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This Week in Poker -- Poker Tournament News Jan. 31-Feb. 6

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Card Player Player of the Year Update

Anthony Gregg1: Poorya Nazari — 3,000
2: Anthony Gregg — 2,500
3: Benjamin Spindler — 2,000
4: Stewart Scott — 1,920
4: Moritz Kranich — 1,920
6: Steve Weinstein — 1,800
7: Allen Carter — 1,680
8: Peter Rho — 1,600
8: Arnaud Esquevin — 1,600
10: Alexandre Gomes — 1,500
10: Todd Terry — 1,500

POY Movement

No new players entered the top 10 this week, but a few players did pick up nice chunks of POY points for winning tournaments around the world. Neil Arce took home 938 points for his win in Manila at the Asian Poker Tour Philippines main event. This puts him in 29th place in the POY standings. Kai Landry took home 720 points for his win at the WSOP Tunica Circuit championship event. He now sits in the top 50 in 47th place. Other than those two big wins, most of the POY noise has been made at the L.A. Poker Classic. The big point events will begin next weekend but that hasn't stopped players from building up their POY resumes in the preliminary events. The two largest point-wins at the LAPC so far have gone to Jake Solis and David Plastik, who each took home 480 points for preliminary wins. Not enough to climb the leader board, but if either of these two books a big win it could be the difference between jumping into the top 10 and into the top five.

This Week in Poker

Asian Poker Tour – Manila, Phlippines

Neil Arce WinsNeil Arce won the Asian Poker Tour Philippines $2,500 no-limit hold’em main event on Feb. 1, and he took home $185,000 for topping a field of 262 players. The stop in Manila that was hosted at the Dusit Thani Hotel was the first of 2009 for the APT, and it featured seven events in all, including a celebrity charity tournament that kicked things off on Jan. 27. Arce defeated 2008 APT Macau runner-up Steve Yea in the final heads-up battle. The final table was a quick one, lasting just three hours, while Arce booked his victory. Joining Arce and Yea at the final table were professionals Liz Lieu and Casey Kastle. Arce played strong throughout the event, he finished day 1A with the chip lead and he took the third-largest chip stack into the final table.

The field of 262 players produced a prize pool worth $635,500, with $185,000 of that going to Arce. It should also be noted that members of the APT-sponsored Poker Pack, Nam Le and Steve Sung, made deep runs and cashed in the event. Sung finished in 13th place, and he took home $7,000, and Le finished in 12th place and took home $8,000.

APT Philippines Full Final-Table Recap

World Series of Poker Circuit Event – Tunica

Matt StoutThe $5,000 no-limit hold’em championship event at the World Series of Poker Circuit stop at Harrah’s Tunica attracted 154 players and created a prize pool worth $735,900. Two days of poker had whittled this field down to nine final contenders, and chief among them was Matt Stout. He was one of the few notable professionals remaining in the field, along with Mike Leah, and he held a massive chip lead with 1,000,500. His closest competitor didn’t hold half as much. Stout hit some tough luck at the final table though and eventually fell in third place ($73,950). The final heads-up match came down to David Dao and Kair Landry and in the end it was Dao who was eliminated in second place ($117,744). Landry was awarded $183,974 in prize money for the win, along with a WSOP Circuit championship ring and a seat in the 2009 WSOP main event.

The next WSOP Circuit stop will take place at the Horseshoe in Council Bluffs, Iowa, from Feb. 12-25. The $5,000 no-limit hold’em championship event will run for three days beginnings on Feb. 23.

Full WSOP Circuit Tunica Final-Table Recap

PokerStars Russian Poker Tour – St. Petersburg

Ivan DemidovThe debut of PokerStars Russian Poker Tour attracted 201 entrants to the $5,000 no-limit hold’em tournament that kicked off the tour in St. Petersburg, Russia. The final table of the event that began on Jan. 25 ran on Sunday, Feb. 1, and it featured seven Russians among the final nine. It was one of those seven Russians, Oleg Suntsov, who walked away with the first-place prize worth 10 million Russian rubles, which works out to $294,955. Suntsov’s victory was an unlikely one; he came into the final table as the short-stack, but he doubled up twice to climb back into contention.

On the final hand, Suntsov and Vadim Markushevsky from Belarus got all of their chips into the middle on a board of 9-6-3-5 with Markushevsky all in for his tournament life holding K-9 in the hole. Suntsov held pocket queens, which were victorious after a 2 fell on the river.

Here are the final-table results:

1: Oleg Suntsov — 10,616,000 RUB
2: Vadim Markushevsky — 5,469,000 RUB
3: Alexander Pantukhin — 3,217,000 RUB
4: Sergey Solntsev — 2,380,000 RUB
5: Bulat Bikmetov — 1,930,000 RUB
6: Sergey Popuk — 1,608,000 RUB
7: Anatoly Ozhenilok — 1,287,000 RUB
8: Dimitru Gaina — 965,000 RUB
9: Evgeny Zaytsev — 643,000 RUB

Russian professionals Ivan Demidov and Alexander Kravchenko both made an appearance in the field, and they were joined by Team PokerStars pro Vanessa Rousso. The next stop on the RPT schedule will take place in Moscow from Feb. 22-28. The event will feature a $10,000 no-limit hold’em tournament that will conclude the first season of the RPT.

Selected Tournament Results:

L.A. Poker Classic Event No. 10 (no-limit hold’em with rebuys)

Michael KamranBuy-in: $300
Number of Entries: 623
Re-buys: 933
Add Ons: 356
Total Prize Pool: $556,392
First-Place Prize: $140,467
Places Paid: 63

Final-Table Results:

1: Jake Solis — $140,467
2: Michael Kamran — $77,895
3: Joe Pelton — $54,526
4: Thanh Luong — $35,887
5: Roy Cook — $25,872
6: Shawn Pilot — $20,030
7: Kevin Song — $15,023
8: Frank Mariani — $11,128
9: Ofir Maimon — $8,068

Looking Ahead

L.A. Poker Classic

Event Schedule
Tournament Series Preview
Preliminary Update Part I
Preliminary Update Part II

Caesars Mega Stack Series

Event Schedule
Event Preview Story

Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza

Event Schedule
Event Preview Story

PokerStars Australia New Zealand Poker Tour Adelaide

Event Schedule

Oklahoma State Championship of Poker

Event Schedule
Event Preview

Heartland Poker Tour – Quapaw, Oklahoma

Event Schedule European Open V

Event Schedule