Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Video: Sands Bethlehem Main Event Winner - Aziz Wehbey

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em

Interviews with Main Event winner Aziz Wehbey, 
runner-up Eric Rappaport and Ed Lozada (4th place)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Main Event Winner - Wehbey and Final Results

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em

Aziz Wehbey (Whitehall, PA) 

After a three-day marathon of poker and three hours of five-handed play, Aziz Wehbey came out on top of the Sands DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event.  Wehbey finishes just ahead of three other players after some choppy play.

"I can say I cracked the bubble," said Wehbey who earned $67,500, his largest career score.

Wehbey finished just ahead of runner-up Eric Rappaport, Matt DeLuca (3rd) and Ed Lozada (4th).

"I play a lot of tournaments and every time I play I either become the bubble or the person before the bubble," said Wehbey. "My luck gets outdrawn and thank God today I can say I cracked it, I wanted it so bad, all the way to the end."

The key hand for Wehbey came five-handed when he flopped an Ace while holding A♣ K♣ to crack DeLuca's pocket Kings. Once Alerbto Pestana eventually busted in 5th place, the final four played one last level before the tournament ended.

Wehbey owns a Lehigh Valley car dealership and plays poker when he gets time away from his family. It's his second cash of the series after he finished third in the Black Chip Bounty.

"It's a great feeling. I'm proud of how I played today and yesterday," said Wehbey. "The cards were being fair. I wasn't being outlucked for once in my life. A very great feeling."
Final Results

Entries: 180
Total Prize Pool: $250,000


1st Aziz Wehbey (Whitehall, PA) $67,500
2nd Eric Rappaport (Lansdale, PA) $42,000
3rd Matt DeLuca (E. Meadow, NY) $25,500
4th Ed Lozada (Throop, PA) $18,750
5th Alberto Pestana (Bardonia, NY) $14,000  
6th Bob Baurkot (Easton, PA) $11,500
7th Mike Sandler (Maplewood, NJ) $10,125
8th Thao Tran (Jersey City, NJ) $8,875
9th Peter Grenyo (Stewartsville, NJ) $7,500
10th Andrew Zhu (South Plainfield, NJ) $6,000
11th  Daniel Bak (E. Hanover, NJ) $6,000
12th Chris Snead (Rockville Centre, NY) $6,000
13th Matt Herman (New York, NY) $4,750
14th Oscar Moya (West New York, NJ) $4,750
15th Dimitrios Sotiriou (Astoria, NY) $4,750
16th Ken Golden (Morristown, NJ) $4,000
17th Larry Kehm (St. Cloud, FL) $4,000
18th Art McHale (Clarks Summit, PA) $4,000

2nd Place - Rappaport ($42,000)

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em 

Eric Rappaport (Lansdale, PA)

Eri Rappaport's first tournament at Sands Bethlehem was a profitable one. He finishes in second place for $42,000 to push his career earnings past $200,000.

"I was short (in chips) a lot and really had to grind," says Rappaport who is runner-up to Aziz Wehbey. "I thought I played really well overall and it doesn't hurt when the cards go your way."

Twice Rappaport was bailed out by the deck, both times at the expense of Alberto Pestana. 

Rappaport hit a two-outer to avoid going out in 8th place (JJ vs QQ), and then spiked a three-out Ace on the river 5-handed. Both times Rappaport doubled through Pestana who eventually was eliminated in fifth place.

After the final four players traded chips for one hour, the tournament came to an abrupt halt as Rappaport just missed the win while he edged out Matt DeLuca (3rd) and Ed Lozada (4th).

"This is for the Pandas," said Rappaport, who is a 24 year-old professional player.

3rd Place - DeLuca ($25,500)

 $1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em 

 Matt DeLuca (E. Meadow, NY) 

Matt DeLuca held the chip lead at various times throughout the final table, but it's not enough to overcome some bad luck to finish in third place.

The pivotal hand came five-handed when DeLuca had Aziz Wehbey in bad shape with K♦ K♥ vs a suited AK. But an Ace on the flop gave Wehbey the double-up that propelled him to the win.

