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2009 USPC Underway

9 November 2009, By:
The first four events of the United States Poker Championships at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ are in the books and we have the results for you.
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The first four events of the United States Poker Championships at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ are in the books and we have the results for you.

Event #1 - $340 NL Holdem

The first event, a $340 NL Holdem event, drew 154 players and resulted in a prize pool of $46,200.

Heads-up play in the event came down to Kerry Small of Ventnor, NJ and Jia Liu of Brooklyn, NY. After a long and grueling final table, Jia Liu emerged victorious and took home $15,708. The runner-up, Kerry Small, won $8,316.

The winner is a Support Mechanic for Delta Airlines and got most of his experience on Full Tilt Poker and in live tournaments.

Event #2 - $340 7 Card Stud

Event #2 drew out all of the old school stud players to play in an event spread less and less in tournament poker. Only 68 players turned out for this stud event, making a prize pool of $20,400.

WSOP bracelet winner (in Stud) Chris Reslock played in the event but failed to make the final table.  Veteran "Detroit" Al Green was also among those in the field but took what he claimed was one of his earliest bustouts ever, as he was one of the first busted.

The final table included Bill "Bumpereno" Munley, from Throop, PA.  Munley is a stud specialist who has had success in stud events at the Taj.  His style of play is either get chips or hit the bricks.  This day, he hit the bricks in 2nd place.

The eventual winner of the event was Rathe Miller.  He entered the final table on a rush and continued plowing through the field to finally take down the event, and $8,160.

Miller is normally a high stakes stud player, normally playing $150-$300 stud.

Event #3 - $340 Limit Holdem

Another game that is seeing shrinkage in attendance is Limit Holdem.  Up until the past couple of years, Limit Holdem tournaments still drew strong crowds and were staples of events.  However, more and more players are moving over to NL Holdem and PL Omaha, and Limit games are suffering.

This event drew 62 players for a prize pool of $18,600.  Only nine players were paid, things didn't really get interesting until the final table.  Kerry Small made his 2nd final table of the USPC, finishing in 8th.

This payday was much smaller, at just $651.  Although the official results do not reflect it, the top three players split the prize money three ways, taking home $4,154 each.  They then played it out for a while longer for the bracelet.

In the end, Eric Schmidt from Florence, NJ walked away with the bracelet.  He is a semi-professional that plays poker around 30 hours a week.

Eric Schmidt

Event #4 - $340 Omaha 8 and Stud 8

The first mixed event of this series, a mix of Omaha 8 and Stud 8, drew a very strong crowd of 152 players.  The prize pool was $45,600 and first place received $18,240. The Omaha 8 and Stud 8 experts were out in force to make this one of the better events of the USPC.

Play went deep into the night as this event lasted over 16 hours.  Avner Levy eventually came out on top of the event, taking down the top prize.  Levy also made the final table of Event #3, so he had a long two day run. Levy is a retired professional tennis player and now plays poker professionally.

"Papa" as he is known, has two bracelets at the World Poker Open to go with his newly acquired bracelet at the USPC.

Avner Levy

Things are just getting rolling at the Taj.  24 events in total make up the United States Poker Championships, highlighted by two televised events, a PL Omaha event, and the Main Event.  Both will be televised on Spike TV.

2009 USPC Results - Four Events

Below are the complete results of the first four events:

Event 1: $300+40 No Limit Holdem
Entries: 154
Prize Pool: $36,200

1. Jia Liu $15,708.00

2. Kerry Small $8,316.00

3. Jamie Kerstetter $4,620.00

4. Eric Cleaveland $3,234.00

5. Jason Gallagher $2,772.00

6. Peter Horenstein $1,848.00

7. Jamal Ghanim $1,386.00

8. Shawn Albright $1,155.00

9. Hung Nguyen $924.00


Event 2: $300+40 Seven Card Stud
Entries: 68
Prize Pool: $20,400

1. Rathe Miller $8,160.00

2. Robert Cohen $4,692.00

3. Ronald Maset $2,448.00

4. Natalie Caggiano $1,428.00

5. Rocco Renelle $1,224.00

6. Arthur Graubart $1,020.00

7. Jeffrey Jerome $816.00

8. Bill Munley $612.00


Event 3: $300+40 Limit Holdem
Entries: 62
Prize Pool: $18,600

1    Eric Schmidt        $6,696.00

2    Harold Wolper     $3,720.00

3    Robert Mattingly  $2,046.00

4    Jason Imperiale    $1,581.00

5    Avner Levy          $1,395.00

6    Richard Pilchman $1,209.00

7    Bill Lisek              $837.00

8    Kerry Small          $651.00

9    Jeffrey Johnson    $465.00


Event 4: $300+40 OE (Omaha Hi/Lo + Stud Hi/Lo)
Entries: 152
Prize Pool: $45,600

1. Avner Levy $18,240.00

2. David Sacks $9,120.00

3. Agustin Mendez $4,560.00

4. Jason Rivkin $2,736.00

5. Jaime Kaigh $2,280.00

6. Eugene Parenti $1,824.00

7. Crt Moorhead $1,368.00

8. Charles Wey $912.00

9. Peter Herold $638.00

10. Joseph Patti $638.00

11. Peter Damato $638.00

12. John Hunter $638.00

13. Michael Gabarick $502.00

14. Diana Seidman $502.00

15. Mark Mazmanian $502.00

16. Magpuri E. Anglo $502.00


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