Los Angeles, California (March 14, 2014) – What hasn’t Mike Leah accomplished in the past 24 hours? Cross the $2 million career live tournament earnings mark? Check. Win his first Circuit ring? Check. Win his second Circuit ring? Check. Lock up the title of Casino Champion here at The Bike and a second consecutive seat into the National Championship? Check.
The Canadian Ivey Poker pro began the day with a ring win in Event 9: $580 No-Limit Hold’em and finished it with his second victory of the day in Event 11: $365 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo. After besting four-time Circuit ring winner Caufman Talley during heads-up play, Leah was able to clinch the title and pocket $15,440 in first-place prize money.
Leah, who started the day as the chip lead in Event 9, earned his first ring after mowing down the final table in just over three hours. All of the while, Leah was registered for Event 10: $1,125 No-Limit Hold’em. Immediately after his victory, Leah hopped in that event to give it a shot.
“I got blinded out of the $1K while I was finishing up the other event,” said Leah. “I actually ran up my stack a little bit, but then ran eights into jacks to bust. I jumped in the Turbo maybe an hour, hour and a half late. I ran my stack up right away and probably had the chip lead from three or four tables all of the way to the end. It’s fun. It’s fun when you have the chip lead.”
Interestingly enough, two other players who were with him earlier in the day at the Event 9 final table joined Leah once again at the Event 11 final table. Charles “Woody” Moore and Solomon Yi, who finished Event 9 in ninth and sixth place respectively, were also among the final runners in Event 11. Ultimately, Yi racked up another sixth place finish while Moore was eliminated immediately after in fifth place.
“It was actually a really tough final table,” said Leah. “There were a lot of really good players, which I actually didn’t mind because I knew they all understood ICM. I could shove almost a bit more freely because I knew a lot of them weren’t going to make a mistake a gamble. Then again, they were going to all me correctly so it was good and bad. It was fun.”
The final table was also graced with the presence of ring winner Sirous Baghchehsaraie, who finished seventh and noted professional Tim West, who went out in fourth. Eventually, Leah found himself heads-up against Talley and was looking to deny the Louisiana-native a fifth gold ring.
“When we got heads-up I had him about 1.2 million to 700,000,” said Leah. “We both won a couple of pots each way and he was down to about six hundred. I raise threes on the button and he shoved. When I looked at my hand on the button I knew that I could open-shove, but then I feel he’s only calling me when I’m probably in bad shape. I wanted to give him a chance to shove ace-three, ace-deuce, king-three, whatever. He ended up having ace-something and the threes held up. It was nice to win that flip and end it there. It’s been a long day.”
Leah’s win earned him another 50 points toward the Casino Championship, which is enough to lock up the title. Leah vaulted into the lead after winning Event 9 earlier in the day and his second win boosted his score to an unbeatable 122.5 points for the series. More than anything, Leah looks forward to participating in the National Championship.
“I’ve been to three Circuit stops in the last two years and I’ve won Casino Champion at two of them,” Leah said. “They’re fun. I’m always motivated because I like Player of the Series stuff. It motivates me and helps me play my best every day. It gives you something to shoot for.”
Leah has shown his consistency here at The Bike and will be looking toward the future with hopes to add to his rapidly growing jewelry collection by adding a bracelet from the National Championship.
Final table results were as follows:
1st – Mike Leah - $15,440
2nd – Caufman Talley - $9,540
3rd – Richard Green - $6,890
4th – Tim West - $5,060
5th – Charles “Woody” Moore - $3,780
6th – Solomon Yi - $2,870
7th – Sirous Baghchehsaraie - $2,220
8th – Thomas Sica - $1,740
9th – Nader Arfai - $1,390