Monday, March 13, 2017

1st Place - Collaku ($55,000)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 31 Blinds: 80k / 160k / 20k ante




Saimir Collaku - 1st Place
$55,000

The 2017 Sands Bethlehem DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event is in the books with Saimir Collaku (Hoboken, NJ) your 1st Place Champion earning $55,000.

Saimir Collaku (1st Place), Johnathan Kramer (2nd Place), Ryan Miquel (3rd Place), and Jack Hackbart (4th Place) chopped the remaining prize-pool at the break right before the blinds were about to run at 80k / 160k / 20k.

Saimir enjoyed the chip lead for all of Day-3 and well into the night during Day-2.  He played only 1 bullet in Saturday's Day-1, Flight 1D and found himself as short as 100,000 mid way through Sunday's Day-2.

The hand that sprung Saimir forward when he had 200,000 came as the clock ticked down for the Day-2 dinner break.  A player at the table insisted they still had to play a hand.  Saimir took him on heads up with A-K vs. A-Q and doubled up to 400,000.

Saimir hasn't played a major poker tournament for three years and this is his first ever Sands DeepStack tournament.  $55,000 is by far his biggest tournament cash ever.

He thanks his Mom, his Dad, his sister Lediana, and his nephew Alex for their support.

Saimir outlasted 712 DeepStackers and in the end earned all 28,480,000 chips in play.

The total prize pool for this 3-Day Event was an impressive $348,880 with 72 players making the cash.

But the big winner once again was Saimir Collaku who dominated the final table and for his mad poker skills and flawless table image, brings home $55,000.


                          Johnathan Kramer,   Saimir Collaku,   Ryan Miquel,   Jack Hackbart

This concludes coverage of the 2017 Sands Bethlehem DeepStack Extravaganza series.  Thanks to the Sands poker room staff, dealers, and floor for presenting another well-run, player friendly series with awesome structures and monster payouts.  See you next time!

2nd Place - Kramer ($41,090)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 31 Blinds: 80k / 160k / 20k ante



Johnathan Kramer - 2nd Place
$41,090

Johnathan Kramer signs for 2nd Place in the 2017 Sands Bethlehem DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event.  The final four struck a deal and as part of the chop, Johnathan earned $41,090.

Truth is, he was lucky to even arrive here at all.  Johnathan was late entering Day-3 because his phone froze up and he didn't know how to get here.

"I asked around seven people, had no GPS, and was freaking out" said Johnathan.

Johnathan wanted to thank his family for their love and support.  "Thanks to Mom, Dad, and my sister Tori" said Johnathan.

He also gives a shout out to all his buddies at "It's Grindz Time" saying "I finally got here."

Once again, congratulations to Johnathan Kramer for his 2nd Place, $41,090 finish today.

                           Johnathan Kramer,   Saimir Collaku,   Ryan Miquel,   Jack Hackbart

3rd Place - Miquel ($43,570)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 31 Blinds: 80k / 160k / 20k ante



Ryan Miquel - 3rd Place
$43,570

Ryan Miquel (Perkasie, PA) works in the corporate world of IT.  In fact, he actually logged a few hours this morning before coming to Sands Bethlehem and finishing 3rd Place out of 712 entrants.  Looks liker poker might be a lucrative future part time gig or just a fun hobby.

This is Ryan's biggest tournament cash ever.  Another big cash for Ryan came last week in this series where he took 3rd in the $300 + $100 Black Chip Bounty for $5,100.  The final five in that one chopped up the prize-pool.

"Want to say hi to my wift Tirah and my son Noah" said Ryan.

Big hand for Ryan came at the final table when he flopped quad fives to crack Travis Hartshorn's Queens.

The final four worked out a chop and Ryan agreed to sign for 3rd Place taking home $43,570.

Great job Ryan!  Thanks for playing the 2017 Sands Bethlehem DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event.


                            Johnathan Kramer,   Saimir Collaku,   Ryan Miquel,   Jack Hackbart

4th Place - Hackbart ($37,671)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 31 Blinds: 80k / 160k / 20k ante



Jack Hackbart - 4th Place
$37,671

In yesterday's Day-2 the players were affectionately calling Jack Hackbart, "Dad".  Today Dad did awesome bringing home $37,671 as part of a four-way chop.

