The Main Event
Total Entries: 687
Prize Pool: $1,220,112 + $10,000 WSOP seat
March 13-16, 2015
Amherst, Ohio pro comes out on top of 687-player field in Chicago Poker Classic’s $2,000 championship event.
Defending champion Eddie Ochana finishes runner up, records his third top-three finish in the event in the last four years.
Hammond, Ind. (March 16, 2015) — Brian Kleinhenz of Amherst, Ohio outlasted defending champion Eddie Ochana heads up in the $2,000 Chicago Poker Classic Main Event Monday night at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind. Kleinhenz bested the 687-player field in the series’ championship event to earn $274,595 along with a $10,000 seat in the World Series of Poker Main Event courtesy of the Horseshoe.
“[It feels] terrific,” he said of the haul. “Definitely the biggest score of my life. It’s nice.”
Kleinhenz snatched the headline from the aforementioned Ochana whose runner-up finish marked his third top-three finish in the event in the last four years. In 2012 he came in third for $108,268 while last year’s victory earned him $217,810. His performance this year sent him home with a nice consolation prize of $169,596 and brought his four-year earnings in the tournament to more than $495,000.
Admittedly, Kleinhenz’s tournament resume didn’t compare to that of Ochana’s. Primarily a cash game player, prior to the CPC Main Event Kleinhenz owned just $8,182 in recorded tournament earnings as opposed to Ochana’s more than $1,400,000. Despite that, the pair dueled back-and-forth heads up like a couple of battle-tested pros, each one less willing to give an inch than the other.
“Sure, he’s played a lot of tournaments, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t played a lot of poker,” Kleinhenz said of Ochana. “I’ve been playing poker many, many nights a week for 10 years in a row now. I’m very comfortable at a poker table. It’s my environment. I wasn’t going in [to heads-up play] thinking I was outmatched or feeling intimidated at all. I just wanted to show up and play my best poker. Whatever happened happened.”
Whatever happened indeed happened. Kleinhenz brought a nearly four-to-one chip lead into heads up play and only looked back for a brief few hands. He stayed composed as Ochana doubled holding Ac-3c against his A-K all in preflop and didn’t falter after he led into Ochana for 2,100,000 when Ochana held the second nuts. In both instances, Ochana won what could have been game-changing pots, but not against a player of Kleinhenz’s caliber. He remained confident but never let himself write off a player of Ochana’s caliber.
“Three top-three finishes […] That’s amazing,” Kleinhez said of his adversary. “He plays very, very good poker. I was fortunate to have a bit more of the cards heads up. He plays very good and he definitely deserved to be there. I just feel fortunate I came out on top.”
Kleinhenz is a 32-year-old professional poker player from Amherst, Ohio. He’s currently in a relationship and says the $274,000 score will help his girlfriend and him as they look to take the next step.
“I don’t know if it’s going to change me that much,” he said of the prize money. “It’s just more of a nice little nest egg. I have a very serious girlfriend and we want to settle down soon. [The money] helps. It goes a long way.”
The Main Event of the 2015 CPC drew the cream of the poker crop including 2014 WSOP Player of the Year runner up, Brandon Shack-Harris, gold bracelet winners Chris Tryba, Aaron Steury and Nick Jivkov, 2013 CPC $5,000 heads up champion Aaron Massey as well as tournament pros Matt Kirby and Kevin Saul. Of these, just Tryba (54th) and Kirby (28th) finished in the money. Other notables to head home with a score include Nicholas Aranda (52nd), Cody Brinn (45th), Jesse McVicker (43rd), Jose Serratos (40th), Fadi Hamad (21st), Erik Roussakis (14th) and Chris Karambinis (fifth).
The $2,000 CPC finale was one of three headliners on the 2015 schedule. The others, a $360 no-limit hold’em opener with six starting flights and a $250 no-limit hold’em closer with five starting flights, a 2015 Lexus IS 350, a $10,000 WSOP seat and $8,000 cash in added prizes, sandwiched the 12-day series. Event 1, the $360, drew an impressive field of 2,296 players and saw Chicago pro Zal Irani walk away with a $100,000 score, his second CPC victory and third six-figure win at the property. Event 9, the $250, drew a super-sized field of 1,658 players and saw Indianapolis’ Matthew Lushin walk with the $52,000 top prize and a new car.
