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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | WSOP 2008 Circuit Events

The Fifth Annual Bayou Poker Challenge - WSOP Circuit Event #12

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World Series of Poker Circuit
2007-2008 Season
Harrah’s New Orleans

The Fifth Annual Bayou Poker Challenge
Event #12
No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-In: $500 + $50
Number of Entries: 402
Total Prize Money: $194,970
May 16-17, 2008

Official Results:

1 Jeff Tims Houston, TX $58,491
2 Gabriel Andrade Houston, TX 31,390
3 Lou "The Big Easy" Esposito Howard Beach, NY 15,598
4 William Neal Murfreesboro, TN 13,648
5 William Johnson Ray, OH 11,698
6 J.L. "The Hut" Murtagh Lincolnton, NC 9,749
7 Ben Mintz Oxford, MS 7,779
8 David Ciener Daytona Beach, FL 5,849
9 Lance A. Campione Hattiesburg, MS 3,899
10 M.R. Garner St. Amant, LA 2,145
11 Lisa Teebagy 2,145
12 Keith Williams 2,145
13 Mark Sarver 1,755
14 Edward Carrado 1,755
15 Warren Jaubert 1,755
16 Charles Raleigh 1,365
17 Paul Temme 1,365
18 Thurman Wilson 1,365
19 Lawrence Kozlove 975
20 Robert Choi 975
21 Joseph Canouse 975
22 Richard Roach 975
23 Alan Arieh 975
24 NA 975
25 Arthur Renteria 975
26 Richard Sinopoli 975
27 Mark McDonald 878
28 Collin Wilson 877
29 Mario Salazar 780
30 Timothy Morgari 780
31 Michael Schmidt 780
32 Abelardo Ayala 780
33 William Coleman 780
34 Carmen Euda 780
35 Peter Sullivan 780
36 Benjamin Gordon 780
37 Daniel Williams 585
38 John Mancuso 585
39 Jeffrey Coutroulis 585
40 Sterling Comeaux 585
41 Patrick Cissell 585
42 Ann Champlin 585
43 Leo Whitt 585
44 Khalid Dyhaim 585
45 David Fox 585

Jeff Tims Wins $58 Grand at Harrahs New Orleans

Heads-Up Play Includes Two Players Who Play in Same Home Game in Houston

Final Table Also Includes Former Bayou Poker Challenge Champion, Lou Esposito

New Orleans, LA – The twelfth of fifteen events on the 2008 Bayou Poker Challenge schedule concluded today, as Jeff Tims won the $500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em competition. The tournament was hosted by the Harrahs New Orleans Casino and Hotel. First place paid $58,491. Tims was also presented with a gold ring, awarded to all World Series of Poker Circuit winners here in New Orleans.

In an odd twist, the two players who ended up playing heads-up at the final table for the championship both happened to be from the same home game in Houston. Jeff Tims and Gabriel Andrade routinely sit in the same and play No-Limit Hold’em in a private game in their hometown. In the end, it was the 25-year-old poker pro who prevailed.

One of the largest fields of this year’s Bayou series turned out as the tournament attracted 402 entries. After 392 players were eliminated on day one, the final ten players began play with Gabriel Andrade holding a decisive chip lead with 166,900 in his stack. Bill Johnson had 128,800. The remaining eight players each had less than 100,000 in chips. The final ten players also included former Bayou Poker Challenge champion, Lou Esposito. The exact starting chip counts were as follows:

Seat 1: Lou Esposito 69,000
Seat 2: Jeff Tims 63,400
Seat 3: Bill Neal 81,000
Seat 4: Bill Johnson 128,800
Seat 5: J.L. “The Hut” Murtagh 72,000
Seat 6: Mark R. Garner 91,800
Seat 7: Lance Campione 56,800
Seat 8: Gabriel Andrade 166,900
Seat 9: Ben Mintz 23,900
Seat 10: David M. Ciener 53,200

Opening blinds were 1,500-3,000 with 400 antes. Play was wild during the initial stages of the final tournament. There were a number of bad beats where the worst all-in hand won the pot. In fact, more than two dozen all-in confrontations took place in the first two-and-a-half hours. Yet, only two players were eliminated in that period.

10th Place – Mark R. Garner went out first. Although he began with a decent stack, Garner took a few beats and was never able to recover. He ended up busting out with pocket sixes which got crushed by pocket eights. Garner, a retired pipe fitter from St. Amant, Louisiana collected $2,145 for tenth place. Note: Garner won a WSOP Circuit gold ring at the 2008 Tunica Open, at the Tunica Grand in Mississippi. He won $34,000 for first place.

9th Place – Lance A. Campione was eliminated next. The claims manager from Hattiesburg, Mississippi went all-in with a dominated hand, A-8 against A-10. The stronger hand held up, knocking out Campione. He accepted a ninth-place payout totaling $3,899. Note: Campione has now cashed three times at major tournaments. This was his first-ever WSOP Circuit in-the-money finish. Campione also wanted to note that he owes his success and happiness to his wife and three children.


