Event #9: No-Limit Texas Hold 'em
Location: Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Buy-in: $1,500 (+70)
Number of Entries: 134
Total Prize Money: $194,970
Lake Tahoe's $1,500 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament, attracted 134 entries competing for $194,970 in prize money. Day One resulted in the elimination of 125 players. The nine finalists returned on Day Two, with Tony O'Hagan holding a slight chip lead over the field. Players were eliminated as follows:
9th Place: John Hoang, $5,850
It took 90 minutes for the first elimination to occur. Hoang arrived second-lowest in chips and could not survive the gradual increase in blinds and antes.
8th Place: Abraham Gray, $7,800
This was Gray's second trip to the final table. He went out in the third hour of play when his Q-J lost to A-Q.
7th Place: David Levi, $9,750
Levi moved all-in with pocket 4s but was dominated by Mike Ruter's pocket jacks. On the turn, the board showed 3=4=7=J giving Ruter trip-jacks. But Levi had an inside-straight draw. A harmless ace fell on the river, and Levi was out.
6th Place: Tony O'Hagan, $11,700
One of the most exciting hands of the tournament took place next when "Miami John" Cernuto was all-in with 7-7 against Tony O'Hagan's A-A. Just when it looked Miami John would be bounced off the final table, a lucky 7 fell on the river and Miami John survived. That hand would doom Tony O'Hagan to a 6th place finish. He went out a short time later when he was short-stacked and lost a hand to Aidilily Eluro. This was O'Hagan's third final table appearance at this year's Lake Tahoe event.
5th Place: Aidilily Eluro, $13,365
Eluro was the only woman at the final table. She had a decent chip count, but was ultimately knocked out with 10-10 against Miami John's A-J. The flop of K=Q=J gave Eluro several outs, but two blanks put her on the rail in 5th place.
4th Place: Howard "Tahoe" Andrew, $15,600
Miami John continued to spike good cards. With plenty of chips where he could afford to gamble, he called Tahoe's all-in raise with 10-9. Tahoe had A-10, leaving Miami John as a big underdog. Bang! A nine fell on the turn, sinking Tahoe -- a two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner -- in 4th place.
3rd Place: Mike Ruter, $21,445
Mike Ruter was short-stacked and made his final stand of the night with a hand that was not shown. Cernuto and McMillan checked the hand down and McMIllan ended up dragging the small pot with an ace-high.
Runner up: Patrick McMillan, $38,995
1st Place: "Miami John" Cernuto, $70,190
The heads-up duel between Cernuto and McMillan began with Cernuto holding a formidable 200,000-to-135,000 chip advantage. McMillan made things interesting, drawing close to even in chips at one point. But this was Cernuto's night.
McMillan increased his stack with several aggressive moves, causing Cernuto to surrender the pot on many occasions. McMillan took advantage of Cernuto's caution, which evolved into a counter-strategy whereby Cernuto would look for the right opportunity to set a trap. The trap hand came when Cernuto allowed McMillan to keep betting at the pot, when the turn showed J=J=2=A. With 60,000 already in the pot, Cernuto bet 15,000, McMillan raised 30,000 more, and Cernuto moved all-in. That prompted McMillan to fold. Following the hand, he was outchipped by more than 6 to 1. A few hands later, the six-hour finale ended when Cernuto was dealt pocket aces against McMillan's A-10. McMillan was all-in before the flop and the final board - 7=3=2=2=K, giving Cernuto the victory.
View final results.