While the final four players were evenly matched, DeLuca finished just runner-up Eric Rappaport and just ahead of 4th place finisher Ed Lozada.

DeLuca made a quick exit from the Sands to get back to New York, but let his final table play do all the talking.  In addition to controlling a lot of the action, he knocked out the 5th, 6th and 7th place finishers.

The $25,500 payday pushes DeLuca past $150,000 in career recorded live tournament earnings.

4th Place - Lozada ($18,750)

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em  

Ed Lozada (Throop, PA)

Ed Lozada doesn't play a lot of poker and when he does it's usually at the Sands $2-$5 cash tables. So making a deep run in the DeepStack Extravaganza is somewhat unexpected.

"I don't play a lot of tournaments," said Lozada who finished in fourth place, "so it was quite the grind."

Lozada came to the final table as the chip leader, but after a four-handed battle he finished just behind winner Aziz Wehbey, runner-up Eric Rappaport and third place finisher Matt DeLuca.

 Lozada gives a shout out to "Moscow" Joe and Frankie after earning $18,750.

Running Updates: Final Four Chip Counts

 $1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em 

Next Blinds: 60k/120k/5k ante
4 players remaining, 2.25 million avg (19 bb)

Players are on a 15 minute break.

Aziz Wehbey 2.84 million
Matt DeLuca 2.390 million   
Eric Rappaport 2.125 million
Ed Lozada 1.645 million

Prize Pool


1st $67,500
2nd $42,000
3rd $25,500
4th $18,750

5th Place - Pestana ($14,000)

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em 

Blinds 50k/100k/10k ante
4 players remaining, 2.25 million avg (23 bb)

Alberto Pestana (Bardonia, NY)

After more than three hours of five-handed play, Alberto Petana finishes in 5th place.

On the last hand of the prior level, which takes more than 6 minutes to play, Pestana faces the 705k all-in bet of Eric Rappaport.

On a board of Q♠ 45♠ 2♠, Pestana goes deep in the tank saying, "it could be a hero call, I don't have much."

Pestana eventually makes the call and is way ahead with Q 8 for top pair against Rappaport's A6.

But when the A♣ falls on the river, Rappaport's pair of Aces gets him a double-up that leaves Pestana with less than 500k. His elimination comes on the next hand with 7-3 vs Matt DeLuca's KT.

"I felt the longer it (tournament) lasted, the more of an edge I had," says Pestana who finishes in 5th place.

"And you saw I set it up where I outplayed him, but he hit a three-outer."

Pestana entered the tournament after winning a satellite the he gained entry through the Sands Hot Seat promotion.  

Pestana, who's been a cash game grinder for 11 years, takes home $14,000. Not a bad payday for playing on a free roll.

Can't Spell Aziz without the A

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em

Blinds 40k/80k/10k ante
5 players remaining, 1.8 million avg (23 bb)

We've seen our second double-up since returning from the dinner break, but still no eliminations.

Aziz Wehbey is all in for 1,000,010 and at risk vs Matt DeLuca.

Wehbey: A♣ K♣
DeLuca: K K

Flop: A 7 7♣ (Wehbey leads with pair of Aces)

Turn: 9♣ (no change)

River: Q

Wehbey flops an Ace to get the double-up to 2+ million, while DeLuca is cut in half dropping to 1.925 million.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Chip Count Changes Since Last Break

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em 

Blinds 40k/80k/10k ante
5 players remaining, 1.8 million avg (23 bb) 

There's been no significant chip movement during the last two hours of play.

The final five players are back in action.

Name-Chip Count (Change During 2 Levels of Play)

Matt DeLuca 2.655 million (-145k)
Eric Rappaport 1.695 million (-375k)
Alberto Pestana 1.76 million (+545k)
Ed Lozada 1.36 million (-440k)
Aziz Wehbey 1.49 million (+470k)

Tale of Two Orbits

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em 

Blinds 25k/50k/5k ante
5 players remaining, 1.8 million avg (36 bb)

The last two orbits shows the ebb and flow of the game, as one orbit takes nearly 17 minutes, while the next five hands barely takes five minutes.

