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Event 1: $200 No-Limit Hold'em

Level Info

Level 23
Blinds 12,000 / 24,000
Ante 3,000
Event 1: $200 No-Limit Hold'em
Day 1 Completed

Congratulations to Kevin Mathias, Winner of the WNY Poker Challenge Event #1 ($6,514)

BrettC • Level 23: 12,000-24,000, 3,000 ante

Early Friday morning, University of Buffalo students Kevin Mathias and Thomas Hawthorne were debating whether or not to play Friday's Event #1 of the Western New York Poker Challenge.

The two friends decided to make the 40-minute drive to Niagara Falls just before the tournament started. And 13 hours later, they were playing heads-up for the title.

In the end it was Mathias who walked away with the victory, the $6,514 payday and the shiny new trophy. The Watertown, New York native bested a field of 144 entries in the $200 opening event of the 16-tournament series. Hawthorne, originally from nearby Rochester, New York, earned $4,023 for his runner-up finish.

WNY Poker Challenge Event #1 Results

1Kevin Mathias$6,514
2Thomas Hawthorne$4,023
3Jason Nablo$2,907
4Joe Latona$2,174
5Brett "Roscoe" Short$1,581
6Shamel Thomas$1,209
7Joe Ciffa$930
8Dean Metzger$721
9Art Demmerley$581

The top 15 finishers in Event #1 landed in the money, but with 16 players remaining a deal was reached for each of the players to chip in $20 to the eventual bubble player. That turned out to be Dennis Danielski, and he was soon followed out the door by Sarah Khajavi (15th), Brian Rentschler (14th), Mitch Polanski (13th), Arthur Gates (12th), Derek SchlesInger (11th), and a man that goes by the name "Johnny Vegas" (10th).

Seneca Poker Room regular Art Demmerley finished in ninth place, and Dean Metzger was eliminated a short while later in eighth. Joe Ciffa's rocky run ended in seventh when he tangled against Hawthorne in a massive pot. On a board of {3-Clubs}{K-Hearts}{9-Hearts}{10-Hearts}, the two players got it all in for a pot worth around 630,000. Ciffa showed {Q-Hearts}{J-Spades}, but Hawthorne had the superior {A-Hearts}{J-Hearts} for a flush. Ciffa couldn't even draw to a straight flush as Hawthorne had it blocked with his {J-Hearts}. Ciffa hit the rail, and Hawthorne was the new chip leader at the time.

A wild hand saw Shamel Thomas exit in sixth place. Thomas limped from late position, Jason Nablo raised to 35,000 from the small blind, and Hawthorne flatted from the big. Thomas then responded with a raise to 90,000, and Nablo folded. Hawthorne called, and they went to a {10-Spades}{7-Clubs}{5-Diamonds} flop.The action moved quickly from there as Thomas acted out of turn and announced "all in" a split second before Hawthorne did. They were both ruled all in, and Nablo shot out of his seat because he folded sevens preflop, The other two flipped their hands over, and neither had a pair.

Hawthorne: {Q-Clubs}{J-Spades}
Thomas {A-Hearts}{K-Hearts}

Thomas was in front with his ace-high, but Hawthorne took command when the {J-Diamonds} peeled off on the turn. The {3-Hearts} completed the board, and Thomas was eliminated.

Brett Short (fifth place) and Joe Latona (fourth place) were the next to go, and then one of our WNY Poker Challenge Players to Watch, Jason Nablo, finished third.

That set up the heads-up match between the two friends, and they wasted no time mixing it up. Congratulations to Kevin Mathias, winner of the Western New York Poker Challenge Event #1!

Tags: 2014 Western New York Poker ChallengeKevin MathiasThomas Hawthorne

Thomas Hawthorne Eliminated in 2nd Place ($4,023)

BrettC • Level 23: 12,000-24,000, 3,000 ante
Thomas Hawthorne
Thomas Hawthorne

It took only a few hands of heads-up play for Event #1 of the WNY Poker Challenge to come to an end. Kevin Mathias and Thomas Hawthorne saw a flop of {9-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{6-Clubs}. Mathias led out with a bet of 40,000, Hawthorne raised to 100,000, and Mathias moved all in for more than 1.2 million, having Hawthorne covered. Hawthorne called, and the cards were tabled.

Mathias: {7-Diamonds}{5-Spades}
Hawthorne {Q-Clubs}{7-Clubs}

Mathias flopped a straight and was two cards away from the title, but the {5-Diamonds} on the turn gave both the same nine-high straight. Mathias did pick up a flush draw on the turn, though, and sure enough the {A-Diamonds} arrived on the river to give him the victory and a $6,514 payday.

We'll have a full event recap for you soon.

Jason Nablo Eliminated in 3rd Place ($2,907)

BrettC • Level 23: 12,000-24,000, 3,000 ante
Jason Nablo
Jason Nablo

Action folded to Kevin Mathias in the small blind and he put Jason Nablo all in. Nablo called off for around 300,000, and the cards went on their backs.

Mathias: {Q-Clubs}{3-Hearts}
Nablo: {A-Spades}{7-Hearts}

Nablo was in good shape to double, but Mathias drilled the {3-Spades}{K-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{3-Clubs}{10-Clubs} runout by making trips. With that, we're heads up between Mathias and Hawthorne.

Kevin Mathias us 1,200,000 350,000
Jason Nablo us Busted

Tags: 2014 Western New York Poker ChallengeJason NabloKevin Mathias


Brett "Roscoe" Short Eliminated in 5th Place ($1,581)

BrettC • Level 22: 10,000-20,000, 300 ante

After being crippled in a huge pot against Jason Nablo, Brett "Roscoe" Short was just eliminated at the final table.

First, Short raised to 50,000 from under the gun and Nablo three-bet to 120,000 from the small blind. Short called, and the flop rolled out {J-Diamonds}{9-Spades}{9-Hearts}. Nablo moved all in for 165,000 and Short called.

Nablo: {A-Clubs}{A-Diamonds}
Short: {J-Clubs}{8-Clubs}

The turn ({10-Clubs}) and river ({6-Clubs}) bricked for Short, and he was left with around 80,000.

Two hands later, Nablo raised to 50,000 from the cutoff, Thomas Hawthorne called, and Short called all in for 48,000 from the small blind. Kevin Mathias also called in the big, and the three players checked it down on a board of {A-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}{5-Spades}{Q-Spades}{A-Spades}. Mathias revealed {Q-Clubs}{J-Spades} for two pair, which was good enough to trump Short's {6-Clubs}{4-Clubs}. Short earned $1,581 for his day of work.

Jason Nablo us 500,000 188,000
Brett Short Busted

Break Dance

BrettC • Level 21: 8,000-16,000, 2,000 ante

The players have gone on another 10-minute break. Will it be the last break of the night? Time will tell.