World Series of Poker Europe

The Wonder of Winning It All: Shawn Busse Victorious in Foxwoods Poker Classic Main Event

Shawn Busse

Shawn Busse captured the title, but not the biggest chunk of the money, in the $2,700 Foxwoods Poker Classic Main Event in Mashantucket, CT. He got $95,024 as part of a four-way deal, while Justin Schwartz took $104,000, Busse's fellow bracelet winner Andrew Badecker scored $85,265, and Todd Rebello got $81,776. The event drew 282 players.

Busse, who hails from New York, banked his largest score since his gold bracelet win in 2010, when he took down a $1,000 event at the World Series of Poker for $485,791. Connecticut native Schwartz, known to many in the poker community as "stealthmunk," has made Foxwoods his personal stomping ground in recent years, as he won this event in 2013 for more than $112,000, got sixth in 2011 for $29,142, and won a different event there for $68,131 in 2011.

Final Table Results

1Shawn Busse$95,024*
2Todd Rebello$81,776*
3Justin Schwartz$104,000*
4Andrew Badecker$85,265*
5Michael Nye$36,928
6Frankie Flowers$30,090
7Chris Pierro$24,618
8Eli Berg$19,490
9Carlo Sciannameo$15,055
10Bart Guthrie$10,941

*Denotes four-way deal.

Thirty-six players made the money in the tournament, including well-known East coast grinders Jeff Cohen (24th), Greg Himmelbrand (23rd), World Poker Tour champion Bobby Oboodi (21st), and Will "The Thrill" Failla (14th). Curt Kohlberg, another well-known player, bubbled the final table when he busted 11th in a hand that went unrecorded in the live updates.

Once the final table began, Bart Guthrie was first to go when his {9-Spades}{9-Clubs} was outrun by the {a-Spades}{k-Clubs} of Mike Nye. The latter spiked a king on the river after a preflop all-in clash.

With blinds at 15,000/30,000/5,000, Busse got a key double up to 1.1 million when his {a-Hearts}{a-Clubs} held up all in preflop against the {a-Diamonds}{q-Hearts} of Frankie Flowers.

Carlo Sciannameo headed out the door in ninth shortly after that, followed by Eli Berg in eighth. Busse sent Berg packing when he jammed in the small blind with the {3-Spades}{2-Diamonds} and got called by the {a-Spades}{j-Hearts}, only for an {8-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{9-Spades} run out to give Busse a straight.

Chris Pierro then looked to be in good shape to double after getting it in behind with the {q-Diamonds}{q-Hearts} but flopping a set against the {k-Diamonds}{k-Spades} of Nye. Alas, the turn brought a third king for Nye, ending Pierro's tournament in seventh.

After a dinner break and the elimination of Flowers in an unknown hand, short-stacked Nye ran his {a-Spades}{q-Hearts} into Rebello's {k-Hearts}{k-Clubs} and failed to find improvement. That set up a four-handed situation that led to what tournament reporter Rob Perelman called "an intense negotiation." A deal was reached that set aside $1,024 for first, with everyone but Busse taking the payouts listed above, and players agreed to speed up play to 50,000/100,000/10,000 blinds and antes.

With a relatively tiny winner-take-all prize pool remaining, play got predictably fast and loose, with the first knockout happening when Schwartz crammed from the small blind with the {10-Spades}{9-Clubs} and binked a pair against the {k-Spades}{6-Diamonds} of Badecker. Schwartz then picked up the {2-Hearts}{2-Spades} and shipped from the small blind again, but this time the big blind woke up with a bigger pair, as Busse held the {6-Hearts}{6-Clubs}. No deuce appeared, so Schwartz headed to payouts to take the lion's share of the prize pool. After that, Busse wielded the {a-Diamonds}{2-Clubs} to bust Rebello in a hand with unknown action, taking the last of the money and the trophy, adding to a career tally in excess of $1 million.

Photo credit: Rob Perelman/

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