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Buy-In: $2,500
Prize Pool: $1,467,000
Entrants: 652

$2,500 No-Limit Hold'em CPPT Main Event $500K GTD

  • Feb 19, '21 - Feb 22, '21


Updates on Final Day (Feb 22, 21)


Ankush Mandavia Wins 2021 Card Player Poker Tour Venetian Main Event

Ankush Mandavia has won the 2021 Card Player Poker Tour Venetian $2,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event. The 33-year-old poker pro from Kalamazoo, Michigan defeated a field of 652 entries to earn the title and the top payout of $260,000 after striking a heads-up deal with Anselmo Villarreal. This was the fifth-largest score of Mandavia’s career, and it brought his lifetime earnings to just shy of $5.4 million.

In addition to the trophies and the money, Mandavia was also awarded 1,260 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion of this event. This win alone was enough to catapult him into fourth place in the POY race standings.

“It’s amazing. This is actually my first tournament back,” said Mandavia after coming out on top. “When I went to register and got a player’s card they told me it had been exactly one year since I last played here. That’s kinda crazy, but it feels good.”

The huge turnout of 652 entries for this event saw the $500,000 guarantee nearly tripled, with a final prize pool of $1,467,000 paid out among the top 72 finishers. Just 27 players made it to the final day of the event, with Mandavia sitting in 18th place when action resumed.

Kristen BicknellThe action was fast and furious during the early levels, with 17 eliminations in the first four hours of the day. Plenty of big names hit the rail as the field was quickly narrowed down to a final table, including Justin Lapka (25th – $9,682), Scott Stewart (24th – $11,589), Frank Marasco (23rd – $11,589), Jordan Cristos (19th – $11,589), TK Miles (17th – $11,589), Stanley Lee (13th – $16,137), and start-of-day chip leader James Anderson (11th – $19,071).

By the time the official eight-handed final table was set, Tim Capretta had worked his way into the chip lead, with Mandavia sitting on the next-largest stack. Three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Kristen Bicknell and World Poker Tour main event winner Alex Foxen, who are a couple, both made the final table. This was not the first time the pair achieved that feat here at Venetian. In 2018, the two poker pros made the final table of a $5,000 buy-in Mid-States Poker Tour event together, finishing in first and second for a combined total of $439,000.

Qing Liu was the first to be eliminated at the final table, with his pocket aces being cracked by Bicknell’s pocket jacks. Liu earned $24,939 while Bicknell climbed into the middle of the pack. Seven-handed action continued for quite a while, with multiple short-stack double-ups along the way. Mandavia overtook the lead during this stretch, winning a massive pot with a floped straight against the turned set of Capretta.

Alex FoxenYosif Nawabi’s run in this event came to an end when his ASpade Suit9Spade Suit ran into the pocket queens of Alex Foxen, just moments after Foxen had spiked a gutshot to double up through Nawabi. The pocket pair held up and Nawabi was knocked out in seventh place ($35,208).

Alex Foxen was the short stack when the next key hand arose. With blinds of 80,000-160,000 and a big-blind ante of 160,000, Foxen raised to 680,000 as the first to act. Capretta called from the hijack and the flop brought the 10Diamond Suit8Diamond Suit2Heart Suit. Foxen shoved for 550,000 and Caprett called with AClub SuitJDiamond Suit. Foxen rolled over the JSpade Suit8Spade Suit for a leading pair of eights. The 10Club Suit on the turn kep him ahead, but the ADiamond Suit on the river gave Capretta the winning hand. Foxen earned $45,477 for his sixth-place showing. The score increased his career earnings to $17,395,831.

A preflop race determined the next player to be eliminated. Derek Gregory called all-in from the big blind facing a shove from Kristin Bicknell out of the small blind. Gregory held the QDiamond SuitJClub Suit, while Bicknell had 3Spade Suit3Diamond Suit. Gregory failed to improve and was knocked out in fifth place ($60,147).

Kristen Bicknell climbed into the chip lead early in four-handed action, while Mandavia had fallen to the bottom of the leaderboard. He found a double-up with pocket eights against Bicknell’s A-7 offsuit to give himself some breathing room. Bicknell, on the other hand, continued to see her stack dwindle as short-handed action continued. In the end, she got all-in with 5Heart Suit5Diamond Suit racing against the AClub SuitKClub Suit of Anselmo Villarreal. The board came down KDiamond Suit6Club Suit3Club Suit7Heart Suit10Diamond Suit and Villarreal’s pair of kings sent Bicknell home with $90,954 for her latest deep run, brought her career tournament earnings to $5,525,426.

Mandavia picked off a multi-street bluff from Villarreal to regain the lead during three-handed action. Villarreal was left quite short but doubled through Capretta to regain his footing. Not long after that hand, the two clashed again. With the flop showing AHeart SuitADiamond Suit9Heart Suit, Capretta made a bet of 1,000,00. Villarreal called and the turn brought the 3Spade Suit. Capretta moved all-in for 3,400,000. Villarreal made the call, having his opponent covered by a single 25,000 tournament chip. Villareal showed QHeart Suit9Heart Suit for aces and nines. Capretta had been making a move with KDiamond Suit10Club Suit. The river brought the 3Diamond Suit and Capretta was knocked out in third place, earning $132,030.

