Jay Dill Wins First Major Poker Tournament
New Orleans, LA (December 12, 2009) – Jay Dill helps America to keep its lawns green and its flowers in bloom. His job involves working with products which kill weeds and keep away pests. He also plays poker pretty well.

Dill just won the most recent Bayou Poker Challenge tournament held at Harrah’s New Orleans. The $300 (+40) buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 198 entries. This was the third event of 15 on this year’s Bayou Poker Challenge schedule. The two-day tournament generated a prize pool totaling $57,609.

This marked Dill’s first major tournament victory. In fact, it was also his first recorded time to cash in a tournament. It took Dill nearly six hours of play at the final table to earn the victory. His share of the prize money amounted to $15,268.

Dill is a 43-year-old chemical operator, who works for one of the world’s largest fertilizer companies. His company produces common agricultural products such as ammonium nitrate, mulch, and other gardening supplies used by millions of homeowners. But the only "green" that seemed to matter to Dill was the nice stash of prize money he earned at the poker table for this victory.

Each of the tournament’s top 18 finishers (two tables) collected prize money. There were two former WSOP gold bracelet winners who made it to the final table – Louisiana poker legends, Joe Petro and Buddy Bonnecaze. The top nine players were eliminated in the following order:

9th Place – Chris Dupey, a 38-year-old part-time poker player from Baton Rouge, LA was the first player out, finishing ninth. His A-J was busted by K-10 after a king fell on the river, which gave his opponent a pair. Dupey ended up with a payout totaling $1,584.

8th Place – Jay Chung, a 37-year-old self-employed Korean-born businessman from Atlanta, GA ended up with an eighth-place finish. Chung overplayed pocket deuces on his final hand. He re-raised all-in with the tiny pair hoping to make a steal and was snap called by Joe Petro, who quickly tabled pocket aces. The monster pair held up, which eliminated Chung, who ended up with $1,872 in prize money. Chung had previously finished fourth in a WSOP event in Las Vegas.

7th Place – Todd Etzel, a 28-year-old self-employed part-time poker player from Bryan, TX ended up with a seventh-place finish. He ran into a bit of bad luck late, moving all-in with A-Q which was beat by A-K. An ace flopped, but Etzel was left drawing to a queen, which failed to materialize. Etzel’s payout amounted to $2,304.

6th Place – Joe Petro, a 79-year-old real estate investor and restaurant franchiser from Lafayette, LA finished in sixth-place. Petro is a Louisiana poker legend, as one of the players who regularly played in the famed Cajun Cup, which was one of the tournament circuit’s most interesting stops when it was held as a quasi-legal underground attraction during the 1980s. Petro has 61 career tournament wins, including a WSOP gold bracelet he won in 1987 ($1,000 buy-in Seven-Card Stud Eight-or-Better). His poker resume reads like an encyclopedia, with wins from Binion’s Horseshoe, the Golden Nugget, Caesars Lake Tahoe, the Reno Hilton, the Commerce Casino, the Bicycle Casino, and elsewhere. Petro came up short this time in his attempt to Harrah’s New Orleans to the list. However, he ended up with $2,880 for his impressive sixth-place finish.

5th Place – Peng "Jay" Zheng, a 22-year-old owner of a small family business from New Orleans, LA, finished in fifth place. Zheng, who is originally from China, went out holding pocket fives. The small pair ended up losing to A-10 when an ace flopped. Zheng has previously made it to two WSOP Circuit final tables. This was also his third time to cash in a Bayou Poker Challenge event. He picked up $3,601 for finishing fifth.

4th Place – Buddy Bonnecaze, a 67-year-old CPA from Baton Rouge, LA penciled in his name for fourth place. Bonnecaze is a two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner. He won back-to-back Pot-Limit Omaha titles back in 1992 and 1993. In fact, his win in 1993 was his last time to cash in a WSOP-related poker tournament. Bonnecaze returned to the spotlight here at the Bayou Poker Challenge 16 years later with a fourth-place showing in this event. He received $4,609.

3rd Place – Gabe Costner, a 32-year-old former stockbroker-turned-professional poker player from Long Beach, MS finished in third place. Costner has an impressive record of accomplishments in tournament poker over the past few years. He has been playing as a poker pro since 2002, and made it to 13 final tables in 2008. Yet he still stays under the radar of public awareness. After concentrating mostly on cash games for five years, Costner only started playing in tournaments about three years ago. He already has three major wins, and has amassed more than $500,000 in tournament winnings, to date. Costner was eliminated after he flopped a pair of jacks, which ended up losing to trip aces. His payout for third place amounted to $5,905.

2nd Place – Bruce Little, a 51-year-old New Orleans city police officer, was the runner up. This was Little’s second final table appearance so far – the only player with two top-ten finishes. He finished eighth in Event #1. Little was very low on chips early in the finale, and managed to catch a huge break at one point when he was all-in with Q-10 against pocket queens. Little ended up making a straight, which catapulted him all the way to a heads-up showdown two hours later, against Jay Dill. The final hand of the tournament later came when Little called a huge all-in bet on a flush draw, and missed. Dill ended up making a jack-high straight on the hand and won the tournament. Nevertheless, Little could certainly be proud of another fine performance, worth $9,218 in prize money.

1st Place – Jay Dill, a 43-year-old chemical operator from Donaldsonville, LA was the winner. He collected $15,268 and bragging rights for his first major tournament victory.

The 2009 Bayou Poker Challenge, which is an official World Series of Poker Satellite location, continues for nine more days and will conclude on December 20th. There’s still plenty of time to make plans to come to Harrah’s New Orleans and join in the poker action. For more information, please visit: www.harrahsneworleans.com