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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

2006 United States Poker Championship

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The final stage of the United States Poker Championship, held annually at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ, was a showdown between two rising young stars, Alex Jacob , 21 and Jordan Morgan, 22. And if anyone were questioning the dominance of young players, it is worth noting that Devon Miller, also 21, fresh off his win in the main event of the Aruba Poker Classic last week, finished 23rd here.

Morgan , from Norman, OK, is a top-ranking internet player whose screenname is "iMsoLucky0." He cites Pot-limit Omaha as his favorite game, but he seems equally strong at No-limit Holdem. He started playing poker at the age of 18 as an engineering student at the University of Oklahoma. Morgan cashed in four events at the 2006 World Series of Poker, winning over $100,000. His best prior showings include two second place finishes at WSOP Circuit events held at Caesar's Las Vegas in May, one in No-limit Holdem and the other in Pot-limit Omaha.

Jacob of Parkland, FL, majored in economics and math at Yale, and had booked total winnings of over $800,000 in live tournament play before this event. Jacob also proved himself a winner at this year's WSOP, cashing in four events, but his biggest success to date was finishing second to Victor Ramdin at in the main event of Foxwoods' WPT Poker Classic this past April.

Morgan and Jacob seemed destined for their final two matchup. With 21 players left, they were in a dead heat at just over 850,000 chips each, almost double that of the next two contenders.

When final table play convened with ten players, Morgan had taken the lead with $1,124M in chips. Jacob was in fourth chip position with $638,000. The rest of the field was as follows:

Michael DeMichele 767,000
Stephen Feraca 663,000
Akio Ishige 555,000
Jeff King 369,000
Augustin Mendez 323,000
Shane Schleger 282,000
Dan Shak 277,000
Dale Pinchot 227,000

Akio Ishige was the first to depart, at Jacob's hands, when the latter flopped a set on a board of A-Q-T. Unlucky Akio held AQ for top to pair but failed to improve. He finished in 10th place, good for $32,912.

Next out was Shane "Shaniac" Schleger, whose pocket tens failed to hold up when the river brought an ace for his opponent, Stephen Feraca, who held AsJs. Schleger's ninth place finish brought him $40,508.

It took over two hours before another elimination. Then Jordan Morgan dispatched two players in a row. The first was Augustin Mendez, whose pocket Kings were cracked by Morgan's AJ when the turn brought an Ace. Mendez finished in 8th place, winning $50,634. In short order, Jordan's pocket nines held up against Jeff King's AK when the latter's hand failed to improve. King received $63,293 for seventh place.

On the second hand after a break for dinner, Dale Pinchot went all-in from the small blind with A6 offsuit, after a button-raise from Michael DeMichele. Holding J8 suited, DeMichele called. The board brought 8-Q-9-3-Q, giving DeMichele queens and eights and the win. Pinchot garnered $88,610 for his sixth place finish.

DeMichele eliminated the next player as well. Stephen Feraca, holding Ks5s, went all in on a flop of 6-Q-5. DeMichele held QT and won the pot with top pair when the turn and river were no help to Feraca. He finished fifth, for $113,926.

Shortly thereafter, Jacob and Morgan had their first all-in confrontation at the final table, and it presaged their heads-up match. In this hand, Jacob doubled through Morgan to about $1.6 million after flopping the nut straight with T9 versus Morgan's JT. A ten on the turn gave Morgan two pair, but an Ace on the river sealed the deal for Jacob, with a final board of Q-J-8-T-A. Morgan was left with about $1 million in chips.

About a half hour later, Dan Shak was eliminated when he called an all-in reraise from DeMichele. Shak's Ad3d was no match for DeMichele's AK offsuit, even with two diamonds on the flop. Dan Shak earned $151,902 for fourth place.

This hand left DeMichele with the chip lead at $2,807,000. Alex Jacob was second in chip position with $1,949,000 and Jordan Morgan a distant third with $459,000. With blinds at $12K/$24K with a $4K ante after a short break, it only took about an hour for the tournament to wrap up.

Jacob seized the chip lead immediately when he reraised DeMichele preflop to $200,000. DeMichele, in for his $50,000 initial raise, called the additional $150,000 and the two saw a flop of 9-3-K, mixed suits. Jacob bet $325,000. DeMichele reraised to $900,000, then folded when Jacob moved in.

Soon after, DeMichele doubled up Morgan when the two were heads-up in the blinds. KT for DeMichele and A4 for Morgan, a board of 8-Q-4-7-J gave Morgan the winning hand.

His stack depleted, DeMichele made his last stand with pocket eights. He reraised Jacob's raise on the button, only to be faced with a tough decision when Jacob moved all-in. The board of 8-5-K-A-6 gave Jacob, holding KQ suited, the win with a pair of Kings. DeMichele's third place finish earned him $215,194.

The end came quickly, as Jacob held a chip lead of $4,495,000 to Morgan's $730,000.
In the final hand, Morgan raised to $75,000 holding KQ offsuit, and Jacob moved in with A5. The board came A-9-7-2-J, giving the win to Jacob. Morgan received $405,072 for second place.

With his first place victory, Jacob added an impressive $878,500 to his total lifetime tournament winnings.

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