With that, Villarreal entered heads-up play with 13,855,000 to Mandavia’s 12,225,000. The two paused the action to discuss a deal. They ultimately agreed to redistribute the remaining prize pool, with Mandavia taking home $260,000 while Villarrael would earn $253,441. The two agreed to run a flip for the title, and Mandavia’s 10Club Suit8Club Suit beat out Villarreall’s ASpade Suit3Club Suit. The board came down QClub Suit7Heart Suit3Diamond Suit8Spade Suit10Heart Suit to give Mandavia two pair for the win.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Ankush Mandavia $260,000 1,260
2 Anselmo Villarreal $253,441 1,050
3 Timothy Capretta $132,030 840
4 Kristen Bicknell $90,954 630
5 Derek Gregory $60,147 525
6 Alex Foxen $45,477 420
7 Yosif Nawabi $35,208 315
8 Qing Liu $24,939 210

Anselmo Villarreal Finishes Second ($253,441)

Anselmo VillarrealThe final two players agreed on a deal that saw Ankush Mandavia lock up $260,000 while Anselmo Villarreal took home $253,441. Stay tuned for a complete recap of the day’s action.


Deal Discusssions

The final two players are currently discussing a possible deal.


Heads-Up Chip Counts

Anselmo Villarreal – 13,855,000
Ankush Mandavia – 12,225,000


Tim Capretta Eliminated In Third Place ($132,030)

Tim CaprettaShortly after Anselmo Villarreal and Tim Capretta clashed in the hand that doubled the former up, the two squared off again in another massive pot.

With a flop of AHeart SuitADiamond Suit9Heart Suit, Capretta bet 1,000,000 into an already sizable pot. Villarreal called and the turn brought the 3Spade Suit. Capretta moved all-in for 3,400,000. Villarreall made the call, having his opponent covered by a single 25,000 chip.

Villareal showed QHeart Suit9Heart Suit for aces and nines. Capretta was making a move with KDiamond Suit10Club Suit. The river brought the 3Diamond Suit and Capretta was knocked out in third place, earning $132,030 for his strong showing.

Player Tags: Timothy Capretta

Anselmo Villarreal Doubles Up Through Tim Capretta

Tim Capretta raised to 600,000 from the button and Anselmo Villarreal called from the big blind. The flop came down JClub Suit6Diamond Suit5Spade Suit and Villarreal checked. Capretta bet 2,000,000 and Villarreal moved all-in for just 100,000 more. Capretta called with KClub Suit8Club Suit. Villarreall had flopped top pair with JSpade Suit7Club Suit.

The turn was the 5Diamond Suit and the river the 4Spade Suit and Villarreal doubled up to over 5.4 million.


Ankush Mandavia Picks Off A Bluff From Anselmo Villarreal

With a flop of 9Spade Suit2Spade Suit2Heart Suit Ankush Mandavia checked and Anselmo Villarreal bet 725,000. Mandavia called and the turn brought the ADiamond Suit.

Mandavia checked again and Villarreal fired 1,050,000. Mandavia called another time and the 7Diamond Suit completed the board. Mandavia checked yet again and Villarreal bet 1,675,000.

Mandavia made a quick call and Villarreal revealed QSpade Suit8Club Suit for a bluff. Mandavia took down the pot with AHeart Suit10Heart Suit for aces and deuces with a ten kicker. He chipped up to 11.2 million while Villarreal fell to 3.9 million.


Kristin Bicknell Eliminated In Fourth Place ($90,954)

Kristen BicknellKristin Bicknell raised to 2,000,0000 from under the gun, leaving not much behind. Anselmo Villarreal announced that he was all-in on her left. The other players got out of the way and Bicknell called. She flipped up 5Heart Suit5Diamond Suit and was racing against the AClub SuitKClub Suit of Villarreal.

The board came down KDiamond Suit6Club Suit3Club Suit7Heart Suit10Diamond Suit and Villarreal made a winning pair of kings to eliminate Bicknell in fourth place. The three-time WSOP bracelet winner took home $90,954 for her latest deep run, bringing her career tournament earnings to more than $5.5 million.

Player Tags: Kristen Foxen

Level 34

Blinds are up to 125,000-250,000 with a big blind ante of 125,000 for level 34. The ante has been decreased to the size of the small blind with four or fewer players at the table.


Chip Count Uodate

After doubling up Mandavia, Bicknell has lost several medium-sized pots without showdown to fall to the bottom of the chip counts. Here’s a look at where things stand as the end of level 33 approaches.

Anselmo Villarreal: 9,900,000
Ankush Mandavia: 7,800,000
Tim Capretta: 4,800,000
Kristen Bicknell: 2,800,000

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