There is no significant chip movement during the ten hands which takes a total of 21 min, 33 seconds.

Orbit 1 (time in Min:Sec)

Total Time: 16:22
Longest Hand: 5:25
Shortest Hand: 1:10
Flops: 5
Turns: 4
Rivers: 1

Orbit 2:

Total Time: 5:11
Longest Hand: 1:51
Shortest Hand: 23 seconds
Flops: 1
Turns: 1
Rivers: 1
Preflop Winners: 2 (raised pot, no callers)
Walks: 2

Blinds Up, Wehbey the "Weakest Link"

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em 

Blinds 30k/60k/5k ante
5 players remaining, 1.8 million avg (30 bb) 

 Five for Fighting

As the blinds move up to the next level, Aziz Wehbey, while holding just eight big blinds says, "I'm the weakest link."

But the Whitehall, PA resident is getting strong support from his rail.

Final Five Chip Counts

Alberto Pestana 2.4 million (40 bb)
Matt DeLuca 2.3 million
Ed Lozada 1.95 million
Eric Rappaport 1.8 million
Aziz Wehbey 500k (8 bb)

Wehbey Rail Birds (l-r)
Abe, Mark, Maher & Ed with Wehbey

Pestana Doubles Through Rappaport

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em

Blinds 25k/50k/5k ante
5 players remaining, 1.8 million avg (36 bb)

Alberto Pestana is all in for a little more than 1 million and up against Eric Rappaport who starts the hand with roughly 2 million.

Pestana: J♠ T
Rappaport: A♣ K♠

Flop: Q Q♣ 8d (Rappaport still leads, Pestana gutshot straight draw)

Turn: Ad (Rapport pair of Aces, Pestana with four outs)

River: 9

Pestana hits his straight to the Queen on the river to double-up and stay alive.

The official count is 1.05 million has Pestana and Rappaport flip chip stacks with Rappaport dropping to a little more than one million.

Dinner Break Chip Counts

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em

Play Resumes 9:27 pm
Next Blinds 25k/50k/5k ante
5 players remaining, 1.8 million avg (36 bb) 


Matt DeLuca (E. Meadow, NY) 2.8 million (56 bb)
Eric Rappaport (Lansdale, PA) 2.070 million
Ed Lozada (Throop, PA) 1.8 million
Alberto Pestana (Bardonia, NY) 1.215 million
Aziz Wehbey (Whitehall, PA)1.02 million (20 bb)

6th Place - Baurkot ($11,500)

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em

Blinds 20k/40k/5k
5 players remaining, 1,800,000k avg (45 bb)

Bob Baurkot (Easton, PA)

Congratulations to Bob Baurkot who banks $11,500 after his 6th Place offering this weekend.

At one point in Day-1 Bob was down to 24,000 but never gave up.

In his final hand with 450,000 left he tried to make a move with K-Q but ran into Matt DeLuca's pocket Kings.

Bob hit a queen on the flop so had some hope, but failed to improve on the turn or river.

Board: 4-Q-J-6-8

Bob's brother Dan was rooting for him on the rail.  Dan bubbled the Main Event last August and is proud that his brother finished strong for $11,500.

Our five remaining players are enjoying a one hour dinner break.

7th Place - Sandler ($10,125)

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em

Blinds 20k/40k/5k
6 players remaining, 1,500,000 avg (37bb)

Mike Sandler (Maplewood, NJ)

Mike Sandler shipped his medium size stack of over 1.2 million in with pocket sevens but ran into aces of Matt DeLuca.

Clean board of 4-K-Q-Q-8 spelled defeat for Sandler.  DeLuca is the last Mike standing with 2.3 million chips.

Mike takes home $10,125 for his efforts this weekend in the Sands Bethlehem Deepstack Extravaganza Main Event.

Dinner break at 8:45pm at the end of this level.

