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Tony Dao Tops Field of 2,647 Entries to Win $100,000 in Queen City Classic

Tony Dao

The 2013 Queen City Classic kicked off last week in Cincinnati, Ohio with Event #1: No-Limit Hold’em Ultimate Reentry, a $260 buy-in tournament with a $500,000 guaranteed prize pool and a $100,000 guaranteed first place prize. The tournament also offered double qualifiers (those who survived a Day 1 flight more than once) a $2,000 bonus.

The opening event attracted a massive 2,647 entries over six starting flights – making it the largest-ever tournament in the Buckeye State (previous was the World Series of Poker Circuit’s 1,106 entries) — and there ended up being 52 double qualifiers, including three-time qualifier Jerry Zehr.

Here’s a breakdown of the starting flights:

FlightEntriesAdvancingDouble Qualifiers

The 206 players that made Day 2 were in the money, and they returned on Wednesday to play down to a winner with Indianapolis resident Michael Hahn as the chip leader. Others who returned to action were WSOP Circuit Main Event winners Brad Albrinck and Zal Irani, as well as Michael Scarborough, Nicholas Guagenti, Jacob Bazeley and Justin Truesdell.

Ten hours later, the field was narrowed down to the final table of nine with 37-year-old business owner Tony Dao, who began Day 2 fifth in chips, leading the way. The final table action lasted into the early morning hours of Thursday, but eventually Dao used his chip advantage to survive a marathon three-handed battle with Alan Wenta and Jeremy Brown, who finished third and runner-up respectively.

Interestingly, Irani and Guagenti were both at the final table, which is noteworthy as both had made the final table in a 5,125-entry event in Chicago last year. According to Irani, it gets even stranger as he claims the same feat has occurred in three other events. Even so, Guagenti ended up busting in ninth place while Irani followed him out the door in eighth place.

"I love it," Dao laughed when asked about his thoughts on the event.

Queen City Classic Event #1 Results

1Tony Dao$100,000
2Jeremy Brown$61,256
3Alan Wentz$32,724
4James Lushin$25,147
5John McMillan$18,216
6Frank Heitker$14,508
7Allen Kron$11,606
8Zal Irani$9,027
9Nicholas Guagenti$6,448

The 2013 Queen City Classic, which is being hosted by Horseshoe Cincinnati poker room manager Jason Newman and run by noted tournament director Charlie Ciresi, will culminate with a $1,500 buy-in Main Event this weekend. That tournament features two starting flights and permits unlimited re-entry each day through the registration period. Additionally, those who advance from the opening flight are able to play the subsequent flight and assume their largest stack on Day 2.

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