Harvey's Tahoe WSOPC Poker Tournament

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2008 Harvey's Tahoe WSOP Circuit Tournament

Harvey's Resort and Casino
November 8 - November 18, 2007

Event #1 No Limit Hold'Em Buy-In: $300 + $40
The buy in for the first event was $300 + $40 for the 484 players who entered. This made a prize pool of $140,844 that went to the top 45 finishers. What made this event interesting was the winner Huang To started the final table with 364,000 chips which made up 25% of all the chips in play, but had them whittled down so badly to where he was at a 11 to 1 disadvantage when the heads up started. But when play was underway, Johnny won his a number of all-ins to build up his stack again to where he was ahead by 3 to 1. On the final hand, Johnny won with two pair (8's and 6's) to take the championship title.

  1. Huang "Johnny" To -- $35,634
  2. Elmer Fulgencio -- $21,832
  3. Bob Medlyn Jr. -- $14,508
  4. Chris Lambert -- $9,719
  5. Ronald Matsuura -- $7,184
  6. "Brazilian Dan" Araujo -- $5,635
  7. Rich Orchid -- $4,225
  8. Bryan Powers -- $3,098
  9. Jake Thomas -- $2,253

Event #2 No-Limit Hold’em Buy-In: $500 + $50
There were 352 entrants who helped to build a prize pool of $170,720 on Saturday that was split up amongst the top 36 finishers. It was a two day event where 343 players were eliminated on Day 1, with the remaining 9 coming back the next day for the final table.

Play for the final table went pretty fast with the first player going out on the 4th hand and going downhill from there. Even the heads up only lasted 20 minutes. Both players went all in preflop with Black having pocket 5's and Weller showing A 10. The table featured Q 4 2 6 2, giving Black two pair and his first WSOP Circuit tournament championship.

  1. Merwick J. Black -- $44,477
  2. Baron Weller -- $26,888
  3. Tom Maser -- $18,011
  4. Thomas Anderson -- $12,121
  5. Steve Saatout -- $9,048
  6. Jim Verdi -- $7,170
  7. Joey Odem -- $5,378
  8. Mason White -- $4,012
  9. Kirk Ray -- $2,902

Event #3 No-Limit Hold’em Buy-In: $1,000 + $60
A total of 114 players helped to build a $110,580 prize pool that went to the top 18 in the field.

  1. Sinh Nguyen -- $33,228
  2. Thomas Hover -- $19,462
  3. J.T. Anderson -- $13,380
  4. Renea Mahaffey -- $9,289
  5. Ron Matsuura -- $7,022
  6. Stuart Spears -- $5,418
  7. Bob Bone -- $4,313
  8. Joshua Roberts -- $3,207
  9. Dan Stephens -- $2,322

Event #4 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship Buy-In: $200 + $30
A record crowd of 156 women turned out for the Ladies Poker Championship at this year’s World Series of Poker Circuit stop at the Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Casino and Resort. And a resulting prize pool of $30,264 split between the top 18 finishers was the result. The 2007 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Ladies Champion is Barbara Brown Harney. Tournament play began promptly at 2 pm. By half past midnight, Ms. Harney had every single chip in the tournament in her stack and received hearty congratulations from her opponents and a large crowd of spectators gathered around the final table on the second floor of the casino.

Heads-up play lasted for about twenty minutes. The tournament came to an abrupt end when Terri Solis’ J-10 was busted by Ms. Harney’s K-J. Neither player made a pair, but Ms. Harney held higher cards – and won. Terri Solis, a cook from Michigan, earned $5,326. Remarkably, at one point in the tournament she was down to a single $25 chip. She staged an amazing comeback and collected over five-grand in what was clearly the sentimental story of the day.

