Dash for the Cash
Here’s a riddle: What’s fast, has over 40 legs but does not move? The final table of event #2 of The 2009 World Series of Poker at Caesars Las Vegas! 

Though starting with ten players, the final table lasted only 3.5 hours. The event attracted 194 entrants, which made for a prize pool of $94,090.

The winner of the event, James Lopushinsky, is from Whitehorse Yukon Territory, Canada. Lopushinksy is a professional poker player of five years and played optimal hands throughout the tournament to get to the final table. 

9th Place – Play commenced with the blinds at 3,000/6,000. Mark Poe was the first to be eliminated when all-in, his A-10 was dominated by John Lively’s A-J. The board helped neither player and Poe busted out in 9th. The IT manager from San Antonio, TX took home $2,587.

8th Place – Next out was Eskimo Clark who shoved his  84k chip stack into the pot. Jack Ranallo made the call  and showed A-Q, dominating Clark’s Q-9. Clark caught a 9 on the flop, but an Ace on the turn busted Clark out. His 8th place finish netted him $3,058.

7th Place – A few hands later, a short-stacked Alan Winston called Avi Indik’s all-in. Indik paired a Jack on the flop while Winston was left needing an Ace. Winston was unable to catch a break as a river Jack gave Indik trips and sent Winston to the rails. Winston, a retiree from Upland, California earned $3,764 for his 7th place finish.

6th Place – Jack Ranallo moved all-in shortly after Winston’s elimination. Ranallo, a district sales manager from Chicago, IL, was isolated by a re-raise by Paul Spitzberg who turned over A-10. Ranallo was far behind with A-2. The board did nothing for either player, eliminating the Chicagoan in 6th place and $4,705.

5th Place – Michael Dumas busted out next after doubling up Avi Indik, who caught runner runner for a straight. Down to only a few big blinds, Dumas went all-in and  Spitzberg made the call, showing pocket 4’s. Dumas’ 7-K made it a race situation, however a 4 on the flop put Spitzberg far ahead. Dumas could not catch up and finished in 5th place which paid him $5,881.

4th Place – 4th place belonged to Avi Indik. After doubling up through Dumas, Indik seemed to be on an upswing, however his all-in with A-Q came at a bad time as James Lopushinsky called with a dominating A-K. Neither player improved on the flop, turn or river, ending Indik’s run. The retiree from Fort Lauderdale earned $267,000 for 4th place.

3rd Place – Though he commanded a dominating stack through most of the final table, Spitzberg caught a bad break when after going all-in with pocket Kings on a 4s-Qs-7d flop, his opponent, John Lively caught an Ace on the turn, double-pairing his A-Q.

Spitzberg never seemed to fully recover mentally after the 304k chip swing. Spitzberg’s final hand came when he raised 60k on a flop of Qs-2d-7h. He was re-raised all-in by James Lopushinsky. Spitzberg made the call and turned over 7s-3s. Lopushinksy’s pocket 10’s held up against the flush draw and Spitzberg was eliminated in 3rd place. Spitzberg, who went deep in the 2007 World Series of Poker main event was paid $9,644.

2nd Place – Heads-up action was between John Lively and James Lopushinsky. Lively won a circuit event in 2008 at the WSOP Circuit Event at Harrah’s New Orleans and has cashed over a third of the circuit events he has ever entered.

With blinds at 10,000/20,000, Lively was at a considerable chip disadvantage. The final flop came Kc-As-10s. After both players checked after a Kh on the turn, Lively made what would otherwise had been considered a good move, going all-in on the river Ks, however Lopushinsky had the nuts, calling and showing K-3.   Lively mucked, taking home $15,054 for second place.

Lopushinsky earned a payday of $24,932 and a coveted World Series of Poker Circuit event ring. “I just played good hands, showing only good hands and never bluffs,” said Lopushinsky regarding his play.  

Loppushinsky plays in regular home games in Canada and is the 2005 Canadian Heads-Up poker champion.

With one event now completed at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, the tournament has now attracted more than 351 total entries and has awarded in excess of $246,380.00 in total prize money.  Still to come are 20 more events and 36 nightly (single-day) tournaments which begin at 7 pm and 11pm.  The WSOP Circuit at Caesars Palace Las Vegas continues through April 30.