Jack was tied for the 3rd and 4th shortest stack and at the last break our Final Four struck a deal. Jack signed for 4th Place.  He's from Holland, PA.

"Thanks to my wife Cindi for allowing me to pursue what I truly want to do" said Jack.

Jack also gives a shout out to all his buddies and co-workers at Parx Casino saying, "If I can do it, so can you".  Jack works the Floor at that casino.


Johnathan Kramer,   Saimir Collaku,   Ryan Miquel,   Jack Hackbart

Final Four Chip Counts

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 31 Blinds: 80k / 160k / 20k ante





Our Final Four come to the first break of Day-3.  When  their fifteen minutes are up, the blinds will be up too.  How about a whopping 80,000 / 160,000 / 20,000 ante.

There are 28,480,000 chip between four Final Four.  Whoever wins them all will become our 2017 Sands Bethlehem DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event Champion.

Saimir Collaku has not relinquished the chip lead since yesterday.  He has 10,900,000.

Seat / Player / Chip Counts
1. Saimir Collaku.................................  10,900,000
2. Jack Hackbart..................................    4,800,000
3. Johnathan Kramer............................    4,850,000
4. Ryan Miquel....................................    7,100,000

And lets not forget what's on the line.  Each player bought in for $550 and has already turned that investment into a small fortune.

What They're Playing For:
1st Place - $76,750
2nd Place - $47,553
3rd Place - $31,225
4th Place - $21,805

Come down to Sands Poker Room and check out all the action live.  Or, of course we'll have bust-out hands and photos right here on Sands Poker Blog.

5th Place - Hartshorn ($15,994)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 29 Blinds: 50k / 100k / 10k ante





Travis Hartshorn - 5th Place
$15,994

Travis Hartshorn's DeepStack Main Event comes to an end in a brutal way.  Travis pushes his 3.4 million in pre-flop holding Q Q♣ vs. Ryan Miquel holding 5♣ 5♠ .

Ryan flops quad fives as the board runs-out K♠ 5 5 6♠ 10♠ .

Travis set his man up but got punished when Travis hit not one, but both outs in the deck.

Same two-otter spike came at a final table last week in a different tournament.  "When I'm in ahead, anymore I'm starting to assume it's coming for them" said Travis.

Tablemates congratulated Travis and acknowledged he played strong solid poker throughout.

It certainly is rough to lose to quads.  On the bright side, Travis pockets $15,995 for his 5th Place finish in the Sands Bethlehem DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event.

6 Milly Pot Pushed To Saimir

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 30 Blinds: 60k / 120k / 15k ante


Saimir Collaku Jams Turn And Ryan Miquel Folds

Saimir Collaku sits on 12,000,000 and the chip lead after taking down a 6 million chip pot.  He fired pre-flop, on the flop, and then went all-in on the turn.  

The hand was heads up against Ryan Miquel who tank folded when the three of spades came out.  Ryan dusted off 3million in the hand and left himself with 3.6 million.

Board: J♣ 7♣ 10 3♠




6th Place - Marchese ($12,211)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 29 Blinds: 50k / 100k / 10k ante




Anthony Marchese - 6th Place
$12,211

Anthony Marchese's Main Event comes to conclusion on a classic coin-flip.

Anthony's J J♠ vs. Johnathan's A K

Ace on the flop and King on the river was not what Anthony wanted to see.  
Pocket jacks go down in flames again.

Board: A♠ 10♣ 2 5♣ K

Great run for the poker pro who adds $12,211 to his bankroll.

Started with 712 DeepStackers and we're down to only 5.

7th Place - Nocera ($10,222)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 29 Blinds: 50k / 100k / 10k ante



Charles Nocera - 7th Place
$10,222

Charles Nocera jammed a river on a board reading 6 3♣ 4♣ 6 J♠  but Travis Hartshorn was tanking hard.

Charles had his best statue pose on with his tournament life at risk.  Travis tanked for a few minutes then finally called and tabled Q J♣ , hitting the river.

Charles rolled over 2♠2 for one pair, and was eliminated in 7th Place.  

