Peter Feldman, a 28-year-old poker player from Michigan, beat Canadian pro Gavin Smith at the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Bayou Poker Challenge at Harrah's New Orleans yesterday. Feldman defeated a field of 169 players to take first place in the No-Limit Hold'em Championship Event.
After four hours of heads-up play, Feldman executed a surprising comeback, defeating Smith and collecting $532,950, a WSOPC gold and diamond championship ring, and a $25,000 seat to the 2006 Tournament of Champions next month in Las Vegas, where first prize will be $1 million.
Feldman, who recently left his job with his family's business to take poker more seriously, said his heads-up play with Gavin Smith was "a real battle," and praised Gavin for his skill. "Gavin is such a great player. I got lucky on that one hand and won it."
Smith earned $293,930 for his second place finish. He's never won a WSOPC event, and was visibly disappointed with his runner up status. "I'm never satisfied with second," he said. "I'm disappointed..."
Despite his dissatisfaction, Smith had kind words to say about his opponent. "I thought he played fantastic. He was patient and played heads-up very well."
The $10,000 Bayou Poker Challenge offered a total prize pool of $1,615,000. Aside from Gavin Smith, pros that finished in the money included David Singer and Phil Ivey. A total of 18 players were paid out. Final table play lasted until well past 2 a.m.
Final table results are as follows:
Please see www.worldseriesofpoker.com for further details.