The 2014 Hollywood Poker Open Grantville Regional Championship $1,800 Main Event at Penn National Race Course concluded on Sunday after the final nine players of a 37-player field returned to play down to a winner. It took a little more than five levels of play, but eventually Bradley Yazici emerged victorious to capture the $22,752 first-place prize and a seat into the $2,500 HPO Championship to be held in Las Vegas this June at The M Resort Spa Casino.
Day 2 action resumed in Level 13 (700/1,400/100), and it didn’t take long for fireworks to occur. In one of the first hands of the day, Jason Thomas, who began the day second in chips, opened for 3,200 only to have Yazici, the chip leader, three-bet to 7,500. Action folded back to Thomas, and he pushed back with a four-bet to 16,000. Not to be outdone, Yazici five-bet to 35,000, Thomas six-bet to 60,000, and Yazici seven-bet shoved, which Thomas called.
The table and railbirds erupted in disbelief at the cooler of a hand. Little did they know, the excitement was just beginning. The flop wasn't anything special, but the turn was exactly what Yazici needed to pull ahead in the hand. He spiked his two outer, and Thomas was visibly shaken by the sudden turn of events. The river failed to change a thing, and Thomas just stared blankly forward as the dealer verified the stacks. Yazici held 168,800, which was barely more than Thomas' 163,400. The cooler sent Thomas to the rail empty handed in ninth place, while Yazici stacked nearly half the chips in play.
Not long after, Kenneth "Hockey" Hock was ousted in eighth place in another big pocket-pair battle, and then Chi Do fell in seventh after being crippled in a similar hand.
Then, the money bubble lasted for nearly two hours, but it eventually burst when the last woman in the tournament fell. Vicki Russel had been quite the character at the HPO Regional Championship Grantville. As she explained, she was married for 25 years before recently becoming a divorcé. After raising five children, Russel devoted most of her time to her businesses and to playing poker.
Russel’s last hand happened on a flop of when Yazici bet 6,500 from the under-the-gun position and Russel moved all in for roughly 27,000. Yazici snap-called with the , which was well out in front of Russel's .
"I guess I need another queen," Russel said in reference to a hand earlier on the bubble where she caught a queen on the river to stay alive. Unfortunately for her, she couldn't do it a second time as the blanked on the turn followed by the on the river. "Gave it all I had," she said before taking her leave.
Summers' elimination happened in Level 16 (1,200/2,400/400) when action folded to Yazici in the small blind and he put in a raise to 6,000. Summers, the shortest stack at the table, was in the big and opted for a three-bet to 14,400. Yazici casually announced that he was all in and Summers snap-called off for approximately 70,000.
According to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, Summers was a 71.72% favorite while Yazici would come from behind 27.78% of the time. The flop was safe for Summers, and his chances jumped to 86.46% while Yazici's fell to 13.54%.
The turn made Summers an overwhelming 93.18% favorite, meaning Yazici needed an ace on the river to eliminate his opponent, something that would happen a mere 6.82% of the time. Unfortunately for Summers, this was one such time as the spiked on fifth street. Summers' face dropped upon seeing the "death card," and then he composed himself before making his way to the payout desk in fourth place to collect $6,586.
Peter Kaemmerlen managed to double through Yazici to take a big chip lead, but a few hours later the double was reversed thanks to a lucky river card. After a break, Kaemmerlen returned to be decimated by yet another river card, and he then fell a couple hands later in third place for $10,178.
That left Yazici and John Kostelac to battle heads up with the former holding a considerable chip lead; however, it turned out to be a lengthy affair.
The final hand took place in Level 18 (2,000/4,000/500) when Kostelac opened for 12,000 on the button and then called a three-bet to 31,000 by Yazici. The flop saw Yazici lead out for 32,000, Kostelac call, and the appear on the turn. Yazici slowed down with a check, and Kostelac fell into the trap by moving all in. Yazici snap-called and showed the for quads, which had Kostelac's drawing dead.
The meaningless was put out on the river to make it official, and Kostelac hit the rail in second place for $14,968.
Congratulations to Bradley Yazici, the 2014 Hollywood Poker Open Grantville Regional Champion!
In addition, 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event seventh-place finisher Lee Childs topped the leaderboard at Grantville Regional Championship, which earned him a seat in the season-ending HPO Championship.
Congrats to @leechilds for winning a seat to our Championship Event via the #PNRCHPO Leaderboard. He's headed to Vegas. Nice work all week.Follow @hwpokeropen
The next Hollywood Poker Open Regional Tournament will take place in St. Louis, MO from March 7-16. Of course the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand to report the event. Don't miss your chance to go head-to-head with some of the region's best players to win a seat into the $500,000 guaranteed HPO Championship Event.