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Chip Off the Old Block: Rick Block Wins Western New York Poker Challenge Main Event

Rick Block


  • Another win for Rick Block, taking the title in the 2016 Western New York Poker Challenge Main Event.

Alden, New York pro Rick Block took down the 2016 Western New York Poker Challenge Main Event at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino on Monday.

Block, who picked up his second major Seneca Niagara title, following up on his 2014 Seneca Fall Classic win for $40,050, came into Monday's final six as the chip leader and never really looked back on the way to a $52,768 score.

Additional success for Block came in 2015 and 2013 when he won the first event of the 2015 Seneca Niagara Summer Slam for $15,000 and the 2013 Seneca Niagara Fall Poker Classic $500 Reentry for $9,127.

Final Table Results

1Rick Block$52,768
2Charles Johnson$33,168
3Dan Wagner$23,907
4Newton Graziano$17,661
5Ray LaRouech$13,138
6Joseph Reichenbacher$9,907
7Frank Dellaria$7,754
8Jeff Wells$6,031
9Jeremy Halaska$4,846

The first elimination of the day came quickly when Joseph Reichenbacher ran a small pair into Dan Wagner's trips to say goodbye in sixth. Wagner then continued to do all the heavy lifting, busting Ray LaRouech in fifth and Newton Graziono in fourth, taking the chip lead into three-handed play.

But that's when Block put his foot on the gas, taking a series of mid-sized pots outpipping Wagner's pairs and snatching the lead away. Ultimately, Block four-bet shoved a set and Wagner called off with two pair to end his solid run in third.

Heads-up play did not last long, with Block shoving two pair in just the first few hands this time, pumping his fist when Charles Johnson called it off with jacks on an ace-high board. Two pair held and Block was suddenly and decisively the 2016 Western New York Poker Challenge Main Event champion.

Another successful poker series now comes to a close inside the Niagara Falls Poker Room, with Block proving his mettle against a field of 244 entries that once again smashed the event's $200,000 guarantee.

It's goodbye for now from Niagara Falls, but look for PokerNews to be back in the Western New York area for the 2016 Seneca Niagara Summer Slam coming up in July.

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