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WSOP good for Tahoe during slow season

In October, the Lake Tahoe Marathon attracted 3,000 people to the region, 90 percent of which were from out of town, according to race director Les Wright. This past week, Harveys in Stateline has brought a similar amount of out-of-towners to the South Shore with the 2007-08 World Series of Poker Lake Tahoe Circuit Event.

The WSOP ladies-only tournament on Sunday set a Northern Nevada record, and the $340 buy-in opening event last Friday was the second-largest poker tournament ever in Northern Nevada.

Although there is usually only one WSOP tournament each day, the spillover effect of having players from Ontario, Canada to Ontario, Calif., has increased traffic in the Harveys regular poker room.



“Our business has tripled for this time of year,” said Harveys Poker Room Manager Vince Contaxis. “A normal evening during the week in November … we would have two games. We were looking at 12 games on Tuesday. It’s a big difference. The World Series is a great thing for Tahoe for this time of the year.”

The $5,150 buy-in WSOP main event begins on Friday and ends on Sunday. The only confirmed big-name pro planning to play in the event is five-time WSOP bracelet winner and 2000 Main Event champion Chris “Jesus” Ferguson. Seating is free and open to the public.



Rich get richer at WSOP

Dan Webster, a San Francisco resident who owns a winery in Napa Valley, outlasted a field of 163 players to win the World Series of Poker Lake Tahoe Circuit Event $550 buy-in No Limit Hold ‘Em tournament on Wednesday at Harveys Resort and Casino in Stateline.

The 66-year-old Webster also owns two gourmet restaurants in San Francisco and will take $23,752 back home. This was his third major tournament victory, having won previous events last year at the Bay 101 Open and Pot of Gold tournaments.

Webster edged runner-up Jeremy Joseph of Buffalo, N.Y., a 22-year-old poker player who also cashed at the WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas. He received $13,914 for his second-place finish at Harveys.

South Lake Tahoe’s Darin Honorof made his second final table of the WSOP, finishing in sixth place and collecting $3,874. Stateline’s Karl Wolski placed 15th and won $1,028.

Twice as nice for Schwartz

Evan Schwartz won $19,675 by placing first in a $550 buy-in event on Thursday at Harveys in Stateline. He also won a $1,000 buy-in WSOP event last year in Lake Tahoe.

Schwartz, who lives in Oakland, has more than $200,000 in career poker winnings, having collected $164,907 for a fourth-place finish at a $2,000 buy-in WSOP event in Las Vegas over the summer.

The top local finisher was Stateline’s Johnny Cuchia, who placed 10th and pocketed $982.

Murphy comes up big

Danville resident John Murphy won $21,379 late Wednesday night for taking first at a $1,060 buy-in, No Limit Hold ‘Em tournament. Murphy, 25, has been a professional poker player since 2004. He’s also won events at the Mirage Poker Showdown in Las Vegas and the L.A. Poker Classic.

Paul Kobel of Oakland took second and won $11,429. Only 62 people played in the event, the smallest WSOP tournament field of the week at Harveys.

Canadian wins in H.O.R.S.E

For the first time at the WSOP in Lake Tahoe, the increasingly popular game of H.O.R.S.E. was added to the list of events at Harveys. And it was Canadian Mar “Myst” Maram, a 27-year-old from Ontario, who took home the inaugural event’s crown on Wednesday night.

Ninety-one people signed up for the $550 buy-in event. It was expected to last a single day but ended up lasting two days, totaling about 22 hours of action.

Played in rotation, H.O.R.S.E is an acronym for the five most popular casino poker games – hold ’em, Omaha, razz, seven-card stud and eight-or better. The runner-up was Jeff Welch of Indiana ($6,804). The top local finisher was Zephyr Cove’s Doug Englekirk, who placed ninth and won $1,214.

WSOP adds an 11th event

The popularity of this year’s WSOP circuit event has resulted in standing-room only crowds in the poker room and in the area surrounding Hard Rock Cafe at Harveys. So tournament officials have decided to add an 11th event on Sunday, a $200 buy-in No Limit Hold ‘Em tournament that will begin at 1 p.m.

While not everybody will be able to afford the $5,150 buy-in to Friday’s main event, the Harveys poker room will also offer a “One More Chance” tournament on Sunday at noon. This is not a WSOP-related event, but the buy-in is $200 ($175 buy-in, $25 entry fee) and will be a No Limit Hold ‘Em tournament.


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