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WSOP Circuit -- Fred Berger Wins New Orleans Main Event

Former Bracelet Winner Defeated 155 Opponents to Win His First Gold Ring and $197,584


Fred BergerThe final World Series of Poker Circuit event of the 2009-10 season has come to an end at the Harrah’s in New Orleans, and Fred Berger (pictured right) is the champion of the Bayou Poker Challenge. The $5,150 no-limit hold’em championship event attracted 156 players in all and Berger claimed the top prize of $197,584 from the total prize pool of $745,600. The top 18 players all walked away with prize money and a notable cash was scored when last year’s defending champion Jean Gaspard busted in 10th place. His elimination at 4:30 a.m. brought about the end of day 2 at the tournament and set the final table. Here is a look at the seating chart and chip counts when the final table began the next day:

Seat 1: Fred Berger — 298,500
Seat 2: Chander Jain — 522,000
Seat 3: Joel Merwick — 262,000
Seat 4: Ben Keiley — 889,500
Seat 5: Jacob Naquin — 183,500
Seat 6: Ed Corrado — 575,000
Seat 7: Fernando Perez — 127,000
Seat 8: Jared Ingles — 126,000
Seat 9: Mike Beasley — 446,500

Jared Ingles fell in ninth place ($20,504) when he moved all in on a bluff on the very first hand and he was eliminated by A-K. Chander Jain then fell in eighth place ($24,232) when he moved all in with pocket jacks, but A-K but down another hand when an ace fell on the flop again. Jacob Naquin fell with A-J in the hole against pocket queens and he claimed a seventh-place finish worth $29,824.

Joel Merwick’s elimination hand was the early highlight at the final table in terms of excitement when he suffered a bad beat. He held A-2 in the hole when he decided to move all in on an A-2-X flop with two pair. One opponent made the call with an ace, but the board paired and Merwick lost in the battle of kickers. He took home $37,280 in prize money in sixth place. Another tough beat followed for fifth-place finisher Fernando Perez. His A-9 had the KHeart Suit 9Heart Suit of his opponent dominated preflop but the board delivered his adversary a heart flush and he was awarded $46,600 on the way out of the tournament.

Ed Corrado then lost a large chunk of his stack when he was bluffed out of a pot by Berger and the last of his chips were in the middle of the table shortly thereafter. He was all in with A-8 and an opponent was waiting with pocket nines. The nines held and Corrado was eliminated in fourth place, good for $59,648. A deal was agreed to by the final three players before Ben Keiley was eliminated in third place ($76,424). He was caught with his hand in the cookie jar holding just K-5. Berger made easy work of him with A-J and the final heads-up match was set.

Berger took a chip lead into the final match against PokerStars North American Poker Tour Mohegan Sun runner-up Mike Beasley. When the final hand of the night took place at 1:30 a.m. Berger had increased his chip advantage to 5-1 over Beasley, who moved all in with KHeart Suit 7Spade Suit. Berger made the call with ADiamond Suit 10Club Suit and the board was dealt 10Heart Suit 5Spade Suit 3Diamond Suit 4Spade Suit JDiamond Suit. Berger won the tournament with a pair of tens. Beasley was eliminated in second place and he took home $119,296 in prize money to bring his 2010 earnings up to $687,045. Berger took home the top prize of $197,584 and he now has a WSOP Circuit gold ring to go with the WSOP gold bracelet he won in 2002.

Final-Table Results:

1: Fred Berger — $197,584
2: Mike Beasley — $119,296
3: Ben Keiley — $76,424
4: Ed Corrado — $59,648
5: Fernando Perez — $46,600
6: Joel Merwick — $37,820
7: Jacob Naquin — $29,824
8: Chander Jain — $24,232
9: Jared Ingles — $20,504

The Bayou Poker Challenge was the final event on the 2009-10 WSOP Circuit schedule. The schedule for the new season will be announced this summer at the WSOP in Las Vegas. The 09-10 season awarded total prize pools worth $20,209,935 at 11 tournament stops.