World Series of Poker Europe

Kevin Grabel Makes History at Parx Casino, Wins Back-To-Back Big Stax Events

Kevin Grabel
  • Kevin Grabel won back-to-back events in the Parx Casino Big Stax XVI, making history in doing so.

Parx Casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania played host to another Big Stax tournament series. These Big Stax events have become community favorites, drawing large numbers over the years, and this latest installment, the Big Stax XVI, was no different. The highlight of the festival was the trio of Big Stax XVI 300, Big Stax XVI 500, and Big Stax XVI 1100 events, attracted a combined 3,261 entries and generating nearly $1.6 million in combined prize pools.

Although the Big Stax XVI 1100 event provided the biggest first-place prize, the story from the series was Kevin Grabel, who made history when he won both the Big Stax XVI 300 and Big Stax XVI 500 events for prizes of $78,450 and $43,000, respectively. With the two wins, Grabel became the first player to win back-to-back titles at Parx Casino in Big Stax events. He defeated a field of 1,548 entries in the first event and 1,184 entries in the second.

In the Big Stax XVI 1100 event, Jason Deutsch beat out Bobby Oboodi to win a $101,305 prize.

Grabel Wins Big Stax XVI 300

On Monday, May 9, Grabel entered the final table of the Big Stax XVI 300 event atop the final 10 players. He busted Dixit Patel in 10th place, Chris Farmer in ninth, and Daniel Conway in sixth before leading the final four players into the dinner break. It was Mike Lavenburg, James Labrie, and Geno Raman joining Grabel at this point.

After they returned, Raman busted to Grabel in fourth place, and then Grabel finished off Labrie in third before taking 26 million in chips into heads-up play against Lavenburg, who had 20 million.

According to reports, Grabel opened up heads-up play by extending his lead, but Lavenburg fought back. The two then went back and forth for a bit before Grabel finally sealed the day thanks to a big flop that gave him two pair versus Lavenburg's kings.

On the final hand, the duo saw the {5-Clubs}{3-Spades}{2-Spades} flop and all the money went in. Grabel had the {3-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds} for bottom two pair, and Lavenburg had the {K-Diamonds}{K-Clubs} for an overpair. The turn was the {4-Diamonds} and the river was the {Q-Hearts}, ending the event with Lavenburg in second place.

Final Table Results

1Kevin Grabel$78,450
2Mike Lavenburg$49,633
3James Labrie$32,338
4Geno Raman$23,735
5Alex Rocha$17,691
6Daniel Conway$13,324
7Andre Martin$10,324
8Mike Snowman$7,853
9Chris Farmer$6,177

Grabel Goes Back-To-Back in Big Stax XVI 500

After winning $78,450 in the Big Stax XVI 300 event and topping an enormous field of 1,548 entries, Grabel's confidence was likely at an all-time, and it showed as he went on to win the Big Stax XVI 500 event on top of a field of 1,184 entries.

Heading into the final table of 10 in this event, Grabel was eighth in chips, ahead of only two players. Just reaching the final table after winning the other event's title would've been a crazy accomplishment by itself, but Grabel fought his way from the bottom as he watched Jeff Wicker hit the rail in 10th and Charles Dang fall in ninth.

Eight-handed play was reported as a long, uneventful affair, and eventually the final eight players began discussing a deal. After some negotiations, it was agreed that the top four stacks — Grabel, Oboodi, Josh Smith, and Gary Belyalovsky — would take $43,000 each. The other four — Ehraim Uzan, Antonio Bueti, Sumeet Wayachal, and Rishi Badlani — took $35,000 each. With history on the line, Grabel was able to negotiate that he'd get the official title and be the event's winner.

Final Table Results

1Kevin Grabel$43,000*
2Gary Belyalovsky$43,000*
3Josh Smith$43,000*
4Bobby Oboodi$43,000*
5Antonio Bueti$35,000*
6Rishi Badlani$35,000*
7Sumeet Wayachal$35,000*
8Ephraim Uzan$35,000*
9Charles Dang$8,411

*Denotes an eight-handed deal.

Deutsch Wins Big Stax XVI 1100

Kevin Grabel Makes History at Parx Casino, Wins Back-To-Back Big Stax Events 101

Last, but certainly not least, was the Big Stax XVI 1100 event that attracted 529 entries. Winning the event was Jason Deutsch following a heads-up deal with Oboodi, who was making another final table at this series. Both players earned over $100,000 and Deutsch got the title.

The final table included 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Joe McKeehen, but his run ended in sixth place at the hands of Deutsch. According to reports, Oboodi opened with a raise to 175,000 at the 40,000/80,000/10,000 level, Deutsch flat-called, and then McKeehen reraised all in for 1.55 million. Play folded back to Deutsch and he called with the {A-Clubs}{K-Diamonds}. McKeehen had the {J-Hearts}{J-Clubs} and fell after a king hit the flop.

After a couple more eliminations, Oboodi and Deutsch reached the heads-up portion of play. Deutsch had just over 14 million to start, and Oboodi had roughly 12 million. The two ended up agreeing to a deal, with Deutsch claiming $102,505 and the trophy for the win. Oboe scored $102,504 for second place.

Final Table Results

1Jason Deutsch$102,505*
2Bobby Oboodi$102,504*
3David Raddi$51,816
4Conni Rinaldi$37,931
5Matthew Zambanini$28,335
6Joe McKeehen$21,336
7John Iannucci$16,369
8Natale Kuey$12,531
9Giorgi Terishvili$9,765

*Denotes a heads-up deal.

*Images and information courtesy of

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