  1. Barbara Brown -- $9,094
  2. Terri Solis -- $5,326
  3. Nancy Campos -- $3,662
  4. Sally Royce -- $2,542
  5. Karie Nelson -- $1,922
  6. Ronda Cook -- $1,483
  7. Julie Parker -- $1,180
  8. Lori Fields -- $877
  9. Yvette Mongkolvares -- $635

Event #5 No-Limit Hold’em Buy-In: $300 + $40

Number of Entries: 365
Total Prize Money: $106,215

Report courtesy of World Series of Poker

When Todd Williamson first sat down at the final table of the fifth event at this year’s World Series of Poker Circuit, played at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe, he had to realize the formidable challenge that lay ahead. Down to just 35,500 in chips, he looked across the felt and saw the chip leader with 401,000, which amounted to more than a 10-1 chip lead. Not only that, but there were seven other players at the table, each competing for what would be a first victory at a WSOP-related event. No one could have foreseen that just three hours later, Williamson would hold every chip in the tournament, while his opponents were left wondering what might have been. Williamson dominated play throughout and won key hands at the right moment, which catapulted the 25-year-old college student to his biggest cash ever in poker. He collected $27,666 for first place.

When the heads-up duel began, Williamson enjoyed a 4 to 1 chip lead over Steve Dodson. The players discussed a financial settlement away from the table, and whatever happened didn’t prevent a dramatic final hand from taking place which ended the tournament. On the very first hand of two-handed play, Williamson moved all-in with A-7. He was called quickly by Dodson, holding 3-3. On the turn, the board showed 9-5-4-3. That meant Dodson had trip threes. But Williamson had eight outs with two inside straight draws (i.e., he could win with either a 2 or a 6). Wham! A six fell on the river, making a straight for Williamson, to go with the seven in his hand. The crowd cheered. The players shook hands. The tournament was over. Steve Dodson, who was playing in just his third tournament ever, cashed for the second time here at Lake Tahoe. He finished in 10th place in the $1,060 buy-in event two days ago. The 29-year-old poker player, who is also currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, collected $16,729 as the runner up.

  1. Todd Williamson -- $27,666
  2. Stephen Dodson -- $16,729
  3. Marc Mestrovich -- $11,206
  4. Craig Dixon -- $7,541
  5. Kathy Fowler -- $5,629
  6. Jason Baldwin -- $4,461
  7. Matthew R. Simpson -- $3,346
  8. Ken Daniels -- $2,496
  9. Drew Farrar -- $1,221

Event #6 No-Limit Hold’em Buy-In: $500 + $50

Number of Entries: 163
Total Prize Money: $79,055

Report coutesy of the World Series of Poker

Dan Webster has a life that many people would envy. He is a 66-year-old part-owner of a successful winery in Napa Valley. He also owns two gourmet restaurants in his home city of San Francisco. And now, Mr. Webster has won a major tournament on the World Series of Poker Circuit. It just goes to show, the rich get richer.

Webster played marvelous poker over a two days period. The $550 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament – part of this fall’s WSOP Circuit on the south shores of beautiful Lake Tahoe -- began on Tuesday and concluded on the following day. After 154 players were eliminated over the first 11 hours, nine survivors returned the following afternoon to battle for the championship at the final table which was played out on the second floor at the Harvey’s Casino and Resort. From the onset, Michael Klayer stood out as the player to beat, with a hefty chip lead of 178,000 -- to 132,500 for Becky Billeci in second place. She was vying to become the first female ever to win an open event in the four year history of the WSOPC at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe. The eventual winner, Mr. Webster started off in fourth place. All the other players had less than 70,000 in chips.

When heads-up play commenced (between Dan Webster and Jeremy Joseph), the chip counts were about even. The two rivals continued to battle for half an hour before the final decisive hand was played. After Mr. Webster gained the chip lead he won the final hand of the night with an A-4 against Joseph’s Q-J. Neither player made a pair, so Mr. Webster’s ace-high played. The runner up was Jeremy Joseph, from Buffalo, NY. The 22-year-old poker player also cashed in the 2007 WSOP main event. Second place paid $13,914.

