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This Week in Poker: Poker Tournament News Feb. 14 - 20

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

Card Player Player of the Year Update

1: 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

This Week in Poker

Card Player Live Coverage Event -- $5,000 pot-limit Omaha w/rebuy

Frank KasselaThe first of three major preliminary events on the 2009 L.A. Poker Classic schedule kicked off today at 3 p.m. at Commerce Casino. The $5,000 pot-limit Omaha rebuy event attracted 50 players who purchased 36 rebuys. This created a prize pool worth $412,100.

The pro-heavy field arrived a little late today, and the purchase of so many rebuys prolonged eliminations from taking place for some time, but when players did begin to bust, it was in a flood. Among the top professionals lost during the first flurry of eliminations were Anna Wroblewski, Daniel Alaei, Matt Giannetti, Chino Rheem, Phil Laak, Robert Williamson III, Jason Mercier, J.C. Tran, David Benyamine, Lee Watkinson and Hasan Habib (on the same hand), Michael Mizrachi, and Erik Seidel.

When action got down to two tables, things settled down once again as players dug in and attempted to stage a deep run to the final table. This was when a series of the largest hands in the tournament transpired and changed everything in the process. While Raphael Zimmerman hammered away with aggression to build his chip stack into a top contender, Frank Kassela repeatedly won huge pots to stay near the top of the leader board.

Kassela used these windfalls to march into the prize money, while other pros didn't make it past the money bubble. Erick Lindgren, Scotty Nguyen, Barry Greenstein, Vinnie Vinh, Chris Ferguson, and Matt Glantz all missed the cut. The players who did make the final five included Kassela, Zimmerman, Randy Ohel, Mickey Mills, and Andreas Krause.

After returning from a break after level 10, the players began to discuss how they would like to proceed. Since three of the five players were going to play in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event on Monday, and it was already past 3 a.m., the final five players came to gentleman's agreement to determine the final standings based on chip counts. Here are the final results:

1: Frank Kassela
2: Raphael Zimmerman
3: Mickey Mills
4: Randy Ohel
5: Andreas Krause

Full $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha w/Rebuy Final-Table Recap

Card Player Live Coverage Event
-- $10,000 H.O.R.S.E.

Scotty Nguyen Wins the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event at the LAPC

Scotty Nguyen WinsSixteen players returned at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18 for the final day of the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event at Commerce Casino. This marquee event on the L.A. Poker Classic had attracted 96 of the most well-rounded pros in the game, and of those who had survived this far, only eight would make the money. Howard Lederer, Nick Schulman, Chris Amaral, Gavin Griffin, Ralph Perry, Randall Skaggs, Steve Billirakis, and Kenny Tran all fell during the march to the final table.

John Monnette fell quickly at the final table in eighth place ($29,491). The final seven then played for a full two levels before Amnon Filippi was the next to fall in seventh place ($40,550). Stud specialist Bob Golick was eliminated next in sixth place ($52,531). This was the third final-table appearance for Golick at the 2009 LAPC; he has already won both the $300 and $500 seven-card stud preliminary events.

Scotty Nguyen surged into the chip lead during the battle for fifth, and he became more vocal during the stretch, as well. This reached a peak when Nguyen eliminated Matt Graham in fifth place ($66,355) and celebrated his victory in an enthusiastic manner. Nguyen calmed down after tournament director Matt Savage came to the table and warned players that they could no longer talk about hands at the table without incurring a penalty.

Chino Rheem surged into the spotlight next by eliminating both Chris Tsiprailidis in fourth place ($86,630) and Jeff Madsen in third place ($122,573). This evened Rheem back up with the chip stack of the reigning H.O.R.S.E. world champion before heads-up play. The two final players then took a break and decided to make a gentleman's agreement to chop the prize money. As part of that agreement, Nguyen was crowned the champion of the LAPC $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event and Rheem was the runner-up.

Full H.O.R.S.E. Final-Table Recap

Card Player Live Coverage Event -- $10,000 Heads-up No-Limit Hold’em

At press time the $10,000 Heads-Up event at Commerca Casino was down to the final six players. Here is a look at the current bracket:

Loser's Bracket (winners in bold)

Final Four Part II                                      Final Four Part II

Amit Makhija vs. Vivek Rajkumar        Vivek Rajkumar vs. Evan Roberts
Steve Billirakis vs. Steve Sung -- Winner advances to play David Oppenheim          

Winner's Bracket Champion: Chris Moore

The player that wins the Loser's bracket will get to challenge Moore in the overall championship for the event. Since it is a double-elimination tournament the loser's bracket champion will need to beat Moore twice to win the $350,000 first-place prize.

CardPlayer Live Coverage Event PokerStars European Poker Tour Copenhagen Open

At press time action had played down to the final table of eight at the EPT Copenhagen Open. Here is a look at the seating chart and chip counts for the final table, which begins at noon CET (3 a.m. PST) tomorrow:

Anders Langset: Norway -- 1,119,000 (seat 9)
Rasmus Nielsen: Denmark -- 1,031,000 (seat 8)
Jussi Nevanlinna: Finland -- 894,000 (seat 1)
Petter Petersson: Sweden -- 407,000 (seat 7)
Peter Hedlund: Sweden -- 367,000 (seat 2)
Jens Kyllonen: Finland -- 366,000 (seat 3)
Jonas Klausen: Denmark -- 262,000 (seat 4)
Eric Lachavaque: France -- 221,000 (seat 5)

Watch the final table on the EPT Live video feed.

Selected Tournament Results:

L.A. Poker Classic Event No. 22 (H.O.R.S.E.)

Frankie O'DellBuy-in: $1,000
Number of Entries: 212
Total Prize Pool: $205,640
First-Place Prize: $56,036
Places Paid: 24

Final-Table Results:

1: Frankie O'Dell -- $56,036
2: John Cernuto -- $30,846
3: Christopher Tryba -- $22,620
4: Cyndy Violette -- $17,274
5: Tony Ma -- $13,058
6: Ira Friedman -- $9,254
7: Raymond Davis -- $5,758
8: Dennis Eichhorn -- $4,730

Looking Ahead

L.A. Poker Classic

Card Player Live Coverage Event -- $10,000 World Poker Tour no-limit hold’em championship event

Saturday, Feb. 21: Day 1 (All preliminary days begin at noon) – Six levels
Sunday, Feb. 22: Day 2 – Five levels
Monday, Feb. 23: Day 3 – Five levels
Tuesday, Feb. 24: Day 4 – Five levels
Wednesday, Feb. 25: Day 5 – Play down to final table
Thursday, Feb. 26: Final table (begins at 4 p.m.)

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

Caesars Mega Stack Series

Event Schedule
Event Preview Story

Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza

Event Schedule
Event Preview Story

WSOP Circuit – Council Bluffs

Event Schedule
Event Preview

Heartland Poker Tour – Onamia, MN

Sunday, Feb. 22 (9 a.m.): $1,500 no-limit hold’em main event

Wynn Classic

Event Schedule