Poker players agree to split final pot at Harveys
November 14, 2009
STATELINE – In poker, sometimes the optimal decision is not to play. That’s the conclusion reached jointly by the final two survivors in the latest World Series of Poker Circuit tournament on Friday at the Harveys Casino.
Following a grueling heads-up battle that reached nearly three hours, Charlie Fiorella and Rip Fritzer came to the sensible deduction that both players were pretty evenly matched and that to continue playing would have been too much of a gamble. Hence, Fiorella and Fritzer agreed to chop up the prize money, with Fiorella taking the fame and glory of first place.
The $300 (+40) buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted a strong field of 202 entries for the 14th event, generating $58,782 in prize money. The top 27 finishers collected payouts. All the action took place over a two-day period inside the Harveys Lake Tahoe poker room and special events area.
Fiorella, a 59-year-old from Sunnyvale, Calif., was officially paid $16,227. He formally was an executive in the high tech industry who worked in Silicon Valley. He has been playing poker seriously for about six years and calls himself a by-product of the moneymaker boom. Fiorella said he became interested in poker tournaments after watching the WSOP on TV.
When heads-up play began, Fiorella was virtually tied with Fritzer. The two warriors battled back and forth for about 2 hours and 40 minutes before discussion about a deal ensued. The two survivors finally agreed to some numbers, with Fiorella taking the top prize. This marked Fiorella’s first major tournament victory.
Fritzer is a 50-year-old real estate investor who has some impressive tournament results, including two cashes at the WSOP in Las Vegas and three WSOP Circuit in-the-money finishes. This was his highest tournament finish to date, following a third-place showing last year in an event at Harrah’s Rincon. Second place officially paid $9,758.
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Finishing in third place was J.R. Hamilton of San Francisco.