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This Week in Poker -- July 18-24

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Card Player Player of the Year Update

Alexandre Gomes

1: Vitaly Lunkin — 4,337
2: Eric Baldwin — 4,300
3: Angel Guillen — 3,492
4: Cornel Cimpan — 3,450
5: Brock Parker — 3,132
6: Mike Leah — 3,052
7: Jeffrey Lisandro — 3,018
8: Poorya Nazari — 3,000
9: Alexandre Gomes — 2,850
10: Jude Ainsworth — 2,840

POY Movement:

Bellagio Cup V Awards Thousands of POY Points – Vaults Alexandre Gomes into the Top 10

Two players walked away from the $15,000 World Poker Tour no-limit hold’em championship event at the Bellagio Cup V with at least 1,000 points each for their efforts, and each player that made the final table walked away with hundreds at the final large buy-in poker tournament of the summer that was hosted in Las Vegas. The Bellagio Cup V attracted 268 players and created a prize pool of $3,899,400. The first-place prize was $1,187,670, and there were 1,350 POY points up for grabs for first place.

Alexandre Gomes won the event to take home his first WPT title, and the 1,350 points; his total for 2009 now stands at 2,350. Gomes is currently in ninth place on the POY leader board, just 10 points ahead of Jude Ainsworth, and 150 points behind 2009 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure winner Poorya Nazari. Gomes other points came from the PCA final table where Nazari picked up 3,000 for the win. Gomes was awarded 1,500 points in January when he finished in fourth place in the Bahamas to kick start his strong year. Nazari has now made two final tables, made $1,937,670, and won one tournament for the year. Gomes now also holds the distinction of holding tournament titles for both the World Series of Poker and WPT.

Faraz Jaka was awarded 1,080 points for his runner-up finish at Bellagio, and he now holds 2,360 points for 2009, good for 27th place. Jaka picked up his other points in event No. 56 ($5,000 six-handed no-limit hold’em) at the WSOP. He was awarded $400,526 and 1,280 for finishing in third place. Jaka has also taken home more than one million in cash playing tournament poker in 2009 ($1,175,396).

Here is a full break down of the POY points awarded at the Bellagio Cup V final table:

1. Alexandre Gomes — 1,350
2. Faraz Jaka — 1,080
3. Justin Smith — 810
4. Alec Torelli — 675
5. Christopher Sonesson — 540
6. Erik Seidel — 405

This Week in Poker

World Poker Tour — Bellagio Cup V

Alexandre Gomes Wins Bellagio Cup V

It looked like Faraz Jaka was going to cruise to his first World Poker Tour victory when the final table began at the Bellagio Cup V. He came in with 2 million more in chips than even his closest competitor, and nothing that transpired during the first five hours of play to changed things. Erik Seidel was the first player to fall 108 hands into play (a record 107 hands without a first final-table elimination at a WPT event). Jaka watched his stack grow to as much as 7.5 million before disaster struck.

Jaka made a seven-high heart flush on a board of KClub Suit 8Heart Suit 5Heart Suit 3Heart Suit AClub Suit, but Alexandre Gomes made a 10-high heart flush to double up through him and take the chip lead on the 115th hand of play. Gomes knocked out Christopher Sonesson in fifth place after that, and then he was the player holding more than 7 million.

Jaka doubled up through Gomes next and the Brazilian saw his stack fall to 5,475,000. Jaka followed that up by taking a pot worth 2 million off of Gomes, and then Jaka held the chip lead with 6,255,000, 146 hands into play.

Gomes fought back and increased his stack to more than 8 million to take back the chip lead again after he eliminated Alec Torelli in fourth place on the very next hand. Smith continued the wild ride for Gomes when he doubled up through him, and Gomes saw his stack fall to 6,850,000 (still good for the chip lead). Smith celebrated wildly with a group of railbirds that included Mike Matusow after that hand, and in the excitement he suffered a knee injury. Smith took a few minutes to recuperate, and then he limped back to the stage with assistance to continue playing.

Although he decided to stick around and tough it out, Smith was eliminated in third place on the 200th hand of play by Jaka. At the start of heads-up play Jaka held 7,715,000 and Gomes took 8,375,000 into battle.

The heads-up battle took 43 hands to decide a victor. Gomes eventually took the lead in the final match after a stalemate ensued to start things off, but when Jaka decided to move all in on the final hand of the tournament Gomes held a 2-1 chip advantage. Jaka’s A-7 was dominated by the A-J of Gomes on the final hand, and Gomes won the tournament and the $1,187,679 first-place prize when the board bricked out. Gomes now has the distinction of holding both a World Series of Poker gold bracelet and a WPT title. Gomes lifetime winnings are now $2,987,256, and he currently holds 2,850 points in the Card Player Player of the Year race (good for ninth place).

Here are the final results:

1. Alexandre Gomes — $1,187,670
2. Faraz Jaka — $774,780
3. Justin Smith — $464,870
4. Alec Torelli — $271,165
5. Christopher Sonesson — $203,385
6. Erik Seidel — $164,640

Bellagio Cup Day 4 Recap
Bellagio Cup Day 5 Recap

Looking Ahead

PokerStars ANZPT — Queenstown

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Pokerstars Italian Poker Tour — Venice

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Legends of Poker

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World Poker Open

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Larry Flynt’s Grand Slam of Poker

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Summer Pot of Gold

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Summer Showdown

Event Schedule