In the finale of a great ten days of poker at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas, Maxx Coleman demonstrated his skills across an array of games in winning the $25,000 Ten-Game Championship Event of the PGT Mixed Games II last night. It wasn’t without some challenges as ‘Chino’ Rheem pushed Coleman nearly to the end. Rheem, however, captured the overall championship, and the $25,000 bonus as the best player of the series, with his third-place finish.
Strong Field Whittled to Final Nine for Championship Day
There wasn’t a weak seat anywhere in the house as the $25K Championship Event kicked off on Friday. The Ten-Game Championship Event would be a test of the skills of all the players involved, with the lineup of games set as such:
No Limit Texas Hold’em
Seven Card Stud
No Limit Deuce to Seven Single Draw
Limit Texas Hold’em
Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo
Pot Limit Omaha
Limit Deuce to Seven Triple Draw
With such an array of games, only the best would step up for the challenge, and they did. At the start, such mixed game specialists as John Monnette, Stephen Chidwick, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Brian Rast, and Paul Volpe came to the tables, but they would not be around from the 29 entries by the time the final nine were determined.
Poker Hall of Famer John Hennigan (1.155 million) was atop the leaderboard for action on Saturday, holding slightly more than 100,000 chips than second-place Jeremy Ausmus (1.05 million). For his part, Rheem was mired in the middle of the pack (565,000), while Coleman had a tougher road with only 460,000 in chips to start Day Two. However, as soon as the call for action went out on Saturday, Rheem and Coleman were the major movers.
Charging Up the Leaderboard
Coleman got off to a blazing start, taking down Jared Bleznick in an Omaha Hi/Lo hand, then moving on to take another stack of chips from Dylan Weisman. Coleman would battle to the top of the standings in only fifteen minutes, an astounding ascent in chips for a mixed-game format. Rheem also was on the march, working chips from the stack of Ausmus and Alex Livingston in Stud.
Although nine players came back on Saturday, only five of those runners would earn something for their efforts. Thus, with the departure of Bleznick in ninth and Hal Rotholz in eighth, only two more eliminations were necessary to pop the money bubble. Both Rheem and Coleman kept up the pressure on their opponents, eventually working their way to the top slots on the leaderboard. Once Andrew Kelsall and Ausmus went down as the last players to NOT earn anything for their two days of work, the remaining five men set about deciding the championship.
Weisman was the first to depart in fifth place at the hands of Rheem, with Hennigan falling next in fourth to Livingston. Down to three players, Livingston had motored out to a nice lead over Rheem and Coleman, but there was more drama to come. The biggest drama was, in fact, between the two shorter stacks who determined the player to take on Livingston.
That came in during play of No Limit Texas Hold’em. Livingston kicked up the betting on the button and found a call from Coleman. In the big blind, Rheem pushed all in for his remaining chips, which was enough for Livingston to go away, but not for Coleman. He made the call, and the cards were turned up:
Coleman (small blind): pocket nines
Rheem (big blind): A-9
Needing one of the Aces in the deck to appear, the 5-5-4-3-5 board did nothing to help Rheem. Once the chips were counted, it was determined that Rheem was the all-in player, and he departed the table in third place. He would depart, though, with a nice consolation prize (more on that in a moment).
About a million chips in arrears to Livington, Coleman wisely was able to negotiate a deal that saw Livingston pocket $232,870 and Coleman pick up $220,630. They left $25,000 on the table to go along with the Championship Event trophy, and the game went on.
Over the next three hours, and several rounds of the ten games involved, the duo would battle it out. In Limit Hold’em, Coleman would seize control, picking up a Broadway straight to take all but 850K of Livingston’s chips. That led to the final hand, also in Limit Hold’em, that saw Coleman hit with his J-10 on a 10-5-2-Q-4 board against Livingston’s A-7 to end the tournament and the championship in favor of Coleman.
1. Maxx Coleman, $245,630*
2. Alex Livingston, $232,870*
3. David ‘Chino’ Rheem, $116,000
4. John Hennigan, $79,750
5. Dylan Weisman, $50,750
(* – reflects heads-up deal)
Rheem Takes Overall Title with Remarkable Performance
Even though there was one more tournament technically on the PGT Mixed Games II that concluded on Saturday, it would not garner enough players to affect the overall title. Cashing five times during the nine-event roster, including winning Event #2, Rheem was undoubtedly the player of the series. Along the way, he would also earn $433,600 in prize money and, in the end, the $25,000 bonus for being the Overall Champion of the PGT Mixed Games II.
Here’s how the final standings finished:
1. David ‘Chino’ Rheem, 388 points
2. David Funkhouser, 275
3. Nick Schulman, 274
4. Dylan Weisman, 240
5. Maxx Coleman, 188
6. Hal Rotholz, 181
7. Dzmitry Urbanovich, 179
8. Arthur Morris, 150
9. John Hennigan, 139
10. Paul Volpe, 137
(Photo courtesy of PokerGO.com)