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Tuesday, January 29, 2008 | Francis Lee


Around 200 players entered the World Series of Poker circuit main event in Tunica. Held at the impressive Grand Casino operated by Harrah’s Entertainment, the largest Casino between Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The prize pool created by the $7,500 buy in grew to $1,350,000 with first place prize set at just under half a million dollars.

There was a number of well known professional poker players in attendance including Tom Schneider, Chris Reslock, Gavin Smith and Vanessa Rousso to name a few.

The event was played over three days with the final 9 players to battle it out on the third and final day. After the first days play we lost 151 players in around 14 hours of play. The second day was a lot shorter as 20 players were eliminated in just five hours of play. When we reached the end of day two the final table chip rankings was as follows.

Final Table Chip Rankings:

  • 1st John Devia $929,500
  • 2nd Ryan Young $521,000
  • 3rd Giovanni Maracci $465,000
  • 4th Tom Schneider $422,000
  • 5th Ben Sabrin $417,000
  • 6th Donald Nicholson $325,000
  • 7th Mark Garner $213,500
  • 8th Bart Tichelman $164,000
  • 9th Jordan Rich $147,000

Play started off very slowly in the early stages on this final table, as we had to wait for over 30 minutes for the first elimination to come about. This came when Jordan Rich raised with :jd :10d under the gun. This was re raised All In by Donald Nicholson, Rich made the call only to see Nicholson table :ah :as The Flop gave Jordan Rich a chance coming down :js :7c :6h but the :3s and :4h confirmed his exit in 9th place.

This knock out hand set the table to life as Tom Schneider was eliminated by Ryan Young, shortly after Jordan Rich’s exit. Both players were in the blind positions and saw a cheap Flop of :10s :9c :4h Both players checked to see the :jd fall on the Turn. Both checked again and the :9d came down on the River. Schneider made the first bet, which was followed by an All In move from Young. Schneider thought for a while before calling showing :kd :9s Young tabled :qs :8c having a Queen high straight to win the pot.

This was to be one of Young’s last act as he was the next player out shortly after. Young moved All In with :kh :qd and was dominated by Giovanni Marcacci with :ad :kd Both players missed the board which came down :7s :6c :4c :2c :js handing Marcacci the pot.

Mark Garner who lead the chip rankings on day one, decided to move All In with :as :7s Unfortunately for him he ran into John Devia with pocket Aces who was more than happy to call. The Aces held up as the board missed both players.

Ben Sabrin decided to make a stand shortly after the break by moving All In with :ac :2c Marcacci made the call tabling pocket Aces in a great position to take the pot. The board ran out :kc :js :7d :2s :as as the Aces again held up to win.

Soon after this we had another All In from John Devia, the chip leader at the start of this final table with :10h :9h He was called by Bart Tichelman showing pocket Queens The final board came down :ah :as :4s :5h :4c sending Devia to the rail to collect $103,808 finishing in 4th place.

Tichelman was involved again in the next knock out hand up against Marcacci. Both players saw a Flop of :9s :7c :6c Tichelman immediately moved All In with :ah :8c having just a straight draw. Marcacci went into the tank for a while before making the call with pocket Tens. The Turn card completed Tichelman’s straight with the :5d coming down and Marcacci never recovered with the final card coming down with the :2c

Tichleman finished off the event with just two hands of heads up play against Donal Nicholson. Nicholson moved All In with :qs :8s and Tichleman made the call with :ks :4h The Flop paired Tichleman’s Four coming down :ac :4c :3s and the :kd on the Turn left Micholson drawing dead on the river. This was a good victory for Tichleman, coming back from being one of the short stacks at the start of the final table, and walking away with the top prize of $428,210.

Final Standings:

  • 1st Bart Tichelman $428,210
  • 2nd Donald Nicholson 236,163
  • 3rd Giovanni Maracci $129,760
  • 4th John Devia $103,808
  • 5th Ben Sabrin $77,856
  • 6th Mark Garner $64,880
  • 7th Ryan Young $51,904
  • 8th Tom Schneider $38,928
  • 9th Jordan Rich $25,952



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