  1. Dan Webster -- $23,752
  2. Jeremy Joseph -- $13,914
  3. Jason Reed -- $9,566
  4. Becky Billeci -- $6,641
  5. Michael Klayer -- $5,020
  6. Darin Honorof -- $3,874
  7. Dan Chung -- $3,083
  8. Tony Barchetti -- $2,293
  9. Jared Frank -- $1,660

Event #7 H.O.R.S.E. Buy-In: $500 + $50

Number of Entries: 91
Total Prize Money: $44,135

Report courtesy of World Series of Poker

Ever since the World Series of Poker instituted a $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event two years ago, player interest in multi-game tournaments has increased dramatically. Many players recognize that the supreme test of all-around poker skill is perhaps best demonstrated in a mixture of games. Indeed, H.O.R.S.E. is an acronym for the five most popular casino poker games played in rotation – hold’em, Omaha, razz, seven-card stud, and eight-or-better.

For the first time, this year’s World Series of Poker Circuit at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe featured a H.O.R.S.E. competition. The turnout was even stronger than anticipated. Despite a mid-week start following Veterans Day, 91 players each paid a $500 entry fee to compete for the H.O.R.S.E. championship. In fact, an event that was expected to last a single day was played instead over two days, lasting a total of nearly 22 hours.

The winner of Lake Tahoe’s 2007 H.O.R.S.E. championship was Marc "Myst" Karam. He is 27-year-old and lives in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, Ontario. Mr. Karam was a college student up until a few years ago, when he decided to play poker for a living. He also does freelance web design part-time.

  1. Marc "Myst" Karam -- $11,916
  2. Jeff Welch -- $6,804
  3. Heath Powers -- $4,413
  4. Paul "Eskimo" Clark -- $3,641
  5. David Bockhold -- $2,979
  6. David Hurley -- $2,427
  7. Travis Atkins -- $1,986
  8. Mary Melton -- $1,545
  9. Doug Englekirk -- $1,214

Event #8 No-Limit Hold’em Buy-In: $1,000 + $60

Number of Entries: 62
Total Prize Money: $50,140

Report courtesy of the World Series of Poker

The eighth event on this year’s World Series of Poker Circuit at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe attracted a more modest-sized field, after a week filled with big tournaments. The $1,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em championship drew 62 players, competing for a total prize pool of $50,140. The top nine players were paid.

The winner was John Murphy, from Danville, CA. He is a 25-year-old professional who has been playing poker seriously since he finished in 13th place at the World Series of Poker championship event back in 2004. He has also won events at the Mirage Poker Showdown and the L.A. Poker Classic. This was his first WSOP-related victory. First place paid $21,379.

  1. John Murphy -- $21,379
  2. Paul L. Kobel -- $11,429
  3. Michael Kinney -- $7,998
  4. Rick "Duff" Defer -- $5,654
  5. Joel Monteith -- $4,330
  6. Chris Braun -- $3,428
  7. Dan Alspach -- $2,647
  8. Mark Pritchett -- $1,924
  9. David Rudolph -- $1,354

Event #9 No-Limit Hold’em Buy-In: $500 + $50

Number of Entries: 135
Total Prize Money: $65,475

Report coutesy of the World Series of Poker

The winner was Evan Schwartz from Oakland, CA. First place paid $19,675. This was Mr. Schwartz’ second straight year to win an event on the WSOP Circuit at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe. Last year, he won the $1,000 buy-in hold’em championship. Schwartz also finished in fourth place in a $2,000 buy-in hold’em event at this year’s World Series of Poker held in Las Vegas. He collected $164,907 for that finish. With today’s victory, Mr. Schwartz has now won over $200,000 in poker tournaments.

Since this year’s tournament series began a week ago, the poker room and tournament area has been standing-room only. What tables were not used in tournament play have been filled to capacity with cash games. In response to player demand, an 11th event has been added to the WSOP Circuit schedule at Harvey’s. On November 18th, starting at 1 pm a $200 buy-in no-limit hold’em event will be offered.

