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The Copa King Lance Howard Goes Wire-to-Wire to Win CPC Main Event for $231,237 and a $10,000 Main Event Seat

Lance Howard ME winner2

“The last three days, everything has gone perfect.”
– Lance Howard, after winning the CPC Main Event

Lance Howard (pictured) just spent three days in a row drinking Copa Di Vino, playing cards, and stacking chips. The three-day adventure culminated with him winning the $2,000 buyin Chicago Poker Classic Main Event for a payday of $231,237 and locking up a seat for the $10,000 WSOP Main Event.

This year’s CPC Main Event drew 651 total entries across two starting flights for a total prize pool of $1,156,176. Howard entered Day 2 as the overwhelming chip leader and spent the rest of the tournament adding to that lead until he closed it out today around 6 p.m.

This software consultant from Detroit plays mostly PLO cash because he likes a lot of action. He joked that once you’re used to getting four cards, “then it’s hard to play two, and then when you get two, you’re playing every single hand, and next thing you know, you run good and you come into the final table with 8 million.” And that pretty much sums it up.

On his second bullet on Day 1B, Howard had an above-average stack at the Dinner Break with 80,000, up from 25,000 starting chips. In the levels after dinner, he got up to over 150,000, and then rivered a set of queens against two pair to get up to about 300,000. He said that was the hand that got the run started, and he just kept chipping up from there. As the big stack, he kept the pressure on his opponents for the rest of the day, finishing with around double the next biggest stack.

His Day 2 was not too different. Howard slowly increased his stack at the beginning of the day, and then he got a huge double through then-chip leader Mohammed Ayyash. Howard had pocket aces on a board of A-8-5-3. Ayyash check-shoved the turn, and Howard says he is embarrassed about how nervous he was during that hand. He tanked before calling with top set because of how huge the pot was. Ayyash had A-J and Howard seemingly became untouchable after that double up. He steadily and rapidly accumulated chips for the rest of the day with Copa Di Vino in hand, finishing with more than one-third of the chips in play going into the final table of ten.

The chip average was skewed for most of Day 2 and the final table because of Howard’s monstrous stack. It was an interesting dynamic at the final table with Howard coming in with 120 big blinds, while the second place stack of Brek Schutten was 70 big blinds. The remaining eight players came into the final table rather short-stacked with between 12 and 26 big blinds.

Short stacks kept doubling up, and chips moved around quite a bit, but Howard never really lost a significant chunk of his stack, despite losing the first three hands that he had someone all in. He was simply picking up enough pots in between the all-ins to maintain his huge chip lead. He finally started winning some of those all-ins, and then he clashed with second-place stack Matt Lushin with six players left. Howard raised in the cutoff with kings and Lushin shoved around 4,000,000 chips on the button with A-K. Howard called and his kings held up, eliminating Lushin in 5th place for $56,537. That pot put Howard’s stack pretty much out of reach.

He sailed from there, and when he got heads up with Artem Zverkhovskyy, he had a more than 4:1 chip lead. Zverkhovskyy battled hard, but couldn’t overcome Howard’s dominant stack. He eventually shoved with A-6 into Howard’s A-T, and couldn’t catch up. For someone who just started playing live tournaments in the fall, Zverkhovskyy did quite well in this one. He explained that he only played the event because he won a $240 satellite, and was just happy to be there. “This is like a dream come true,” Zverkhovskyy said after getting his 6-figure payout of $142,325 plus a $10,000 Main Event seat.

Howard has had some success in tournament poker, but this is by far his biggest score, and his first big win. His other two significant cashes came in May of 2015 (10th in a $565 event at Planet Hollywood for $13,857) and June of 2016 (2nd in a $600 event at Planet Hollywood for $70,160). This win might allow him to get a new home, and he says he “might reinvest it in some of the local games… take my shot in a big MGM game.”

When asked about the Copa Di Vino, which he had in front of him since Day 1 Dinner Break, he explained: “I wasn’t drinking on Day 1. Then after dinner, I get one of these, win that hand [the set of queens on the river], and ever since then I’m thinking, ‘every time I get one of these I add 20-30 percent to my chip stack’… Since Level 11, I’ve been telling everyone at my table, ‘You gotta get this. If you get this, you start winning.’ And they ignored me, and I just kept winning.”

Howard’s loose, relaxed, chatty style of play worked out well for him in this one, and even if it wasn’t his lucky charm, the Copa Di Vino didn’t hurt. Lance Howard, the Copa King, made the win look easy, essentially going wire-to-wire in his first big tournament win.

