August 17, 2011 – Bell Gardens, CA.The $300,000 Guaranteed No Limit Hold’em tournament was the second largest event of the 2011 Legends of Poker, so far. The ninth event of the Bicycle Casino’s month long signature tournament series began on August 12th at 1:00 p.m. and had four starting/re-entry days. All in all, there were a total of 1168 entries and 117 players won a piece of the $339,888 prize pool, but only 70 of them would advance to Day‑2. The Seventy finalists returned to the Bicycle Casino at 6:00 p.m. on August 16th, each hoping to win the top prize of $80,438 while the world watch on LiveattheBike.com.
The Final Table
After over 6 hours of play, the tournament culminated in a 10-handed final table that convened at the LiveattheBike.com feature table shortly after midnight on August 17th. Play began just as Level 22 was coming to an end, with blinds at 20K/40K and a 5K ante. Nima Tabrizi (Seat 4) entered the final table as the chip leader holding 25% of the chips in play.
It didn’t take long for the first elimination. On the twelfth hand of the final table, the short-stacked Felix Lopez (seat 10) went out in 10th place after going all-in preflop for 160K holding 9♥, 9♦. Joseph Townsend (Seat 9) made the call with K¨, Jª. Townsend flopped an open ended straight draw (Q♣, T♥, 5♣), leaving Lopez holding his breath. Lopez let out a sigh of relief when the 6♠ hit the Turn, but the K♣ on the River ended it all. Lopez received $4,500 before exiting the tournament area.
The table bid farewell to Shahin Edalatdju (Seat 7) seven hands later, during Level 24 (30K/60K+5K). Edalatdju’s once healthy stack was critically injured in the 15th hand, after doubling-up Mikael Narveson (Seat 6). Edalatdju got it all-in as good as he could with K♥, K♣ after being 3-bet re-raised before the flop by Brian Patrick (Seat 8). Patrick made the call with A♥, K♦, grimaced at Edalatdju’s pocket Kings and pleaded for an Ace. Plea granted. The A♦, 6♦, 2♥ flop left Edalatdju with less than a 5% chance to win. The 9♥ on the Turn reduced him to a two-percenter, and the 8♠ River sent Edalatdju packing. Edalatdju received $5,300 for 9th place.
Dan Heimiller, who arrived to the final table second to last in chips had been nursing his short stack for three button passes before finally being eliminated. He played very few hands, but half way through the third orbit he put his tournament life on the line in a succession of all-ins. He doubled on the first with A♠, T♠, but lost all but a round of antes two hands later with A♣, Q♣. Finally, with just ten minutes left in Level 24, Heimiller tossed in the last of his chips at the cut-off with 4♥,5♠, but ran into Jonathan Jackson (Seat 2) holding A♣, T♣ on the button. The J♠, 6♠, 2♠ flop offered a glimmer of hope for Heimiller, but then bricked J♥, 2♥. Jackson’s Ace kicker won the pot and Heimiller won the 8th place payout of $6,100.
By the 30th hand of the final table, only seven players remained. That was, until the last hand of Level 24 (30K/60K+5K). Joseph Townsend raised to 120K under-the-gun and Perry Chou (Seat 6) called from the small blind. The dealer spread A♦, K♥, 8♠ across the felt and Townsend put out a continuation bet of 180K. Chou check-raised to 550K and Townsend went over the top, all-in. Chou called, but was behind with A♠, 9♣ vs. Townsend’s A♣, 8♣ (two pair). Chou had outs to any King or any Nine, but the rest of the board ran low: 5♣, 7♣. Chou was out in 7th place for a $7,000 payday.
It took over 40 minutes and the entirety of Level 25 before the next elimination; however, within the first few hands of the 26th Level, with the blinds at 50K/100K and a 10K ante, two players went out in back-to-back hands. Jonathan Jackson, who had been struggling with a yo-yo stack throughout the final table and was the most outspoken about his desire to strike a deal, open shoved under-the-gun. To his left, Huy “JoJo” Quach (Seat 3) re-raised all-in behind him. The table folded around and the two were heads-up. Jackson opened A♣, Q♠ and Quach turned over A♥, K♦. The King-high board, followed by an inconsequential turn and river, meant doom for Jackson who took his leave in 6th place for $8,000. The very next hand, the players were busy discussing Jackson’s elimination and the action folded around to the blinds. Joseph Townsend pushed all-in from the small blind with A♠, T♥, and Quach, still stacking Jackson’s chips, made the call with Q♦, J♦. The flop read K♠, 2♣, 9♣, giving Quach a gut-shot straight draw, but Townsend was holding one of Quach’s outs and still had the lead. Then, BAM! The T♥ on the turn gave Quach the stone-cold nuts. The A♠ on the river just added insult to injury; Townsend was out…5th place but $9,700 richer.
