event has been held in Southern Indiana, although this was the smallest turnout for the $5,000 no-limit hold’em championship event of those appearances, with just 84 entrants in the hunt. This meant that only the nine players at the final table would receive prize money.

Ray Lynn was involved in the first major action when he tripled up with trip fives 15 minutes into play. However, that wasn’t able to prevent him from busting out in ninth place a short time later. The next to fall were Dean Schultz (eighth), Derek Whelan (seventh), Jamin Stokes (sixth), and Joey Couden (fifth), to bring the race down to four horses.

The chip leader when things began, Samuel Oberlin, was quiet early and continued to stay quiet during this stretch, as well, happy to let his opponents eliminate Len Ashby (fourth) and David Kopacz (third). This put Oberlin at a severe disadvantage heading into heads-up play, with his stack dwindling at 230,000 against the 1,030,000 that Jerry Martin held. Oberlin scored a quick double-up when his pocket queens held up against K-J a few hands into the heads-up match, and he evened things up to make his final push for the championship. He took the lead a few minutes later, and 15 minutes after that, he once again used pocket queens to strike a dagger at Martin and eliminated him in second place. Oberlin took home the first-place prize worth $143,064 and a WSOP Circuit championship ring.

Here were the final-table results:

1: Samuel Oberlin — $143,064
2: Jerry Martin — $79,480
3: David Kopacz — $43,714
4: Len Ashby — $31,792
5: Joey Couden — $27,818
6: Jamin Stokes — $23,844
7: Derek Whelan — $19,870
8: Dean Schultz — $15,896
9: Ray Lynn — $11,922

Collected Tournament Results:

Festa al Lago

Festa al Lago preliminary events story

Big Poker Oktober

$500 no-limit hold’em championship final table
Number of entries: 612
Champion: Kwinsee Tran — $83,100

Card Player
Player of the Year Update

Shannon ShorrPOY Standings:

John Phan — 6,704
Erik Seidel — 4,754
David Benyamine — 4,376
Michael Martin — 3,800
Michael Binger — 3,792
Sebastian Ruthenberg — 3,648
Matt Brady — 3,640
David “The Dragon” Pham — 3,582
Shannon Shorr — 3,548
Jason Mercier — 3,504

POY Movement

Erik Seidel was the only player in the top three to gain any POY points this past week. He closed in on 5,000 points by winning 120 points for a 10th-place finish at the WPT NAPC. Seidel was also awarded $51,868 in prize money, to give him $2,142,397 in tournament winnings for 2008. Kathy Liebert collected $277,684 and 1,600 points for finishing in third place at the NAPC, which gives her 3,054 for the year and puts her in 24th place on the leader board as one of the 25 players that have earned at least 3,000 points in 2008. Glen Witmer won the most points this week, as he was awarded 2,400 point for his stunning NAPC victory, which also netted him $1,090,589.

Spots one through eight remained locked in place this past week, and Shannon Shorr caused the only movement in the top 10. He edged up to ninth place with his fifth-place finish in a $2,000 no-limit hold’em preliminary event at Festa al Lago, which gained him 160 points and $15,135 in prize money. Shorr now has 3,548 points total, which put him ahead of Jason Mercier, who is now in 10th. Erick Lindgren was knocked out of the top 10 by Shorr.

Looking Ahead

Caesars Poker Room Entrance(Note: Events listed in BOLD are Card Player live-coverage events)

Caesars Palace Classic

  • Friday, Oct. 17, noon: Event No. 1 ($500 no-limit hold’em)
  • Saturday, Oct. 18, noon: Event No. 2 ($1,500 no-limit hold’em)
  • Saturday, Oct. 18, 3 p.m.: Event No. 3 ($500 pot-limit Omaha)
  • Sunday, Oct. 19, noon: Event No. 4 ($500 no-limit hold’em)
  • Monday, Oct. 20, noon: Event No. 5 ($1,000 no-limit hold’em)
  • Monday, Oct. 20, 3 p.m.: Event No. 6 ($500 limit hold’em)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 21, noon: Event No. 7 ($500 no-limit hold’em)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 22, noon: Event No. 8 ($2,000 no-limit hold’em)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 22, 3 p.m.: Event No. 9 ($500 Omaha eight-or-better)
  • Thursday, Oct. 23, noon: Event No. 10 ($1,000 no-limit hold’em)
  • Thursday, Oct. 23, 3 p.m.: Event No. 11 ($500 H.O.R.S.E.)
  • Friday, Oct. 24, noon: Event No. 12 ($1,000 no-limit hold’em heads up)
  • Friday, Oct. 24, 3 p.m.: Event No. 13 ($500 pot-limit hold’em/pot-limit Omaha)

World Poker Tour Festa al Lago

  • WPT $15,000 no-limit hold’em championship
    -- Monday, Oct. 20: Day 1A (all preliminary days begin at noon)
    -- Tuesday, Oct. 21: Day 1B
    -- Wednesday, Oct. 22: Day 2
    -- Thursday, Oct. 23: Day 3
    -- Friday, Oct. 24: Day 4
    -- Saturday, Oct. 25: Day 5
    -- Sunday, Oct. 26: WPT final table (begins at 5 p.m.)

Heartland Poker Tour NY Fall Poker Classic

  • HPT $5,000 no-limit hold’em main event
    -- Saturday, Oct. 18: Day 1
    -- Sunday, Oct. 19: Day 2
    -- Monday, Oct. 20: Final Table

World Poker Finals

  • Monday, Oct. 20, 10 a.m.: Event No. 1 ($260 no-limit hold'em shootout)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 21, 10 a.m.: Event No. 2 ($530 no-limit hold'em)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 22, 10 a.m.: Event No. 3 ($530 seven-card stud)
  • Thursday, Oct. 23, 10 a.m.: Event No. 4 ($530 Omaha eight-or-better)
  • Friday, Oct. 24, 10 a.m.: Event No. 5 ($530 seniors no-limit hold'em)

World Poker Open

  • Saturday, Oct. 18, 9 10 a.m.: Event No. 3 ($500 no-limit hold'em)
  • Saturday, Oct. 18, 9 a.m.: Event No. 4 ($300 ladies no-limit hold'em)
  • Sunday, Oct. 19, 10 a.m.: Event No. 5 ($500 no-limit hold'em)
  • Sunday, Oct. 19, 9 a.m.: Event No. 6 ($200 ladies no-limit hold'em)
  • Monday, Oct. 20, 10 a.m.: Event No. 7 ($300 no-limit hold'em)
  • Monday, Oct. 20, 2 p.m.: Event No. 8 ($300 Omaha eight-or-better)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 21, 10 a.m.: Event No. 9 ($300 no-limit hold'em)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 22, 10 a.m.: Event No. 10 ($300 no-limit hold'em)
  • Thursday, Oct. 23, 10 a.m.: Event No. 11 ($500 no-limit hold'em)
  • Friday, Oct. 24, 10 a.m.: Event No. 12 ($500 no-limit hold'em)