The 2009 Bayou Poker Challenge is now two-thirds complete.  The 16th of twenty scheduled gold ring events ended today at Harrah’s New Orleans.  The $300 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha with Re-Buys tournament attracted a cozy field of 94 entries for the two-day competition.  The players also pumped-in a whopping 407 re-buys, creating very respectable prize pool totaling $62,274.

The tournament winner was Leonid Shteyn.  He is a 55-year-old businessman who is originally from the nation of Belarus.  He now lives in Houston.

Shteyn started the final table as chip leader.  It took him five-long hours to vanquish eight opponents, making for one of the longer events played so far.  Shteyn was cheered to victory by his wife, who sat faithfully in the gallery.  Finishing second was Robert Campbell, who came close to winning his second gold ring here in New Orleans. 

This not only marked Shteyn’s first major tournament victory.  It was his first time ever to cash in a tournament of any kind.  What a way to begin.  Shteyn won first place prize money totaling $19,928.  He was also presented with a gold ring, the ultimate achievement for winning a WSOP Circuit event.

The top nine in-the-money finishers were as follows:


1st Place – Leonid Shteyn, a businessman from Houston, won the Pot-Limit Omaha championship.  Incredibly, this was his first time ever to cash in a poker tournament.

2nd Place – The runner up was Robert Campbell.  If there was a “Best All-Around” player at this year’s Bayou series, Campbell would have been the unanimous choice.  He took first, second, and third in three events here in New Orleans.  The Miami poker pro had a great series and is certainly at the top of his game at the moment.

3rd Place – The third-place finisher was Ed Roger, a 73-year-old manufacturing executive from Houston.  He has five previous WSOP Circuit cashes.  However, this was his highest tournament finish ever.

4th Place – Brandon Jarrett, from Cartersville, GA too fourth place.  He now has nearly $140,000 in career earnings, including two wins in other Gulf Coast area tournaments.  This was his second time to cash in a WSOP Circuit event.

5th Place – Fifth place went to Nick Graphia, a private detective from Baton Rouge, LA.  Graphia cashed at the WSOP in Las Vegas way back in 1994.  This marked his first cash in four years, after making a final table here in New Orleans in 2005.

6th Place – Charles Wight, a retiree from Houston, previously won a WSOP gold bracelet.  But he just missed becoming the first player here in New Orleans ever to win both a bracelet and a gold ring.  He now has $151,000 in career earnings.

7th Place – Seventh place went to Justin Jones, a cash game player from Rockdale, TX.  This was his third time to cash at the Bayou Poker Classic, and was his highest tournament finish, to date.

8th Place – Joel Harwood finished in eighth place.  His previous record includes outstanding results at The Orleans Open in Las Vegas, where he has previously cashed nine times.  However, this was his first in-the-money finish at a WSOP Circuit event.

9th Place – Shahnam Mohajerin, who is self-employed and lives in Montgomery, AL was the ninth-place finisher.