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Action Heating Up at the 2009 USPC

23 November 2009, By:
The action has really begun to heat up at the United States Poker Championships.
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With a couple of televised events upcoming, the pros have started to roll in and their presence has been felt.  Let's take a look at some of the results from Events #15 through 19.

Event #15 - Berman Wins High Stakes Stud Affair

It is well known that if you want to play serious seven card stud, you need to go to Atlantic City.  High buy-in stud events have been a staple of the USPC, but they have not drawn well in recent years.  This year's high dollar stud event was a $1,080 stud event.  Only 16 players turned out for this event.  Five players were paid and first took $7,200.

The event was ultimately won by Hod Berman, a virtual jack of all trades.  Besides poker player, he is a linguist, photographer, actor, and casting director.  He plays all forms of poker and this has to be considered his greatest live poker accomplishment to date.

With such a small showing, it remains to be seen whether the USPC will try and hold any future high dollar stud events.  Sadly, the time has come where Holdem may have finally crushed the old poker dinosaur.

Event #16 - Third Time is a Charm for Gbehan

The "Rounder Girl Bounty" event, a $340 NL event was headlined by Tuan Gbehan's third final table appearance of the USPC.  He finished 9th in Event #9, 4th in Event #5, and made this final.

Heads-up play wound down to Gbehan and Paul "Smalls" Kitsos.  Kitsos is a USPC regular with a Seniors Event title in 2007.  Part of his winnings were donated to ELIJA, a foundation dedicated to autistic children.  In the end, Gbehan took down the event and the $10,152 top prize.

Event #17 - Final Table to Boast Several Pros

Event #17 was the big $2,625 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship event.  Play went on for two days before action was narrowed down to the final table.  The final table of seven will return on Monday the 23rd and play to the bracelet.

Several pros made the final table of the event.  Allie Prescott heads into the final as the chip leader with 127,000.  Joining him are Matt Glantz, Amnon Filippi, Michael Binger, Matt Matros, Anton Smolyanskiy, and two-time WSOP bracelet winner Steve Zolotow.

This final will be aired on Spike TV at a later date.  We will provide you details of the finishers once the final has been played out.

Event #18 - Otazu Phoned in the Win

Event #18 was another $560 NL Holdem event that had one high profile pro at the final table.  Kathy Liebert was among the players at the final.  With over $5 Million in winnings, one would think that the $20,230 top prize would not be worth fooling with.  Odds are she was here getting some practice for the Main Event, and besides, 20k is still 20k.

Liebert couldn't get anything going at the final and wound up busting out in 9th place.  Ray Otazu was the event's winner.  He works as a cellular contractor out of Lodi, NJ.

Ray Otazu wins 2009 USPC Event 18

Event #19 - Ely Wins $1k Event

Event #19 was the $1,080 NL event at the USPC.  Top prize was $28,440 and among those looking to take down the top prize was London pro Live Boeree.  You may remember Boeree for her boxing with Melissa Castello of PokerNews during the World Series of Poker.  Liv has over $156,000 in live earnings and is a force at the tables.  This day, she would finish 6th, good for just over $5,000.  Essentially she is now freerolling the Main Event.

Theodore Ely emerged as the victor of this event.  Ely is a semi-professional player that has numerous live cashes.  He normally plays tournaments and cash games at the $40-$80 NL level.

Theodore Ely wins 2009 USPC Event 19

Just a few more events remain at the USPC, including the $5,250 NL Holdem Championship.  Stay tuned to PokerJunkie as we bring you the results from the remaining events on the USPC schedule.

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