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This Week in Poker: Poker Tournament News Dec. 20 - Dec. 26

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

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Check out CardPlayer.com every Friday for a weekly wrap-up of the news from the live poker tournament trail.

Card Player Player of the Year Update

John PhanPOY Standings:

John Phan — 6,704
David “The Dragon” Pham — 6,022
Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier — 5,510
Ivan Demidov — 4,940
Erik Seidel — 4,754
David Benyamine — 4,436
Michael Binger — 4,416
Peter Eastgate — 4,320
Chino Rheem — 4,194
Vinny Pahuja — 3,918

Interview with POY Winner John Phan
Interview with POY Runner-Up David “The Dragon” Pham
Interview with POY Third-Place Finisher Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier

This Week in Tournament Poker

Card Player Live Coverage Event -- World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Classic Championship

Chino Rheem Wins the Last WPT Event of 2008The final table at the $15,000 World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Classic Championship was defined by periods of play with little to no action, and then other times where the poker table turned into a mine field where no one was safe. This standard carried through to the heads-up match, one that lasted for several hours and experienced multiple lead changes before crowning a champion. In the end it was Chino Rheem who walked away with a $1,538,730 prize and his first WPT title. 

Here were the chip counts at the start of play:

Seat 1: Chino Rheem -- 4,240,000
Seat 2: Amnon Filippi -- 2,750,000
Seat 3: Hoyt Corkins -- 2,295,000
Seat 4: Steve Sung -- 5,885,000
Seat 5: Justin Young -- 2,410,000
Seat 6: Evan McNiff -- 4,805,000

Rheem had to fight his way through a field of 497 players over six days of poker to claim the top prize in the tournament. But it was his final opponent that proved to be the most difficult. It took Rheem 151 hands of heads-up play to emerge with the championship title.

The field was stacked with a rich array of professionals that gathered in Vegas to participate in the last major poker tournament of 2008. It was also during this tournament that John Phan clinched the 2008 Card Player Player of the Year title. When Michael Binger busted on day 3 Phan became the seventh player in history to win the award. Check out the full story about Phan's POY win here.

The next stop on the WPT is the Southern Poker Championship, which will take place from Jan. 14-17, 2009 at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Full Tournament Results
Full Final-Table Recap

Selected Tournament Results

2008 Foxwoods Mega Stack Challenge X

Buy-in: $1,850
Number of Entries: 150
Total Prize Pool: $269,175
First-Place Prize: $44,078
Places Paid: 15

Matt CasterellaFinal-Table Results:

1st: Ryan Eriquezzo -- $44,078
2nd: Geozoh Netanelof -- $44,078
3rd: Matt Casterella -- $44,078
4th: Michael Grybowski -- $44,078
5th: Bob Lauria -- $17,496
6th: Todd Downie -- $14,805
7th: Steve Smith -- $12,786
8th: Terry Awalt -- $10,767
9th: Michael Perry -- $8,748

Looking Ahead

2008 Trump Classic


Event Schedule

2009 PartyPoker Irish Poker Championship

Event Schedule

Card Player Live Coverage Event -- European Poker Tour PokerStars Caribbean Adventure

$10,000 EPT Main Event

Monday, Jan. 5: Day 1A
Tuesday, Jan. 6: Day 1B
Wednesday, Jan. 7: Day 2
Thursday, Jan. 8: Day 3
Friday, Jan. 9: Day 4
Saturday, Jan. 10: Final Table