Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Video: Main Event Winner's Interview & Recap

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-Entry)

Interviews with winner Joe Hanrahan, runner-up Greg Himmelbrand & Alex Queen (4th place)

Hanrahan Wins Sands Bethlehem Main Event

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-Entry)

Blinds 50k/100k/15k 

 Joe Hanrahan (Bethlehem, PA)

Greg Himmelbrand raises to 200k from the button
Joe Hanrahan makes it 450k
Himmelbrand moves all in for 2.1 million
Hanrahan calls

Hanrahan: K♣ Q
Himmelbrand: 4 4♣

Flop: K Q♣ 8♣ (Hanrahan two pairs)

Turn: 5♠ (no change)

River: 5♣

Hanrahan avoids the two-outer on the river and wins the title.

"It feels good," says Hanrahan, who calls the Sands Bethlehem Poker Room home after moving to the area from Amherst, MA.  "I play here practically every day and know probably 75% of the field. I know the dealers and they've been congratulating me, so it's nice to hear."

Hanrahan turns his free roll entry into $67,896 after earning his way into the tournament through the cash game hours promotion.  This is Hanrahan's second career win and takes his career earnings to more than $100,000.

"I don't play that many tournaments anymore, I play mostly cash so if feels pretty good to know that I can still win a tournament."

Joe Hanrahan is the winner of the Sands DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event.

Running Updates: Hanrahan Takes Title!

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-Entry)


1st Joe Hanrahan (Amherst, NH) $67,896
2nd Greg Himmelbrand (Bayside, NY) $41,869
3rd Rob Pieklo (Long Valley, NJ)  $28,290
4th Alex Queen (Bethlehem, PA) $20,086
5th Jennifer So (Bethlehem, PA) $15,560
6th Mark Falow (Totowa, NJ) $12,731
7th Derek George (Catasaqua, PA) $10,609
8th Tim Polcari (Pompton Lakes, NJ) $8,911
9th Paul Freedman (Seabrook, NH) $7,355
10th Aristides Santana (Yonkers, NY) $5,799
11th Abe Faroni (Philadelphia, PA) $5,799

2nd Place - Himmelbrand

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-Entry)

Blinds 50k/100k/15k

 Greg Himmelbrand (Bayside, NY) 

After tanking for several minutes on the prior hand and eventually folding, Greg Himmelbrand puts his last 2.1 million (21 bb) all in with pocket 4s against the KQ of Joe Hanrahan.

Himmelbrand doesn't win the flip when the board runs out K-Q-8-5-5, giving Hanrahan the winning two pairs.

"It's tough to play that long and not win," says Himmelbrand after battling heads up for 3 1/2 hours.
"We were so deep and went back and forth."

Himmelbrand earns $41,869 for his runner-up finish, the fourth largest of his career. He now has $577,000 in career recorded live tournament earnings.

New Frontier as Play Resumes

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-Entry)

Blinds 50k/100k/15 ante

A new blind level has been reached in the Sands DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event.

In August 2013 when Uke Dauti (Stanhope, NJ) defeated Brian Roff (Brooklyn, NY) heads up for $89,755 the blinds were at 40k/80k and play ended at 4:15 am.

"Over/under this level," asks Greg Hillenbrand on if the tournament will end in the next 70 minutes.

Hillenbrand and Joe Hanrahan have been playing heads up for nearly 3 hours and are still plenty deep with the average stack at 41 bb.

Hanrahan Doubles Back

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-Entry)

Blinds 40k/80k/10k ante

Joe Hanrahan is at risk for 2.260 million with T♠ T against Greg Himmelbrand's K♠ 7♠.

The Tens hold for the double-up and Hanrahan has a slight lead 4.52 million to 3.68 million.

Seesaw Raises Himmelbrand Back to Top

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-Entry)

Blinds 40k/80k/10k

Greg Himmelbrand bet 160k from the button
Joe Hanrahan 3-bets to 375k
Himmelbrand makes it 790k
Hanrahan moves all in
Himmelbrand calls 3 million total and is at risk.

Himmelbrand: A♣ J♠
Hanrahan: 8x 8x

Flop: A 6 5 (Himmelbrand pair of Aces)

Turn: 6♣ (no change)

River: 9♠

Himmelbrand wins the flip and is up to 6 million, Hanrahan drops to 2.2 million.

Himmelbrand Down to 21 Bigs

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-Entry)

Blinds 30k/60k/10k

On the last hand of the level, the board shows Q-3-3-A-8 and Joe Hanrahan bets 545k. After initially checking, Greg Himmelbrand goes deep in the tank and eventually calls.

