2010 Harrah's New Orleans Bayou Challenge WSOP Circuit Event

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2010 Harrah's New Orleans Bayou Challenge
World Series of Poker Circuit Event

Harrah's New Orleans Bayou Challenge
#8 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
December 8 - 20, 2009

The Harrah's New Orleans Bayou Challenge is known around for being one of the most fun stops in the WSOP Circuit. In total there will be 15 events, with Mega Satellites held each day at 6 PM up until the Main Event Championship which will be event #11. And the champion of event #11 will receive a free seat to the Main Event in Las Vegas next year.

Kickoff Event 1 Kurt Dao Announcer And FYI, Bayou Poker Challenge results and statistics are not included in the historical records of WSOP Circuit events. Furthermore, winners do not receive gold rings, which is the customary prize awarded for a victory in most WSOP Circuit events. Nonetheless, the Bayou Poker Challenge (BPC) has proven to be a popular attraction for many poker players, who mostly come to the Crescent City from the states of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and surrounding areas.

Event #1 -- No Limit Hold'Em

Santiago Prats The first event had 212 players attend and gather at the tables on Day 1. Each payed $230 to create a pool of $41,120. It took 12 hours to get down to a final table and another 3 to declare a new champion. Here is what happened at the final table. In 9th place was Kenny Milam who had his all-in move with pocket 9's silenced by A K when another Ace came on the flop. Next to receive the bad beat award in an 8th place finish is Bruce Little who had his two pair beaten down by a royal flush. Jesus Cabrera claimed the cash for 7th place when his all in bid with A 9 failed. Mario Alberto Estrada finished in 6th, losing to a King high flush. John Sutton made off with 5th place money losing to the paired Aces made by his opponent on the river. Sid "Spiderman" Webb had his pocket Queens crushed by the set of Jacks made by Justin Jones, sending Webb to the sidelines in 4th.

At this point the three remaining players made a deal to evenly split the money with the ring going to Santiago Prats.

  1. Santiago Prats -- $9,973
  2. Shane Lewis -- $6,169
  3. Justin "JJ" Jones -- $3,907
  4. Sid "Spiderman" Webb -- $3,187
  5. John Sutton -- $2,570
  6. Mario Alberto Estrada -- $2,056
  7. Jesus Cabrera -- $1,645
  8. Bruce Little -- $1,336
  9. Kenny Milam -- $1,028

Event #2 -- No Limit Hold'Em (6 Handed)

Ali Jafari There were 123 courageous souls who paid the $340 buy in for this event. The cash pool reached $35,788 which was divided up between the top 12 finishers. Six-Handed poker is different from a conventional game, usually played with nine players. Since blinds come around much faster and there are fewer opponents at the table, players with experience in short-handed situations tend to do well.

Once the final table was underway, it took 2 hours for the first bust to happen. In 6th place was Michael Hallen who unfortunately met the Broadway straight of Lip Nguyen to end his chances at becoming champion. Next to go was John Cofhlin in 5th, losing to the pocket 3's of another player. Jess Brooks finished in 4th as his pocket 10's could not overcome the flush hand made by Bo Gary.

By this time, the remaining three players kept looking at each other, then went over to the side to make a deal and split the money evenly. Due to the having the highest chip count at the time of the deal, the gold WSOP circuit ring went to Ali Jafari.

  1. Ali Jafari -- $11,274
  2. Lip Nguyen -- $6,979
  3. Thomas "Bo" Gray -- $4,474
  4. Jess Brooks -- $3,042
  5. John Cofhlin -- $2,058
  6. Michael Hallen -- $1,521

Event #3 -- No Limit Hold'Em

Jay Dill There were 198 entries for this 2 day event, each paying a buy in of $340 and creating a pool of $57,609. Cash went to the top 18 finishers.

The final table went on for nearly 6 hours before a winner had been determined. Jay Dill saw the hand of victory when he made a Jack high straight after Bruce Little did not make his flush draw.

  1. Jay Dill -- $15,298
  2. Bruce Little -- $9,218
  3. Gabe Costner -- $5,905
  4. Buddy Bonnecaze -- $4,609
  5. Peng "Jay" Zheng -- $3,601
  6. Joe Petro -- $2,880
  7. Todd Etzel -- $2,304
  8. Jay Chung -- $1,872
  9. Chris Dupey -- $1,584

Event #4 -- No Limit Hold'Em

Michael Catt Michael Catt won the most recent Bayou Poker Challenge tournament held at Harrah's New Orleans. The $500 (+50) buy-in No-Limit Hold'em tournament attracted 173 entries. It was the fourth event of 15 scheduled at this year's Bayou Poker Challenge. The two-day tournament generated a prize pool totaling $83,897. It took Catt only about three hours at the final table to earn the victory. Most impressive was the fact that he started off play when nine-handed with the shortest chip count. But Catt was patient and won several key hands along the way which catapulted him to victory.

