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This Week in Poker -- Poker Tournament News Feb. 28 - Mar. 5

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Binh NguyenCheck 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

1: Poorya Nazari — 3,000
2: Cornel Cimpan — 2,730
3: Anthony Gregg — 2,500
4: Benjamin Spindler — 2,000
4: Binh Nguyen (pictured at right) — 2,000
6: Jens Kyllonen — 1,920
6: Stewart Scott — 1,920
6: Moritz Kranich — 1,920
9: Steve Weinstein — 1,800
10: Allen Carter — 1,680


This Week in Poker

Card Player Live Coverage Event$10,000 L.A. Poker Classic no-limit hold’em championship event

The final six players in the 2009 L.A. Poker Classic took their seats at 4 p.m. last Thursday at the final table in the $10,000 no-limit hold'em championship event of this marquee tournament series. Here is a look at the starting stacks when the final table began:

Cornel Cimpan1: Chris Karagulleyan — 4,080,000
2: Mike Sowers — 2,405,000
3: Pat Walsh — 2,200,000
4: Binh Nguyen — 1,895,000
5: Cornel Cimpan — 1,740,000
6: Chris Ferguson — 1,565,000

It took 66 hands before the first player fell, and it was the most notable professional at the table who was the first victim. Chris Ferguson busted in sixth place and he took home $240,538 in prize money. Pat Walsh was able to double up a few times after that on a short stack, but he was the second player to leave the table in fifth place ($310,694) 96 hands into play. Things picked up in speed after that as the blinds and antes left players with 20 big blinds on average, and the next two players fell quickly. Chris Karagulleyan was eliminated in fourth place ($430,963) and Mike Sowers fell in third place ($654,797).

That left Binh Nguyen, who stormed into the chip lead heading in the heads-up match, and Cornel Cimpan, who tread the path of survival to make the final two. The heads-up match lasted five and a half hours, with Nguyen running over Cimpan at the start, only to see Cimpan flop two pair when Nguyen had him dominated preflop to prolong the match. That process repeated itself three times as Cimpan continued to double up until he took the chip lead. In the end, Cimpan won the tournament shortly before 3 a.m., and he walked away with $1,686,760 in prize money. Nguyen was the runner-up, taking home $935,424 in prize money.

Full Final-Table Recap


NBC Heads-Up SetCard Player Liver Coverage EventNBC National Heads-Up Championship

At press time the 2009 NBC National Heads-Up Championship first-round matches had been announced last night from the draw party at PURE night club in Caesars Palace. Play began on Friday at 1:30 p.m. in this single-elimination tournament (except for the championship match, which will be a best-of-three to see who wins it all). Check out profiles for the 2009 players and catch up on NBC Heads-Up history on the NBC Heads-Up page.

The first-round matches will take place Friday, Mar. 6. The round of 32 and the sweet 16 take place on Saturday, Mar. 7, and the elite eight, final four, and championship match take place on Sunday, Mar. 8. Card Player will be there for every single elimination, bringing you all of the action with live updates, photos, and videos from CardPlayer TV.


Hearts Bracket - Begins play at 1:30 p.m. Winner of the hearts bracket will play the winner of the diamonds bracket.

Johnny Chan vs. Eli Elezra

Erick Lindgren vs. Howard Lederer

J.C. Tran vs. David Williams

Jamie Gold vs. Scott Fischman

Erik Seidel vs. John Phan

Jerry Yang vs. Clonie Gowen

Allen Cunningham vs. Sam Farha

Andy Bloch vs. Peter Eastgate


Diamonds Bracket - Begins play at 4:00 p.m. Winner of the diamonds bracket plays the winner of the hearts bracket.

Kenny Tran vs. Antonio Esfandiari

Greg Raymer vs. Jennifer Harman

Kenny Yeh vs. Phil Laak

Vanessa Selbst vs. Layne Flack

David Benyamine vs. Gus Hansen

Huck Seed vs. Jonathan Little

Chad Brown vs. Glen Chorny

Annie Duke vs. Brad Garrett


Clubs Bracket - Begins play at 7:00 p.m. Winner of the clubs bracket plays the winner of the spades bracket.

Don Cheadle vs. David Pham

Paul Wasicka vs. Nicholas Joy

Jennifer Tilly vs. Phil Ivey

Doyle Brunson vs. Vanessa Rousso

Hevad Khan vs. Scotty Nguyen

Ted Forrest vs. Orel Hershiser

Daniel Negreanu vs. Chris Moneymaker

Mike Matusow vs. Dario Minieri


Spades Bracket - Begins play at 9:30 p.m. Winner of the spades bracket plays the winner of the clubs bracket.

Gabe Kaplan vs. Chris Ferguson

John Juanda vs. Joe Hachem

Ilari Sahamies vs. Gavin Smith

Fred Collins vs. Bertrand Grospellier

Jeffrey Ishbia vs. Leon Yanovski

Mike Sexton vs. Phil Hellmuth

Gavin Griffin vs. Tom Dwan

Barry Greenstein vs. Blandino Gines


Looking Ahead

Card Player Live Coverage Event
PokerStars EPT German Open

Tuesday, Mar. 10: Day 1A
Wednesday, Mar. 11: Day 1B
Thursday, Mar. 12: Day 2
Friday, Mar. 13: Day 3
Saturday, Mar. 14: Final Table

Wynn Classic

Event Schedule
Event Preview Story

World Poker Challenge

Event Schedule
Event Preview Story

WSOP Circuit – Caesars Atlantic City

Event Schedule
Event Preview

Winnin’ O’ the Green

Event Schedule

Paris Open of Poker

Event Schedule