Second Time a Charm

This was only the second pot-limit Omaha tournament that Charles Casavant III has ever played. But his instinct, his experience in numerous other tournaments, and his sudden liking for the game was sufficient to bring him victory in this 17th event of the WSOP Circuit tour at Horseshoe Council Bluffs. The win in the short field was worth $4,511. This is the third final table in this series for Casavant, who is 42 and from Avilla, Indiana where he owns a True Value Hardware store. His two prior final tables here were in the $1,000 no-limit and the H.O.R.S.E. event, where he finished sixth.

The Omaha portion of that tournament intrigued him. "It's not like no-limit, where you can be out in two hands," he said. "I could have played for hours in this event, and I feel it's a game where the better players are more likely to come to the top. And it's an interesting game where you can play a lot more hands."

Casavant, 42, has been playing poker 10 years. He plans to include a lot more Omaha in  his future schedule.

This event was changed to a one-day affair. It was midnight when the three in-the-money players started, with blinds now at 600-1,200 and limits of 1,200-2,400, 30 minutes left. With 86,500, Casavant III had the most chips.

Here were the starting chip counts:

Seat 1. Frank Dukich  `           51,000
Seat 2.  Charles Casavant III  86,500
Seat 3. Jesse Hale                    60,000 

This final table was not exactly a marathon. It was over in about 25 minutes. First to go was Frank Dukich. The board showed 9-3-J-2-7. Holding J-5-2-2, he had a set of deuces and went all in. But Casavant, holding A-6-8-10, had made a straight. Third paid $1,804. Dakich, 64, is a retired newspaper pressman from Carter Lake, IA who started playing about 10 years ago. In 2008 he won  a local poker tournament..

One hand later it was all over when Jesse Hale, a professional sky diver, had a crash landing. He had A-4-6-7 and was all in when a board of J-K-9-6-4 gave him two pair, 6s and 4s. . He was outmatched by Casavant, who held K-K-J-J for a set of kings (and a set of jacks as well). Second place was worth $2,706.

Hale is a 35-year-old skydiver from Houston, Texas, playing a bit over three years. He had been diving all over tonight, playing in the main event as well (which's he's still in), jumping from table to table. He has also sky-dived with his wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and several aunts and cousins. (All at the same time?), 4,000 jumps altogether, and he survived each time, though he did have to open his reserve chute about 15 times. Unfortunately, there are no reserve chutes in poker tournaments.