Other notable hands at the final table include John Dolan who made a set of Aces on the flop and got a bad beat when his opponent made a straight by the river, sending John out in 9th place. Chris Chevalier lost to the flush of the other player ending his quest in 3rd and David Henslee finishing in 8th tried to be careful when he moved all-in with pocket Jacks, but was called by a player with pocket A's which held to the river.

  1. Michael Catt -- $22,234
  2. Gabriel Tender -- $13,424
  3. Chris Chevalier -- $8,600
  4. Barron Whipple -- $6,712
  5. John "the Troll" Tollefsen -- $5,244
  6. Chris Walding -- $4,195
  7. Rusty Bodin -- $3,356
  8. David Henslee -- $2,726
  9. John Dolan -- $2,307

Event #5 -- No Limit Hold'Em

A total of 102 entries came to play on the same day that the Saints were playing US football. The winner, Tripp Donaldson dominated play from the moment the final table began. When it came down to the heads up, Donaldson and Todd Etzel cut a deal for the cash.

When heads-up play began, Etzel was outchipped by about an 8 to 1 margin. Tripp Donaldson tried to defeat his opponent as best he could without cutting a deal. But when Etzel won a key late hand and doubled up, Donaldson decided to offer him a deal, which was accepted.

  1. Tripp Donaldson -- $7,865
  2. Todd Etzel -- $4,749
  3. Bobby Moon -- $3,042
  4. Christopher "Ninja" Cardenas -- $2,374
  5. Angelo Vozzella -- $1,855
  6. Michael Sampognaro -- $1,484
  7. Ivan Milicevic -- $1,187
  8. Vince Frederick -- $964
  9. Bobby Barbier -- $816

Event #6 -- Pot Limit Omaha

Michael Gebhardt This 2 Day event attracted 66 players each paying $340 per seat, which helped to build a prize pool of $19,204 which went to those fortunate enough to make the final table. The winner Michael Gebhart stated that he financed his education largely by playing poker, mostly online. He fully supported himself for four years as a pro before becoming a full-time student. Furthermore, Gebhardt says he has been able to travel a great amount because he has been so successful playing poker. Currently he pursuing an MBA degree at the University of Denver.

It took Gebhardt five full hours of play at the final table to earn the victory � which came after the top four finishers agreed to a deal. His share of the prize money officially amounted to $6,145. This marked Gebhardt�s first major live tournament victory. Here is how the final table turned out:

  1. Michael Gebhardt -- $6,145
  2. Mark Gallagher -- $3,841
  3. Larry Satterwhite -- $2,448
  4. "Captain" Tom Franklin -- $1,728
  5. Morton L. Davis -- $1,392
  6. Pete Donnelly -- $1,152
  7. Walter Chambers -- $960
  8. Mendel Lee -- $816
  9. Jeff Bennett -- $720

Event #7 -- No Limit Hold'Em

Mike Silvas The number of entrants climbed to 144, each paying $340 for a seat. Pool size hit $41,897 for the top 18 finishers. Once play got down to the final table, it seemed no one wanted to go home. It took more than nine hours to play down to the winner. At one point when play was at four handed, Silvas was a distant fourth in chips and seemed destined to exit next. But he managed to battle back and draw close to even with the player who turned out to be a most worthy adversary, Ruven Rivera, from Houston � who ended up finishing second.

Heads-up play between Silvas and Rivera lasted more than three hours, an eternity given the 40-minute levels and structures. By contrast, most final tables last between 3-5 hours. Heads-up matches that last beyond an hour are rare, except at mega-buy-in poker tournament such as the WSOP and WPT. The hand of victory came when Silvas' A-5 held up to drag the final pot of the night, with ace-high.

  1. Mike Silvas -- $11,104
  2. Ruven Rivera -- $6,704
  3. Debbie Lee -- $4,295
  4. Donna Cole -- $3,352
  5. D.K. Flanagan -- $2,619
  6. David Lee -- $2,065
  7. Pascal "Frenchy" Boutineau -- $1,676
  8. Chris Chevalier -- $1,361
  9. Rusty Bodin -- $1,152

Event #8 -- Pot Limit Omaha With Rebuys
Fred Scott This commendable gathering had 37 players come to the tables. The $340 buy in per player created a $26,674 pool when you add the 164 rebuys that took place, paying only the top 5 in the event. Rebuys were set at $100 each. The final table was not an easy one. According to the WSOP:

It took Scott five full hours of play at the final table to earn the victory, despite being played five-handed. The heads-up match alone lasted more than three hours, a testament to the ferocious tenacity of the runner up, Jared Ingles. He dueled back and forth against Scott, exchanging the chip lead a number of times before finally succumbing to a missed draw on the final hand. Scott made a straight on the final hand of the tournament, which topped Ingles' busted flush draw.

