Four more champions crowned in Oklahoma

Noah Nodine
Noah Nodine nabs SNPC IV victory.

Poker players continued their march toward the $5,000 championship event at the Scotty Nguyen Poker Challenge by crowning four more champions in preliminary action over the last few days.

Friday, it was the $300 No-Limit Hold'em tournament that brought players to the felt to battle for the title and a cruise for the winner. With 235 contenders stepping up to take on the challenge, a prize pool of $63,000 built up, to be divided among the top 27 players in the event.

Making the final table was Eric Crain. He had already captured one of the earlier championships at the SNPC, but on this day he gave a key double-up to the eventual champion, Noah Nodine of Norman, Okla.

"The table was very aggressive," Nodine noted after winning the tournament, the cruise and the $20,160 top prize. "I just tried to pick my spots."

In picking those spots accurately, Nodine took the title. The top nine finishers were as follows:

Place Name Hometown Prize
1st Noah Nodine Norman, Okla. $20,160
2nd Scott Linsenmeyer Stillwater, Okla. $11,088
3rd Eric Crain Murphysboro, Ill. $5,670
4th Phil Elzio Chickasa, Okla. $4,410
5th Bill Barton Springfield, Mo. $3,780
6th Henry Fugate Duncan, Okla. $3,150
7th Dough Rust Cypress, Texas $2,520
8th M. Mitchener Bonner Springs, Kan. $1,890
9th Louis Lee Plano, Texas $1,260

Jason Romberg
Romberg rocks the $200 Apollo's No-Limit Bounty event.

Friday also saw action in the $200 Apollo's No-Limit Bounty Tournament, where 240 rounders attempted to take down as many players as possible along with the $14,588 paycheck for first place.

While 28 players were able to partake in the largesse of the tournament, it was Jason Romberger who was the eventual champion over this final table:

Place Name Prize
1st Jason Romberger $14,588
2nd Steve Rejda $8,026
3rd Nicholas Rosenberger $4,104
4th Nicole Williams $3,192
5th Chance Langeness $2,736
6th Justin Barclay $2,280
7th Darrell Evans $1,824
8th Gary Starnes $1,368
9th Tracy Hibert $912

Bob Menn
Menn masters the H.O.R.S.E. event.

Sunday was a day for the mixed gamers and the ladies to take their turn at the tables with $300 H.O.R.S.E. taking the stage first. More than 150 players entered the tournament, building a prize pool of $44,080 that would be paid out to the top 16 players.

Admitted neophyte Bob Menn of Piedmont, Okla. would be the ultimate survivor, taking the $14,329 first-place prize and the trophy.

"I came down for the weekend and just decided to enroll," Menn said. "I'm new to some of the games and made many mistakes. I just was lucky that they paid off!"

With Menn at the pinnacle, the final table played out thusly:

Place Name Hometown Prize
1st Bob Menn Piedmont, Okla. $14,329
2nd Terry Barron Tulsa, Okla. $7,934
3rd Michael Hunt DeQueen, Ark. $4,849
4th Barry London McAllen, Texas $3,526
5th Eric Napoleon Austin, Texas $2,865
6th Andy Alina Hernando, Miss. $2,204
7th Rodney Bridge Waxahachie, Texas $1,763
8th John Hill Wichita, Kan. $1,322

Laresa Raney
Raney reigns supreme in ladies event.

The Ladies Poker Association (LPA) came to the felt on Sunday evening for one of the stops on its current tour. The $500 buy-in Ladies' No-Limit Hold'em tournament brought 59 women out for the championship chase and crowned Laresa Raney as the victor.

While picking up her $9,385 first-place prize, she disclosed that her mother, Judy, has also done very well in the LPA, finishing fourth in the last LPA event in August.

"My mom is my favorite poker celebrity!" Laresa said. "She is also my greatest influence."

The estrogen-heavy final table looked like this:

Place Name Hometown Prize
1st Laresa Raney Broken Arrow, Okla. $9,385
2nd Shelly Hollis Pamona, Mo. $5,397
3rd Judi Glidewell Amarillo, Texas $2,816
4th Rina Oh Dallas, Texas $1,643
5th Ruth Hall Round Rock, Texas $1,291
6th Cheryl Baugur Siloam Springs, Okla. $1,056
7th Leslie Hollaway Bartlesville, Okla. $821
8th Shirley Dennis Tulsa, Okla. $587
9th Dina Rylander Collierville, Tenn. $469

Poker Manager Jimmie Sims summed up the event by saying, "This was a great tournament. We love to support the ladies by having these events."

Many returning players were Cherokee regulars.

"Our local women players are perfect for the LPA. They are definitely serious women playing serious poker!" Sims said.

The next LPA stop is the Bicycle Casino in California in February 2008 during the L. A. Poker Classic Ladies Event.

With less than a week to go in the Challenge, the large-money events are looming on the horizon. On Wednesday, players will put up $1,000 each for the No-Limit Hold'em event, and Friday will see the start of the $2,000 No-Limit Hold'em tournament.

In addition to those events, a $500 Pot-Limit Omaha with re-buys tournament takes place on Thursday. That and other heated tournament and satellite action will take us up to the start of the $5,000 championship event on Sunday.

Poker professional Scotty Nguyen and several other professionals will be on hand for that tournament, ready to take on the best the Midwest has to offer in the Scotty Nguyen Poker Challenge IV.

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