Team Cincinnati wins the U.S. PokerBowl

Steve Dannenmann
Steve Dannenmann - one of the U.S. PokerBowl champions.

The inaugural U.S. PokerBowl final was decided at the Palms casino in Las Vegas Tuesday night. Team Cincinnati won the prestigious team tournament and walked away with $600,000.

The following five teams, out of 25 that started, had qualified for the 2007 U.S. PokerBowl final:

Team Cincinnati: Steve Zoine, Vinny Napolitano, Chip Jett, Jon Friedberg, Shannon Pendergrast, Joe Hill

Cincinnati got off to a rough start, losing two of their top players, Steve Dannenmann and Ari Goldstein, at an early stage, but the other members of the team kept fighting.

Steve Kingsley and Vinny Napolitano were the most successful Cincinnati players, reaching the final table along with Rick Fuller and Scotty Nguyen from Detroit; John Kim and Allen Kessler from St. Louis; Joe Hill and Jon Friedberg from New Jersey; and Brandon Adams from Team Hollywood.

Kingsley, however, was knocked out in eighth place, leaving Napolitano to defend his city's honor all by himself. He managed to double-up right after Kingsley's departure and thus kept Cincinnati's hopes of winning the PokerBowl alive.

Napolitano took command of the tournament with five players left. First, he doubled-up against Scotty Nguyen, and followed that up by busting out John Kim and Nguyen in fourth and third place respectively.

When the heads-up match against Allen Kessler started, Napolitano had a big chip lead, and it only took one hand to seal the deal.

Napolitano moved all-in with A-K and was called by Kessler who had K-J. Two aces came on the flop, and even though Kessler picked up a flush draw on the turn, it wasn't to be for the St. Louis player.

Napolitano won the hand, and Team Cincinnati had taken the 2007 U.S. PokerBowl. The top spot was worth $600,000, while second to fifth places paid out $100,000 each.

Final-table results from the 2007 U.S. PokerBowl:

Place Name Team Prize
1st Vinny Napolitano Cincinnati $600,000
2nd Allen Kessler St. Louis $100,000
3rd Scotty Nguyen Detroit $100,000
4th John Kim St. Louis $100,000
5th Rick Fuller Detroit $100,000
6th Brandon Adams Hollywood $0
7th Joe Hill New Jersey $0
8th Steve Kingsley Cincinnati $0
9th Jon Friedberg New Jersey $0

Related Article: Inaugural PokerBowl Starts in Las Vegas

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