Another 20 minutes passed, but just before the clock struck 3:00 a.m., Quach was eliminated in 4th place after a couple of unfortunate turns of events. Quach raised on the button to 250K (Level 26: 50K/100K+10K) and Narveson, believing it was a button steel, defended his big-blind with an all-in for 1.810M. Quach had Narveson covered by 120K and enthusiastically snap-called. Quach had flipped open A♠, K♥, dominating Narveson’s A♥, 6♠ …whoops. However, it was an all red flop of Q♥, T♥, 7♥ and Narveson had the top heart in his hand. The 9♥ on the turn left Quach drawing dead. All Quach could say was, “Nice catch.” The very next hand, Quach picked up J♣, J♦ and splashed the pot with the last of his 110K chips. Patrick called the additional 10K in the dark from the big blind and opened A♠, K♦. The 4♣, 3♠, 2♣ flop gave Patrick a wheel draw and sure enough the 5♦ peeled off on the turn. Again, Quach was drawing dead. He took home $13,000 for his 4th place finish.
Mikael Narveson enjoyed being second in chips for exactly 7 minutes. In the fourth hand after doubling through Quach, Narveson moved all-in for over 3.5M against Chipleader Brian Patrick’s big blind. Patrick squeezed his cards and immediately called. Narveson had 8♥, 8♣, but Patrick woke up with J♣, J♦. The rainbow flop was 10-high (T♦, 4♠, 3♥) and the rest if the board bricked out (7♣, 5♥). Just like that, Patrick stacked Narveson, who walked away in 3rd place and claimed $22,000 from the remaining prize pool.
Nima Tabrizi started the final table as the overwhelming chipleader with over 3.6M in chips, towering over his closest competitor 2 to 1. Unfortunately, he found himself in several coin flips with short-stacked players and lost two-thirds of his stack during the earlier rounds. However, Tabrizi had and aggressive style and played exceptionally well. Tabrizi never exposed anything less than a premium hand, so it was no surprise that he had survived to play heads-up. Brian Patrick was the bad guy at the table. Patrick had stated early on that he would not chop. After every knockout, the players would repeat desire for a deal and every time Patrick would refuse, stating simply, “No, I want to play.” With the others vocally routing against him, Patrick had to remain focused in his bid for first place.
Heads-up play began at 3:08 a.m. with eleven minutes remaining in Level 26 (50K/100K+10K). Patrick had Tabrizi covered 5 to 1, but Tabrizi was not intimidated. Tabrizi quickly doubled early in the heads-up match and won several large pots in an effort to level the playing field.
The button quickly passed back and forth a total of 17 times over the course of twenty-one minutes before the decisive hand ended the match. It was hand no. 83 of the final table and began on August 17th at 3:29 a.m., just 11 minutes into Level 27. The blinds were at 120K/40K with a 20K ante. Patrick called on the button and Tabrizi taunted his opponent saying, “There’s no shame in folding,” as he tapped the felt. The flop was J♦, A♣, J♣ and both players checked. The 8♣ came on the Turn and Tabrizi check/called Patrick’s bet of 450K. After the 9ªhit the River, Tabrizi moved all in and Patrick insta-called. The player’s jumped to their feet and Tabrizi showed Q♣, 6♣ for a Queen-high flush. Patrick turned up his cards and rubbed the felt with his J♥, 8♠, while flatly stating, “the boat.” Tabrizi took as second look and responded, “what a cooler.” Patrick was paid the full amount of the $80,438 top prize and received the Wild Bill Hickok trophy, while Tabrizi took 2nd place and $45,000 in cash.
1st Brian Patrick $80,438
2nd Nima Tabrizi $45,000
3rd Mikael Narveson $22,000
4th Huy Quach $13,000
5th Joseph Townsend $9,700
6th Jonathan Jackson $8,000
7th Perry Chou $7,000
8th Dan Heimiller $6,100
9th Shahin Edalatdja $5,300
10th Felix Lapuz $4,500