Hanrahan shows A♣ 8♣ for a rivered two-pairs and Himmelbrand mucks.

Hanrahan is up to 6.5 million, while Himmelbrand drops to 1.7 million (21 bb)

Hanrahan Doubles 2.765 Mill to Take Lead

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-Entry)

Blinds 30k/60k/10k

Joe Hanrahan raises the button to 120k
Greg Himmelbrand bumps it to 300k
Hanrahan moves all in for 2.765 million
Himmelbrand calls

Himmelbrand: A♣ Q
Hanrahan: 5♣ 5

Flop: K♣ K 6♠ (Himmelbrand still leads)

"Counterfeit outs," says Hanrahan

Turn: 7♠ (no change)

River: 2♣

And with that Hanrahan's pair of 5s wins the coin flip and has the chip lead 5.55 million to 2.67 million.

Himmelbrand Staying in Front

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-Entry)

Blinds 30k/60k/10k 

 Himmelbrand & Hanrahan Heads Up

Every time Greg Himmelbrand widens his chip lead, Joe Hanrahan draws close to even.

After Himmelbrand hits a straight with 9-8, Hanrahan gets the chips back with an all-in bet.

Himmelbrand makes it 120k from the button
Hanrahan 300k
Himmelbrand 600k
Hanrahan all in for 2.2 million more
Himmelbrand folds

After the exchange Himmelbrand leads 4.7 million to 3.5 million.

3rd Place - Pieklo

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-Entry)

Blinds 25k/50k/5k

Rob Pieklo (Long Valley, NJ) 

Rob Pieklo loses a cooler and a coin flip to Joe Hanrahan to finish in third place.

Pieklo first loses 500k with A J against Hanrahan's QJ, when Hanrahan flops two pairs on a Q-J-3 board and Pieklo misses a flush draw after picking up a diamond on the turn. 

Pieklo's remaining 800k is all in with QQ against Hanrahan's AK. The runout of A-9-3-K-8 gives Hanrahan the winning two pairs.

"I played great," says Pieklo who owns a mortgage company and was at his day job before the start of Day 3.  "I'm by no means at their level," he says referring to Hanrahan and Greg Himmelbrand are both full time poker pros.

Pieklo takes home $28,290 for his largest career cash and says, "it may buy us an extra day at Disney," something his wife Danielle will be pleased to hear.

Heads Up Chip Counts

Greg Himmelbrand  4.5 million
Joe Hanrahan 3.6 million

Joe Doubles Thru Rob For 2.8 Milly Pot

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-entry)

Blinds: 25k/50k/5k ante

Rob Pieklo looks down at QQ and runs into KK of Joe Hanrahand.  All the chips got in pre-flop with Rob calling off Joe's shove.  Joe was at risk and secured the true double up.

Board ran clean with 7-7-10-6-J

Rob is sitting on the shortest stack of the table with 1.3 million.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Trip Eights & A Double For Himmelbrand

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-entry)

Blinds: 20k/40k/5k ante

Final Three - Neck & Neck

Greg Himmelbrand has three outs with all his chip in and hit two of them.  Greg shipped all of his 1.6 million with A-8 and was quickly called by Joe Hanrahand who flipped over A-Q suited.

An eight in the window and another eight on the turn gave Greg the monster pot of ovr 3.2 million chip pot.

The field has evened out as Joe now has around 2.8 million chips and Rob Pieklo has 2.7.

At the end of the huge hand Greg admitted aloud that he was running good.

Looks like it's anybody's game.  Who wants it?  Who's gonna get lucky when it counts?

4th Place - Queen

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-Entry)

Blinds 20k/40k/5k

 Alex Queen (Bethlehem, PA) 

"I got it in good," says a disappointed Queen after his A J♠ is out flopped by Joe Hanrahan's K♠ 9♠.

The board runs out K-Q-8-7-6 and Queen can't hit a gutshot on the turn or river.

Queen finishes in 4th place for $20,086 and now has nearly $1.2 million in career recorded live tournament earnings.

Not only is Queen a Sands regular, but he's Bethlehem born and raised and a Liberty High School graduate.

"It's nice to get to a final table on my own turf."

You Gotta Have Hearts

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-Entry)

Blinds 20k/40k/5k
4 players remaining, 2 million avg (51 bb)

On a flop of A 8 7♠, Greg Himmelbrand bets 115k, Rob Pieklo makes it 300k, Himmelbrand moves all in and Pieklo calls.

