The 2009 PokerStars.Com Caribbean Adventure has yet to find its latest champion, but that hasn’t stopped other tournaments from playing out in the background. The World Cup of Poker V and the $25K High Roller event have both completed, and next up was the two-day World Championship of Battleship Poker. It is a relatively low buy-in, as compared to the other events, and one of the most anticipated of the series.
The Atlantis Resort and Casino was the home to the 2009 Battleship competition, with enough laptop computers set up for each bracket of players to play at their designated times, and it got underway at noon on January 8th. The field was limited to 64 players for the heads-up SNG competition, and players lined up to pay the $2K to get involved. With that, the prize pool was set at $128,000, and the final eight finishers would receive a piece of it.
Many of the players were primarily internet players, and notably absent from the line-up was defending champion Dustin “Neverwin” Woolf. However, previous champion Sorel Mizzi was in the field to attempt another victory. The players were divided up into four brackets and the starting matches were established and played out in very little time. The first round played out as follows, leaving only 32 to advance.
Shawn Buchanan defeated Philip Wiszowaty
William Reynolds defeated Jonathon Dull
Blake Cahill defeated Victor Ramdin
Ryan Gartitta defeated Michael Somma
Sorel Mizzi defeated Travis Brown
Jamin Stokes defeated Adam Ewestein
Aaron Jones defeated Dan Jiacpello
Adam Koll defeated Lance Boner
Justin Truedell defeated Marcus Mizzi
Andrew Boccia defeated David Munson
John Drake defeated Emil Holmsten
Michael Chappus defeated Michael Krantz
Michael Banducci defeated Derek Andersen
Jared Bleznick defeated Bagrov Ruslan
Ketul Nathwani defeated Randy Wood
Steve Gross defeated Carlos Neira
Kyle Broccia defeated Andrew Pantling
Yervand Boyadjian defeated Michael Shklover
Michael Glasser defeated Jeff Sluzinski
Joe Serock defeated Sergey Rybachenko
Bahbak Obodi defeated Dan Didech
Jared Jaffe defeated Oliver Busquet
Armitkaj Singh defeated Mark Radoja
Josh Weizer defeated Keith Block
Emmanuel Failla defeated Jon Turner
Justin Bonomo defeated Christian Harder
Robert Forrester defeated Jonathon Jaffe
Rob Ford defeated Dennis Waterman
Petter Berg defeated Dan Carter
Maksim Serebrinsky defeated Brian Hawkins
Richard Gryko defeated Michael McNeil
Keven Stammen defeated Anthony Venthrini
Round 2 was played out on the same day with 32 players, and it would leave only 16 to progress to Round 3 later in the evening. When the second round was completed, only a few recognizable names remained, like Shawn Buchanan, Sorel Mizzi, and Justin Bonomo. The entire list of results was as follows:
Shawn Buchanan defeated William Reynolds
Ryan Gartitta defeated Blake Cahill
Sorel Mizzi defeated Jamin Stokes
Adam Koll defeated Aaron Jones
Andrew Boccia defeated Justin Truedell
John Drake defeated Michael Chappus
Jared Bleznick defeated Michael Banducci
Ketul Nathwani defeated Steve Gross
Yervand Boyadjian defeated Kyle Broxia
Joe Serock defeated Michael Glasser
Bahbak Obodi defeated Jared Jaffe
Armitkaj Singh defeated Josh Weizer
Justin Bonomo defeated Emmanuel Failla
Rob Ford defeated Robert Forrester
Petter Berg defeated Maksim Serebrinsky
Richard Gryko defeated Keven Stammen
And similarly, when 16 players ground down to the final eight, only Bonomo and Mizzi were still in the fight. Those results were:
Ryan Gartitta defeated Shawn Buchanan
Sorel Mizzi defeated Adam Koll
John Drake defeated Andrew Boccia
Jared Bleznick defeated Ketul Nathwani
Yervand Boyadjian defeated Joe Serock
Bahbak Obodi defeated Armitkaj Singh
Justin Bonomo defeated Rob Ford
Richard Gryko defeated Petter Berg
After a long day of numerous matches and a lot of players staring at computer screens, which likely didn’t attract much of a fun-filled railbird section, the final eight had been determined. They were set to return the following day to play for the victory, with Bonomo and Mizzi still seeking that $44,800 first prize and World Championship of Battleship Poker title. Everyone left was guaranteed $8,000 for finishing in the top eight (four times the buy-in), but for most poker players, that is never good enough. They play for the win.
When the “Elite 8,” as PokerStars was calling them, returned to play on January 9th, it wouldn’t take long before the first four matches of the day were done. Sorel Mizzi defeated Ryan Gartitta in a quick match to move on to the “Final Four” and become the overall winner of the Clubs bracket. Gartitta left with $8,000 for his effort.
The next to be decided was the Diamonds bracket, wherein Jared Bleznick took out John Drake to move on to the next round. In the Hearts division, Bahbak Oboodi defeated Yervand Boyadjian. And finally in the Spades bracket, Richard Gryko eliminated Justin Bonomo, who appeared late for the match and tried to dominate but couldn’t make the effort last and gave it up to Gryko.
After a short break, the four remaining players returned to play in the semi-final round, and it was a best-of-three series for each duo. They were given the choice to play the three matches one at a time or multi-table and do them all at once.
Bleznick and Mizzi decided to multi-table, but the first match was finished rather quickly. Mizzi lost a big pot with a flush draw to Bleznick’s set of kings, and he officially lost the match two hands later when his A-8 couldn’t beat up on A-K. The second match between the two was still running, and Bleznick got out to an early lead. Mizzi took a chance with all of his chips with pocket aces, and Bleznick called again with A-K. With a king on the flop and another on the turn, the aces were cracked, and Mizzi lost two out of three to be eliminated in fourth place with $12,800.
Gryko and Oboodi opted to play their matches one at a time. Oboodi took the lead in the first one right away and finally won it with a flush over the top pair of Gryko. The second match wasn’t as smooth for Oboodi, but it got easier when he doubled through Gryko with A-9 and an ace on the river versus the kings of Gryko. Gryko was then crippled and busted soon after in third place with $12,800.
The final best-of-three matches were set between Jared “Harrington10” Bleznick and Bahbak “bidredAK” Oboodi. With $25,600 going to the loser and $44,800 to the winner -- quite the sizable difference between the payouts -- the two hunkered down for some serious heads-up online poker.
Oboodi started the first match with the lead, and though Bleznick doubled to get his starting stack back, Oboodi moved back into the lead. The final hand began with a raise by Oboodi but an all-in move by Bleznick with A-K. Oboodi called with . The board came , and the river gave the win and Game 1 to Oboodi.
The second match was quicker, and Bleznick was the dominating one early. The two players went to see a flop of , and both put more money in the pot to see the on the turn. All of Oboodi’s chips went in then with pocket threes for a set, but Bleznick showed for the straight. Game 2 went to Bleznick to even the matches.
It all came down to the third match to decide the winner. Bleznick and Oboodi exchanged the chip lead several times, but Oboodi won a key hand with A-K versus the K-9 of Bleznick on a A-5-2-K-3 board. Bleznick was left with only 336 chips after the hand, and though he attempted to fight back, he finally succumbed, and Oboodi won the round, taking the finals 2 to 1.
Jared Bleznick was forced to accept a second place finish and the $25,600 that went with it.
Bahbak Oboodi won the 2009 World Championship of Battleship Poker and was awarded the $44,800 first place prize for the feat.
(Thanks to PokerStars Blog for detailed tournament information.)