Event #16: No-Limit Hold'em Shootout Championship
Location: Rio, Las Vegas
Buy-in: $1,500
Number of Entries: 780
Total Prize Money: $1,076,400

If Anthony Reategui ever decides to quit playing poker for a living and start a business, he might consider a career as a demolition man. He flattened a formidable final table lineup in such convincing fashion that the outcome was foreseeable even when as many as seven players remained. When he busted his closest rival in chips and gobbled up more than half the chips in play, it appeared the remaining players were all competing for second place. Reategui effectively busted seven of his nine opponents, leaving their confidence in shambles and a wasteland where their chips once proudly rested.

Reategui's victory came in Event #16. The No-Limit Shootout championship requires different skills than are required for standard poker tournaments. In a shootout, the goal is to outlast all the players at your table, in much the same way a single-table satellite is played. The player who wins his/her respective table moves on to play in the next shootout round, until the final table takes place and the champion is determined. Each time a new shootout begins, all players start with the same number of chips. So, early chip leaders are insignificant in the grand scheme of shootout strategy. Surviving, outlasting, and, ultimately, winning are the goals.

The total prize pool amounted to $1,076,400. The final table included one former gold bracelet winner - Ted Lawson who won $500,000 in the Pot-Limit Omaha championship last year. Players were eliminated as follows:

10th Place: Keith Quilty, $16,145
Keith Quilty had a rough second day. About an hour into play, Quilty moved his last 30,000 into the pot with A-6. Paul Kroh called with K-Q and hit a king on the river, knocking out the 39-year-old professional gambler who lives in Las Vegas.
9th Place: Erick Lindgren, $20,450
Erick Lindgren has been as hot as anyone in tournament poker over the past two years. The one thing that has eluded the California-born poker pro has been a victory at the World Series. This was Lindgren's fourth time to make it to a final table, but the best he could do was 9th place. On his final hand, he was dealt A-7 and lost to Anthony Reategui's Q-10. A queen flopped to send Lindgren away.
8th Place: Allen Goldstein, $25,835
Looking back at this final table, the suspense pretty much ended after the two big chip leaders went to war. Allen Goldstein was the major obstacle to Anthony Reategui from the start. Reategui was the early aggressor and when Goldstein looked down and saw pocket nines, he made an all-in re-raise on the button. Retegui called instantly, and flipped over pocket queens. Goldstein looked stunned and walked away dejectedly when he failed to improve.
7th Place: Dariush Imani, $32,290
Phil Gordon put a bad beat on Dariush Imani when he called a small raise with K-4 against Imani's K-9. Gordon called for a four and it flashed on the river to evict Imani, a real estate investor from Utah.
6th Place: Ted Lawson, $43,055
Two hours passed before lightning struck the final table and the next four players were torched. The most exciting hand of the tournament took place in a three-handed pot between Kenny Robbins, Ted Lawson, and Anthony Reategui. Robbins (with K-K) re-raised an initial raise by Reategui (with 9-9). Lawson called all-in with J-J. Reategui knew he was probably beat but decided to call the raise since he enjoyed such a large chip advantage and could knock out two players if he hit a nine. Three small cards flopped and it appeared Robbins was about to triple up. Then, the card of death came. Wham! A nine crushed both Robbins and Lawson and left the huge crowd in a state of shock. The board paired on the river and Reategui took down two players with a full-house and dragged another monster-sized pot. Former gold bracelet winner Ted Lawson staggered away from the final table shaking his head.
5th Place: Kenny Robbins, $53,820
The three-handed shocker also knocked out Kenny Robbins. Robbins was one of five players in his 20s at this final table. The Las Vegas local could certainly be pleased with his performance, although he expects to improve in the future. This was Robbins' third time to finish in the money at this year's World Series.
4th Place: Young Phan, $64,585
On the very next hand, Young Phan had the best of it when he raised all-in with A-9. Reategui seemed to know exactly what was coming, as he called with K-Q then caught running diamonds to complete a flush. Phan, one of poker's most talented players, has yet to win a gold bracelet at the World Series. His time will certainly come at some point.
3rd Place: Phil Gordon, $75,350
When play became three-handed, Reategui had about 85 percent of the chips in play. The two remaining players, Phil Gordon and Paul Kroh sat together with hands folded looking at each other. Neither Gordon nor Kroh wanted to go first, since $70,000 was at stake -- the difference between 2nd and 3rd place. Finally, as the blinds escalated, Gordon made a decision to move all-in with A-6. Reategui could afford to call the small raise in his sleep. He flipped over J-8 and hit a pair. Phil Gordon was out in 3rd place.

Runner up: Paul Kroh, $148,380
The Battle Mountain, NV resident won an event earlier this year in San Diego on the World Series of Poker Circuit. He hoped to win his first gold bracelet in this event, but realized the near-futility of the situation the more he witnessed Reategui's domination.

On the final hand of the evening, Reategui was dealt A-2 of diamonds against Paul Kroh's K-Q of diamonds. Nether player made a pair, which meant the ace-high played. That knocked out Kroh and ended one of the most commanding performances in World Series of Poker history. Paul Kroh, a 59-year-old retired poker player who has won several majors around the country, earned $148,380 as the runner-up.

1st Place: Anthony Reagetui, $269,100
Anthony Reagetui is a 29-year-old poker pro who was born in Chicago, but has spent most of his life in the Phoenix area. He worked in a car wash before he discovered poker six years ago. Since then, Reagetui has ground out a steady income from online poker games and casinos in and around Phoenix.

Most interesting is the fact that Reagetui got his inspiration to enter the World Series from Pat Poels, who won the Omaha High-Low championship (Event #4) at this year's tournament. "Before, I used to think I was dead money in these tournaments," Reagetui said. "Then Pat [Poels] told me, 'don't worry about it, you're a good player, you'll get there.' So, I decided to play and got red hot in this event. And look, here I am."

Asked about his plans for some of the $269,100 in prize money, Reagetui says he intends to play more poker. "The best thing about winning is that I can stay in action longer. I can also play a bit higher, now. I also told all my friends that if I won we'd all go to Hawaii. That's like six or seven of us."


View final results.

Tournament reporting by Nolan Dalla / worldseriesofpoker.com