8th Place – On the 54th hand of play, David Ciener was all-in with A-Q against Bill Neal’s J-J. The big pocket pair held up as Ciener failed to make a pair. The restaurant and bar owner from Daytona Beach, Florida was paid $5,849 for eighth place. Note: Ciener has cashed previously at poker tournaments in Mississippi. However, this was his first time to cash as the Bayou Poker Challenge.

7th Place – Ben Mintz was knocked out after his J-10 flopped a pair for of tens. J.L. Murtagh had A-6 and spiked on ace on the river, which dragged the 60,000 pot. Mintz collected $7,799 for seventh place. Note: This was Mintz’s fourth WSOP Circuit cash. ‘All three of his previous in-the-money finishes were at the Tunica Grand.

6th Place – About a dozen hands after J.L. “The Hut” Murtagh busted a player, he himself was eliminated. On his final hand of the tournament, Murtagh had 10-9 and moved all-in after the flop came J-7-5. He was on a draw, but missed. Lou Esposito called the bet with pocket eights, which survived as the best hand. That pot gave Esposito the chip lead for the first time. Meanwhile, “The Hut” burned in sixth place, which paid $9,749. Note: This was Murtagh’s first time to cash in a WSOP Circuit event.

5th Place – Next, Bill Johnson took a bad beat when his A-K lost to Gabriel Andrade’s K-J. Johnson was all-in and in a great spot to double up. But Andrade caught a jack on the flop, which busted Johnson. The retiree from Ohio collected a payout of $11,698 for fifth place. Note: Johnson now has nearly $140,000 in major tournament winnings, including two wins. He now has nine WSOP Circuit cashes. He says his personal motto is, “Love some, trust few, and paddle my own canoe.”


4th Place – Johnson’s tough beat moments earlier foreshadowed a brutal beat that was about to be taken by Lou Esposito. “The Big Easy” (with A-A) called an all-in bet by Bill Neal, with A-10. The final board showed Q-9-5-J-K, giving Neal a straight. Unfortunately, the 100,000 newly founds chips in his stack did not last long. A few hands later Neal was dealt 3-3 on what turned out to be his final hand of the night. Gabriel Andrade has his opponent covered with A-10. An ace of the flop put Neal behind, and he failed to improve. That gave Neal, a retired human resources manager from Mufreesboro, Tennessee fourth place. He earned a very respectable $13,648. Note: This was Neal’s second time to cash on the WSOP Circuit, and was his best tournament finish ever.

3rd Place – Lou Esposito’s misery continued. He lost a huge pot and the chip lead to Jeff Tims when he had his opponent covered and all-in, while holding two pair. Tims had one pair, but then spiked a higher second pair on the river to drag the huge pot. It was just one of perhaps 15-20 “beats” at this table. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Esposito complained.

Esposito would not like what he would see next. He busted out on his final hand holding pocket sixes, which lost to Gabriel Andrade’s Q-2. Andrade made trips on the big hand (deuces), which eliminated the former WSOP Circuit champion. Lou “The Big Easy” Esposito, who got his name from winning the Bayou Poker Challenge last year, collected a less than satisfying $15,598 for third place. Note: Esposito now has nearly $900,000 in career tournament winnings. This was his fourth time to cash in New Orleans at the WSOP Circuit. He also cashed three times at the Circuit events held as Caesars Atlantic City Esposito won the 2007 Bayou Poker Challenge main event.

2nd Place – When heads-up play began, Andrade enjoyed a 5 to 3 chip lead over Tims – 510,000 to about 300,000. On just the second hand of on the duel, the chip positions were reversed when Tims caught two-pair on the river, which bested Andrade’s higher middle pair. That flip-flopped their chip positions, with Tims ahead more than 2 to 1.

Unquestionably, Andrade and Tims’ familiarity with each other from previous private games created a longer heads-up duel than was expected. The two finalists played nearly an hour before the conclusion. Four hours into the finale, the last hand of the tournament was dealt when Tims had 8-7 against Andrade’s 6-3. After the turn showed 8-6-2-3, Andrade was all-in with second pair and a straight draw. Tims had his rival covered with top pair (eights). A deuce on the river sealed Andrade’s fate – second place. The former civil engineer from Houston received $31,390. Note: This was Andrade’s fourth time to cash at Harrahs New Orleans. He had previously taken 24th, 26th, and 36th place. This was his biggest cash ever.

1st Place – Jeff Tims
has now appeared at four major poker tournament final tables. The small business owner who also play poker for income won his biggest tournament, to date. He also gets “bragging rights” in the Houston home game.

For more information, please contact:
Nolan Dalla -- WSOP Media Director at (702) 358-4642
Or visit our official website:

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