Author Archives: Valerie Cross

Francis Pasqualino Wins Event #12: $250 Last Chance Turbo for $5,123 + $10K WSOP Main Event Seat


The final event on the CPC schedule was Event #12: $250 NLH Last Chance Turbo with a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat added in for the winner – an amazing deal for a $250 buy-in!

A total of 185 entries were tallied creating a prize pool of $37,370 and the top 21 players got paid. In the end, Francis Pasqualino came away with the victory, $5,123 and a WSOP Main Event seat worth $10,000. The final five players decided on an even chop for just over $5K each and to play it out for the seat.

Pasqualino, the Long Island native turned downtown Chicago lawyer, drove down to Hammond for the tournament with a friend and got in late, then busted and rebought just before the close of registration. Bullet #2 was quite a bit more lucky as Pasqualino found aces and doubled up with them shortly after taking his second seat in the tournament.

He proceeded to run “pretty pure” from there and went into the final table as one of the bigger stacks. After they got down to five and decided to chop it up evenly and play for the seat, Pasqualino said he switched up his strategy a bit, going for all or nothing to take a shot at the seat.

One of those all-or-nothing moves involved him getting his stack all in preflop with pocket sevens against WSOP bracelet winner Nick Jivkov, who held jacks. Pasqualino spiked a seven to double through, and just ran pure some more after that.

In the final hand against last year’s $250 Turbo winner Sean Chapman, the flop came K-6-5 in a limped pot. They got all the chips in, both players with a pair of kings but Pasqualino’s kicker best with K-8 to Chapman’s K-2. Pasqualino needlessly improved to two pair on the 8 river and the Main Event seat was his.

Pasqualino is very happy about getting to play in the WSOP Main Event for the first time.

“It’s pretty exciting. This is nuts. I could cry.”

Complete Event #12 Payouts:

Place Player Name Prize Money
1st Francis Pasqualino $5,123
2nd Sean Chapman $5,123
3rd Matthew Ferguson $5,122
4th Navin Kamal $5,122
5th Nick Jivkov $5,122
6th Kevin Buck $1,807
7th Dario Budos $1,396
8th Kenneth Baime $1,096
9th Daune Fernandez $874
10th Bradley Gordon $709
11th Michael Esquivel $709
12th Maurice Dankha $709
13th Rico Chacon $584
14th Volha Burdukouskaya $584
15th Ronnie Baturin $584
16th Gregory Baird $488
17th Ronnie Nesheiwat $488
18th Pavlin Karakikov $488
19th Daniel Czupryna $414
20th Matthew Sebby $414
21st Huzaifa Attarwwala $414



Three-Way Chop in Event #10: $250 NLH w/ DQ Bonus and New BMW Added


Event #10: $250 NLH $250,000 Guaranteed w/ $2,000 Double Qualifier Bonuses and a New BMW Added wrapped up with an even three-way chop between Jordan Mowers, John Orfanos and Cassidy Battikha.

The six-flight event with $2,000 double qualifier bonus for each extra stack bagged drew a whopping 1,755 entries. After the Day 1 $550 minimum payouts and the DQ bonuses, the Day 2 prize pool was $289,910.

The top three finishers were pretty even in chips and happy to chop it up and call it a night. Jordan Mowers, a fourth generation UAW (United Autoworkers Association) member who works in a steel factory, signed for the $25,000 cash in place of taking the car, and the three worked out a deal for splitting that up too. Mowers was still happy to pose with the car for some promotional photos…


“I picked my spots, made some moves.”

He said he got lucky in some spots when he was behind to get to the end, but that usually has to happen in order to win these things.

For Mowers, “The dream happened.” His knuckle tatoos read, “I GOT THIS” and sure enough, he got it this time.

Congrats to all the winners!

Final Table Payouts (including Double Qualifier Bonuses):

Place Player Name Prize Money
1st Jordan Mowers $31,843
2nd John Orfanos $31,842
3rd Cassidy Battikha $31,000
4th Ryan Johnson $16,100
5th Stephen Ma $16,100
6th Garrett Riley $9,600
7th Ben Chen $9,600
8th Jason Trezak $10,050
9th Mariia Ievseieva $6,750
10th Nicola Ditrapani $3,900

Event #10 Double Qualifiers

Event #10 Official Payouts

Spencer White Wins Event #11: $360 NLH Deepstack for $16,315 & a $10K WSOP Main Event Seat


Event #11 $360 NLH Deepstack drew 219 entries for a total prize pool of $65,262. Spencer White of West Lafayette, Indiana won the event for $16,315 and a WSOP Main Event seat worth $10,000. After returning for Day 2 of Event #10 and busting early for a small cash of around $760, White decided to hop into the Deepstack Turbo, and he’s glad he did.

