WSOPC New Orleans prelims under way

Jonathan Westra

With the WSOPC going full steam ahead in New Orleans, poker has never been more popular in the Big Easy.

WSOPC New Orleans, which kicked off last Friday, has already crowned six champions including Del Walker (Event 1), Andrew Kloc (Event 2), Jonathan Westra (Event 3), Mark Stevens Edwards (Event 4), Jason Gladden (Event 5) and Bobby Toye (Event 7).

Perhaps the most well-known player of that list is Jonathan Westra, who now has an impressive 16 major tournament cashes. The 22-year-old University of Florida student also won a WSOPC event in Tunica and placed 20th at the 2008 WPT Reno. His biggest score to date was coming in second at a $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas for $131,335.

Going into heads-up play Westra enjoyed a 5-1 chip advantage over Brian Walsingham, and it didn't take long to decide the winner. Walsingham was dealt pocket kings and that was more than enough for him to move all-in. Westra called with A-6, then spiked an ace on the turn, and the rest is history.

Westra received $29,385 for his first-place finish in New Orleans and has to be considered one of the better up-and-coming young players.

Also earning distinction during the last several events of the WSOPC New Orleans was Doug "Rico" Carli, who made the final table of Event 7. Although Carli exited the tournament eighth for a meager payday of $567, "Rico" continues to rack up all kinds of WSOPC records.

Carli now has a mind-boggling 33 cashes at WSOPC events and has also accumulated 19 final-table appearances. That's almost twice as many as his nearest rival. If the WSOPC awarded an MVP award there's a chance the wily poker veteran would have won it every single year.

Stay tuned to for more results from the WSOPC New Orleans and mark your calendars for May 15 when the $5,000 main event kicks off.'s live reporting crew will be on location in New Orleans bringing you our signature updates as the tournament transpires. Be there!

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