Got this in ... pretty compelling feat of poker playing here. To win back to back HORSE events? Epic, despite how you might feel about the guy.
COMMERCE, CA (February 19, 2009) - After nearly 12 hours of poker play on the last of a three-day event, the first ever LA Poker Classic $10,000 HORSE Championship came down to heads-up play between Scotty Nguyen, the reigning World Series of Poker HORSE World Champion, and David Rheem, who finished seventh at the 2008 World Series of Poker No Limit Hold'em Championship. In the end it was Nguyen, of Las Vegas, that claimed victory and rode off with $340,993 of the nearly $1 million prize pool up for grabs. Rheem, of Los Angeles, finished second and was rewarded with $182,477 for his effort.
"Before I came down to play this tournament, I told myself 'I'm going to dominate,'" an energized Nguyen said after the event. "This was a good field to play against. But the win here and at the WSOP has got to make people consider me number one in HORSE. And to win this major event before heading into the LA Poker Classic No Limit Hold'em Championship; it motivates me, brings my game up and gives me nothing but confidence, baby!"
The LAPC HORSE Championship, held at the World's Largest Poker Room just outside downtown Los Angeles, began with 96 competitors. The field was laden with top-notch professionals that have claimed several World Poker Tour victories and World Series of Poker bracelets. Players that took part included: Howard Lederer, Erik Seidel, Chris Ferguson, Annie Duke, Barry Greenstein, Men Nguyen, Jerry Buss, John Cernuto, Allen Cunningham, Layne Flack, Mike Matusow, Gavin Smith, Eli Elezra, Nick Schulman, Allen Kessler, Jennifer Harman, Cyndy Violette, Tony Ma and Tim Phan.
By the end of the first day, only 26 players had busted out. The end of the second day left only 16 players in the hunt for a win. HORSE is a unique event in that it tests a player's all-around skill, featuring different styles of poker every eight hands. The games played are: Hold'em, Omaha, Razz, Seven-card Stud, Seven-Card Stud Eight or Better or Hi-Low. The top eight finishers at the LAPC HORSE Championship made it into the money. Payouts are as follows:
1st - Scotty Nguyen: $340,993
2nd - David Rheem: $182,477
3rd - Jeff Madsen: $122,573
4th - Chris Tsiprailidis: $86,630
5th - Matt Graham: $66,355
6th - Bob Golick: $52,531
7th - Amnon Filippi: $40,550
8th - John Monnette: $29,491
The HORSE Championship was the first of three $10,000 events being conducted at the 2009 LAPC. The other two are a Head's Up event that started Feb. 18, and the featured LAPC No Limit Hold'em Championship starting Feb. 21. Matt Savage, the new LAPC Tournament Director, said: "We felt the addition of two big-money events this year adds to the prestige of the LA Poker Classic and attracts top players from around the globe to Commerce Casino. From the list of pros that came out for the HORSE event, I think we made the right move including this tournament in the LAPC lineup."
This year's entire LAPC tournament features 35 events and started in January. This annual affair concludes March 2 with the final table of the WPT Invitational which unites the stars of poker and Hollywood for a very special No Limit Hold'em tournament. But the highlight of the entire six-week tourney remains the LAPC No-Limit Hold'em Championship, won in 2008 by Phil Ivey who walked away with $1,596,100 and the coveted LAPC Champion title. Both the LAPC Championship and WPT Invitational are featured events on the World Poker Tour television program airing on Fox Sports Network.
Commerce Casino Development Manager John Griffo said this year's LAPC has again emerged as a marquee event in the poker world. "The biggest names in poker have again come to Commerce Casino to raise the level of competition. Winning any LAPC event is certainly a badge of honor for poker pros, and this yearly event is now easily one of the most anticipated outside of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas."
For those wishing to watch either of the WPT Final Tables (February 26 and March 2 respectively), a limited number of spectator seats are available on a first come, first serve basis. It is highly suggested that audience members be at Commerce Casino by 3 p.m. on February 26 for the LA Poker Classic or 3 p.m. on March 2 for the WPT Celebrity Invitational in order to secure a seat. These times are subject to change, visit www.worldpokertour.com for the latest information.
The LA Poker Classic and WPT Celebrity Invitational will air on the FSN during the WPT's Season VII, which begins airing in April. The World Poker Tour inspired the worldwide poker phenomenon, with its revolutionary WPT hole card cams and thrilling brand of winner-take-all poker.