Pieklo: 7 6 (pair of 7s, flush draw)
Himmelbrand: 5 3 (worse flush draw)

Turn: 2(Pieklo flush, Himmelbrand gutshot straight flush draw)

River 9♣

Pieklo gets the much need double-up and is up to 2.2 million, while Himmelbrand drops to 1.5 million.

"I wasn't drawing dead," says Himmelbrand who needed the 4 for the straight flush.

Final Four Chip Counts

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-Entry)

Blinds 20k/40k/5k 
4 players remaining, 2 million avg (51 bb) 

(l-r) Queen, Dealer Raymond, Pieklo, Himmelbrand, Hanrahan

Joe Hanrahan (Amherst, NH) 3.8 million
Greg Himmelbrand (Bayside, NY) 2.4 million
Rob Pieklo (Long Valley, NJ) 1.2 million
Alex Queen (Bethlehem, PA) 790k

5th Place - So

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-entry)

Blinds: 15k/30k/4k ante

Jennifer So (Bethlehem, PA)

Say it is So for Jennifer who adds $15,559 to her career earnings of $67,000.  Jennifer finishes 5th in this January, 2014 Sands DeepStack Extravaganza Main which is the same place Susan Deely placed in the August, 2013 Main.

Jen started the day short-stacked and won a key double-up a few levels in against Mikey "Unbelievable" Dentale when her K-J flopped a straight against his wired eights.  She continued to ride her below-average to average stack, winning races and moving up pay-bump after pay bump - what a survivor.

On Jen's final hand, Joe Hanrahan opened for 80k and Jen shipped her remaining 600,000 with Q 9.  Joe snapped and tabled A Q♣ .  No improvement for Jen who saw her final board read: 3♣ J♠ 8 A♣ 2♣.

Jen is formally from Galloway, NJ but has spent the last year living in Bethlehem and playing cash games at Sands.  She is well like, well respected, and had a lot of friends in the field and at the final table.

Joe increases his tournament chip lead with just south of 4,000,000 which is almost half of all the chips in play.

Congrats again to Last Woman Standing, Jennifer So, who takes home $15,559 for 5th Place.

From Rags to Riches

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-Entry)

Despite what we originally wrote in our Day 2 recap*, Derek George (Catasaqua, PA) is not an idiot. The self proclamation belongs to Mike Pszczola (Staten Island, NY) who overslept at the start of Sunday's play with an extremely short stack.  

"People kept making fun of me," says George, "and I had to tell them it wasn't me."

The mix-up is unacceptable, but understandable as both George and Pszczola began Day 2 with the second and third shortest stacks respectively.  The two miraculously made the money as did Alex Queen who was 6th from the bottom after Day 1.

Here's a look at how the short stacks ended Day 1 and are faring on Day 3.

Name-Day 1 Chip Count (Position)**- Final Place / Payout

Alex Queen 14,575 (122) - Top 4 TBD / $20,086+
Mike Pszczola 11,475 (125) - 12th / $5,799
Derek George 11,300 (126) - 8th / $8,911

*since corrected
**Out of 127 remaining players on Day 1

6th Place - Falow

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-Entry)

Blinds 15k/30k/4k ante

 Mark Falow (Totowa, NJ)

Mark Falow and Greg Himmelbrand see a flop of 8x-7♣-6x.

Falow checks, Himmelbrand bets 65k, Falow calls.

Turn: 2♣

Falow moves all in for 380k and Himmelbrand calls.

Falow: Q 7 (middle pair)
Himmelbrand: K♣ 8♣ (top pair, flush draw)

There's no help for Falow on the river and his day comes to an end in 6th place for $12,731

Falow is a restaurant owner who's kicking himself for moving all in on, "I shouldn't have done that," he says in hindsight. "I had a good run." 

Falow plays poker when he can and "wanted to play the tournament, I like the structure."

Himmelbrand is the chip leader with 2.6 million.

The Queens Rail Their Son Alex

$1,500 DSE Main Event No Limit Hold-Em (Re-entry)

Blinds: 15k/30k/4k ante

 Cliff & Alicia Queen

Since dinner break, Cliff & Alicia Queen have been railing their son Alex at the final table.  They've traveled all over to watch their son play.

Cliff & Alicia are both retired math professors.  Looks like some of those math skills rubbed off on son Alex who is a well established Poker Pro and Champion.

As for an Alex update, he just took a hit when he lost an AQ race vs. Rob Pieklo's JJ.  Pieklo doubles-up to 850,000.  Alex sitting with 600,000.

Board ran: 7-7-10-10-8

6 Players remain.  We'll crown a winner tonight!