Matt Shepsky, Eddie Blumenthal Chop Chicago Poker Classic
One of the Midwest's biggest poker events, the Chicago Poker Classic, ended in a chop Monday night between two recognizable names from the region as Matt Shepsky and Eddie Blumenthal came to a deal that saw both players claim just under $200,000 at Horseshoe Hammond.
Shepsky took the biggest share with $195,367, while also laying claim to a new BMW in a popular recurring promotion run by event organizers. He's now surpassed $1 million in tournament cashes.
Meanwhile, the resurgent Blumenthal got $185,366. After being active on the tournament scene with numerous cashes through 2013, he made himself scarce over the past few years before emerging to claim a WSOP Circuit ring in Milwaukee last month. Blumenthal secured his fourth six-figure score and has over $1.2 million in cashes. Check out his appearance on the LFG Podcast here.
Official Final Table Results
**reflects final table deal and doesn't include BMW
reflects final table deal
The event surpassed the $1 million guarantee by drawing 646 runners for a prize pool just under $1.15 million. Some of the players among the 72 to make the money included Allen Kessler, Mike Shin, Mike Sowers, Ralph Massey, Matt Bond, Prince Gaspard and former champEddie Ochana, who won in 2014 and got second in 2015. Ochana threatened another final table but finished 13th.
Final Table Action
According to the live updates, Shepsky and Blumenthal began the final table of 10 in the upper half of the stacks, but Bob Dokhanchi held the lead followed by WSOP bracelet winner Aaron Steury in second.
Coming in with a big stack and high hopes, things got start off right for Steury when he ran kings into aces but found a third king on the flop to eliminate Frank Cerminara.
Blumenthal, meanwhile won a flip with ace-king against jacks to eliminate Chris Carriger and join the leaders north of 3 million at 20,000/40,000/4,000. With six players remaining, Blumenthal would send a disappointed Steury home when ace-king failed to improve against jacks. That pot gave Blumenthal the chip lead.
Shepsky began his rise when he tangled with Dokhanchi and got a lucky river to make aces and nines after Dokhanchi flopped aces and fours. Then, Shepsky propelled into first courtesy of the age-old flip: ace-king against queens. At risk against fellow big stack Al Motiwala, Shepsky whiffed the flop but found a saving on the turn to double.
Motiwala was left with dust but managed to ladder past Michael Moncek, hitting a flush with when both were all in and at risk in the same pot. Shepsky then did him a solid by picking up nines to bust former leader Dokhanchi, who shoved with fours after getting short.
Motiwala turned his last 135,000 into over 2 million but was still in danger with blinds and antes at 50,000/100,000/10,000. Finally, he got it in with after defending big blind and seeing a flop but couldn't improve against Shepsky's , ending the comeback bid in third.
Shepsky had 13 million of 16 million in play and looked set to continue his momentum and roll to a win. Blumenthal had other idea though, picking up a dominating ace-queen and doubling through Shepsky's ace-four. Blumenthal worked his way into a slight lead and the two talked deal, agreeing to an even chop and leaving $10,000 and the car on the line.
Blumenthal nearly had the win in his grasp as the two got stacks in after that with Blumenthal holding bottom set and fading a combo draw from Shepsky. Shepsky got there with a flush on the river though, and Blumenthal had to push with ace-four with his short stack after that. Shepsky picked up and called, and what looked like a chop on a double-paired board turned into a Broadway straight on the river and a title for Shepsky.
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