On Sunday, the 2014 Western New York Poker Challenge $1,100 Main Event, a tournament that attracted 183 entries and created a prize pool of $176,595, came to an end when Nick Walker defeated Kyle Gay in heads-up play to capture the $37,061 first-place prize.
WNY Poker Challenge Main Event Results
|5th||Bob De Wolfe||$11,125|
*Denotes three-handed deal
Day 2 of the Main Event returned with 34 players, and 13 of them had to go before the money was reached. Among those to leave empty handed were Robert Bourkey, Todd Saffron, Jim Goertz, Dave Grana, Kyle Gauchat, Blake Napierala, and Tracy Rouse.
Rouse actually fell directly on the money bubble. It happened in Level 17 (3,000/6,000/500) when Rouse, who had grown extremely short, decided to move in her last 18,500 from under the gun. Joe Cruz called from middle position, and Walker came along from the small blind. Both active players then checked it down as the board ran out .
Rouse shook her head and showed the for not much of anything, and Cruz rolled over the . Walker mucked, which meant Cruz eliminated a disappointed Rouse as the bubble player. Her elimination secured the remaining 21 players a guaranteed payday of at least $2,119.
On the way to the final table, 11 more players fell by the wayside including 2014 Western New York Poker Challenge Event #1 winner, Kevin Mathias (21st - $2,119); defending champ Matthew Sande (20th - $2,119); and Joseph Elia (18th - $2,296), who won Event #2 $500 No-Limit Hold’em earlier in the series.
The first casualty at the final table ended up being Mike Shavensky, who fell in Level 21 (8,000/16,000/2,000) when Andre Smith opened the action for 35,000 and received a call from Bob De Wolfe. Shavensky then moved all in for right around 170,000, and Gay moved all in over the top from the big blind. Both Smith and De Wolfe folded, and Shavensky sensed that he was in trouble.
Indeed, Gay had woken up with the best hand in poker just at the right time. The flop contained a paint card, but not the one Shavensky was looking for. The same can be said of the turn, meaning Shavensky was down to two outs headed to the river. The dealer burned one last time and put out the . Shavensky fell in tenth place while Gay, who was the short stack at the start of the final table, vaulted to over 600K.
From there the eliminations continued and included Cruz (9th - $4,062), Johannes Mueller (8th - $5,121), Pete Kaemmerlen (7th - $6,534), Travell Thomas (6th - $8,653), De Wolfe (5th - $11,125), and Louis Aquilina (4th - $15,011). When three-handed play began, Gay was on the extreme short stack, but thanks to three doubles he found himself right back in contention. That is when the final three struck a deal.
Once the numbers were finalized, Smith moved all in blind and was promptly ousted in third place. Gay and Walker engaged in a short heads-up battle, but eventually the chip advantage of the former proved too much to overcome.
Congratulations to Nick Walker, winner of the Western New York Poker Challenge Main Event!