Third time proves a charm! Sigua claims 2013 POY title

By Arnold Warner

In what has begun to seem as regular as the winter solstice, San Bruno resident Rellie Sigua has again been named the Northern California Poker Tournament Player of the Year. By taking the 2013 title he makes it three straight years, and he once again did so by a comfortable, if not overwhelming, margin.

Robert Bloom and 2013 POY winner Rellie Sigua

Robert Bloom and 2013 POY winner Rellie Sigua

When the first batch of points came out in February, the top three spots (in order) were Ian Malabanan (South San Francisco), Lawrence Chow (San Francisco), and Sigua. Over the course of the year they would trade first to third back and forth amongst only themselves with Malabanan holding first most of the time. In early October Sigua took over the lead and never relinquished it.

The top ten contestants for the 2013 NorCal POY, their cities, and points were: Rellie Sigua, San Bruno, 8,133; Lawrence Chow, San Francisco, 7,337; Ian Malabanan, S. San Francisco, 6,685; Gaspar Rodriguez, Fremont, 6,253; Christopher Dela Cruz, Daly City, 5,851; Pat Lyons, Hillsborough, 5,275; Xian “Bob” Tang, Foster City, 5,120; Moe Saquing, Daly City, 4,395; Darrell Ticehurst, Hillsborough, 4,308; and Anthony Perez, San Francisco, 4,237.

Players receiving the most points at each of the actively participating casinos were: Lucky Chances Casino, Sigua, 7,074; Palace Poker Casino, Gaspar Rodriquez, Fremont, 6,253; Bay 101 Casino, Pat Lyons, Hillsborough, 5,275; Lucky Derby Casino, Grant Barnes, Orangevale, 2,067; and Livermore Casino, Sheila Raines, Fremont, 1,801.

The competition level for the 2014 POY award will be going up significantly as Sacramento’s Capitol Casino joins the fray. With their regular tournaments and big fields the players there could give the powers that be a run for their money (or at least a run for a really nice trophy).

When asked about getting involved in The Cardroom’s POY contest, Capitol’s tournament Director Mark Pritchett said, “Capitol Casino is looking forward to joining the POY for 2014. We feel pretty confident we can light up the leader board and possibly even take Rellie on for the title. But wow, three years in a row for him is an unbelievable accomplishment. Good luck to him and all who participate in the POY for 2014.”

Reflecting on the year that saw him repeat as POY champion, Sigua said, “I worked really hard for it, that’s for sure. It’s something I tried and tried to get because I really wanted to make a statement—that I can do it if I put my mind into it, and there’s no other competition but myself. That might sound cocky, but I’m a competitor. Even throughout high school, if someone battled me in billiards, basketball, football, tennis, soccer, whatever it is, if they wanted to race, sprint … I always put up a challenge somehow. I try not to get beat.”

Of his plans for the coming year he added, “I’m blessed with a little boy now, so I’m probably going to take the daily tournaments very lightly and going hard on the big ones, as far as WPTs and World Series Circuit events. Those are the ones that I’m trying to focus on right now if I’m not able to play five days a week anymore. Travel out, drive wherever it is I need to drive to, fly to, Vegas, L.A., whatever, and play the bigger tournaments and make a big score.

“That’s my main goal for next year and hopefully my baby gives me luck. He’s two weeks old and such a blessing in my life. He’s actually the newest drive I have now to make it. It’s not all about me anymore. It’s about him and setting up his future.”
After being informed about more casinos joining the contest and more players signing up, Sigua said, “I love that more people are signing up. It’s a fun thing. I don’t want any excuses as far as ‘I didn’t sign up’ or whatever. Let’s just do it. Bring it on. I’ll put up a challenge. Even though I won’t be playing every day, I promise I’ll be in the top 10.

“This year has been a blessed year. Every year I thought was the best year, but every year just keeps getting better. Bay 101 always has the best competition. So does Lucky Chances and I just love to be around the people I know already. It’s somewhat of an advantage for me when I play against them.

“So I would love the challenge if everyone else was looking to sign up. Go ahead and just do it. The more competition the better. If I see someone climbing behind me I’m just going to get up and running. That’s the competitor in me.”

A man who’s seen Sigua in plenty of action, Lucky Chances Casino tournament director Robert Bloom, had this to say: “Rellie’s third consecutive NorCal Player of the Year victory is pretty remarkable. He said at the beginning of the year he was going to three-peat and he did. It shows his knowledge and dedication to the game he loves. It’s been a good year for him—another POY trophy and a new baby. Whatever his goals are for next year, I wouldn’t bet against him.”

The 2014 contest officially began on Jan. 1 and runs through the end of November. New players can sign up at any of the casinos actively participating in the POY contest: Bay 101 Casino, San Jose; Livermore Casino, Livermore; Lucky Chances Casino, Colma, Lucky Derby Casino, Citrus Heights; and The Palace Poker Casino, Hayward. If your favorite cardroom isn’t on the list but you wish they were, have a word with your tournament director and we’ll see if we can’t get you in on the action.