Final Table Payouts
1st place: Lance Howard – $231,237 (plus a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat)
2nd place: Artem Zverkhovskyy – $142,325 (plus a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat)
3rd place: Michael Partipilo – $99,535 (plus a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat)
4th place: Brek Schutten – $72,377
5th place: Matt Lushin – $56,537
6th place: Chris Dow – $44,975
7th place: Geremi Wicinski – $35,379
8th place: Adam Greenberg – $27,748
9th place: Aaron Massey – $21,620
10th place: Straton Wilhelm – $16,880

Complete Event #11 Main Event Results

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Winners & Results from 2017 Chicago Poker Classic

The 2017 Chicago Poker Classic spanned 12 days, and over $300,000 in promotional bonus was given away. Thanks to all who participated! Here are the 14 event winners, along with links to results for each event.

Jake Hommen Wins Event #1 for $87,281 (plus a $2,000 CPC Main Event seat)
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Event #1 $360 NLH Results

Mike Patterson Wins Event #2 $250 Bounty for $14,015 (plus a CPC Main Event seat)
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Event #2 $250 NLH Bounty Results

Brian McDaniel Wins Event #3 $400 PLO for $11,711 (plus a CPC Main Event seat)
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Event #3 $400 PLO Results

Victor Gitterle Wins Event #4 $360 NLH Deepstack for $21,830 plus a CPC Main Event seat
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Event #4 $360 NLH Deepstack Results

Brandon Nicholson Wins Event #5 $400 H.2.O. for $7,346 Plus a CPC Main Event seat
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Event #5 $400 H.2.O. Results

Carter Myers Wins Event #6 $600 Six-Max for $28,472 plus CPC Main Event seat
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Event #6 $600 Six-Max Results

Stephanie Chung Wins Event #7 $400 O.E. for $8,128 plus CPC Main Event seat
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Event #7 $400 O.E. Results

Edmund Capangpangan Wins Event #8 $250 NLH Special Event for $21,239 plus CPC Main Event seat
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Event #8 $250 NLH Special Event Results

Sean Troha Wins Event #9 Pot Limit Mix for $8,125 and a CPC Main Event seat
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Event #9 $400 Pot Limit Mix Results

Sean Chapman Wins Event #10 $250 Deepstack Turbo for $12,400 and a CPC Main Event seat
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Event #10 $250 NLH Deepstack Turbo Results

Lance Howard Wins Event #11 $2,000 Main Event for $231,237 plus a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat
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Event #11 $2,000 NLH Main Event Results

David Harth Wins Event #12 $250 NLH with Double Qualifier Bonus for $35,009 and $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat
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Event #12 $250 NLH with Double Qualifier Bonus Results

Shawn Rice Wins Event #13 $360 NLH Mega Deepstack Turbo for $13,595 and a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat
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Event #13 $360 NLH Mega Deepstack Turbo

George Tomasevich Wins Event #14 $250 Last Chance Turbo for $8,510 and a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat
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Event #14 $250 Last Chance Turbo Results

George Tomasevich Prevails in Event #14 Last Chance Turbo

George Tomasevich Ev14 LastChance winner

The final event of the CPC has come to a close. The $250 Last Chance Turbo drew 156 entries for a total prize pool of $31,512. George Tomasevich (pictured) won the event for $8,510 and a $10,000 seat into the WSOP Main Event at the Rio in Las Vegas this summer.

Tomasevich is a local mostly Omaha cash player, but likes to play tournaments too. This is his third cash, and third final table, this series. He took 9th in Event #3 $400 PLO for $1,109 and 8th in Event #10 $250 NLH Turbo for $1,403. Tomasevich says he ran bad at both final tables. He finally got some redemption here in his third try, and ran very good at the final table.

After busting out of the $360 Turbo earlier in the day, Tomasevich hopped into the Last Chance Turbo to give it one last try. He says he got off to a good start early, building up at his first table and the next table he was moved to. When they got down to two tables, Tomasevich was the chip leader, but he cooled off. He was seated at Angelo Fuscone’s table at that time, and Tomasevich says Fuscone kept getting aces and knocking people out. Tomasevich was card dead during that time and was just waiting. He still managed to go into the final table third in chips.

At the final table, Tomasevich started off running quite bad and got down to just 50,000 chips when three-handed with Matthew Sebby and Angelo Peralta. Tomasevich kept doubling up his short stack to run it back up, and then knocked out Peralta in 3rd place ($3,624) with K-J versus Peralta’s eights all in preflop. The flop came K-K-J, giving Tomasevich the nuts.

Then, when they were heads up, Sebby had taken a marginal chip lead over Tomasevich. In a very critical hand, Tomasevich limped on the button with pocket fours and Sebby checked his option in the big blind. The flop came 6h 2h 2d and both players checked. They also checked the 7h turn. Then, on the 4h river, Sebby bet 50,000 and Tomasevich went all in for 678,000. Sebby called and turned over 6-2 for twos full of sixes, but it was no good against the rivered fours full for Tomasevich. Sebby was left short-stacked after that and was out shortly after.