Other highlights of the series include over $1,500,000 in guarantees and $250,000 in added prizes in the form of the aforementioned Lexus, six $10,000 WSOP Main Event seats and other giveaways.
“I came basically on a whim,” Kleinhenz said of the CPC. “I felt like getting out of Cleveland and playing with some different people. It’s nice to have some variety. I decided to enter the Main Event and rode it all the way to a win.”
Day-by-day Main Event breakdown:
The Main Event was the eighth of 10 numbered events on the 2015 Chicago Poker Classic Schedule. The $2,000 no-limit hold’em tournament boasted a prize pool of $1,220,112 and paid the top 63 finishers. In addition to the six-figure first prize, Kleinhenz earned a $10,000 WSOP seat added to the prize pool courtesy of the Horseshoe.
The tournament featured two starting flights beginning Friday and Saturday March 13 and 14 playing 16 levels apiece. Flight A drew 314 players and advanced 44 while Flight B drew 373 and advanced 55.
Day 2 restarted at 12 p.m. Sunday with 99 players remaining and just the top 63 finishing in the money. The bubble burst midway through the day’s second level (Level 18, ~1:30 p.m.) and from there, play narrowed to the final table by ~12:45 a.m. with 34 minutes remaining in Level 27.
Day 3 resumed at 1 p.m. Monday and play concluded at ~8:15 p.m. with 20 minutes left in Level 33 making the total duration of the finale just over seven hours.
Start-of-final-table chip counts:
Seat 1: Eddie Ochana – 5,340,000 (106 BBs)
Seat 2: Chris Karambinis – 2,465,000 (49 BBs)
Seat 3: Alexander Doroshko – 2,425,000 (48 BBs)
Seat 4: Todd Breyfogle – 490,000 (9 BBs)
Seat 5: Danny Hannawa – 1,225,000 (24 BBs)
Seat 6: Kenneth Auker – 520,000 (10 BBs)
Seat 7: Brian Kleinhenz – 2,615,000 (52 BBs)
Seat 8: Brad Sailor – 1,335,000 (26 BBs)
Seat 9: Steve Nussrallah – 775,000 (15 BBs)
Final table results:
1st: Brian Kleinhenz – $274,525 + $10,000 WSOP seat
2nd: Eddie Ochana – $169,596
3rd: Brad Sailor – $111,311
4th: Alexander Doroshko – $77,257
5th: Chris Karambinis – $56,552
6th: Todd Breyfogle – $43,546
7th: Danny Hannawa – $35,188
8th: Steve Nussrallah – $29,771
9th: Kenneth Auker – $26,318
The CPC is recognized as the largest non-branded poker tournament series in the United States. In its seven-year history, the event has been headlined most notably by 2013’s 5,165-entry opener – one of the largest tournaments ever to take place outside the confines of Las Vegas and the World Series of Poker. This year’s series began March 5 and ran through March 16.
2015 Chicago Poker Classic results:
Event 1A/B/C/D/E/F: $360 NLH Re-Entry – Zal Irani defeated 2,296 entries for $100,000
Event 2A/B: $250 NLH – Michael “NarcoCop” Younan defeated 634 entries for $28,813
Event 3: $500 PLO – David Arfa defeated 165 entries for $18,496
Event 4: $500 H2O – Shawn Rice defeated 76 entries for $10,127
Event 5: $360 NLH – David Eliason defeated 122 entries $10,544
Event 6: $400 OE – William Slaght, Jr. defeated 113 entries for $10,505
Event 7: $600 Deep Stack Six Max – Jim Juvancic defeated 268 entries for $37,196
The Main Event (Event 8): $2,000 NLH – Brian Kleinhenz defeated 687 entries for $274,595
Event #9: $250 NLH – TBD defeated 1,658 entries for $52,000
Event #10: $360 Turbo – TBD defeated 274 entries for $20,008