A Magnificent Seven, including three Santa Barbara County residents, outlasted 571 other players in a 12-hour poker marathon Saturday to split the top prize in the 2013 Central Coast Poker Championship at the Chumash Casino Resort’s Samala Showroom.
After eliminating two players from the nine-handed final table, the final seven players opted to share the remaining prize money evenly and walk away with about $7,500 apiece. The winner’s circle included Terri Chase, 47, of Santa Maria; Rob Raede, 54, of Santa Barbara; Isaias Reyes, 36, of Carpinteria; Joel Dalida, 26, of Camarillo; Felix Pacquing, 34, of Redwood City; Dante Tabing, 46, of Oxnard; and Jeremy Tilton, 33, of Monterey.
Raede narrowly escaped an all-in move with 11 players remaining to reach the final table. With a healthy chip stack, he forced the action by shoving with pocket 6s. He got one short-stacked player to call, but so did Tabing, who was the tournament’s chip leader. Tabing held a King-Queen offsuit hand, and the short-stacked player led the pre-flop betting with a pair of 9s. The all-diamond flop gave Raede, who had one diamond in his hand, a glimmer of hope. The turn card vaulted Tabing to an Ace-high straight, but the river card was another diamond, giving Raede a dramatic flush to eliminate one player, deal a blow to Tabing and inflate his own chip stack as he entered the final table.
“That was a crazy hand,” Raede said. “It took me from about 250,000 chips to about 1 million. That was the only time I was almost out of the tournament. I was trying to be aggressive earlier, especially before we hit the money bubble. I literally raised every time six hands in a row, and I was raising with anything. It didn’t matter what I had — a couple of tissues, maybe a couple of water bottles off the ground. I raised with seven-deuce twice, and everyone folded. That helped me go from 120,000 chips to 180,000 in six minutes. So being aggressive really helped me today.”
Entrants paid a $180 buy-in ($160 for early bird registration) to compete in the $50,000 Central Coast Poker Championship, which added a bonus $10,000 Main Event seat to the prize pool. Action began at 9 a.m. on nearly 60 tables that filled the Samala Showroom, and the entries were capped after the first one-hour level for a total of 578 players.
The Top 80 players won prize money, ranging from $1,457 for eighth to $324 for 80th. With more than $40,000 and the $10,000 Main Event seat at stake, the final seven players, most of whom had large chip stacks, decided to chop the remaining pot, including the Main Event seat money, rather than enter their 12th hour of action.
“This is the most I’ve ever won, so I’m pretty happy about this,” Raede said. “I always like this tournament. It’s an easy 30-minute drive from my home, and the prize pool is pretty good for what the entry fee is.”
The Central Coast Poker Championship, which is an 18-and-over event, is one of two large poker tournaments that consumes the Chumash Casino Resort’s Samala Showroom each year. The date for the 2013 Central Coast Fall Poker Classic will be announced in the coming months. Click here for a schedule of daily tournaments offered at the casino.
Located on Highway 246 in Santa Ynez, the Chumash Casino Resort is owned and operated by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. The casino’s gaming floor is open 24/7 and features 2,000 slot machines, dozens of table games, bingo, poker and daily cash and prize giveaways.
— Mike Traphagen is a public relations specialist at the Chumash Casino Resort.