Nice job Charles who takes home $10,222 for his 25 hours of poker in the Sands Bethlehem Main Event.

Down to six players in the Poker Room feature final table.  Someone is going to walk away with $76,754!  Gotta love DeepStack Extravaganza.

8th Place - Grace ($8,548)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 29 Blinds: 50k / 100k / 10k ante




Erin Grace - 8th Place
$8,548

Erin Grace had support on the rail this Day-3 and made a great run in the Sands Bethlehem DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event.  From a field of 712 runners, Erin was our Last Woman Standing.

As for her final hand:  Erin was down to 1,100,000 and 3-bet shoved Ryan Miquel.  The cards were tabled.

Erin's K♣ J♣ vs. Ryan's A♠ 9♠

Ace in the window and on the river.  Although Erin did pick up two clubs on the flop.

Board: A♣ 8♠ 6♣ Q A

Erin survived many all-in's this Main Event and the blog is now calling her Amazing Grace.



9th Place - Boesel ($6,978)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 29 Blinds: 50k / 100k / 10k ante



Kevin Boesel - 9th Place
$6,978

Kevin Boesel made a great lay-down on the first hand of action today.  He had A-K and missed when the flop fell rainbow 3-10-5 .  Anthony Marchese was all-in pre-flop for 1.1 million and had two callers, one of whom was Kevin.

Anthony flopped a set of tens.  Ryan Miquel bet the side pot with J-J and quickly found out he was behind.  Turn 7 , River 5 gave Marchese the first hand triple up.

A few hands later Kevin ran J-J into chip leader Saimir Collaku's Q-Q.  Queens held on a board reading: K 5♠ 8 A♣10♣.

Kevin Boesel takes home $6,978 for his 9th Place Main Event finish.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Start of Day-3 Chip Counts

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 29 Blinds: 50k / 100k / 10k ante


Level 28 ticked down last night and Day-2 came to an end.

9 returning players will unbag their chips and start at noon for Day-3 in the Sands Bethlehem Poker Room.

Players will sit in the same seats that they did last night.  At noon, they will unbag chips and the blinds will be 50k / 100k / 10k ante.

Today someone will win $76,754.  Good luck to everyone!


Saimir Collaku is the chip leader with 7,320,000

Here are chip counts from players bags.

Seat / Name / Chips
1. Anthony Marchese.....................  1,125,000
2.  open seat bust-out
3. Saimir Collaku............................  7,320,000
4. Jack Hackbart............................  2,115,000
5. Charles Nocera.........................  1,595,000
6. Johnathan Kramer......................  2,715,000
7. Ryan Miquel................................  6,670,000
8. Erin Grace...................................  1,535,000
9. Travis Hartsshorn........................  1,720,000
10. Kevin Boesel..............................  3,520,000


Anthony Marchese - 1,125,000


Saimir Collaku - 7,320,000



Jack Hackbart - 2,115,000


Charles Nocera - 1,595,000



Johnathan Kramer - 2,715,000



Ryan Miquel - 6,670,000



Erin Grace - 1,535,000



Travis Hartshorn - 1,720,000



Kevin Boesel - 3,520,000




10th Place - Tollefson ($5,338)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 28 Blinds: 40k / 80k / 5k ante


Nick Tollefson - 10th Place
$5,338

Nick had 8♣ 8♠ and raised pre-flop.  Ryan Miquel had 7 7♠ and called.

Dream flop for Ryan but a nightmare for Nick.  Ryan flopped a set of sevens.

Flop: 3♠ 6♣ 7

Nick shoved with his overpair eights and Ryan snap called, having Nick covered.  No eight on the turn or river for Nick. 

Ryan now has 6,000,000 chips which is just a little more than Saimir.  Both are neck and neck for the current chip lead.

Nick had the table laughing throughout the day and seems to really enjoy the game of poker with a great table image.

He takes home $5,338 for his 10th Place final table finish in the 2017 Sands Bethlehem DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event.