  1. Fred Scott III -- $10,670
  2. Jared Ingles -- $6,668
  3. Andrew Becker -- $4,268
  4. James "JJ" Rone -- $2,934
  5. Daniel Holmes -- $2,134

Event #9 -- H.O.R.S.E.
A.B. Suthoff Well this one is the smallest gathering yet. A total of 32 players sat down to play H.O.R.S.E., where the top 5 split up a $9,312 cash pool. Here is what the WSOP had to say about the game:

This was the ninth event of 15 on this year�s Bayou Poker Challenge schedule. The two-day tournament generated a modest-sized prize pool totaling $9,312. While there is no doubt this will be the largest Bayou Poker Challenge in its four-years in New Orleans, the future of H.O.R.S.E. as a viable tournament game may be debatable.

The $300 (+50) buy-in H.O.R.S.E. tournament attracted only 32 entries � perhaps foreshadowing the game�s questionable future at many major tournaments. Many H.O.R.S.E. tournaments held elsewhere have also experienced declining attendance, which can be explained for at least two reasons. First, H.O.R.S.E. centers largely on Seven-Card Stud-related games (a variant which is clearly in decline). Second, the prestige of H.O.R.S.E. has declined in the last year or so, as ESPN removed the game from its usual WSOP broadcast lineup (one reason -- low ratings in 2008). At this year�s WSOP Europe (played in September), H.O.R.S.E. was removed from the lineup after two consecutive years on the schedule, replaced in favor of the more popular game of Pot-Limit Omaha.

This could explain why there is no $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event on the 2010 WSOP schedule for Las Vegas. Buy in was $340 per player.

  1. A.B. Suthoff -- $3,724
  2. Ian Crozier -- $2,328
  3. Richie Miller -- $1,489
  4. "Jake the Snake" Williams -- $1,024
  5. Gene Timberlake -- $744

Event #10 -- No Limit Hold'Em
John Dolan A field of 124 players paid the $1,070 to compete in this event. Cash went to the top 18 at the last two tables from a pool that reached $120,280. Once the field was narrowed to the final table players, it took six hours for John Dolan to claim his championship. On the last hand John managed to pair his Queen card by the river to capture his second official major tournament victory.

  1. John Dolan -- $31,874
  2. Bill Dehart -- $19,244
  3. Walter Chambers -- $12,328
  4. Tyler Smith -- $9,622
  5. Barron Whipple -- $7,517
  6. Pascal "Frenchy" Boutineau -- $6,014
  7. Kai Landry -- $4,811
  8. Timothy Miles -- $3,909
  9. Kent "Bobby" Buckingham -- $3,307

Event #11 -- No Limit Satellite Championship (3 day event)
The $3,000 (+120) buy-in No-Limit Hold�em tournament attracted a highly-competitive field of 80 entries. This was the final event of 15 on this year�s Bayou Poker Challenge schedule. The three-day championship generated a prize pool totaling $221,798 � the biggest payout of this year�s winter Bayou series. Allen Kessler after becoming the winner, was awarded a seat into the $10,000 buy-in Main Event at the 2010 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, plus $1,000 for expenses. He also was officially paid $70,976. The top nine finishers collected prize money.

When final table play began on a Monday afternoon following 26 hours of play during the first two days, Kessler had a sizable chip lead over his rivals. He enjoyed a nearly 2 to 1 advantage over his closest adversary, Ed Corrado. Kessler lost his chip lead a few hours into play, and was actually all-in for his tournament life on at least two occasions. But he won enough key hands at critical moments to regain his chip lead until a deal was crafted when play became four-handed.

  1. Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler -- $70,976
  2. Ed Corrado -- 44,360
  3. Moutray McLaren -- 28,279
  4. Jim McBride -- 19,262
  5. Michael "Car Wash" Schneider -- 16,080
  6. Justin "Lockdowntex" Allen -- 13,308
  7. Ben "the Destroyer" Mintz -- 11,090
  8. Will "the Monkey" Souther -- 9,426
  9. Phil Hall -- 8,317

Event #12 -- No Limit Hold'Em
Bronson Tucker A total of 45 players paid the $550 entry fee to participate in his event. This created a pool size of $21,825 that went to the last 5 in at the table. The field may have been larger except for Event #11 taking place that same day. The hand that captured the win for Tucker was after he met the pocket 6's of James Brown with the A 10 in his hand. Fortunately for Tucker, another 10 came on the turn which made the case for the 32 year old attorney.

  1. Bronson Tucker -- $8,730
  2. James Brown -- $5,456
  3. Larry W. Keene -- $3,492
  4. Tony Sevnsom -- $2,400
  5. John Ducote -- $1,746

Event #13 -- No Limit Hold'Em
December 19th Saturday
12:00 PM
Buy In: $340

Event #14 -- Ladies No Limit Hold'Em
December 20th Sunday
12:00 PM
Buy In: $340

Event #15 -- Seniors No Limit Hold'Em
December 20th Sunday
2:00 PM
Buy In: $340

Photo Credit: IMPDI
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