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Cards in the air at WSOPC Lake Tahoe
The two opening events of the 2007 World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Lake Tahoe have been decided. Hoang "Johnny" To won Event 1, $300 No-Limit Hold'em, after being down 11-1 in chips when the heads-up match against Elmer Fulgencio started.
A nearly record-breaking 484 players entered the event. Only the very first WSOPC event in the 2005 inaugural season - a $220 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em event - attracted more entries. That competition drew 542 rounders to the felt.
Champion-to-be Johnny To experienced a real roller-coaster ride at the end of the tournament.
He came to the final table as chip leader, only to see those chips gradually disappear and be divided among his eight opponents.
When the battle for the title and the $35,634 first prize started, things looked hopeless for To, but he managed to stage an amazing comeback, and won the tournament. Runner-up Elmer Fulgencio received $21,832 for his efforts.
In Event 2, $500 No-Limit Texas Hold'em, Merwick J. Black won the title and $44,477 in prize money.
The 67-yeard-old from Pollack Pines, Calif., made his way through a 352 -strong starting field, before finally defeating Baron Weller heads-up.
In the final hand of the WSOPC tournament, Black's pocket fives held up all the way against Weller's A-T.
Weller received $26,888 for his second-place finish.
The main event of the 2007 WSOPC Lake Tahoe starts on Nov. 16, and is a three-day $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em tournament. Last year, Scott Arents won the title and $196,005 in prize money.