Las Vegas, NV – Daphne “Tweety” Turner made poker history tonight.  She became the first woman in the six-year history of WSOP Circuit events to win two gold rings.  Turner bulldozed her way to victory in the Mixed Game event, which requires mastery of seven forms of poker.  Turner pocketed $6,727.  But her win is likely to be remembered as being a record-setting accomplishment.

Turner’s previous victory came exactly two years to the day when she won her first gold ring, here at Harrah’s New Orleans.  In that tournament, Turner became the first female to win an open WSOP Circuit in New Orleans.  History repeated itself again on this night, with Turner’s resounding, well-earned victory.

Perhaps most impressive about Turner’s win was that it took place in a Mixed Game format.  Indeed, Mixed Game events are becoming increasingly popular at many tournaments.  The Mixed Game format is similar to H.O.R.S.E., except a wider variety of poker games are played.  Instead of just five games played as with H.O.R.S.E., there are seven games included – Limit Hold’em, Omaha High-Low Split, Razz, Seven-Card Stud, Eight-or-Better, No-Limit Hold’em, and Pot-Limit Omaha. 
Some argue that Mixed Game tournaments are actually the supreme test of all-around poker skill, since there are so many different varieties of games.  Note:  By contrast, 60 percent of the H.O.R.S.E. menu is comprised of Stud games, and all play is limit.  Mixed Game formats not only include two additional games, but Pot-Limit and No-Limit, as well.

This was the tenth gold ring event of 19 at this year’s Bayou Poker Challenge, part of the WSOP Circuit schedule at Harrah’s New Orleans.  The $300 (+50) buy-in Mixed Game tournament was played over two consecutive days during May 12th and 13th. 
The tournament attracted 68 entries.  The top eight finishers divided a prize pool totaling $19,788.  After 60 players were eliminated on the first day, final table play began on a Thursday afternoon, with Turner ranked in second place according to the early chip count.

In fact, this final table included two former WSOP Circuit gold ring winners – Taylor and Allen Kessler who would end up locked in a heads-up showdown for a repeat victory.  Michael Husar was also present, who won a WSOP Satellite event held at last year’s Winter Bayou Poker Challenge, held at Harrah’s New Orleans.

Greg Headrick arrived at the Final Table with a significant chip advantage over Turner.  The remaining six players were outchipped by a wider margin.  But the mixed game format and wide distribution of chips and low blinds and antes meant a long night of play was to be expected.

When Final Table play began at 5:00 pm, the nine finalists and their starting chip counts were as follows:




Chip Count


Darryl “GoPhish” Dauenhauer

Laughlin, NV



Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler

Las Vegas, NV



Michael Husar

LaPlace, LA



Daphne “Tweety” Turner

Richmond, TX



Joel Harwood

Hallandale, FL



Drew Daniels

Port Neches, TX



Nirway “The Ha” Sinha

Austin, TX



Greg Headrick

St. Louis, MO


Final Table play lasted about eight hours and ended at close to midnight.  Players were eliminated in the following order:

Eighth Place:  See-Ya, Sinha
Nirway “The Ha” Sinha, a strategy consultant from Austin, TX went out first, after making it into the money.  He was short-stacked and was not able to last more than a few hands.  This was Sinha’s second time to cash here in New Orleans.  Eighth place paid $840.

Seventh Place:  Harwood Goes Out Seventh
Joel Harwood, from Hallandale, FL made his second WSOP Circuit cash with his seventh-place showing in this tournament.  He collected $989 in prize money.  Harwood now has ten final tables at various major events held throughout the U.S. over the past decade.

Sixth Place:  Husar Finishes Sixth
Michael Husar, an engineer from Laplace, LA who formally served in the U.S. Air Force had a shot at winning his first gold ring and second Bayou series championship (he won Event #12 in December, which was the 2009 Winter Bayou Poker Challenge).  But instead, he busted out midway through the finale.  Husar had to settle for a payout amounting to $1,187.

Fifth Place:  Headrick Gone in Fifth Place
Greg Headrick arrived with the chip lead and the confidence of having made three final table appearances at last month’s WSOP Circuit event held at Harrah’s St. Louis.  Headrick, who took 7th, 4th, and 3rd place in respective tournaments played in his hometown of St. Louis, continued his good fortune here in New Orleans, although he had mixed feelings about the fifth-place finish.  Headrick is certainly a player to watch given his record the last six weeks.  He collected $1,434 in prize money.

Fourth Place:  Daniels Takes Fourth
Drew Daniels (a.k.a. Andrew Daniels), a student and part-time poker player from Port Neches, TX cashed in fourth place.  He also cashed once previously at the WSOP in Las Vegas.  Daniels picked up $1,780 for this performance.

Third Place:  Third Place Goes to Dauenhauer
Darryl “DoPhis” Dauenhauer, from Laughlin, NV lasted for seven hours before going out late in the night.  The retiree was retired from the table, which paid $2,671 in prize money.  Dauenhauer had previously cashed in two WSOP events held in Las Vegas.  He also jokingly added that among his accomplishments, he once sucked out on Allen Kessler in a Limit Ohama tournament.  Kessler, who finished second in this tournament could not confirm the accuracy of Dauenhauer’s claim.

Second Place:  “Chainsaw” Kessler Comes Close, But No Victory
Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler, coming off his championship victory in the 2009 Winter Bayou Poker Challenge held here at Harrah’s last December had a shot to capture his second gold ring.  But Daphne Turner had other ideas and wiped out Kessler in a tough final heads-up battle that went 90 minutes.  The final hand came when Turner ended up making a straight against Kessler’s two pair.

The final hand of the tournament can be seen on video at http://www.youtube.com/wsopdotcom

Allen Kessler, who is originally from Philadelphia and now lives in Las Vegas, has earned in excess of $1.5 million in tournament poker.  He added another $5,155 to his resume of cashes with this second place showing.

First Place:  Daphne “Tweety” Taylor Makes History!
Daphne “Tweety” Turner, from Richmond, TX won the Mixed Game championship.  Her cash prize totaled $6,727.  Far more memorable was the WSOP Circuit gold ring she earned, becoming the first female player since the WSOP Circuit began in 2005 to win two open events.  Turner’s accomplishment is even more remarkable since she plays in few events when compared to many of her tournament rivals.  Encouraged by her showing in this tournament, as well as a first-place finish at another tournament held recently in Las Vegas, Turner says she hopes to play in more future events, including the 2010 WSOP.
A video interview with winner Turner at tableside, moments after her win can be seen at the link posted above.