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Chris Gras Wins WNYPC Event #1 for $18,000

Chris Gras
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  • Chris Gras Wins WNYPC Event #1 for $18,000

Topping a field of 798 entries, Chris Gras has claimed the first title at the 2018 Western New York Poker Challenge. The victory comes in Event #1: $200 No-Limit Hold'em $50,000 Guarantee of the annual series hosted by the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino. After multiple deals at the final table, Gras walked away with $18,000 for the win.

Coming into the series, Gras had just $27,239 in career live-recorded tournament earnings. This is by far the largest cash on his resume with his previous best coming at the 2016 World Series of Poker where he finished 210th in the Colossus II cashing for $5,122.

Final Table Results:

PlacePlayerCountryPrize
1Chris GrasUnited States$18,000
2John BrockUnited States$12,000
3Budwey SalhabUnited States$11,453
4Chris DamickUnited States$9,000
5Andrew MillerUnited States$7,500
6Michelle CaldwellUnited States$8,500
7Blake NapieralaUnited States$9,000
8Anthony SoluriUnited States$7,000
9Matt HeiligenthalerUnited States$2,578
10Chris BabulaUnited States$1,972

Day 2 got underway with 104 hopefuls remaining with just 72 making the money. The bubble approached quickly and hand-for-hand play only last three hands before then chip leader, Chris Babula, popped it besting an opponent's pocket nines with pocket tens.

Two of the Day 1 flight chip leaders saw their stacks dispersed amongst the field much earlier than they would have liked. Start of day leader Dan Wagner busting in 43rd place earning $580. Day 1b top stack, Tim Campbell, made it as far as 33rd before he collected his $670 cash.

The field reached the final table bubble just before dinner and not long after the players returned, Jack Kerr got into a short-stacked blind versus blind battle with eventual runner-up John Brock that he could not win and busted in 11th place, banking $1,972.

Babula was the first player to drop from the final table running pocket eights into Blake Napierala's pocket queens.

Babula was the first player to drop from the final table running pocket eights into Blake Napierala's pocket queens. The very next hand, Matt Heiligenthaler got it in good with pocket tens against Gras' king-queen, but the latter caught a king and sent Heiligenthaler to the rail in ninth.

The final eight players negotiated a deal to chop up the remaining prize pool leaving $10,000 for the eventual champion and about $8,400 for the runner-up. After locking up $7,000, Anthony Soluri lost a race with ace-king to Salhab's pocket tens to depart in eighth place.

Chris Damick went on a tear knocking out Napierala and Michelle Campbell in back-to-back hands before Gras outdrew Andrew Miller to leave the event four-handed. At this point, the players decided to take $2,453 off the top two prizes to pay third place an extra slice.

After losing a couple of massive pots, one of them being one-outer'ed by Brock, Damick got the rest of it in against Budwey Salhab running into another massive hand to bust in fourth. Not long after Damick's demise, Salhab found himself in a dominated position against Gras and was unable to improve joining Damick on the rail.

Gras started the heads-up battle with a significant chip lead, but Brock quickly fought back to overtake him. The two jockeyed back and forth for the better part of two levels before Gras woke up with aces and snap-called a five-bet jam from Brock with king-ten. That pot left Brock with less than two big blinds, and Gras finished him off two hands later.

The 2018 WYNPC rolls on as Event #3: $120 No-Limit Hold'em $10,000 Guarantee is set for 5 PM local time today. PokerNews will be here throughout the series, bringing you all the news and live updates. Follow along in the PokerNews Live Reporting hub, and follow @pokernews on Twitter, on Facebook, and Instagram.

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