NAPT Mohegan Sun: A loaded final table in the Bounty Shootout
Twenty-five thousand, six hundred dollars. For some, it's a year's salary, for others, a down payment on a nice house in the suburbs. $25,600 could buy you a fully loaded Honda Accord or cover the cost of tuition for one year at some universities. However, for most of this crowd, it's less than one cash game buy-in or a few extra chips jangling around in the pockets of their cargo shorts. As the online poker crowd likes to say, "must be nice."
The 35 players that made up the field for the NAPT Mohegan Sun's Bounty Shootout represented the elite of both cash game and tournament poker, old-school pros rubbing shoulders with a slew of young internet geniuses outfitted in the latest hipster garb. The format of this event is very special indeed. We began with five tables of six and one table of five, each one playing down to a winner tonight. Juicing up the action was the presence of a lovely aqua $5,000 Mohegan Sun chip next to each player's stack, a cash reward for each man's executioner. The winner of each table took home an additional sum, $50,000 for besting a five-handed table and $60,000 for defeating a six-handed one. Those six players advanced to tomorrow's final table where it's winner-take-all, the champion earning a nifty trophy and $350,000.
And what a sextet we ended up with.
Sam Stein was the first to win his table, defeating Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein in heads-up play. Stein has already made a name for himself on the NAPT, finishing in second place in the Venetian Main Event for a $522,000 haul.
Faraz Jaka is also headed to his second NAPT final table, having finished in fifth place in the Venetian Bounty Shootout. He spent most of his day on the TV featured table, where he collected three bounties, eliminating Joe Gibbons, Perry Horwich and Daniel Negreanu.
Shawn Buchanan is no stranger to a televised final table after winning a World Poker Tour title at Mandalay Bay in 2007. He advanced after a prolonged heads-up battle with WSOP bracelet winner Steve Sung.
Even our least experienced final tablist has a major title to his name. Luis Vazquez won the $3,300 main event at the Foxwoods Poker Classic less than three weeks ago and was the last player to win his table, taking out Canada's Peter Jetten. Vazquez is also tied with Shawn Buchanan for the most number of bounties collected at four apiece.
Rounding out our final six are another two men who have already felt the thrill of victory in a high roller event-- Atlantic City cash gamer Matt Glantz, who took down the £20,000 buy-in tournament at the EPT London in 2009 and Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier, who won the same event one year earlier.
For a look at how each table finished up and all the details on who earned each bounty, head over to our Round 1 results page.
For a more in-depth look at the action, check out any (or all) of the posts below:
We'll be back tomorrow at 12:00pm EDT for all the action from the first flop until someone collects this lovely piece of crystal.
All photos courtesy of the incomparable Joe Giron. He gets one of these (©) too.