White went into the final table as the short stack and said he just played patiently and waited for good hands that just so happened to hit. He was pretty short three-handed too, but ran hot and hit some draws that helped put him into the lead.

A particularly significant hand for him was one with ace-jack where he flopped aces full of jacks and got a lot of the chips of another player who had a flush draw. He continued to run good and was able to close it out for his first tournament win and biggest score “by a landslide.”

“It’s all kind of a blur. I can’t believe I won.”

White is “super stoked” to play in the WSOP Main Event, which he says is a bucket list item for him that he will get to cross off.

He will return to his job as a manager at the Purdue University Bookstore, where he went to school, with a little more cash in his pocket — and you can bet he will be heading to Las Vegas this summer for the Main Event to live out a dream.

Final Table Payouts:

Place Player Name Prize Money
1st Spencer White $16,315
2nd Thomas Pniak $10,084
3rd James Kasputis $7,339
4th Srinivasan Parthasarathy $5,428
5th Nicholas Cikulin $4,077
6th Keith Thurman $3,110
7th Brad Sailor $2,408
8th Kevin Boles $1,893
9th Charles Bell $1,510
10th Richard Chalem $1,222

Event #11 Payouts

Event #6 8-Max Winner Nick Jivkov Leads Event #12 Final Table


WSOP bracelet winner Nick Jivkov is trying to win his second event of the series in Event #12. Jivkov won Event #6: $600 8-Max Deepstack, and is starting the final table of the Last Chance Turbo as the chip leader.

The winner will get $9,715 plus a WSOP Main Event seat worth $10,000.

Final Table Seating & Chip Counts:
Seat 1: Navin Kamaz – 284,000
Seat 2: Daune Fernandez – 104,000
Seat 3: Bradley Gordon – 128,000
Seat 4: Kevin Buck – 140,000
Seat 5: Mickey Pasqualino – 250,000
Seat 6: Matthew Ferguson – 182,000
Seat 7: Kenneth Baime – 58,000
Seat 8: Nick Jivkov – 419,000
Seat 9: Sean Chapman – 108,000
Seat 10: Dario Budos – 162,000

Matt Shepsky Shipskies the CPC Main Event for $195,367 Plus a Brand New BMW!


It was a wild ride in the 2018 Chicago Poker Classic $2,000 Main Event with $1 million guaranteed and a new BMW added. The event drew 646 players who all ponied up the $2,000 buy-in. The 91 players who made it through the two starting flights returned for Day 2 on Sunday.

They reached the money at 72 players and they were down to the final ten a bit earlier than expected. Bob “The Driller” Dokhanchi held the chip lead coming into the final day of play Monday, but he had some tough competition to get through.

The day started with a bang when short stack Joseph Saltanovitz doubled through Al Motiwala in the first hand of play with sixes versus queens. Both players flopped a set and Saltanovitz turned quads to stay alive.

Frank Cerminara was first out in 10th when he and Aaron Steury got in stacks, Cerminara ahead with aces against Steury’s kings. A king in the window ended the tournament for Cerminara.

Chris Carriger lost most of his stack to Cerminara with pocket jacks when Cerminara made a flush after the chips went in, then lost the rest to Eddie Blumenthal with jacks against Blumenthal’s ace-king.

Saltanovitz busted in 8th place and Eddie Ochana’s cousin Mark Oushanna followed in 7th place, shoving his short stack with K-8 into Matt Shepsky’s pocket eights and failing to catch up.

WSOP bracelet winner Aaron Steury went out in 6th place, getting his remaining stack in with ace-king against Blumenthal’s pocket jacks and finding no help from the board.

Then, Al Motiwala took most of Michael Moncek’s chips when both players rivered trip jacks, Motiwala having Moncek’s kicker notched. Moncek was left with crumbs, but right after, Shepsky and Motiwala got in stacks on a huge flip, Motiwala having Shepsky covered just barely.

Motiwala had queens and Shepsky had ace-king. After a safe flop, a king on the turn gave Shepsky the winner – and the chip lead. Motiwala proceeded to triple up, then double up and Michael Moncek with his very short stack went out next in 5th.

