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WSOPC lands in Big Easy, six champs crowned
Making its first wintertime stop in New Orleans, the World Series of Poker Circuit rolled into Harrah's for the Winter Bayou Poker Challenge last Monday.
The numbers at the tables have been consistent, bringing out players who've met with success not only on the WSOPC but also in Las Vegas, participating in the "Big Show" at the Rio. The preliminary events have generated prize pools sometimes reaching over $100,000 and have crowned worthy champions.
In Event 1, 380 runners stepped to the line for the $300 No-Limit Hold'em event on Monday, amassing a $110,580 prize pool with a first-place prize of $34,280. A veteran of the southern swings for the WSOPC, Matthew Terral (who has cashed in two other stops on the WSOPC this year) took down the championship over a worthy field of contenders at the final table:
|1st||Matthew Terral||Shreveport, La.||$34,280|
|2nd||Wendell Welch||Baton Rouge, La.||$17,693|
|3rd||Bradley Soshes||Houston, Texas||$8,846|
|4th||Tuan Tran||Houston, Texas||$7,741|
|5th||Michael Nadeau||Clearwater, Fla.||$6,635|
|6th||Craig Andras||Thibodeaux, La.||$5,529|
|7th||Eric DeSoto||Luling, La.||$4,423|
|8th||Chean Chin||Kenner, La.||$3,317|
|9th||Gabe Costner||Albertville, Ala.||$2,212|
Tuesday upped the stakes as 224 players put up $500 for the No-Limit Hold'em event featuring the runner-up from this year's Bayou Poker Classic from May, Clint Schafer. Schafer used his finish at that tournament earlier this year to earn two cashes at the Rio this summer (including a 166th-place finish in the Main Event) and he also cashed in this event, albeit at the bottom of the pay scale in 25th place.
Phillip Sparta added to his jewelry collection by earning his second WSOPC ring this year (he also won a $500 event in the preliminary events during the May tournament), taking home the top prize of $34,765 out of the $108,640 prize pool. He was joined at the final table by the others also listed below:
|1st||Phillip Sparta||Fairfax, Va.||$34,765|
|2nd||Ryan Farrell||Kenner, La.||$19,121|
|3rd||Billy McBrayer||Duncanville, Ala.||$9,778|
|4th||Charlie Oliver||Baton Rouge, La.||$7,605|
|5th||Caywood Vanstratum||Cookeville, Tenn.||$6,518|
|6th||Tony Barchetti||Stateline, Nev.||$5,432|
|7th||Jeffrey Purpera||Baton Rouge, La.||$4,346|
|8th||Birol Lermi||New Orleans, La.||$3,259|
|9th||Anthony Taormina||Metairie, La.||$2,173|
Wednesday's event was another $500 No-Limit Hold'em tournament which drew a slightly smaller field due to the midweek date. The 187 players built a prize pool slightly under $100,000 ($90,695) and featured a couple of notable names.
World Series of Poker double bracelet winner Howard "Tahoe" Andrew was the first one to leave the final table and he was soon followed in seventh by Matthew Brady, who finished fifth in the $1,500 Six-Handed event this summer during the WSOP and also cashed in the Main Event.
In the end, Russ Floyd outlasted the field and captured the $29,385 first-place check and the prestigious WSOPC ring. The final table looked like this:
|1st||Russ Floyd||Austin, Texas||$29,385|
|2nd||Lam Luu||Harvey, La.||$15,418|
|3rd||Michael Prestonback||Des Allemands, La.||$9,070|
|4th||Andrew Becker||Chalmette, La.||$7,256|
|5th||John Short||Pearl River, La.||$5,442|
|6th||Richard Becker||Austin, Texas||$4,535|
|7th||Matthew Brady||Upper Darby, Penn.||$3,638|
|8th||Samuel Zurik||Metairie, La.||$2,721|
|9th||Howard Andrew||Walnut Creek||$1,814|
Event 4, a $300 No-Limit Hold'em tournament, once again faced the midweek challenge as it drew in 208 players, building a $60,528 prize pool. At the end of the evening of poker, Eddie Rayl walked away the top dog, earning $19,269.
Other finishers at the final table were:
|1st||Eddie Rayl||Fitzgerald, Ga.||$19,269|
|2nd||Bradley Oubre||Luling, La.||$10,653|
|3rd||Mark Eastman||Naples, Fla.||$5,448|
|4th||Dana Murse||Millbrook, Ala.||$4,237|
|5th||Joseph Strokes||Cocoa, Fla.||$3,632|
|6th||Richard Cannette||Biloxi, Mo.||$3,062|
|7th||Curtis Terry||Metairie, La.||$2,421|
|8th||Jeffrey Quin||Metairie, La.||$1,816|
|9th||Alan Hunter||Marietta, Ga.||$1,211|
Thursday brought 221 poker players to the felt for a $500 No Limit Hold'em tournament which was remarkable by the appearance of 2005 WSOP Limit Hold'em bracelet winner Dan Schmiech. Schmiech was able to wade through a large portion of the field but left the event in 13th place.
With the majority of the $107,185 going to the participants at the final table, Shane Turner staked his claim to the title and the championship ring awarded to the victors. Turner was able to beat the following players at the final table:
|1st||Shane Turner||Bushnell, Fla.||$34,299|
|2nd||Carl Giesse||Houston, Texas||$18,865|
|3rd||Jason Barnes||Orlando, Fla.||$9,647|
|4th||Gregory Aumann||Spring Hill, Fla.||$7,503|
|5th||Scott Beck||Carrollton, Texas||$6,431|
|6th||Mark Ellerbe||Richmond, Texas||$5,359|
|7th||Don Todd||Davie, Fla.||$4,287|
|8th||James Rush||Kerrville, Texas||$3,216|
|9th||James Digaetano||Port Orange, Fla.||$2,144|
On Friday, the 281 participants in the $300 No-Limit Hold'em tournament had the opportunity to divide up the $81,771 prize pool that was available. Twenty-seven players would get paid for their efforts and, in the end, it was Timothy Martin who survived the day to win the tournament and the $26,167 first-place check.
Martin was joined by the following players at the final table:
|1st||Timothy Martin||New Orleans, La.||$26,167|
|2nd||Khalid Dghalm||Lawrenceville, Ga.||$14,392|
|3rd||Dominic Tramonte||Wadsworth, Ohio||$7,359|
|4th||Freddie Burnsed||Kent, Wash.||$5,724|
|5th||Ronnie Bardah||Stoneham, Mass.||$4,906|
|6th||Andrew Hoechstetter||Houston, Texas||$4,089|
|7th||Charles Miller||Southaven, Mo.||$3,271|
|8th||James Bullard||Wills Point, Texas||$2,453|
|9th||Ryan Halsrud||New Orleans, La.||$1,635|
More action played out Saturday and even more will come today as the final event leading up to the main event takes place. Stay tuned to PokerListings.com for the final results and a preview of the $5,000 main event beginning Monday.