The Parx Casino Big Stax XIII has been a newsworthy stop. First, Matt Glantz took down the Parx Casino Big Stax XIII 300 for $55,357 — while simultaneously announcing his decision to leave his role as room ambassador – and then on the same day that PokerNews published our feature piece Putting In Your Dues: Greg Himmelbrand's Journey to Becoming a Poker Millionaire, the man in the title topped a field of 797 entrants to win the Parx Casino Big Stax XIII 500 for $80,725.
This past weekend, the stop wrapped up with the Parx Big Stax XIII 1,100 Championship Event, a tournament that attracted 332 entrants. In the end, the tournament came down to poker professional Vinny Pahuja, former November Niner Michael Esposito, and newcomer Thomas Revello. With the blinds big and stacks relatively close, the trip opted to strike a deal, one that ultimately saw Pahuja named champ.
"Finally got one of these Big Stax things," Pahuja said after the win, referencing numerous close calls at Parx.
The win marked the fifth-largest cash for Pahuja, the brother of World Poker Tour Player of the Year Mukul Pahuja, and vaulted him over $1.9 million in lifetime earnings. Other highlights on Pahuja's poker résumé include a runner-up finish in the 2008 Borgata Summer Poker Open Championship for $289,800; fourth in the 2012 Borgata Fall Poker Open Championship event for $107,067; a win in the 2008 Foxwoods Poker Classic $300 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout for $75,000; and $67,612 for a fifth-place finish in the 2013 Borgata Spring Poker Open Championship.
Final Table Results
*Denotes Three-Handed Deal
According to updates from the event, the final table kicked off with the elimination of Ben Pham, who got his chips in with queens and jacks only to run into the aces and queens of Chris Kostoulas. The river was a blank, and Pham was sent to the rail in 10th place for $5,207.
From there, Scott Fitz-Gerald (9th -$7,439), Joel Frank (8th - $9,848), and Zhenjie Hou (7th - $12,505) all met their demise, and then Christian Soto followed them out the door in sixth. It happened in Level 28 (40,000/80,000/10,000) when Soto shoved for 885,000 form the button holding the and Revello reshoved from the small blind holding the . The board ran out a clean , and that was all she wrote for Soto, who took home $15,162 for his efforts.
After Kostoulas, the only Parx Big Stax champ remaining in the field, took his leave in fifth place, four-handed play lasted awhile before Lisa Pickell, the last woman standing, was bounced after first being crippled by Revello, and then being finished off by Pahuja. Pickell, who qualified for the event for just $150, earned $25,187 for her fourth-place finish.
At that point the final three players played a few more orbits before opting to strike a deal. Esposito, who was chip leader at the time, secured $66,000, while Revello, the short stack, got $50,000. Meanwhile, Pahuja negotiated $62,000 in prize money as well as the trophy and title.
Congratulations to Vinny Pahuja, the Parx Big Stax XIII 1,100 Champion!
*Lead photo courtesy of Parx Poker Blog.