Main Event Final Table (with chip counts)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 28 Blinds: 40k / 80k / 5k ante


Main Event Final Table of Ten

Seat / Name / Chip Count
1. Anthony Marchese.........................  1,500,000
2. Nick Tollefson (had 1,100,000) 10th Place
3. Saimir Collaku................................  5,300,000
4. Jack Hackbart.................................  2,100,000
5. Charles Nocera..............................  2,300,000
6. Johnathan Kramer..........................  3,200,000
7. Ryan Miquel....................................  4,400,000
8. Erin Grace.......................................  2,200,000
9. Travis Hartshorn............................   1,300,000
10. Kevin Boesel................................   4,800,000

Should come to 28,448,000 total chips in play.

Congratulations on outlasting a Main Event field of 712 players.

1st Place brings home $76,754.

11th Place - Meza ($5,338)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 28 Blinds: 40k / 80k / 5k ante


Rich Meza - 11th Place
$5,338

Rich Meza runs into another straight.  He was able to survive the first one when he had J-J, flopped a third Jack, then lost when the board came runner-runner giving his Opponent's 7-9 a straight.

"I celebrated when I hit my Jack" said Rich.

In his bust-out hand, Rich had K-7 off up against big blind's K-5.  He had his man crushed, so he thought.

But the board ran-out 6-4-3-A-7 giving his opponent a straight.

Rich gives a shout out to Johnathan Kramer and tells him to take it down.

Rich takes home $5,338 for his 11th Place finish in the 2017 Sands Bethlehem DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event.

He was also the final table bubble.  Final table of 10 is redrawing for new seats.

12 Place - Bernstein ($5,338)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 27 Blinds: 30k / 60k / 5k ante


Greg Bernstein - 12th Place
$5,338

The dream is over for Greg Bernstein who got in good with A♠ Q vs. Ryan Miquel's A♣ 8♠ .

As soon as an 8 hit the flop you could hear Greg say, No No No.  He did not improve on the turn or river.

Everyone congratulated Greg with handshakes and fist pumps as he departed.

Board: 9♣ 8 J 6♠ 3

Greg takes home $5,338 for his run in the 2017 Sands Bethlehem DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event.

13th Place - Hollenberg ($3,803)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 27 Blinds: 30k / 60k / 5k ante


Michael Hollenberg - 13th Place
$3,803

Michael Hollenberg pushed his last 480,000 in with A♠6♠ but ran into Johnathan Kramer's Q Q. Queens held on a dry board reading: K 10♣ 8♣ 10 4♠ .

Nice job Michael for your 13th Place finish in the Sands DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event.

14th Place - Busacca ($3,803)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 27 Blinds: 30k / 60k / 5k ante


Sal Busacca - 14th Place
$3,803

Sal says farewell to the Main Event going out in 14th Place for $3,803.

His final hand was 7 7 vs A K of Travis Hartshorn.  All the chips were in pre-flop.

Travis flopped trips and turned a full-house.

Just to add insult to injury, a seven spiked the river giving Sal a smaller boat.

Final Two Tables - Chip Counts From Break

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 25 Blinds: 20k / 40k / 4k ante


Table 1

     Player                             Chip Count 1. Greg Bernstein............580,000
2. busted
3. Ryan Miquel................1,500,000
4. Saimir Collaku..............5,600,000
5. Jack Hackbart...............1,900,000
6. Rich Meza....................665,000
7. Nick Tollefson....................2,000,000
8. Johnathan Kramer.................860,000
9. Charles Nocera.................1,900,000




Table 2



            Player                             Chip Count
1. Gino Gesso (16th Place0
2. Sal Busacca..................................1,700,000
3. Anthony Marchese.........................1,450,000
4. Travis Hartshorn............................3,800,000
5. Kevin Boesel.....................................4,800,000
6. Erin Grace.........................................900,000
7. Michael Hollenberg.................................620,000
8. James McKinnon (15th Place)
9. Daniel Berniz (17th Place)

15th Place - McKinnon ($3,803)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 26 Blinds: 25k / 50k / 5k ante


James McKinnon - 15th Place
$3,803

End of the DeepStack Extravaganza for James McKinnon who was coin flipping with 1010♣ vs. Travis Hartshorn's  KQ.

Good flop for James but Travis hit his K on the turn and his Q♠ on the river.

Board: A♣ 3♣ 5♠ K Q♠

James pockets $3,802 for his 15th Place finish.