Tomasevich admits, “I did get lucky in the end,” but adds, “You gotta run good in tournaments, instead of running bad. So this time I ran good.” With this being his third final table of the series, he was due to run good. It was a great one to run good in, especially with the $10,000 WSOP Main Event freeroll that came with the win. Tomasevich says playing in the Main Event is one of his lifelong dreams, and he is looking forward to fulfilling that dream this summer in Las Vegas.

Final Table Payouts:
1st place: George Tomasevich – $8,510 (plus a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat)
2nd place: Matthew Sebby – $5,231
3rd place: Angelo Peralta – $3,624
4th place: Angelo Fuscone – $2,615
5th place: Matt Wallin – $1,954
6th place: Porfirio Mendez – $1,487
7th place: Michael Foster – $1,169
8th place: James Morrison – $942
9th place: Jason Seitz – $772
10th place: John Geso – $659

Complete Event #14 Results

Shawn Rice Takes Down Event #13 $360 Turbo for $13,595 and $10,000 WSOP Main Event Seat

Shawn Rice Ev13 Turbo winner

The penultimate event of the CPC was the $360 buyin Turbo that started at noon today. Poker pro Shawn Rice (pictured) outlasted a field of 169 players, and a pretty tough final table, to emerge victorious. For the win, Rice gets $13,595, a WSOP Main Event seat worth $10,000, and a trophy.

Rice has been in the poker world for a long time, going back to the Amarillo Slim days in Texas. Rice is from Amarillo, Texas, and by his mid-twenties, he was traveling around the world playing poker with Amarillo Slim himself. He sees himself as a hybrid poker player, bridging the old school poker days and the newer internet-style play of the younger pros. He says that hanging around with a lot of younger players, he learns the new concepts. He was also a big part of the internet poker boom and was a pro for Ultimate Bet back in the day.

Rice cashed in a couple other tournaments this series and made Day 2 of the Main, but was eliminated before the cash. This is a nice way to wrap up the series for him. It is also his second win here at the Horseshoe, as he won the H.2.O. event in 2015 for $10,127.

He says he didn’t have many chips early in the day and was just grinding away for awhile, but then started catching some good cards. When he was showing down big hands, he was able to get some bluffs through too, which allowed him to build up his stack.

He went into the final table second in chips with 407,000, though Kennii Nguyen was the overwhelming chip leader with 1,600,000. Fortunately for Rice, he got an ideal seat draw for the final table, with Nguyen directly to his right, and WSOP bracelet winner Jean “Prince” Gaspard two to his right. Rice says he was determined to play a big pot with Nguyen, and that because of the $10,000 Main Event seat added to first place, “Second’s not really an option. You have to play to win it.” And that’s what Rice did.

After awhile, Rice had taken over the chip lead, and then he mixed it up with Nguyen. Nguyen completed in the small blind with sixes, Rice raised with A-T suited, and Nguyen shipped less than 20 big blinds. Rice called, flopped a gut-shot straight draw, and turned Broadway to eliminate Nguyen in 5th place for $3,122. Rice went on to win the tournament, the $13,595, and his seat in the WSOP Main Event this summer.

Final Table Payouts:
1st place: Shawn Rice – $13,595 (plus a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat)
2nd place: Eddie Matthews – $8,360
3rd place: Sampath Desilva – $5,792
4th place: Jean Gaspard – $4,180
5th place: Kennii Nguyen – $3,122
6th place: David Daciolas – $2,377
7th place: Sean Chapman – $1,868
8th place: Miguel Dabul – $1,506
9th place: Caryn Percifield – $1,234
10th place: Johnny Tan – $1,053

Complete Event #13 Results

David Harth Outlasts a Field of 1,081 to Win Event #12 for $35,009 Plus a $10,000 Main Event Seat

David Harth Ev12 Winner w son

Event #12 $250 NLH with $2,000 Double Qualifier Bonuses and four WSOP Main Event seats added drew 1,081 entries across five starting flights on Saturday and Sunday. The total prize pool for the event was $218,362. After paying out the min-cashers, the seven double qualifiers, and the one triple qualifier, the Day 2 prize pool was $181,662. David Harth (pictured, right) won the event for a payday of $35,009 and a $10,000 Main Event seat.

Harth is a retired attorney from Madison, Wisconsin who has been playing poker for 50 years. “Phil Hellmuth used to play in my basement, that’s how far back I go.”