8th Place - Tran ($8,875)

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em

Blinds 20k/40k/5k ante
7 players remain, 1,285,000 avg (32 bb)

Thao Tran (Jersey City, NJ)

Thao Tran never really climbed over the 350,000 mark this entire tournament but somehow managed to survive and continue to climb up the pay jumps.

"I had nothing all day but was patient and picked my spots" said Thao.

Thao is a regular at Sands Bethlehem and thanks her poker pals Dixit, Celeste, Jed, Tony, Eugene, and Mike for their continued support.

Her final hand was devastating.  Thao got her 228,000 in with A-7 suited up against 3-3 of Alberto Pestana.

She saw a 7 in the window, was feeling great, and only had to sweat a three on the river.  Alas, the two-outter 3 came in giving Alberto Pestana a set and the knock out.

Board: 7-6-9-Q-3

Thao Tran is your Last Woman Standing. 

Congrats on an $8,875 Sands Deepstack Extravaganza Main Event payday.

Rappaport Doubles

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em

Blinds 15k/30k/4k ante
8 players remaining, 1,125,000 avg (37 bb)

After almost an entire level of inactivity, Sands dealer Janet sits down right after this picture and after one hand brings the fireworks.

Eric Rappaport jams 472,000 with J J♣ .

Alberto Pestana has been tank folding for an hour.  He looks down at Q Q♣   and insta calls.

Flop: 9 4 9♠ 

J on the turn gives Eric a set but Alberto the flush draw.

2♣ , earns Rappaport the double up, now sitting on one milly.

Dinner break in one hour.

9th Place - Grenyo ($7,500)

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em

Blinds 15k/30k/4k ante
8 players remaining, 1.125 million avg (38 bb)

Peter Grenyo (Stewartsville, NJ)

On a flop of K♠ 7 6♣ Aziz Wehbey bets 125k and Peter Grenyo moves all in for 700k.

Wehbey snap calls and has the lead.

Wehbey: A♠ K
Grenyo: K♠ 8♠

Both players have a pair of Kings, but Wehbey's kicker is the difference as the turn (7) and river (2♣) changes nothing.

"It was the right move against the wrong hand," says Grenyo, who is a Sands regular.

"It's the furthest I've gotten in a big tournament, " he says about his final table run. "I have 8 wins in various tournaments here," he says about his daily tournament success.

Grenyo takes home $7,500 for his 9th place finish.

10th Place - Zhu ($6,000)

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em  

Blinds 12k/24k/3k ante
9 players remaining, 1 million avg (42 bb)

 Andrew Zhu (South Plainfield, NJ) 

After losing half his stack in a flip with 77 vs Mike Sandler's KQ, Zhu is all in for 540k vs Alberto Pestana.

Pestana: T♣ T
Zhu: K♠ Q

There's no sweat on a 8♣ 4♣ 3 4♠ 5 run out and Pestana gets the knockout with pocket Tens.

"It doesn't feel good," says Zhu who finishes in 10th place for $6,000. "Better luck next time."

Final Table Chip Counts

 $1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em 

Blinds 12k/24k/3k ante
10 players remaining, 818k avg (34 bb)

1 in 10 Chance at $67,500

Final Table

Seat-Name-Chip Count

1 Matt DeLuca (E. Meadow, NY) 1.1 million
2 Bob Baurkot (Easton, PA) 520k
3 Eric Rappaport (Lansdale, PA) 812k
4 Alberto Pestana (Bardonia, NY) 695k
5 Thao Tran (Santa Ana, CA) 345k
6 Andrew Zhu (South Plainfield, NJ) 1 million
7 Peter Grenyo (Stewartsville, NJ) 990k
8 Ed Lozada (Throop, PA) 1.8 million
9 Mike Sandler (Maplewood, NJ) 395k
10 Aziz Wehbey (Whitehall, PA) 1.25 million


Entries: 180
Total Prize Pool: $250,000


1st $67,500
2nd $42,000
3rd $25,500
4th $18,750
5th $14,000
6th $11,500
7th $10,125
8th  $8,875
9th  $7,500
10th $6,000