North American Poker Championships

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North American Poker Championships
WPT Season 7

Niagara Fallsview Resort Casino
October 10 - 16, 2008

WPT North American Poker Championships -- Day 1A

There were 125 players that gave up $10000 Canadian for the entry fee to this WPT tournament. All players began with a nice 30,000 in chips and played for five levels. Names in the field include Erik Seidel, Gavin Smith, Kofi Farkye, Roy Winston, Bill Gazes, Matt Keikoan and Joe Sebok.

Those who did not make the cut include Shaun Deeb, Nenad Medic, Quinn Do, Chad Brown, Cory Carroll and 2008 WSOP Main Event champion Annette Obrestad who busted out on the very last hand of the night. At the end of the day 1A, there were 72 survivors that will take a break for a couple of days to let the Day 1B and 1C complete. Here are the top 6 finishers for Day 1A:
  1. J.C. Tran -- 159,300 chips
  2. John Mori -- 127,600 chips
  3. Christian Harder -- 125,400 chips
  4. Dario D'Agostino -- 123,400 chips
  5. Brian England -- 122,000 chips
  6. Matt Matros -- 106,900 chips
WPT North American Poker Championships -- Day 1B

With the addition of 165 players for Day 1B, the total field grew to 288 in size. All players paid $10,000 Canadian dollars to get in the tournament. Faces in the field today include Barry Greenstein, Steve Brecher, Vanessa Rousso, John Cernuto, Noah Schwartz, Dan Heimiller, Jamie Rosen, Lee Markholt, Theo Tran and Marc Karam.

Prize pool information will be released soon as there are plans to have a Day 1C which will end Day 1 action. Here are the top 6 with chip counts:
  1. Jamie Rosen -- 196,300 chips
  2. John Hoellein -- 143,400 chips
  3. Lee Markholt -- 128,000 chips
  4. Xuan-Tien Nguyen -- 111,000 chips
  5. Pat Pezzin -- 107,500 chips
  6. Joshua Norris -- 105,000 chips

WPT North American Poker Championships -- Day 1C

Now that the third part of the Day 1 has been completed, there were officially 454 players that entered. The last Day 1 field consisted of 166 entrants which included Canadian player Daniel Negreanu. Daniel was one of the talented who survived Day 1C along with Chau Giang, Kathy Liebert, Steve Sung, Bill Edler, Mike Watson, Steve Paul-Ambrose and John Phan.

But some players did not fair as well as the forementioned. Today's list of the fallen include Ted Lawson, John Juanda, Allen Kessler, David "The Dragon" Pham, Carlos Mortensen, Nick Schulman and Erick Lindgren. When the dust settled and the count was checked, there will be 275 that will take another step towards becoming the next WPT champion on Day 2 of this tournament.

  1. Darus Suharto -- 188,000
  2. Stephen Chidwick -- 165,700
  3. Kenan Zhang -- 155,800
  4. Steve Paul-Ambrose -- 136,900
  5. Dashmir Zyli -- 136,900
  6. Erik Cajelais -- 109,800

WPT North American Poker Championships -- Day 2

The prize pool grew to $4,374,475 million and will be divided between the top 45 finishers. Here are the payouts for the final table:

  1. $1,250,352 CAD
  2. $612,427 CAD
  3. $319,337 CAD
  4. $262,469 CAD
  5. $196,851 CAD
  6. $153,107 CAD
The goal of the day was to play 5 levels and narrow the field down to 99 from the 275 that survived Day 1A, 1B and 1C. Some who survived the process of elimination were Darus Suharto, Erik Seidel, Barry Greenstein, Lee Markholt, Will Failla, Sorel Mizzi, J.C. Tran and Joe Sebok. Play was very quick today as play ended after just a few hours. Here are the top 6 players with chip counts:
  1. Gavin Smith -- 405,900
  2. Matt Matros -- 383,800
  3. Vivek Rajkumar -- 342,100
  4. Ryan Fischler -- 327,500
  5. Robert Cheung -- 316,100
  6. Mark Zajdner -- 312,000

WPT North American Poker Championships -- Day 3

The field of 99 players took to the tables and soon saw the money bubble burst at player 46 who was professional player Steve Sung. And at warp speed, players were going out of the tournament to the cashier's cage for their money as they were eliminated. Some who did not survive were Barry Greenstein, Lee Markholt, J.C. Tran, Sorel Mizzi, Joe Sebok, Steve Paul-Ambrose, Robert Cheung and WSOP Main Event player in November Darus Suharto.

The buzz in this tournament is that chip leader Vivek Rajkumar who won the Borgata Poker Open recently, is positioning himself for a back to back WPT title win. With over 1 million chips at this point, if he should win he would be the first player to ever accomplish such a feat. And another $1 million + payday would also make him very happy.

  1. Vivek Rajkumar -- 1,080,000 chips
  2. Gavin Smith -- 979,000 chips
  3. Matt Matros -- 943,000 chips
  4. Kathy Liebert -- 879,000 chips
  5. Erik Seidel -- 851,000 chips

WPT North American Poker Championships -- Day 4

The 27 survivors sat down for another round of play to see who would make the final table. While 6 were happy to make the televised championship, many were not. Such as John "Miami" Cernuto who busted in 27th place, Erik Seidel who wanted to win his second WPT title, John Phan and also Matt Matros who had his pocket Kings cracked by Gavin Smith. But the heartbreaker came when Vivek Rajkumar moved all-in preflop with pocket A's, only to have them cracked by Marc Karam who ended up with a diamond flush, sending the 22 year old pro player to the sidelines.

Those who did make the table will provide great entertainment for Texas Hold'Em fans. Final table players Kathy Liebert and Gavin Smith are both looking for their second WPT title. Here are all the players names with chip counts:

  1. Glen Witmer -- 3,710,000
  2. Gavin Smith -- 2,815,000
  3. Ryan Fisler -- 2,285,000
  4. Marc Karam -- 1,850,000
  5. Kathy Liebert -- 1,620,000
  6. James Trenholm -- 1,365,000

WPT North American Poker Championships -- Final Table

At 4:00 pm, the final table began for the final 6 players, with blinds at 15,000/30,000 with a 5,000 ante. James Trenholm finished in 6th place after his all-in move with pocket 7's was overcome by the pocket K's of Gavin Smith. Fifth place went to Marc Karam after his push to the center with pocket Q's met with the paired Aces of Glen Witmer. And Ryan Fisler laid claim to 4th position in the tournament when his A K were crunched by the set of Jacks belonging to Glen Witmer. Kathy Liebert who was the princess of the table, went home in 3rd after meeting the paired Queens of Glen Witmer.

Heads up between Glen Witmer 9,830,000 chips and Gavin Smith 3,815,000 chips lasted 50 hands. On the final hand that made Amateur Glen Witmer the winner, here is what took place. Smith moved all-in preflop with pocket 5's and was called by Witmer holding A K. The table revealed Q J 2 J A, giving Witmer 2 pair (A's and J's), instant millionaire status and the title of champion.

  1. Glen Witmer -- $1,250,352 CAD
  2. Gavin Smith -- $612,427 CAD
  3. Kathy Liebert -- $319,337 CAD
  4. Ryan Fisler -- $262,469 CAD
  5. Marc Karam -- $196,851 CAD
  6. James Trenholm -- $153,107 CAD

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