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Festa al Lago -- Howard Lederer Wins $10,000 H.O.R.S.E.

Lederer Takes Home $92,150 and Scores His Fourth Tournament Win at Bellagio

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Howard Lederer WinsThe $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event at the 2009 Festa al Lago tournament series hosted at Bellagio was won by Howard Lederer (pictured right) late on Thursday afternoon in Las Vegas. The tournament, which began on Tuesday, Oct. 13, attracted 19 entrants for a total prize pool worth $184,300. During two days of poker, the field played down to the money bubble, which burst when just three players remained. Notable players among the talented field who were lost along the way included Eli Elezra, Matt Glantz, James Van Alstyne, Andy Bloch, Jerry Buss, Michael Binger, Scott Clements, David Singer, and Dan Shak.

The final three players returned at 1 p.m. on Thursday to decide who would walk away with the top prize of $92,150 and the champion’s watch. Here were the chip counts when play began:

Ralph Perry: 369,000
Howard Lederer: 243,000
Rod Pardey: 149,000

Rod Pardey was the player at risk early on, and he responded by doubling up on the first hand of consequence at the final table. Pardey raised all in on a hand of hold’em for his final 30,000 after Howard Lederer bet 16,000 on a board of 10Spade Suit 9Spade Suit 8Diamond Suit QSpade Suit. Lederer made the call, and Pardey flipped over KSpade Suit KClub Suit. Lederer showed down 10Heart Suit 8Heart Suit, but the JDiamond Suit fell on the river to give Pardey a Broadway straight and double him up.

Pardey was still low in chips after the double-up, and he found himself all in once again a short time later on a hand of razz. Lederer bet 16,000 with ADiamond Suit 10Diamond Suit 4Diamond Suit 7Diamond Suit exposed, and Pardey raised to 32,000 with 4Spade Suit 9Heart Suit KSpade Suit 5Diamond Suit exposed. Lederer reraised, which was more than enough to put Pardey all in when Pardey made the call. Lederer showed 5Heart Suit 2Diamond Suit in the hole for a 7-5 low, and Pardey revealed he was behind with AHeart Suit 8Club Suit in the hole. Seventh street did nothing to rescue Pardey, and he was eliminated in third place, taking home $36,860 in prize money.

Heads-up play began with the chip counts nearly even, and for the first hour of play between the final two players, Lederer edged out to a lead. After the two players took a break at the end of level 14, Lederer held 433,000 to the 327,000 of Perry. During the second level of competition between the two finalists Lederer, pulled away even further. Lederer chipped away at Perry by winning small pots to grow his lead. There were no major hand between the two, but there was a clear shift of momentum. At the end of the level, Lederer held 509,000 and Perry held 252,000. Level 16 held more of the same, as the disparity between the chip stacks grew larger.

A half hour into level 16, Perry’s stack had fallen down to 100,000. Lederer held a 6-1 chip advantage when the final hand played out during a round of hold’em. After a series of bets and raises, Perry found the last of his chips in the middle on a board of ASpade Suit QSpade Suit 9Heart Suit 3Club Suit. Lederer turned up KHeart Suit QClub Suit, and Perry showed that his tournament hopes rested on QHeart Suit 4Heart Suit in the hole. The 6Club Suit fell on the turn, and Lederer won the tournament, $92,150, and a championship watch. Perry was awarded $55,290 for his runner-up finish.

The tournament win here at Bellagio was the fourth for Lederer at the famous hotel and casino. His previous wins include a $2,500 no-limit hold’em tournament in 2003, another $2,500 no-limit hold’em tournament in 2004, and a $5,000 pot-limit Omaha tournament in 2004. Lederer’s previous victories came at the Five-Star World Poker Classic, which takes place in the Spring. Lederer now has career tournament poker earnings of $5,066,858.