His son, John Harth (pictured, left), picked up the game being around it growing up, and the father and son duo enjoy going on poker trips together. “It’s actually a great way to spend time with him.” The younger Harth also played in this event and didn’t cash, but he was there on the rail when his pops took it down.

Harth entered the day 14th in chips out of the 73 returning players and hung around until the final two tables. He says things turned around for him when they were down to two tables and he was all in for his tournament life with A-4 against A-Q, and the board ran out A-3-3-X-A for a chop. “It seemed like that was an omen or something.” He says after that he got really hot, his good hands were holding up, and he was hitting his draws. “I was hitting everything.”

He went into the final table as the second biggest stack, and accumulated chips quickly. With seven players left, he was the big stack and start-of-day chip leader Frank Cerminara was second in chips. The tides changed soon, and after Cerminara was eliminated in 5th place ($8,462), Harth had a stranglehold on the table. He eliminated Jason Reno in 4th place ($11,080) when his pocket sevens held up against Reno’s A-J all in preflop, and then took out Blake Battaglia in 3rd place ($15,011) with Ks Qs in the small blind against Battaglia’s Kd 2s in the big blind. Harth was already way ahead and the board ran out Tc 9s 5c Js Ah, giving Harth the nut straight on the turn which improved to Broadway on the river.

He had around a 10:1 chip lead to start heads-up with Abraham Montenegro, and it didn’t last long. Soon, Montenegro got it in with 9h 6h in the small blind and Harth called with 9c 8h in the big blind, once again in a dominating position. Neither player made a pair and Harth won with the 9-8 high on a board of Qd Qc 5c 4d Th.

As soon as it ended Harth remarked, “The old guy won!” It’s about time.

When asked if he is excited to play the Main Event in Las Vegas Harth responded, “You bet I am.” He has played it before but hasn’t cashed. Maybe this will be Harth’s year. It was definitely his tournament today.

Final Table Payouts:
1st place: David Harth – $35,009 (plus a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat)
2nd place: Abraham Montenegro – $22,005 (plus a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat)
3rd place: Blake Battaglia – $15,011 (plus a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat)
4th place: Jason Reno – $11,080
5th place: Frank Cerminara – $8,462
6th place: Brad Sailor – $6,725
7th place: Boulos Estafanous – $5,332
8th place: Robert Richmond – $6,215
9th place: Zal Irani – $3,306
10th place: Jason Ramos – $2,580

Complete Event #12 Results
Event #12 Double Qualifiers & Promotional Bonus Winners

Event #14 Last Chance Turbo Final Table Counts

The final event, the $250 buyin Last Chance Turbo has reached a final table. Here are the final 10 seating and chip counts.

Seat 1: John Geso – 66,000
Seat 2: Angelo Peralta – 236,000
Seat 3: Matthew Sebby – 228,000
Seat 4: Jason Seitz – 110,000
Seat 5: Angelo Fuscone – 392,000
Seat 6: Porfirio Mendez – 174,000
Seat 7: James Morrison – 16,000
Seat 8: Michael Foster – 52,000
Seat 9: George Tomasevich – 231,000
Seat 10: Matt Wallin – 71,000

Shawn Rice Wins Event #13 $360 Turbo, Final Table Payouts

Shawn Rice beat out a field of 169 entries to win the $360 buyin one-day Turbo event for $13,595 and a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat. A full recap will be posted soon.

Final Table Payouts:
1st place: Shawn Rice – $13,595 (plus a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat)
2nd place: Eddie Matthews – $8,360
3rd place: Sampath Desilva – $5,792
4th place: Jean Gaspard – $4,180
5th place: Kennii Nguyen – $3,122
6th place: David Daciolas – $2,377
7th place: Sean Chapman – $1,868
8th place: Miguel Dabul – $1,506
9th place: Caryn Percifield – $1,234
10th place: Johnny Tan – $1,053

Complete Event #13 Results

David Harth Wins Event #12 $250 NLH with Double Qualifier Bonus, Final Table Payouts

David Harth took down Event #12, the $250 NLH with Double Qualifier bonus event. David Harth came into the final table short-stacked, but came back to win the whole thing for $35,009 plus a bonus $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat. A full winner story will be posted soon.

Final Table Payouts:
1st place: David Harth – $35,009 (plus a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat)
2nd place: Abraham Montenegro – $22,005 (plus a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat)
3rd place: Blake Battaglia – $15,011 (plus a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat)
4th place: Jason Reno – $11,080
5th place: Frank Cerminara – $8,462
6th place: Brad Sailor – $6,725
7th place: Boulos Estafanous – $5,332
8th place: Robert Richmond – $6,215
9th place: Zal Irani – $3,306
10th place: Jason Ramos – $2,580

Event #12 Results
Event #12 Double Qualifiers & Promotion Bonus Winners