  1. Evan Schwartz -- $19,675
  2. Steve Dodson -- $11,523
  3. Jason Stern -- $7,922
  4. Jason Southwell -- $5,499
  5. Rob Schubert -- $4,157
  6. Hai Leu -- $3,208
  7. Steve "Chuck" Lamar -- $2,553
  8. Brandon Burnsed -- $1,898
  9. Darren K. Bortmas -- $1,375

Event #10 No-Limit Hold’em Championship Event Buy-In: $5,000 + $150

Number of Entries: 142
Total Prize Money: $677,700

Report courtesy of the World Series of Poker

The $5,000 buy-in championship event which began today at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe ensured that this year will be the largest overall turnout of the four World Series of Poker Circuits ever held in Northern Nevada. Today’s main event attracted 142 players, creating a total prize pool of $677,700. Through the first ten events so far at this year’s tournament series, attendance at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe amounts to a record 2,064 players, with one more event still to be played.

  1. $203,649
  2. $119,276
  3. $82,002
  4. $56,928
  5. $43,035
  6. $33,208
  7. $26,431
  8. $19,653
  9. $14,231
Top Players with chip counts for Day 1:
  1. Kevin Vanderbeek -- 88,000
  2. Aaron Kanter -- 77,000
  3. Vic Campana -- 76,500
  4. Dustin Fox -- 75,100
  5. Chris "Jesus" Ferguson -- 63,300
  6. Matthew Beisner -- 61,800
  7. Dennis A. Lane -- 60,000
  8. NA -- 56,300
  9. Sinh Nguyen -- 46,700

Event #10 No-Limit Hold’em Championship Event Buy-In: $5,000 + $150 Final Table

Report courtesy of the World Series of Poker

There were many firsts at the Harvey’s Lake Tahoe World Series of Poker championship, which concluded on November 18th. First and foremost, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, one of the world’s most electrifying poker personalities and accomplished tournament players became the first person ever to win three WSOP Circuit championship events. He now owns three gold rings, each symbolizing a Circuit triumph, to go with his five gold bracelets won for World Series of Poker excellence. The way Ferguson is playing – between all his rings and bracelets -- pretty soon he is going to be able to open up a jewelry store.

There were also firsts in the way Ferguson accomplished his feat. The 44-year-old tournament pro played near-flawless poker and then caught two monster hands in the closing minutes to shatter the dreams of a would-be "David" in his quest to slay one of poker’s true "Goliaths." Heads up play featured a 25-year-old local man named Dustin Fox, playing against the former world champion. It took just one hand for Ferguson to drag the final pot of the tournament, holding a set of tens over Fox’s pocket aces, which brought a packed house to its feet and ended the Lake Tahoe championship in dramatic fashion.

(The first seven players were eliminated pretty quickly -- Just Gamble For Free insert.) Before anyone had a chance to catch their breaths, the final hand of the tournament was dealt out, which left everyone in absolute shock. When heads-up play began, Ferguson was ahead about 3 to 2 in chips. Incredibly, Ferguson hit back-to-back sets on the final two hands of the tournament and demolished what was left of Fox’s chips. The thrilling finale hand started off when Fox raised 36,000 pre-flop with pocket aces. Ferguson re-raised and made it 90,000 to go with pocket tens. Fox, in what might have been a sly move under different circumstances, simply called – perhaps leading Ferguson to believe he held the best hand. When the flop came 10-7-2, Ferguson checked and Fox bet out with 100,000. Ferguson called. The turn brought a king, and Ferguson checked. Fox moved all-in and Ferguson smiled like a hunter catching his prey. The trap was shut and an ace failed to rescue Fox from disaster. Ferguson raised his arms in the air, and Fox dejectedly walked away as the most disappointed $119,000 man in America. A warm ovation from his hometown family and friends made the runner-up finish seem a little easier.

  1. Chris "Jesus" Ferguson -- $203,649
  2. Dustin Fox -- $119,276
  3. Mark Bonsack -- $82,002
  4. "Vesty" Geoghegan Mulligar -- $56,928
  5. Gabriel Testa -- $43,035
  6. Michael Banducci -- $33,208
  7. George Saca -- $26,431
  8. Frank Lee -- $19,653
  9. Travis Erdman -- $14,231

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