The 2014 Seneca Niagara Fall Poker Classic continued Thursday with Event #3, a $300 no-limit hold'em tournament which attracted a total of 141 entries, creating a prize pool of $35,497. After a long day on the felts it was Siavash Banai who emerged as the champion after a four-way deal at the final table.
It was the second final table in as many nights for Banai, who finished sixth in Event #2 late Wednesday night. He was back in action on Thursday and dominated the final table — with the help of some luck. He and Howard Kitchie were the last two standing, and they agreed to a heads-up deal that saw Banai claim the biggest share of the prize pool and the Event #3 trophy.
Final Table Results
|3||Conrad St. Hilaire||$5,327*|
*Reflects four-handed deal
Only 15 spots earned some cash in this event and it was Paul Bitterman who landed on the bubble. After his elimination, Justin Heywood, Alex Barker, Jason Nablo, Scott Aitchison and Scott Stopa finished in the money but outside of the final table.
Ben Bracken finished in 10th place and he was followed by Dave Grana in ninth. Then Art Demmerley lost a memorable preflop confrontation that boosted Banai up the leaderboard.
John Stempien opened to 28,000 from early position, Art Demmerley called from directly behind and then Conrad St. Hilaire three-bet to 70,000. Siavash Banai then four-bet shoved for 144,000 from the big blind. Stempien folded and Demmerley reshoved. St. Hilaire paused briefly before announcing a call, having them all covered.
It looked like Hilaire was poised for the double knockout until the appeared in the window on the flop. Banai darted out of his seat in celebration, and the turn and river secured his triple up. St. Hilaire scooped the side pot and eliminated Demmerley in the process.
Brett Short busted in seventh place and Stempien soon followed in sixth. Five-handed play last a while as short-stacked Mike Russell survived several times with his chips at risk. Maria Parlatore delivered the final blow with against Russell's pocket twos.
The final four then struck a deal, agreeing to a chip-chop deal but leaving $1,200 and the trophy in the middle to play for. Soon after the negotiations were finalized, Parlatore was victimized by a brutal cooler. Parlatore opened to 60,000 from the cutoff and Banai called from the button to see a flop. Parlatore check-called a bet of 150,000, bringing the on the turn. Parlatore checked again and Banai moved all in for 787,000. Parlatore snap-called.
Parlatore had the best of this cooler situation, but she still had plenty of outs to fade. One of those outs came on the river as the gave Banai a full house to clip Parlatore's flopped straight. She was left with just over 80,000 and was eliminated two hands later.
St. Hilaire was the next to go when he shoved from the small blind for 176,000 and Kitchie called from the big. St. Hilaire needed to improve with the against , but the board ended his tournament.
Banai began heads-up play with more than a two-to-one lead and he and Kitchie only played a few hands before calling it quits. We'll see if Banai returns on Friday or waits until Saturday to compete in the flagship $1,000 Main Event.
Out Main Event coverage begins Friday at 11 a.m. ET. Be sure to tune in for all of the updates until a champion is crowned Sunday night!