Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy

Luke Priour Wins Event No. 5 at the Caesars Palace Classic

A Long Day 1 is Followed by a Quick Final Table


Michael PhelpsThe fifth preliminary event at the 2008 Caesars Palace Classic was a $1,000 no-limit hold’em event that attracted 175 entrants. Day 1 was a long, grueling affair on Monday, Oct. 20, as the field shrunk from 175 to a final table of 10 players during 13 levels of poker, which ended after 3 a.m. Some familiar faces in the poker world were seated in the tournament, as well as the person who might have the most recognizable face in the world these days, Olympian Michael Phleps. After winning eight gold medals at the Beijing Summer Olympic Games, Phelps has decided to play a few of the events at the Caesars Palace Classic to improve his poker game. He made a final table at event No. 2 ($1,500 no-limit hold’em) on Sunday and finished in ninth place, and he was back at it again in event No. 5 one day later. This second attempt did not go as well for Phelps, as his A-K ran into a K-Q that made a straight on the river to knock him out during level four.

Professional players who fell during day 1 included: November Nine finalist Dennis Phillips, brothers Danny and Zvi Shiff, Mike Leah, Tony Korfman, Richard Tatalovich, Jason Young, David Plastik, Clint Schafer, Chris Bigler, and Allen Kessler.

The money bubble busted just before 1 a.m. on day 1, and after that, the top 18 players walked away with at least $1,917. It took another two hours for eight players to fall on day 1, and the final table of 10 was reached. Today, these players returned at 2 p.m., and things moved a little quicker as Luke Priour pulled a come-from-behind victory during the heads-up match against Jason Mann to take down the final table in four hours' time.

Here were the chip counts at the start of the final table:

Seat 1: Al Cocaizzi -- 56,500
Seat 2: Scott Zakheim -- 121,000
Seat 3: Gary Do -- 96,500
Seat 4: David Frazee -- 453,500
Seat 5: Mike Fraser -- 105,500
Seat 6: Mike Nguyen -- 81,500
Seat 7: Luke Priour -- 306,500
Seat 8: Joseph Akinseti -- 127,500
Seat 9: Jason Mann -- 237,500
Seat 10: Antonios Roungeris -- 164,000

Here are the highlights from the final table:

Two Up and Two Down

Two players have fallen very quickly at this final table, in the first two hands, in fact. Those players were Michael Fraser (10th place -- $2,556) and Al Cocaizzi (ninth place -- $3,195). Play continues eight-handed as the players with large stacks settle in for the long haul.


Jason Mann

David Frazee in the small blind and Jason Mann in middle position built a pot up to 35,000 preflop when a flop of A Q 3 was dealt on the table. Both players checked, and after the 4 fell on the turn, things got very interesting. Frazee opened the action with a bet of 50,000, and Mann reraised all in, to quickly escalate things. Frazee made the call, and he had Mann covered by 1,500. They turned up their hands, and Frazee held 8 6, but Mann held J 9 for an even better flopped flush. The river brought the 9, and Mann doubled up on the hand to become a massive chip leader with 828,000. Frazee was crippled with 1,500, which he will most likely move all in with in the first hand after the break.

Frazee Survives

On the first three hands after the break, David Frazee was able to run his stack of 1,500 up to 80,000 by doubling up, tripling up, and doubling up again. On the last of those three hands, he was dominated with A-9 against A-K when the board ran out J-9-3-4-2 to help him survive. "You're sick," said Mike Nguyen after the hand. "I deserve a little sickness after that one hand," replied Frazee.

Scott Zakheim Eliminated in Eighth Place ($4,793)

Scott Zakheim moved all in preflop from the big blind, and Jason Mann made the call on the button. Their cards:

Mann: A A
Zakheim: K J

Board: A 9 5 K 4

Mann won the hand to move his stack above 900,000, and Zakheim was eliminated in eighth place. He will take home $4,793 in prize money.

David Frazee Eliminated in Seventh Place ($6,390)

David Frazee

David Frazee moved all in preflop from the button, and Luke Priour made the call in the big blind. Their cards:

Priour: A 3
Frazee: K 5

Board: A 6 2 J Q

Frazee was eliminated in seventh place, and he took home $6,390 in prize money.

Mike Nguyen Eliminated in Sixth Place ($7,988)

Mike Nguyen moved all in preflop with A-J, and he was up against Jason Mann, who held A-7. Mann continued his hot streak, though, and hit a 7 on the flop to send Nguyen out of the tournament in sixth place. Nguyen will take home $7,988 in prize money, and Mann now holds 966,000.

Joseph Akinseti Eliminated in Fifth Place ($9,585

Joseph Akinseti moved all in preflop from the button, and Jason Mann made the call from the small blind. Their cards:

Mann: 9 9
Akinseti: J J

Board: 9 5 2 6 4

Akinseti was eliminated in fifth place, and he took home $9,585 in prize money. Mann now holds over a million in chips.

Antonios Roungeris Eliminated in Fourth Place ($12,780)

Antonois Roungeris moved all in preflop, and Jason Mann made the call. Their cards:

Roungeris: A-10
Mann: 7-7

Board: J-10-9-J-8

Mann won yet another race, and he now holds over 1.2 million. Roungeris was eliminated in fourth place, and he took home $12,780 in prize money.

Gary Do Eliminated in Third Place ($15,975)

Gary Do got all of his chips into the middle preflop, and Luke Priour made the call. Their cards:

Do: 4 4
Priour: 5 5

Board: A K 2 A 7

Do was eliminated in third place after the hand, and he will take home $15,975 in prize money.

The Final Countdown

Luke PriourLuke Priour raised to 48,000 preflop from the button, and Jason Mann reraised all in. Prour called all in for 653,000, and they turned up their hands:

Priour: Q J
Mann: 6 6

Board: 3 2 2 4 J

Priour hit a jack on the river to double up and knock Mann down to 39,000.

Jason MannOn the next hand, Mann got all of those chips into the middle dark, and Priour called in the dark. Their cards:

Mann: K 3
Priour: A 8

Board: K 10 7 10 Q

Mann doubled up, but called off all of his chips on the next hand. Their cards again:

Priour: 5 2
Mann: 7 4

Board: A J 5 10 7

Mann had built his chip stack back up to 160,000 in the series of a few hands to survive.

Luke Priour Wins Event No. 5 ($1,000 no-limit hold'em)

Luke PriourJason Mann moved all in preflop, and Luke Priour made the call. Their cards:

Priour: 9 2
Mann: A Q

Board: 8 3 2 10 3

Priour won the hand and the tournament. Mann finished in second place and took home $27,158 in prize money. Priour won his second prelimiinary event at the Caesars Palace Classic (his first was a $500 no-limit hold'em title in 2007) and took home $51,756 in prize money.