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This Week in Poker: Poker Tournament News Nov. 22-28

Get All of Your Tournament Poker News on Fifth Street Each Workweek


Check out every Friday for a weekly wrapup of the news from the live poker tournament trail.

Card Player Player of the Year Update

John PhanPOY Standings:

John Phan — 6,704
Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier — 5,410
David “The Dragon” Pham — 5,222
Ivan Demidov — 4,940
Erik Seidel — 4,754
Michael Binger — 4,416
David Benyamine — 4,376
Peter Eastgate — 4,320
Vinny Pahuja — 3,918
Michael Martin — 3,800

POY Movement

With the leader board set for the final battle of the year at the Bellagio Five-Diamond Poker Classic, there are still several players who can challenge John Phan for the 2008 POY title, seven in particular. The Doyle Brunson Classic Championship event should award 2,400 points to winner. If Betrand “ElkY” Grospellier, defending champion David “The Dragon” Pham, Ivan Demidov, Erik Seidel, Michael Binger, David Benyamine, or Peter Eastgate win the championship event, they would overtake John Phan for the point lead. Every player in the top 20 also has a chance, theoretically, if they were able to get really hot and win one of the $5,000 preliminary events, as well as the championship event. Of the seven legitimate contenders, Eastgate and Demidov are unlikely to play at Bellagio, given that they live in Europe. So, keep a close eye on the remaining five contenders as they attempt to amass points at Bellagio. Pham and Binger do especially well in preliminary events, but Phan is sure to play most of those events, as well, so the 2008 POY race is very likely to provide an exciting finish, which you can follow along with on

This Week in Tournament Poker

B.C. Poker Championships

Daniel NegreanuCanada’s favorite poker son won the second-largest Canadian poker tournament of the year on Sunday, Nov. 23, when Daniel Negreanu took home $371,910 for winning the fourth-annual British Columbia Poker Championships. Negreanu outlasted 689 other players at the $2,500 no-limit hold’em main event that ended on Sunday, Nov. 23.

In a press release put out by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Negreanu said the following after the win: "Being Canadian myself, playing and winning the B.C. Poker Championships is extra special to me. The tournament was extremely well organized and my opponents were very good. It may have been a smaller tournament, but I would say this has been the best $2500 buy-in event structure I've ever played."

The top 60 players received prize money in the event, and notable professionals who cashed in addition to Negreanu included Steve Paul-Ambrose, who finished in 43rd place and took home $6,931, and 2008 WSOP main event third-place finisher Dennis Phillips, who finished in 30th place and took home $8,543. Other pros who played in the main event included Brad “Yukon Booth, Gavin Smith, Lacey Jones, Gabe Kaplan, Isabelle Mercier, Liz Lieu, Tiffany Michelle, and Maria Ho.

The five tournaments that ran from Nov. 16-23 at the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, B.C., were a big success. Three events sold out as 2,368 seats were sold, and a total prize pool of more than $2.9 million was created. This was the second-largest poker tournament of the year in Canada, outside of the World Poker Tour North American Poker Championship, which is hosted each fall in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The River Rock Casino Resort is the largest casino in Western Canada, and the poker room holds 25 tables (making it the largest in Canada) that spread limit and no-limit variations of Texas hold’em, Omaha, Omaha eight-or-better, and seven-card stud, as well as daily poker tournaments.

Here are the results from the final table of the main event:

1: Daniel Negreanu — $371,910
2: Adam Croffut — $238,191
3: Warren Russell — $150,285
4: Vorakbotgh Eam — $118,335
5: Vincenzo Abate — $97,204
6: Tyler Patterson — $76,580

NOTE: All prize money is in Canadian dollars.

Heartland Poker Tour Championship Open

Tim VanceRon Rogers won the Heartland Poker Tour Championship Open at the Majestic Star Casino in Gary, Indiana, on Monday, Nov. 24. He took home $136,495 in prize money for his victory in the $2,000 no-limit hold’em main event. The main event attracted 239 entrants, including professionals Bernard Lee, David Peters, and Tim Vance (pictured at right). Vance went on to make he final table of the event, and he finished in fifth place, taking home $27,299 in prize money. The qualifiers attracted 678 entrants, who tried to win their way in through various levels of satellite events. Here are the tournament statistics and full final-table results:

Number of entries: 239
Buy-in: $2,000
Total prize pool: $457,982
First-place prize: $136,495
Places paid: 30

Final-Table Results:

1: Ron Rogers — $136,495
2: Barry Brown — $68,247
3: Ben Castle — $40,948
4: Andy Rubinberg — $$31,849
5: Tim Vance — $27,299
6: Leon Morford — $22,749

The HPT will now take a break during the holiday season and return in 2009. The first tournament on the schedule for season five is at the Downstream Casino Resort in Quapaw, Oklahoma, and it runs from Jan. 30-Feb. 8.

Looking Ahead

Asia Pacific Poker Tour Grand Final Sydney

Event Schedule

Latin American Poker Tour Nuevo Vallarta

Event Schedule

Turkey Shoot/ Ho-Ho Hold’em – The Bicycle Casino

Event Schedule

Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic

Event Schedule

Grosvenor UK Poker Tour Grand Final

Event Schedule