Robert Feathers Wins Opener at Caesars Palace Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV – The world’s largest and most prestigious poker tournament series has returned once again to Las Vegas.
For the fifth consecutive year, Caesars Palace is hosting a World Series of Poker Circuit event.  This year’s two-week long tournament series takes place from April 14-30, 2010.  To learn more about this year’s event, an interview with Jim Pedulla, Poker and Race & Sportsbook Director at Caesars Palace, can be seen here:

The first of 18 “gold ring” tournaments on this year’s schedule began with an impressive turnout of 384 players.  The $200 (+30) buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament was played over two consecutive days during April 14th and 15th.  The top 36 finishers carved up a prize pool which amounted to $74,496.  

The top finisher was Robert Feathers, a 32-year-old part-time poker player from Dayton, OH.  He collected first-place prize money totaling $17,884, plus the prized gold ring for winning a WSOP Circuit event.  Feathers, who is a single father of two children, works full-time back in Ohio.  However, he is increasingly playing tournament poker in his spare time and often makes trips to Las Vegas.  Feathers had previously cashed in a few tournaments held here in Las Vegas, but this was his biggest payout ever.

Remarkably, this was the first WSOP-related event Feathers had ever entered.  He later explained that the WSOP is the gold standard of poker tournaments, but had been unable to play in any events until this one.

“The World Series of Poker is a great event,” Feathers said in a post-tournament interview.  "Obviously, anything attached to the World Series, you are attracted to a little bit more.  I decided to take a few days off of my regular job and give the (WSOP) Circuit a shot, and here we are.”

Final Table play began on a Thursday afternoon.  There were no prior WSOP Circuit gold ring event winners among the final nine players, which guaranteed a first-time champion.  The final table was notable for at least one other reason.  Two female players (including the chip leader) sat among the final nine.  

Elizabeth Montizanti arrived at the Final Table with a slight chip advantage over the remaining players.  Closest in chips when nine-handed play began were Cory “Chazz Reinhold” Willett and Robert Feathers – who began play ranked in third place. 
During most of the five-hour Final Table, Feathers was in good chip position, at or near the top of the leaders.  He faltered late during heads up play, but was able to make a comeback and win an exciting victory.

When Final Table play began at 3:00 pm, the nine finalists and their starting chip counts were as follows:




Chip Count


Jerry Hess

Las Vegas, NV



Martin Faulconbridge

Leicester, UK



Kevin Andrzejewski

Eastlake, OH



Robert Feathers

Dayton, OH



Eddie Sansosti

Woodridge, IL



Tiffany Long

Oakley, CA



Gift Kusuwan

Orlando, FL



Elizabeth Montizanti

Hasting, NE



Cory “Chazz Reinhold” Willett

Holt, MI


Players were eliminated in the following order:

Ninth Place:  Jerry Hess Goes Out Quickly
Jerry “Floorman” Hess, a local player who works as a hardwood flooring tradesman, nailed down ninth place.  Hess came to the final table with a decent-sized stack, but took a few early beats and ended up with $1,676.   
Eighth Place:  Player with Unpronounceable Last Name Takes Eighth Place  
Kevin Andrzejewski, who is unemployed and lives in Eastlake, OH was eliminated quickly and ended up with $2,235 in prize money.  

Seventh Place:  Kill Willett
Cory “Chaz Reinhold” Willett, a 26-year-old poker player from Holt, MI finished in seventh place.  His cut of the prize pool amounted to $2,794.

Sixth Place:  Eddie Sansoti
Eddie Sansosti, a 26-year-old poker player from Woodridge, IL was the sixth-place finisher.  He pocketed $3,539.

Fifth Place:  Long Goes Deep
Tiffany Long, a personal assistant and part-time poker player from Oakley, CA ended up as the fifth-place finisher.  She went card dead late about midway through Day Two and had to settle for $4,470 in prize money.  Long had previously made a few final tables.  But this marked her first time to cash in a WSOP Circuit tournament.

Fourth Place:  Montizanti, Last Female, Busts Out in Fourth Place
Elizabeth Montizanti, a poker player from Hasting, NE finished in fourth place.  She enjoyed her chip advantage for a time, but gradually lost the lead and much of her stack as play became shorter-handed.  Montizanti took two beats late in the tournament which ended her chances of earning what would have been her second major victory. 

Instead, she ended up collecting $5,587 in prize money.  Montizanti had previously won an event held three years ago at the Holiday Bonus Tournament.  This marked her eighth time to cash in a major poker event, including a runner-up finish two years ago at the Caesars Palace Poker Classic.

Third Place:  Let’s Hear It for the Brits!  
Martin Faulconbridge, a communications officer from Leicester, UK went out in third place.  He was short stacked much of the way, but managed to double up several times, much to the despair of his opponents.  Faulconbridge finally ran low on chips and was eliminated by Gift Kusawan.  Faulconbridge, who goes by the nickname “Foggy,” leapt away from the final table with a very respectable payout totaling $6,891.

Second Place:  No Gift for Kusuwan
When heads-up play began, Gift Kusuwan and Robert Feathers were nearly dead even in chips.  About 15 minutes into the duel, Kusuwan won a big hand with a set of kings and seized the advantage.  But Kusuwan was not able to maintain his edge.  A few minutes later he lost the chip lead, which set up the climactic final hand of the tournament.

The last hand came when Feathers was dealt   .  Kusuwan was dealt   .  Feathers caught an astounding flop as the initial board showed    .  After the turn brought the  , Kusuwan moved all-in with two pair.  Feathers called instantly and tabled his nut straight, taking down the last pot of the night.  Gift Kusuwan, a 24-year-old student from Orlando, FL, ended up finishing in second place, which officially paid $10,988.

The final hand of the tournament can be seen here:
First Place:  Robert Feathers His Nest  
Incredibly, this was the first time Robert Feathers had ever entered a WSOP-related event of any kind.  He previously entered a few tournaments held in Las Vegas, and cashed in a few.  But this marked his biggest tournament win, to date.  Feathers officially collected a payout totaling $17,884.  He was also presented with the coveted gold ring, the ultimate honor given to winners of all WSOP Circuit tournaments.

An interview with Robert Feathers at tableside moments after his win can be seen here: