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Odegard wins 2014 POY title

By Arnold Warner

It seemed like it couldn’t be done, but in the final month of The Cardroom’s 2014 NorCal Poker Tournament Player of the Year contest San Jose’s Larry Odegard went from 300 points behind to 400 points ahead, dethroning three-time champion Rellie Sigua.

“I had no idea. I thought you were trying to sell me something,” Odegard said of being informed of his victory.

Brian Gudim, Bay 101’s tournament director said, “Larry is a very, very nice guy, a quiet and humble player. He has played a lot of volume this last year and really finished his poker skills. He really proved it with his super deep run in the 2014 WPT Shooting Star event. Bay101 is very happy to finally have the winner for POY from our casino and Larry is a well deserving champion.”

There are a lot of big egos in poker and there always have been, but no one is likely to confuse Ode­ gard with one of those guys. He comes off more as the type to calmly go about his business, staying below the radar. He may not normally be the center of attention at the poker table but, considering his results, he must be something of a “silent assassin.”

Or maybe it’s his North Dakota roots showing through, but he’s lived in San Jose since he was about 20 years old. “I was in the army and then after that I did something to get out of North Dakota. I came here. The weather’s a lot nicer,” he explained.

He says he worked at an electronics company for about 20 years, then had his own auto repair business for six or seven more, but now he’s retired. “This is what I do now. I play a lot of poker.”

Like so many others he played a lot of poker growing up, but only in the last several years has he been playing in cardrooms like Bay 101 Casino. He used to play cash games but started with tournaments a year and a half ago and now sticks to them exclusively.

He mostly stays close to home and Bay 101, but occasionally travels to events such as the WSOP in Las Vegas or the HPT at Thunder Valley. He also did extremely well last year in the WPT Shooting Star, coming in 27th place.

“I always loved playing poker,” he added. “I remember back in the 70s when I was a young man, I used to read about Doyle Brunson and those guys playing in the World Series.”

He credits his success to focus and studying the game. “If I don’t stay focused I don’t do very well. I’ve got to stay focused all the time, especially if I get down to the end. And sometimes that’s hard to do, especially when you’re old like me. You’ve just got to concentrate.

“And you’ve got to study for the game. You can’t just go out and play. There’s always new stuff. The type of game today is totally different than it was six, seven years ago. You’ve got to know that and not play like the old guys played.”

In the end, Odegard finished with 7,605 points followed by Sigua’s 7,201.On the one hand, Sigua shouldn’t feel too bad. In the five years he’s been involved in the POY contest he’s placed second twice and first three times. On the other hand, Odegard should take a look at that and realize that by knocking Sigua off his throne he’s really accomplished something.

The casinos actively participating in the 2014 POY contest and their top points were: Bay 101 Casino, San Jose—Odegard, 7,605; Lucky Chances Casino, Colma—Ian Malabanan, 6,684; Capitol Casino, Sacramento—Tom Campbell, 4,507; Livermore Casino, Livermore—Andy Martin, 4,125; and Palace Poker Casino, Hayward—Gaspar Rodriguez, 3,545.

The “award” for most points at any one tournament went to Hector Quiroz-Alvarez of Redwood City. He chopped three ways at Lucky Chances’ Battle of the Bay $1,080 Main Event in early June for a whopping 1,000 points even.

There was a grand total of 257,116 points awarded to 283 players, quite an increase from the first year when the points total was only 39,348. The average number of points per TGP was 152 (Odegard’s was 190).

A quick definition of TGP: This stands for “tournaments generating points.” Points are awarded for the top 10 percent of the field, rounded up (up to 30 places). If you come in 12th place in a tournament that had 135 players you’ll get points and that’s a TGP (if you’re signed up and playing in a participating casino). If you come in sixth place in a tournament with 42 players then you missed out, as only five will be awarded points (no TGP).

So if you’re not already signed up for The Cardroom’s Player of the Year contest, talk to your friendly local tournament director about getting a sign up sheet. If they’re not participating, feel free to tell them why you think they should. The more the merrier. In 2015, let’s see who can give Odegard and Sigua a literal “run for their money.” It might as well be you!

Here are the final points totals for 2014. The 2015 contest officially began on Jan. 1 and will run through Nov. 30.

Name City Points TGP

Odegard, L San Jose 7,605.39 40

Sigua, R San Bruno 7,200.98 35

Malabanan, I S. San Francisco 6,684.08 35

Nguyen, P San Jose 6,079.22 33

Perez, A San Francisco 5,330.07 24

Chow, L San Francisco 5,087.35 26

Poetra, A Daly City 4,933.20 25

Mai, T San Leandro 4,840.08 26

Tighe, G Santa Cruz 4,781.47 27

Campbell, T Sacramento 4,506.79 34

Nguyen, D San Francisco 4,396.29 28

Spruitenburg, T Pacifica 4,319.89 23

Serrano, V San Bruno 4,132.42 27

Martin, A Castro Valley 4,124.72 35

Tang, X Foster City 3,971.42 20

Pincombe, G Redwood City 3,663.77 17

Rodriguez, G Fremont 3,545.02 32

Tada, S Santa Clara 3,472.70 17

Sontag, D Castro Valley 2,863.96 22

Riddle, M Sacramento 2,808.10 24

Vieira, M Sacramento 2,747.75 26

Raines, S Fremont 2,736.83 22

Yim, C Hayward 2,603.22 22

Webster, D San Francisco 2,595.69 17

Wilson, T Sacramento 2,566.43 20

Howard, A Oakland 2,479.28 22

Campbell, J Sacramento 2,448.44 21

Alaniz, M Novato 2,274.65 12

Dalaig, H San Francisco 2,264.52 12

Nario, D San Francisco 2,135.33 12

Gil, R Milpitas 2,039.28 8

Velazco, C Pacifica 2,034.35 12

Quiroz-Alvarez, H Redwood City 2,018.22 5

Zeledon, J San Jose 2,010.39 8

Lyons, P Hillsborough 1,899.96 9

Naygrow, T Sacramento 1,876.06 15

Blumenfield, N San Francisco 1,822.89 5

Ticehurst, D Hillsborough 1,811.80 8

DelVecchio, D Sunnyvale 1,795.74 11

Carrion, D Alameda 1,695.83 14

Tom, B San Francisco 1,693.96 8

Wearing, M San Francisco 1,684.07 11

Tieu, H San Francisco 1,648.84 11

Saquing, M Daly City 1,643.36 7

Niccum, J Sacramento 1,641.12 13

Morkovine, S Menlo Park 1,624.52 12

Kratsas, A San Francisco 1,564.47 11

Rivas, E Hayward 1,552.11 14

Guan, J San Francisco 1,457.50 6

Ford, A Elk Grove 1,406.73 10

Forster, D Alameda 1,390.28 5

Beiles, R Kensington 1,315.41 13

Aquino, J Pacifica 1,295.04 7

Roy, R W. Sacramento 1,292.43 10

Zapanta, O Hayward 1,278.60 9

Miller, J Sacramento 1,264.84 11

Spruitenburg, J  Burlingame 1,248.53 9

Dela Cruz, C Daly City 1,241.10 7

Richard, D Santa Clara 1,225.71 6

Gholston, H Sacramento 1,216.24 10

Crouchen, J Sacramento 1,183.36 8

Callacna, G Castro Valley 1,138.17 9

Carr, M Oakland 1,136.88 10

Richardson, J Sacramento 1,136.38 10

Robinson, T Castro Valley 1,104.40 7

Kelly, S San Francisco 1,076.68 7

Chew, N Milpitas 1,062.70 3

Williams, T Sacramento 1,057.50 8

Michaelis, S Pleasanton 1,031.15 5

Dela Cruz, M Sacramento 1,011.04 6

Kortuem, J W. Sacramento 1,003.75 8

Chavez, B Sacramento 980.58 8

De Los Reyes, A Elk Grove 973.02 8

Leyva, S Sacramento 971.82 7

Ellefson, C Roseville 964.35 7

Bennett, W W. Sacramento 952.88 7

May, M Davis 950.66 5

Peloquin, R Sacramento 947.36 8

Pisano, T San Jose 918.23 5

Jimenez, R Sacramento 917.21 8

Reyes, E Sacramento 871.32 8

Salmon, J Carmichael 868.08 6

Waters, G Manteca 861.90 7

Hung, C San Francisco 861.86 6

Lor, K Sacramento 861.14 6

Le, T Elk Grove 840.12 4

Dionida, J Daly City 833.63 6

Porto, J Sacramento 787.34 7

Jordan, M Sacramento 786.08 6

Gammad, R Elk Grove 777.03 6

Duong, T Sacramento 775.45 5

Bare, L Santa Cruz 770.72 5

Surya, E Hayward 760.20 6

Solis, P Sacramento 735.96 6

Trujillo, S S. San Francisco 705.13 6

Kaunlavouth, K  Sacramento 694.90 6

Hankin, P Oakland 691.34 4

Klos, J San Leandro 691.00 5

Barnes, G Orangevale 686.38 7

Hunkin, T San Francisco 682.41 3

Decker-Laske, C Sacramento 681.02 6

Garcia, M Hayward 677.14 4

Tripoli, S Elk Grove 671.46 6

Garvin, R Sacramento 667.50 5

Larsen, J Sacramento 667.44 6

Saunders, D Elk Grove 660.56 5

Tobar, O San Francisco 656.75 5

Reinick, L El Dorado Hills 656.00 6

Sim, A Dublin 646.60 5

Garza, M Elk Grove 646.20 6

Sanchez, I Reedley 627.09 4

Still, D Roseville 623.76 4

Largo, R Weed 618.28 4

Dulay, O Hayward 609.57 3

Bayles, W Eldorado 608.77 5

Porto, J Elk Grove 605.70 6

Ali, M Albany 603.33 4

Frazier, H Hayward 586.80 5

Randel, B Davis 580.21 4

Chastain, G San Leandro 579.60 5

Dingley, T Sacramento 576.91 6

Concepcion, M  San Lorenzo 572.52 5

Nguyen, T San Francisco 554.42 3

Jones, K Antelope 546.80 6

Anderson, J Hayward 543.30 3

Wallace, A San Francisco 534.11 1

Barber, A Sacramento 519.90 3

Le, D San Jose 517.33 3

Vaughn, D Vacaville 516.24 4

Evans, J Sacramento 515.00 4

Kim, A Sacramento 513.90 6

Naygrove, R Sacramento 511.38 4

Arumugam, T Santa Clara 510.30 2

Kwon, R San Francisco 504.00 2

Magnus, C Sacramento 501.82 4

Saakov, L San Francisco 500.69 3

Good, P Antioch 500.40 2

Samuel, T Sacramento 500.26 2

Banbao, J Sacramento 492.23 4

Gawad, H El Granada 489.35 3

Anderson, L Sacramento 488.59 4

Cruz, E Daly City 487.97 2

Beers, W W. Sacramento 474.00 3

Wainscott, G Hayward 463.06 4

Grossglauser, R Sacramento 458.92 2

Yomtob, P Castro Valley 455.84 4

Adamo, M Sacramento 455.07 3

Schiopu, M Livermore 449.04 1

Gonzalez, G Olivehurst 446.96 3

Chermock, S Sacramento 432.53 4

Tang, R San Francisco 431.20 2

Cooper, C Roseville 429.33 4

Mask, P Sacramento 426.01 4

DeLucchi, S Elk Grove 421.14 4

Hoang, J Elk Grove 417.36 3

Appiano, R Hayward 410.88 4

Jimenez, J Sacramento 406.14 3

Jon, D Sacramento 402.24 3

Romena, M Elk Grove 398.70 2

Lickey, N Fair Oaks 375.00 4

Landeros, D Elk Grove 373.34 3

Nabong, R Daly City 373.20 3

Angeski, B Sacramento 368.00 2

Nicholson, R Castro Valley 365.78 3

Perhac, J Sacramento 361.62 3

De Los Reyes, A Daly City 353.97 2

Walton, K Sacramento 348.60 3

Duong, P Rancho Cordova 346.66 3

Flores, R Santa Clara 346.11 3

Ong, G Sacramento 341.47 3

Florio, B San Jose 334.90 3

Crittenden, T Sacramento 330.78 3

Cung, H Elk Grove 313.92 2

Renfield, K Kentfield 310.00 2

Vang, M Sacramento 306.72 2

Hollowell, M Esparto 299.47 2

Williams, J Sacramento 290.93 2

Cruz, S Rancho Murieta 285.39 2

Chong, W Am. Canyon 282.00 1

Thayer, J Sacramento 280.80 2

Barok, S W. Sacramento 279.60 2

Knapp, S Rancho Cordova 278.92 1

George, B San Leandro 276.00 2

King, S Sacramento 269.52 2

Lee, P Sacramento 263.24 2

Dao, D Elk Grove 260.88 2

