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:
The board ran out , 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 . Ceci made the call with , and Ceci picked up a pair on the flop to take the lead in the hand. The turn and river ran out 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 , well behind Ceci's . Esposito's was drawing thin, but he picked up a draw on the turn when the board read . The 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 , and Costner made the call with pocket sevens. The flop came down , 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 on the turn, but the 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 on a board of . 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 . Costner needed a seven or the board to pair to save him, and when the turn and river came down , 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 and was called by Miles with . Vanderford was behind from the flop, and the on the turn left him drawing dead. The 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 , and Ceci made the call with . Ceci picked up two pair on the flop, and Miles was left drawing to running cards to survive. The turn left Miles drawing dead, and the 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.