During the week of Nov. 13 to Nov. 20 tournament players at Lucky Chances Casino in Colma had seven opportunities to take home the big money with guaranteed first place prizes during their annual Gold Rush tournament series.
The highlight of the week was the $100,000 1st Place Guarantee No-Limit Hold’em Championship held on Sunday, Nov. 20. Buy-in was $1,000 + $80 and it attracted 326 entrants. After hours and hours of play a deal was reached between the final five players naming Chris Issod the champion, for which he took home $80,000. Second went to Shinwon Kim ($50,000), third Ben Sarnoff ($34,000), fourth Samuel Lee ($32,810), and fifth Thomas Drotleff ($22,000).
The Gold Rush kicked off on the previous Sunday, Nov. 13, when 296 players entered the $550 + $50 No-Limit Hold’em event with $40,000 guaranteed to first place. When they finished playing to the tournament’s conclusion the victor was Ngoc Bui who received $42,470. Second place was Joseph Christian ($29,000), third Casey McCarrel ($21,000), fourth Vito Bellantuono ($9,770), and fifth Paul Chan ($8,140).
The following day featured 177 players in the $10,000 first place guarantee No-Limit Hold’em re-buy event. The buy-in was $100 + $20 and unlimited $100 re-buys were available for the first four rounds followed by a $100 add-on. A three-way chop paid Greg Pincombe $10,290, Laurence Edelson $10,285, and Billy Huynh $10,285. Fourth place went to Mutha Siva ($4,320), and fifth Richard Defante ($3,780).
On Tuesday, Nov. 15 the buy-in was $320 + $30 and the first place guarantee was $20,000. This event had 290 players enter and eventually the final table made a 10-way deal. Top five on the list were: Dave Forster ($10,585), Ryan Pang ($9,625), Zeev Malkin ($8,915), Alex Finkelstein ($8,800), and Christina Hung ($8,500).
Players switched to Limit Omaha on Nov. 16 when 76 people paid $320 +$30 to enter this event with a first place guarantee of $10,000. Players chopped four ways, giving Feng Lui $4,810, William Rose $4,810, Clay Carter $4,810, and Andy Gamboa $4,810. Fifth place went to Estell Williams ($1,700).
Friday Nov. 17 was another No-Limit Hold’em event with a $320 + $30 buy-in and $10,000 guaranteed for first, only this time the tournament was six-handed. First place and $15,220 went to Vito Bellantuono, second was Ben Konig ($13,000), third Barry Schwartz ($5,180), fourth Keung Ly ($4,610), and fifth Gianni Boffelli ($4,030).
The next-to-last tournament was a $300 + $30 Limit/No-Limit Hold’em partners event where the team of Tom Nguyen/Kevin Oboyle came in first for $6,210, second Jeff Ramirez/Greg Thomas ($5,000), third Isabelo Salazar/Jojo Pineda ($5000), fourth Tony Dedo/Greg Pincombe ($5,000), and fifth Delijah Harrell/Anthony Perez ($2,120).
After all the dust was settled, tournament director Robert Bloom said, “Thanks to our loyal customers and our professional, hardworking staff Gold Rush 2011 was our most successful event to date. We exceeded our guarantees on all of our Hold’em events. We had 1,446 paid entries with total prize money awarded $748,820.”