The final results for the 2013 NorCal Poker Tournament Player of the Year contest:

Name City Points TGP

Sigua, R San Bruno 8,133.18 38

Chow, L San Francisco 7,336.65 35

Malabanan, I S. San Francisco 6,684.66 32

Rodriguez, G Fremont 6,252.88 50

Dela Cruz, C Daly City 5,850.82 27

Lyons, P Hillsborough 5,274.97 24

Tang, X Foster City 5,120.36 21

Saquing, M Daly City 4,394.79 16

Ticehurst, D Hillsborough 4,308.43 13

Perez, A San Francisco 4,236.51 24

Nguyen, D San Francisco 4,123.32 22

Giva, A Daly City 4,033.63 18

Gil, R San Jose 3,863.26 15

Velazco, C Pacifica 3,758.56 21

Zeledon, J San Jose 3,522.12 14

Serrano, V San Bruno 3,371.80 20

Spruitenburg, T  Pacifica 3,245.94 11

Aquino, J Pacifica 3,221.16 17

Spruitenburg, J  Burlingame 3,174.10 14

Tom, B San Francisco 3,117.40 16

Tighe, G Santa Cruz 3,099.02 18

Rivas, E Hayward 2,836.38 21

Yim, C Hayward 2,760.35 24

Webster. D San Francisco 2,392.81 14

Tobar, O San Francisco 2,371.16 15

Dalaig, H San Francisco 2,347.95 10

Raines, S Fremont 2,331.81 21

Tieu, H San Francisco 2,295.96 9

Sanchez, I Reedley 2,267.19 8

Pincombe, G Redwood City 2,257.73 11

Barnes, G Orangevale 2,066.94 23

Crispi, A Castro Valley 1,981.10 18

Forster, D Alameda 1,944.83 7

May, M Davis 1,847.77 9

Gawad, H El Granada 1,811.49 11

Blumenfield, N San Francisco 1,786.93 10

Kratsas, A San Francisco 1,694.94 10

Sim, A Dublin 1,691.38 8

Ali, M Albany 1,656.95 11

Morkovine, S Menlo Park 1,579.52 11

Dingley, T Sacramento 1,542.95 17

Cooper, C Roseville 1,537.75 17

Ciaglo, D Granite Bay 1,507.56 15

Hankin, P Oakland 1,505.80 11

Renfield, K Kentfield 1,474.70 6

Hunkin, T San Francisco 1,417.18 6

Mai, T San Leandro 1,387.73 8

Saakov, L San Francisco 1,352.33 8

Kelly, S San Francisco 1,337.70 9

DelVecchio, D Sunnyvale 1,316.74 9

Jones, K Antelope 1,249.10 14

Martin, A Castro Valley 1,164.80 10

Zapanta, O Hayward 1,141.49 11

Nguyen, T San Francisco 1,110.75 8

Pineda, J Daly City 1,053.63 7

Beiles, R Kensington 1,025.20 10

Antonyan, A North Highlands 969.99 10

Cuevas, S San Leandro 957.00 8

Arumugam, T Santa Clara 910.14 3

Reinick, L El Dorado Hills 869.25 9

Frazier, H Hayward 862.16 7

Trujillo, S S. San Francisco 840.09 5

Howard, A Oakland 836.96 7

Osborne, J San Leandro 816.64 7

Poetra, A Daly City 782.75 4

Alaniz, M Novato 778.98 6

Wearing, M San Francisco 773.70 3

Callacna, G Castro Valley 758.83 6

Surya, E Hayward 749.36 6

Hung, C San Francisco 744.30 4

Chew, N Milpitas 714.73 4

Robinson, T Castro Valley 656.00 5

Carrion, D Alameda 638.48 6

Svenson. C Castro Valley 631.34 5

Richard, D Santa Clara 597.20 3

Michaelis, S Pleasanton 593.85 4

Hicks, J Citrus Heights 586.51 6

Battle, R Castro Valley 551.50 4

Wainscott, G Hayward 502.08 4

Florio, B San Jose 493.88 4

Appiano, R Hayward 490.10 4

Gomez, M East Palo Alto 458.97 4

Nguyen, P San Jose 458.85 2

Dulay, O Hayward 440.02 4

Phung, K San Leandro 435.40 4

Nevius, S Pacifica 429.20 3

Torres, R S. San Francisco 414.00 2

Yomtob, P Castro Valley 403.20 4

Naranjo, J San Lorenzo 378.96 3

Concepcion, M  San Lorenzo 374.88 4

Kyi, L San Lorenzo 364.66 3

Cruz, E Daly City 364.14 2

Atkins, W Concord 335.88 3

Pena, J S. San Francisco 286.74 2

Guan, J San Francisco 283.50 1

Sewart, J Roseville 283.50 3

Luther, M Rohnert Park 271.41 1

Gregory, P Oakland 271.20 2

Nicholson, R Castro Valley 254.80 2

Cassidy, B Folsom 253.80 2

Jimenez, G Hayward 252.72 2

Flores, O Castro Valley 249.60 2

Williams, H Los Gatos 238.70 1

Montoya, M San Leandro 225.60 2

Perez, A Merced 217.50 1

Guyon, D Hayward 210.96 2

Nabong, R Daly City 208.80 1

Hardesty, P Newark 206.90 2

Fabian, J Union City 199.20 2

Terry, J Citrus Heights 197.75 2

McGee, D Roseville 187.20 2

Quiambao, R S. San Francisco 172.55 1

Flores, R Santa Clara 172.43 1

Morata, D Castro Valley 160.42 1

Bonner, I Oakland 156.00 1

Aranzamendez, J San Leandro 144.00 1

Guerra, J Newark 121.68 1

Baza, L Sunnyvale 116.00 1

McGlynn, S Sacramento 113.85 1

Nario, D San Francisco 113.05 1

De Los Reyes, A Daly City 108.75 1

Beasley, R Antioch 105.00 1

Lacy, S Roseville 84.00 1

Massone, M Fremont 78.40 1