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Poker tournament

I was in vacation in Canada and visited a casino while they had a large poker tournament. The semi-final day combined the remaining players from both Day 1’s, making the field 195-strong. Each Day played to the end of Level 11, which culminated with blind levels of 800/1,600 + 200 antes. Of the 195 players, only 80 would make the money, which accounts for about 10% of the field. As an unwanted bonus, the annual tradition of a power failure set back the start of the tournament by 90 minutes; this time it covered not only the casino but a few city blocks.

One of the very first eliminations was Brian Henningson, who started the day with 13K. Always the optimist after a surviving a near-fatal motorcycle accident last July, he confirmed himself “The luckiest man alive.” Not so lucky today though when his suited K-J ran headlong into A-A and he walked away a few minutes into the day. In fact there were a number of short stacks and they fell away quickly, breaking table after table within the first 45-minute round.

Some CPT notables vying for the money today were Grant Thelin, Glenn Huffman and Joe Zappia, who finished 9th in this event last year. Gavin Smith was also sticking it to the competition with some banter and rolling over his table-mates. “My table was letting me streamroll, so I let them let me. I’ve been accumulating chips all day,” he told me during one of the breaks. He was also the in-studio guest later on Adam Schwartz’s Vancouver-based radio show “Rounders: The Poker Show”. Gavin complimented the tournament organizers and loved being able to “condition his table” with lots of limping and playing lots of pots. Unfortunately he got as far as 27th, which paid $8,800.

Some of the other cash finishers: Chris Chang finished in 24th after nursing a short stack for more than one level – paying $11,000. P.J. Corvese continued his tournament consistency with 37th for $6,400. Glen Huffman was hoping Ducati was watching him finish 45th, paying $4,800. Stephen Ladowsky is no stranger to large-cash finishes, and continued his brilliant 2006, being knocked out in 51st for $4,000.

With the day wrapping shortly after midnight, we were down to the top 10 who would return to the televised table tomorrow at noon. For those who didn’t make the cut, there were enough cash games rocking in the poker room to drown their sorrows. Chip counts for the next day were:

Brian Wilson Chilliwack, BC $1,949,000
Gregoire Gaspirini Gordonsville, VA $1,268,000
Nelson Batista Richmond, BC $1,219,000
Noah Askarian Coquitlam, BC $868,000
Karim Chatur Calgary, AB $722,000
Atsushi Kobayashi Markham, ON $542,000
Derrick Law Whitehorse, YT $494,000
Michael Sun New Westminster, BC $305,000
David White Abbotsford, BC $296,000
Lazaros Lazarakis Richmond, BC $213,000

Quite exciting to see all this action to say the least.