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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

2008 World Poker Open – Event #14, $500+50 NLHE

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Over 300 players joined in at Event #14 at the 2008 World Poker Open with 36 players making the money. The non-final table money finishers were:

10th: Todd Smith $1,987
11th: Max Sung $1,987
12th: Buddy Williams $1,987
13th: Scott Monteath $1,656
14th: Allie Prescott $1,656
15th: Jerry Lee $1,656
16th: Mike Metcalf $1,325
17th: Ted Milkey $1,325
18th: Richard Joel $1,325
19th: Bobby Gray $993
20th: Will Hammock $993
21st: E. Jay Hutchinson Jr. $993
22nd: Mike Bourke $993
23rd: Carlos Colon $993
24th: Jason Stover $993
25th: Ron Brown $993
26th: Michael Wommack $993
27th: Will Payne $993
28th: Esmeralda Villafonte $662
29th: William Momberger $662
30th: Paul Downs $662
31st: Linda Heckney $662
32nd: Ron Nacol $662
33rd: Eddie Raul $662
34th: James Roten $662
35th: Ronnie Evans $662
36th: Champie Douglas $662

The final table includes one notable player - Men Nguyen. Seating assignments and chip counts for the final table were:

Seat 1 – Men Nguyen 77.5K
Seat 2 – Jeremy Kottler 88.5K
Seat 3 – Allan Damaree 57K
Seat 4 – Steven Rash 117K
Seat 5 – Don Saiban 32.5K
Seat 6 – Dennis Otto 57K
Seat 7 – Mike Matsui 62.5K
Seat 8 – Pawel Boruta 264K
Seat 9 – Walter Milgroom 154.5K

Blinds started at 2,000/4,000 with a 500 ante.

Men Nguyen doesn't take long to claim his first victim. He opens for 12K and Don Saiban moves all in for an additional 19K. Men calls and shows Q-10 of clubs. Don isn't that far ahead with his A-J offsuit. The flop comes J-9-4 giving Don top pair and Men an open ended straight draw plus an over card. The turn is one of Men's 12 outs... a king... and Don Saiban is our 9th place finisher winning $3,311.

It is a very quiet final table, a stark contrast from last night's PLO final table and the theatrics of Gene Timberlake.

The blinds move up to 3000/6,000 and Allan Demaree decides he's short enough to panic and moves his remaining 50K or so into the pot from the button. Timing is, as they say, everything and Allan's timing could not have been worse as Steven Rash in the small blind wakes up with pocket 10's to dominate his Q-9 off.
The flop is a monster for Rash... 10-9-3 but poker can always turn a monster favorite into a not so sure thing in the flop of one card. The jack on the turn did just that giving Allan an open ended straight draw. Believe it or not, though, sometimes the best hand does win and when the board paired on the river, Allan Demaree was eliminated in 8th place winning $4,967.

A huge 3 way pot took place between the chip leader Pawel Boruta, Walter Milgroom, and Men Nguyen. Pawel opened for 20K from the button and Walter made it 50K to go from the small blind. Men looked at his cards and quickly moved all in from the big blind. Paul folded what he said later was pocket 10's and Walter quickly called. He had a good reason for his quick call. He had aces. Men was in bad, bad shape with his A-K.

Walter walked off... to the bathroom in fact... I suppose if you are going to take a bathroom break, doing it when you have aces against A-K is a good time to do it. “I went to wash my hands, calm down, and stop my heart from pounding,” he told me when he returned. An A-9-3 flop meant that he came back to a near triple up. After the hand Walter was over 250K and Men was down to approximately 40K.

Men got a good portion of that back a bit later when he called Steven Rash's raise out of the big blind and moved all in on an 8-5-4 flop with pocket 6's. Steven called with A-J and Men was able to dodge the ace or jack and doubled up to 100K.

Dennis Otto had been waiting and waiting to pick a spot and when he was first to act from the button, he moved all in with his remaining 20K. Mike Matsui, in the small blind, made the call, as did Pawel Boruta in the big blind (it was only 14K to win 53K by the time it got to him). The flop came J-10-4 and Matsui checked. Pawel went all in and Matsui shook his head with apparent indignation at the fact that Pawel wasn't willing to check it down. Pawel shows K-10 and Dennis needs some help with his A-3. It doesn't arrive and Dennis Otto is our 7th place finisher winning $6,623.

Matsui sits back down and complains a little to Pawel for his action. The bigger problem, however, is that Matsui's flat call left him with only 25K (which makes you think the better play would have been to move all in as well the previous hand in order to avoid the exact situation he encountered).

Matsui moves it all in the very next hand with Q-J and is called by Walter with A-J. The A-J holds up and Mike Matsui is our 6th place finisher winning $8,279.

At the break our chip counts were as follows:

Men Nguyen 140K
Jeremy Kottler 130K
Steven Rash 110K
Pawel Boruta 210K
Walter Milgroom 290K

Men continues his upward climb when he check raises all in over the top of Jeremy on a 5-3-2 flop. Jeremy folds. The two decide to go at it again a few hands later. Men raises from the button and Jeremy moves all in from the small blind. Steven in the big blind folds and Men calls. Men has 10's while Jeremy has A-J.

The flop comes K-9-8. “Keep it low baby,” Men asks the dealer. She doesn't keep it low, but it's still a safe turn card for Men... a king. When the river is an 8, Men shouts “YES” several times before feigning wiping sweat from his brow and uttering his somewhat trademark phrase “all you can eat baby.” He has Jeremy covered by 1K and Jeremy Kottler is our 5th place finisher winning $9,934.

If you win races at the end of these tournaments, you're going to do well. This is exactly what Men is doing and he is now the chip leader with over 300K in chips. Now that Men has chips he's suddenly awake and is talking a lot more and becoming more active in the number of hands he is playing.

Pawel makes an excellent call of a 20K bet on the river from Steven Rash. Rash has queen high and Pawel doesn't have much more... king high... but it's good enough to take the pot. Steven doesn't have much left and moves it all in from the button with K-Q. Walter calls him in the big blind with A-7 and pairs his seven on the flop. This is enough and Steven Rash is our 4th place finisher winning $11,590.

*We're three handed now and the three remaining players are all close to one another in stack size. I'd been running a fever and had some flu symptoms coming on and at this point they had started to overwhelm me... so I decided to call it a night.*

Walter Milgroom ended up finishing in 3rd place and winning $13,246... which was what I expected since he was easily the tightest of the remaining 3 players and tight just isn't right at the end of these tournaments.

The heads up match between Pawel Boruta and Men Nguyen was the longest one of the 2008 World Poker Open. It took nearly 4 hours before a winner was decided and in the end it was the veteran Nguyen who came out on top. Pawel Boruta finished in 2nd place winning $26,491.

Men Nguyen is one of the more recognizable faces in poker and he battled his way back valiantly from a short stack to win the bracelet. At one point down to under 40K with the blinds at 3,000/6,000, Men never gave up and won some key races to put himself back into contention. 50K might not seem like much to someone with over 6 million in lifetime winnings but from the outset you could tell that winning this meant something to Men.

Men Nguyen is the winner of Event #14 of the World Poker Open winning $51,330 for his efforts. Congratulations Men!

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