16th Place - Gesso ($2,860)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 25 Blinds: 20k / 40k / 4k ante


Gino Gesso - 16th Place
$2,860

Gino managed to double his 6 big blinds when his A-10 hit an ace to crack J-J.

But a few hands later his J-7 found a 7 on the flop and his Opponent picked up straight and flush draws with J-9 so wasn't going anywhere.

9 spiked the turn for one-pair which was good enough to oust Gino.  No flush or straight came in.

Nice run for Gino who takes home $2,860 in the Main Event.

Two More Gonners

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 25 Blinds: 20k / 40k / 4k ante



Exiting in 17th Place, earning $2,861 was Daniel Berniz (Budd Lake, NJ).

Daniel had 7-7 with 800,000 and went all in pre.  Unfortunately he ran into pocket Kings.
Kings held on a board reading 9-9-8-8-A.

Exiting in 18th Place, earning $2,861 was Greg Fishberg (Huntington Valley, PA)

We are down to 16 players left in the Main Event.

Places 19th - 27th ($2,198)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event
Level 25 Blinds: 20k / 40k / 4k ante

Place-Name-Payout

19. Isaac Fermin
20. Kent Wuethrich
21. Jon Peterson (Coopersberg, PA)
22. Jonathan Paul (Coopersberg, PA)
23. Michael Dobbs (Sayville, NY)
24.Christine Rebardo (Norristown, PA)
25. ronald Rosenberg (Basking Ridge, NJ)
26. Bryant Bello (Staten Island, NY)
27. Craig Rubinstein (W. Caldwell, NJ)

Congratulations to all the players finishing in 19th - 27th Place each earning $2,198 for their efforts in the Sands DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event.

Players are taking a fifteen minute break.

Playing tonight until Level 28 concludes.

With Isaac busting out, the final two tables have re-drawn for new seat assignments.

The hand Isaac lost on was his A-K suited vs. J-J vs. 9-7 suited.

Jack on the flop but 9-7 rivered a straight.

Kramer Doubles

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 25 Blinds: 20k / 40k / 4k ante


Johnathan Kramer - 918,000

Nice double up for Johnathan Kramer who was off to the races with 9-9 with his tournament life at risk.

Jonhnathan's 9♠ 9 vs. Opponent's A♠ J♠

The dealer peeled the cards off with no Ace or Jack on board then a nine spiking the river for a set.

Board: 7 5♣ 5 2 9♣

And just like that Johnathan doubles up to 918,000.

Fish At The Table

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 25 Blinds: 20k / 40k / 4k ante


Greg Fishburg - 2,200,000

At the last break Greg Fishburg had the second biggest stack in the room with 2.2 million.  "I've just been playing my game and grinding all day" said Greg.

Only Saimir Collaku had more at 3.4 million.  Since the break though Saimir has tacked on some more and is up to 4.7 million for the tournament chip lead.

Who will take down the 1st Place prize of $76,754?

Action continues in the Monroe room at Sands Bethlehem.

Last Woman Standing

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 25 Blinds: 20k / 40k / 4k ante
Players remaining: 21

Erin Grace - 1,100,000

Congratulations to Erin Grace who is the Main Event Last Woman Standing.  Once Christine Rebardo went out, Erin had the title locked up.

Erin was all in twice recently with her tournament life on the line and hit straights both times.

She is an avid supporter of female poker players and women everywhere.

Erin wanted to say thanks to the Newton Poker League for all of their huge support throughout this Main Event. 

Places 28th - 36th ($1,814)

$550 DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event

Level 24 Blinds: 15k / 30k / 3k ante

Place-Name-Payout

28. Chuandong Fu (Brooklyn, NY)
29. Boris Kromas (W. Orange, NJ)
30. Byeongwook Kang
31. David Grandieri (Danbury, CT)
32. Ryan McKnight (Harrisburg, PA)
33. John Borger (Kunkletown, PA)
34. Doug Tascarella (Riegelsville, PA)
35. Anthony Messina
36. Matt Lemieux (Belvidere, NJ)

Congratulations to all the players finishing in 28th - 36th Place each earning $1,814 for their efforts in the Sands DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event.