Start of day chip leader Bob Dokhanchi finished in 4th when he shoved with pocket fours and ran into the nines of Shepsky, failing to improve. Al Motiwala held on for as long as he could, but eventually bowed out in third, leaving Shepsky and Blumenthal to play heads up, Shepsky with a 4-to-1 chip lead.


Blumenthal doubled up early in the match with ace-queen against ace-four all in preflop, and proceeded to grind back until stacks were about even. At that point, they decided on an even chop while leaving $10,000 and the car up top to play for.

They battled back and forth for a while and eventually all the chips went in on a 9s-5c-2c-8s board, Blumenthal with pocket twos for bottom set and Shepsky with Ac-4c for the nut flush draw and a gutshot straight draw. The 6c river all but sealed it for Shepsky, who rivered Broadway on the final hand with Ac-Tc to end it.

Main Event Final Table Payouts:

Place Player Name Prize Money
1st Matt Shepsky $195,367
2nd Eddie Blumenthal $185,366
3rd Al Motiwala $106,744
4th Bob Dokhanchi $79,381
5th Michael Moncek $59,831
6th Aaron Steury $45,697
7th Mark Oushanna $35,360
8th Joseph Saltanovitz $27,719
9th Chris Carriger $22,005
10th Frank Cerminara $17,691

Heads-up started off a bit rough for Shepsky. “I usually feel good heads up and then I was like, ‘What the hell’s going on? I can’t win a hand here.’ And then, it ended up working out at the end.” Shepsky, who considers himself a sit ‘n’ go and heads-up specialist online, felt confident coming into the final table and treated it much like one of those sit ‘n’ go’s.

It’s been a couple years since his last win, which came 2.5 years ago at the HPT Black Hawk Main Event. That was a big one and not that long ago, but as Shepsky put it, “Two years is an eternity” (when it comes to winning poker tournaments).

Shepsky has been trying to win big here at his home casino for so long, so to finally get it feels great, he says.

“I’m so happy. I can’t even talk.”

He’s also pretty excited about his new whip that he can cruise his family around in. Congrats to Matt Shepsky, winner of the CPC Main Event, and to runner-up Eddie Blumenthal, who earned a pretty nice payout of $185,366.


Main Event Final Payouts

Last Year’s $250 Deepstack Turbo Champ Sean Chapman Leads Final 24 in Event #12 $250 Last Chance Turbo


While not exactly the same event as last year, Sean Chapman won an event very similar to Event #12 $250 NLH Last Chance Turbo. He won the $250 Deepstack Turbo in the 2017 CPC for $12,400 plus an added CPC Main Event seat.

Now, Chapman leads the remaining 24 in Event #12 with 160,000 chips. Players are on break, three from the money.

The event drew 185 players and the winner is set to receive $9,715 plus a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat. A min-cash at 21st will pay $414.

Matt Shepsky Wins CPC Main Event ($195,367 Plus New BMW), Eddie Blumenthal 2nd ($185,366)!


The heads-up match is over. Several hands after making a deal, Matt Shepsky and Eddie Blumenthal both put 300,000 into the pot preflop and the flop came 9s-5c-2c. Shepsky checked from the big blind and Blumenthal bet 300,000. Shepsky check-raised to 875,000 and after a long pause, Blumenthal called.

The turn was the 8s and Shepsky led 1.3 million. Blumenthal moved all in with Shepsky covered and after some hesitation, Shepsky called with his big draw.

Blumenthal: 2s-2d
Shepsky: Ac-4c

Blumenthal was ahead with his set of deuces but Shepsky could win with a non-board pairing club or a three. The 8s turn was a blank, but the 6c on the river gave Shepsky the flush to double through.

That hand left Blumenthal with just 1,650,000 and he shoved it soon after with Ad-4c. Shepsky snap-called with Ac-Tc. When the board came Kc-Kh-Js-Jd, it looked like a chop and Blumenthal said, “yes!”

Then the Qh fell on the river out of nowhere to give Shepsky Broadway for the win. Shepsky gets $195,367 for his CPC Main Event win, along with a beautiful new BMW.

Eddie Blumenthal walks away with $185,366 as a result of their chop deal that they made when they were close to even in chips.

A hard-fought battle – congrats to both! A full recap will be posted in a bit.


CPC Runner-Up Eddie Blumenthal