Local favorite Cliff Ellefson tops 800+ at Stones to win Platinum Pass on Moneymaker Tour

There were only two sure things last weekend when the Moneymaker Tour rolled into Stones Gambling Hall outside Sacramento, California.

The first sure thing was that one player would turn an $86 tournament buy-in into a $30,000 Platinum Pass before the weekend was through.

The other? This was an event that nobody in attendance would soon forget.

Popular Sacramento local Cliff Ellefson won the Platinum Pass early this morning, topping a final table that lasted long enough for Sunday to become Monday. Ellefson defeated Warnito "Junior" Merasuentes heads-up for the win after the two of them cut a deal with eventual third-place finisher Jesse Abramowitz that gave both second and third $5,000 apiece.

Sacramento local Cliff Ellefson won his Platinum Pass this weekend at the Stones Gambling Hall stop of the Moneymaker Tour

Ellefson and his fellow final table dealmakers outlasted a field of more than 800 players, populated both by locals and poker road warriors who'd traveled from across North America.

A slew of poker celebrities were on hand for the action, from tour namesake Chris Moneymaker and Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu to announcers Joe Stapleton and Lon MacEachern. There was even a Twitch livestream of a $5-5-10 cash game.

In the end, the Stones stop of the Moneymaker Tour wasn't just a chance for entrants to turn a relative pittance into a shot at life-changing money. It was a joyous celebration of the game that gave everyone involved something to hang onto long after the tournament was complete.

Congratulations to Cliff Ellefson on his win, and to Stones Gambling Hall for putting on one very successful event.