Nguyen Poker Challenge begins in Oklahoma

Jason and Lynda Mitchell
Jason and Lynda Mitchell win the first event of the Scotty Nguyen Poker Challenge IV.

The Scotty Nguyen Poker Challenge IV got underway Nov. 1, staring what is nearly a month-long series of poker events at the Cherokee Casino Resort in Catoosa, Okla.

The first event was the Jack and Jill tournament which had couples battling it out at the poker tables. With a $100+$20 buy-in, 305 teams signed up to create a $27,450 prize pool.

The top team turned out to be Jason and Lynda Mitchell from Broken Arrow, Okla. They won $8,502 for first place.

"We've had so much fun. This is just great!" said Lynda after they won the event.

The top nine teams from the event were:

Place Name Prize
1st Lynda and Jason Mitchell $8,502
2nd Derick Fultz
Molly Bixler
3rd Leonard Harey
Karen Winston
4th Sandy Blanchard
Isaac Henson
5th Mike Fletcher
Connie Wolf
6th Sue Smith
Jeremy Freeman
7th A.G. Rose
Sotsay Loyha
8th Jill Donovan
John McMahan
9th Daniel and Michelle Hughes $549

Edward Lackey
Edward Lackey looking at victory.

No-Limit Hold'em was on the menu for 311 players on Friday's first event as well. They paid $200+$30 for the 11 a.m. event of the tournament, creating a $53,940 prize pool.

The beneficiary of the top prize of $16,717 was Edward Lackey, from Union, Miss.

"I'm tired and excited at the same time," Lackey said after his win. "Now I can play in the championship event."

The top nine players in the event were:

Place Name Prize
1st Edward Lackey $16,717
2nd Steve Boyle $8,630
3rd Gary Luwdgrew $4,315
4th Charles Tarver $3,776
5th Stephen Vuylstere $3,236
6th Stephen Harris $2,697
7th Doug Brown $2,158
8th Densil Mills $1,618
9th Mark Poe $1,079

The second event of the day on Friday was a $100+$20 No-Limit Hold'em event that saw 531 registered players.

Scott Shearer
Scott Shearer wins $13,886.

The resulting $46,507 prize pool meant a $13,886 payday for the top player. Plus that put the total so far after three events at 1,452 entrants, a number on track to surpass the casino's expectations for the tournament.

Among those entrants was Scott Shearer, from Bryant, Ark., who picked up the win.

"I'm happy and ready to play some more cards," Shearer said after his win. "I'm glad I didn't chop earlier. This is much better."

The top nine players in the event were:

Place Name Prize
1st Scott Shearer $13,886
2nd Rodney Spriggs $7,312
3rd Joe Ferguson $3,823
4th Andrew Watson $3,345
5th Mark Allard $2,867
6th Jahir Mejia $2,390
7th Steve Fleming $1,912
8th Tim Copp $1,434
9th Michael Taylor $956

Charles Walker
Walking away with a win.

Saturday's events kicked off with the 11 a.m. $300+$30 No-Limit Texas Hold'em event. There were 343 entrants in the event, creating a $94,320 prize pool and nearly $30,000 for the top player.

It was a man from Humboldt, Kan., who walked away with the victory. Charles "C.W." Walker went all-in on 22 out of 101 hands during heads-up play and earned a $29,240 payday.

"Heads-up, that's my game. I was aggressive," Walker said. "I'm going to go home and get some rest, but I will be back for sure."

The top nine players from the event were:

Place Name Prize
1st Charles Walker $29,240
2nd Dennis Otto $15,091
3rd Todd Hoyt $7,546
4th Mark Jackson $6,602
5th Randy Newell $5,659
6th Chase Rowe $4,716
7th Matt Newcombe $3,773
8th Trey Rabon $2,830
9th Don Powers $1,886

Lee Ann Hammond
Girl power!

Saturday's 6 p.m. game saw 304 players pay up the $200+$30 to play, but only one would pocket the biggest chunk of the $57,760 prize pool.

In this case it was Lee Ann Hammond, of Farmersville, Texas. As she raked in the final chips she said, "My kids are going to have a good Christmas!"

That's certainly true with the $17,901 she takes home for the win.

The top nine at the event were:

Place Name Prize
1st Lee Ann Hammond $17,901
2nd Kao Vang $9,242
3rd Jeff Kastens $4,621
4th Stephen Vuylstere $4,043
5th Jared Bashears $3,466
6th Michael Hopkins $2,888
7th Robby Bell $2,310
8th Charles Gibbs Jr. $1,733
9th Larry Ramsey $1,155

Mark Hilliard
Mark Hilliard makes his mark in Oklahoma.

Sunday's 6 p.m. event saw 340 people enter into the $100+$20 No-Limit Hold'em tournament. Several hours later a 12-person chop saw Mark "Brian" Hilliard taking home the win.

They all settled on a chop for $2,186 each, and many of the players plan to use their winnings for upcoming tournaments.

"I think we were all happy we made the money," Hilliard said.

The top nine players were:

  1. Mark Hilliard
  2. Leann Lay
  3. Donald Shook
  4. Lovay Aamer
  5. Ivan Collett
  6. Todd Burrows
  7. Stephen McGuire
  8. David Alexandre
  9. John Sayre

"We're off to a great start. More teams enrolled in this Jack & Jill event than the last one," said Tournament Director Jimmie Sommerfield. "The outlook is good and everything is in place for a wonderful tournament series!"

Related Article: Scotty Nguyen Poker Challenge IV Begins Nov. 1

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