Battle, R Castro Valley 252.82 2

Bailey, R Modesto 252.00 1

Armendariz, B North Highlands 252.00 2

Smith, D Sacramento 245.60 2

Cuevas, S San Leandro 244.40 2

Osborne, J San Leandro 240.90 2

Naranjo, P Sacramento 240.00 2

Kayoumy, J San Ramon 235.60 1

Hill, R Castro Valley 234.78 2

Baumgartner, W Clarksburg 234.72 2

Sam, N Sacramento 226.24 2

Kyi, L San Lorenzo 224.40 2

Antonyan, A North Highlands 221.18 2

Lang, D Elk Grove 218.40 2

Chandlin, J Sacramento 215.04 2

Terry, J Citrus Heights 211.50 2

Seah, H Oroville 210.24 2

Searcy, C Galt 203.52 2

McGee, D Roseville 202.51 2

Mitchell, O Concord 201.84 2

Santos, D San Jose 200.90 2

Andrews, N Sacramento 200.10 2

Jimenez, J Sacramento 199.68 2

Stickert, D Sacramento 193.33 1

Cruz, J Sacramento 183.60 1

Hayes, T Sacramento 182.70 1

Khang, X Sacramento 182.70 1

Olsson, M Fresno 180.18 1

Vargas, M Sacramento 172.80 1

Smith, D Vacaville 167.35 1

Lucas, R Carmichael 167.35 1

Truong, L Sacramento 162.00 1

Nguyen, C San Jose 161.70 1

Jacques, R Orangevale 161.24 1

Kibley, M Sacramento 160.00 1

Tran, K San Jose 159.65 1

Shaw, J Pleasanton 159.03 1

Contreras, J Oakland 154.00 1

Samaniego, A Elk Grove 150.12 1

Vang, T Sacramento 150.00 1

Enriquez, J Carmichael 150.00 1

Delfin, D Carmichael 150.00 1

McCormack, R  Sacramento 149.74 1

Svenson, C Castro Valley 147.00 1

Arnett, C Sacramento 145.08 1

Flax, C Hayward 142.80 1

Phoung, S W. Sacramento 142.10 1

Tippit, A Elk Grove 141.78 1

Nguyen, P Sacramento 141.78 1

Malone, D Sacramento 140.93 1

Giva, A Daly City 138.88 1

Pineda, J Daly City 138.88 1

Geigle, J Elk Grove 135.54 1

Brown, D Fair Oaks 135.54 1

Hurtado, D Dixon 133.92 1

McWilliams, J Rancho Cordova 133.44 1

Mueller, J Sacramento 125.86 1

Sales, A Elk Grove 125.10 1

Rutherford, T San Ramon 124.80 1

Wrabel, C Roseville 120.48 1

Thomas, K Sacramento 119.04 1

Harriington, G Galt 119.04 1

Talmase, R Rocklin 119.04 1

Allen, C Carmichael 116.76 1

Massone, M Fremont 112.84 1

Reithmeier, R Sacramento 112.20 1

Roberts, E Roseville 109.72 1

Thielen, R W. Sacramento 105.60 1

Byers, R Elk Grove 105.60 1

Cassidy, B Folsom 102.30 1

Rodriguez, B W. Sacramento 102.00 1

Ackley, T Loomis 101.50 1

Serrato, R Danville 99.82 1

Aaron, D Roseville 96.00 1

Jackson, M Sacramento 96.00 1

Torres, R S. San Francisco 96.00 1

Nguyen, H San Jose 95.20 1

Huynh, J Elk Grove 91.80 1

Hollander, B Stockton 91.80 1

Hernandez, R Vacaville 91.20 1

Burbine, J Vacaville 90.00 1

Jackson, D Palo Alto 89.60 1

Fabian, J Union City 89.28 1

Do, K San Francisco 81.20 1

Valdez, D Vacaville 81.00 1

Payne, N Sacramento 81.00 1

Ingle, R Sacramento 76.80 1

Tom-Yunger, D  Sacramento 76.80 1

Williams, A North Highlands 76.80 1

Simoes, R Sacramento 76.80 1

Huanaco, M Sacramento 76.80 1

Burkett, R Elk Grove 76.80 1

Robinson, J Vacaville 67.20 1

Laske, M Sacramento 67.20 1

Minasyan, A Rancho Cordova 65.28 1

Van Vliet, N Sacramento 65.28 1

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