The PokerStars.net North American Poker Tour Venetian $25,000 High-Roller Bounty Shootout kicked off Tuesday with 49 of the biggest names in poker taking to the felt for this new and unique event. Each player in the event had a $5,000 bounty on his head and in order to move on to the final table, you needed to beat out everyone else at your table. That meant beating six other top-notch players including the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, JC Tran, Vanessa Rousso and Jason Mercier, among others.
The event was split into two heats. The first heat, consisting of three tables, kicked off at around 11:30 a.m. The second heat took place at 7:00 p.m. With such an exciting field and format, it was fitting that the event was broadcast live on the Internet, as well.
In the first heat, Scott Seiver made quick work of his table, eliminating each of his opponents one by one. Seiver claimed all six of the available bounties at his table, including a double knockout of Chau Giang and Brain Rast in the same hand. Seiver won $30,000 in bounties and also took home the $75,000 prize for winning his table.
Joining Seiver from the first heat were Faraz Jaka and Hoyt Corkins. Jaka earned himself four bounties overall after eliminating Annie Duke heads up. Duke didn’t go easily though; she was able to double up a few times and pull even with Jaka, who began the match with a dominating chip lead. In the end, though, Jaka was just too much to overcome.
Corkins had a tough battle as well once he got down to the final two players at his table. Seated at the feature table, Corkins battled John Duthie for a couple of hours before sending him to the rail. By busting Duthie, Corkins claimed his fifth bounty of the tournament.
The second heat saw four tables in action. Coming out with victories in the second heat were Joe Cassidy, Ashton Griffin, Peter Eastgate and Brett Richey.
Cassidy earned himself four bounties, good for $20,000, after he steamrolled his way to victory. When he got down to heads-up play with Justin Bonomo, the two battled for a while before getting it all-in on a coinflip. Cassidy had luck on his side and won the flip to beat Bonomo.
On one of the other tables, Bonomo’s good friend Isaac Haxton battled Peter Eastgate. Eastgate was out-flopped in the most important hand of the match when Haxton flopped the nut straight but managed to go runner-runner for the higher straight to double up and take the chip lead. Then Eastgate got it all-in with two pair, which held up as Haxton could only muster one pair. Eastgate represents the only member of Team PokerStars Pro to reach the final table.
Despite showing up a little late to the tournament, thanks to a late, drunken night, Ashton Griffin homed in on his game and emerged the winner of his table. It wasn’t easy though because Griffin had to endure numerous all-in confrontations and a few spots where he and Chris Moneymaker battled. In the final hand, Griffin’s pocket fives held up against Moneymaker’s ace-rag to finish things off.
The last player into the final table, but certainly not the least deserving, was Brett Richey. He began the day at the feature table where he almost doubled his starting stack early on. Richey then took a few hits but battled back before to get heads up with Lee Markholt. The two went back and forth before Richey was finally able to pick up two kings to Markholt’s pocket eights. All of the money went into the middle in a pretty standard spot preflop and Richey’s cowboys hung tough.
Here’s a list of the players at the final table and the number of bounties each earned.
Scott Seiver (6)
Hoyt Corkins (5)
Faraz Jaka (4)
Joe Cassidy (4)
Brett Richey (3)
Peter Eastgate (2)
Ashton Griffin (2)
With some bounty money and $75,000 already locked up, everyone will be looking to win. A $5,000 bounty still hangs around each player's neck and the player who accumulates the most bounties will earn an extra $100,000. The winner of the tournament will earn a hefty payday of $460,000!
The players have a day off on Wednesday before returning to finish things on Thursday at the Venetian. Be sure to check out the action the right here at PokerNews. As far as Wednesday goes, you don’t want to miss out on the coverage of the NAPT Venetian Main Event final table which kicks off at 2:00 p.m. local time. Both events will be streaming live on PokerNews, so fire up some popcorn and settle in for some poker action.
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*Photo courtesy of PokerStars.net