Foxwoods Mega Stack Challenge XVII Shatters Records

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Earlier this week, the Foxwoods Resort Casino wrapped up the 17th running of its Mega Stack Challenge, with record-breaking fields and huge prize pools enticing all participants.

The tournament series, which took place from August 17th to 23rd, featured three different events that drew in more than 2,200 players. The Mega Stack Challenge XVII also featured quality poker talent, including 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker, 2009 runner-up Darvin Moon, and 2010 November Nine chip leader Jonathan Duhamel. Also in attendance for the three events was Poker News Daily guest columnist Bernard Lee, who is sponsored by Foxwoods and considers the poker room his home turf.

The $340 No Limit Hold’em tournament was the largest event by the numbers, with 1,295 players eventually coming to the felt to battle for the title. Roslyn Heights, New York resident William Davis won the championship at the end of the two-day tournament, taking home $72,769. Battling valiantly was eventual second place finisher John Weiss of Stamford, Connecticut, who earned $45,787.

Rounding out the remainder of the final table were third place Edward Kiaer of East Boston, Massachusetts; Linda Swears of Fitchburg, Massachusetts; Edson Pap of Lynnfield, Massachusetts; Michael Forman of Farmington, New York; Michael Donegan of Center Moriches, New York; Jamie Wagner of Kittery, Maine; Matthew Pierce of Cohasset, Massachusetts; and Colin Maneval of Newton, Massachusetts. The tournament was guaranteed for $125,000, but that figure was tripled with the $376,845 prize pool.

The $560 No Limit Hold’em event featured a sizeable field of 663 that also surpassed its $125,000 guarantee, with the prize pool eventually reaching $321,555. Seventy players earned a return on their investment, with Moon taking a min-cash ($1,286) and veteran poker player Vinny Pahuja also making a small profit ($1,350).

The two-day tournament saw a deal reached after 14 hours of play in the Foxwoods tournament room, where 107 players started with a shot at the title on Day 2. The championship trophy and first place check of $35,615 was awarded to Brad Harper of Putney, Vermont. Khalid Riley of Norwood, Massachusetts; Jose Montes of Bronx, New York; David Felger of Lantana, Florida; and Mike MacIntosh of Crantson, Rhode Island took the second through fifth place slots and were each the beneficiary of $31,500 for their hard work after a chop.

In the $1,650 No Limit Hold’em Main Event, 320 players competed for a chance to earn a piece of the $465,600 prize pool (the tournament had a guaranteed purse of $250,000). Over the span of three days of play totaling 36 hours, the field was whittled down to the 35 players who would at least earn a min-cash of $3,817. The real prize, however, was the first place money worth $74,919 and the Mega Stack Championship trophy.

As action reached the final four of the three-day tournament, the players were fairly evenly stacked. With the hour growing late, the top four negotiated a deal that awarded Dan Suied of Billerica, Massachusetts a $72,072 cash and the title of champion. Although he finished second, Marc Podell of New York, New York took home the most money ($74,919) as a result of the deal. Mike Dentale of Brooklyn, New York finished third with $58,533 and Ross Santos of Carver, Massachusetts took the fourth place prize of $43,572.

Rounding out the final table for the event were Grant Lang of Danbury, Connecticut; Sam Haddad of Westwood, Massachusetts; Ben Bianco of Franklin Square, New York; Rodney Legendre of Randolph, New Hampshire; Robert Koerber of Waterbury, Connecticut; and Mike Perry of Oakland, Maine. The final nine players each took home a five-figure payday, with Perry falling just short of that in earning $7,915.

When all of the tournaments were completed, $1.164 million in prize pools had been distributed, making the Mega Stack Challenge XVII the largest version ever in its history. The popular Foxwoods poker room will play host to the World Poker Finals, including a World Poker Tour $10,000 event, in October.

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