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This Week in Poker -- Tournament News Nov. 29-Dec. 4

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John PhanCard Player Player of the Year Update

POY Standings:

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


This Week In Tournament Poker

Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza

J.J. LiuThe Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza recently wrapped up with its $2,500 main event. The no-limit hold'em tournament attracted 233 entrants and generated a total prize pool of $539,628. This was the ninth edition of the popular tournament series that pushed the trend of giving players more bang for their buck with more play in smaller buy-in events.

Among the notables to make the final two tables and cash included Denny Lee (14th), Tim Frazin (12th), and Blake Cahail (seventh).

When play got three-handed, a deal was struck according to the chip counts. Joanne "J.J." Liu held the chip lead, Ulises Roman was in second, and Nicholas Sliwinski was the short stack. A total of $15,000 was set aside to play for, though Liu was given credit for the victory. Because the players were so deep and the hour was late, the tournament took on a light-hearted feel and the all-ins came often. After spreading some chips around the table, Liu was eliminated in third. This score brought Liu near the $2-million mark for lifetime earnings.

Nicholas SliwinskiAfter Liu's elimination, the two remaining players agreed to chop the extra $15,000, resulting in an odd finish where all three players laid claim to a portion of the victory. Sliwinski took home the trophy, Liu took home credit for the win, and Roman took home the most cash.

Here were the final results:

  1. Joanne "J.J." Liu -- $110,492*
  2. Ulises Roman -- $115,760*
  3. Nicholas Sliwinski -- $98,610*
  4. Richard Dinunzio -- $48,567
  5. Stewart Yancik -- $32,378
  6. Anasavanh Sittivong -- $26,981
  7. Blake Cahail -- $21,585
  8. Christopher MacNeil -- $16,189
  9. Randy Dorfman -- $10,793


Based on a three-way chop awarding an extra $15,000 to the winner, which was chopped as well.

Bellagio Five-Diamond World Poker Classic

Toto LeonidasThe biggest series in December takes place at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, where the pros are gathering for a 14-event no-limit hold'em endurance contest. The weak-hearted need not apply, as the tournaments routinely go late into the night in order to wrap up the final table the next day.

Thus far, a total of six tournaments have been decided, with the seniors event and three more $5,000 events scheduled for next week. Though not spectacular, the attendance has increased since October's Festa al Lago series.

The biggest winner so far has been Toto Leonidas, who has managed to win an event and finish as runner-up in another. Other notables to go deep thus far in the series include Vivek "psyduck" Rajkumar, Blair Hinkle, Brandon Cantu, Sorel "Imper1um" Mizzi, and Amit "amak316" Makhija.

Read the recap detailing the first six preliminary events.

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