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WSOP-C New Orleans, Final Table: Nick Ceci Claims Ring

WSOP-C New Orleans, Final Table: Nick Ceci Claims Ring 0001

The final table of the fifth annual Bayou Poker Classic kicked off at a record pace, with seven players eliminated in less than 50 hands. Once heads-up play commenced, it took another two and half hours for Nick Ceci to put away his final opponent, Timothy "TK" Miles, and claim the $382,928 first-place prize.

The final table started off with a huge bang, as a three-way all in sent two players to the rail on the very first hand. Miles, the start-of-day leader, opened the betting pre-flop with a raise, only to find a re-raise from Ed Jatho and a smooth call from Marc Fratter. Miles re-raised, and Jatho moved all in over the top. Fratter and Miles both called, as the players tabled pre-flop monsters:

Miles – {a-Hearts}{a-Diamonds}

Jatho – {j-Spades}{j-Clubs}

Fratter – {q-Clubs}{q-Spades}

The board ran out {6-Clubs}{6-Hearts}{2-Hearts}{5-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}, and Fratter was eliminated in ninth ($23,933) while Jatho picked up $35,900 for his eighth-place finish.

After a couple more orbits, Chuck Kelley moved all in over the top of Nick Ceci's pre-flop raise with {a-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}. Ceci made the call with {8-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}, and Ceci picked up a pair on the {k-Hearts}{7-Spades}{6-Clubs} flop to take the lead in the hand. The turn and river ran out {q-Diamonds}{2-Spades} and Kelley was eliminated in seventh place ($59,833).

Lou Esposito made his third final-table appearance at the New Orleans Circuit stop, but a repeat championship was not in the cards for the 2007 Bayou Poker Challenge winner. Esposito put the last of his short stack in the middle after a raise from Ceci, only to find Miles waiting in late position with a re-raise. Ceci moved all in over the top of Miles, who called to set up another three-way all in. Miles tabled {q-Spades}{q-Hearts}, well behind Ceci's {a-Hearts}{a-Clubs}. Esposito's {10-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds} was drawing thin, but he picked up a draw on the turn when the board read {a-Diamonds}{9-Spades}{5-Hearts}{9-Diamonds}. The {5-Diamonds} river sealed his fate, sending him to the rail in sixth place ($59,833) as Ceci took the chip lead.

Jeff Tims was next to fall when he ran into Gabe Costner to finish in fifth ($71,799). Tims raised pre-flop from the cutoff with {k-Diamonds}{j-Spades}, and Costner made the call with pocket sevens. The flop came down {q-Hearts}{9-Clubs}{4-Spades}, and Tims moved all in. Costner went into the tank for quite a while before making the call, but after some time in thought, he did so. Tims picked up additional outs with the {8-Diamonds} on the turn, but the {3-Clubs} on the river provided no help and Tims departed. Tims picked up $71,799 to add to the $58,491 he earned by winning Event #12 in the New Orleans Circuit series earlier this week.

Just a few hands later, Costner ran into a huge cooler to exit in fourth place ($83,766). Costner flopped trips with {7-Spades}{4-Spades} on a board of {j-Spades}{4-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}. Costner raised pre-flop from the button, and found one caller in chip leader Ceci from the small blind. Costner led out on the flop, and Ceci put in a stiff raise. Costner thought for a moment before moving all in, and Ceci made the call with {a-Hearts}{4-Hearts}. Costner needed a seven or the board to pair to save him, and when the turn and river came down {6-Hearts}{8-Hearts}, his run was over

It only took two more hands for Floyd Vanderford to bust in third place, earning $107,699 on his investment of $65. Vanderford won his way into the main event in a live satellite and parlayed his investment into a great return over the course of three days. Vanderford moved all in pre-flop from the button with {q-Clubs}{8-Clubs} and was called by Miles with {k-Spades}{j-Hearts}. Vanderford was behind from the {a-Hearts}{9-Spades}{2-Diamonds} flop, and the {k-Diamonds} on the turn left him drawing dead. The {5-Clubs} river was irrelevant, and Vanderford was eliminated.

Nick Ceci took a nearly 2:1 chip lead into heads-up play, but it took nearly two and a half hours for him to put away the persistent Timothy Miles. After jockeying for position for over 70 hands, Ceci finally took a significant chip lead into the final hand. Miles moved the last of his chips into the middle with {q-Diamonds}{4-Spades}, and Ceci made the call with {j-Clubs}{7-Clubs}. Ceci picked up two pair on the {j-Spades}{9-Hearts}{7-Spades} flop, and Miles was left drawing to running cards to survive. The {a-Diamonds} turn left Miles drawing dead, and the {j-Hearts} river completed the action. Miles finished in second place ($210,610), while Ceci picked up $382,928 for his triumph along with the gold Circuit Championship ring and a buy-in to the 2008 WSOP Main Event.

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