My wife and I recently competed in the 2010 $75,000 Carnival® PokerPro® Challenge Final aboard the Carnival Destiny, January 30th-February 1st. A record 189 players competed for a top prize of $35,000, far exceeding the PokerPro® tournament staff’s expectations. Only 127 competed in the 2009 challenge. Like in previous years, only the top 10 places were paid.
Christian Hoffmeyer of Germany outlasted Jerry Willis, Lake Worth, Florida, for the victory. Although the two negotiated a chop to where the victor earned $30,000, the two played out the heads up matchup for a bracelet. The victor also received the opportunity to repeat in December, 2011, aboard the Carnival Dream and a free seat, like the other final tablists, into the 2011 $100,000 Carnival® PokerPro® Challenge.
In finishing order the other final tablists were:
2nd Jerry Willis, Lake Worth, Florida $20,000
3rd Kevin Smith, Pasadena, Texas $7,500
4th Eric Reisbig, St. Louis, Missouri $4,000
5th Daniel Crick, Tampa, Florida $3,500
6th Steven Diamantis, Tampa, Florida $3,000
7th Charles Smith, West Deptford, New Jersey $2,500
8th Matthew Bresher, Clearwater, Florida $2,000
9th Volker Winkler, McKenzie, Tennessee $1,500
10th Samantha Lewis, Lucasville, Ohio $1,000
I was a casualty of Kevin Smith’s remarkable run, being outdrawn by Kevin’s 4-bet AJo that effectively put my 3-bet QQ all-in preflop. The ace spiking a pair on the turn to end my run, finishing in 25th place. My wife was horribly unfortunate. Twice running into aces … the same player …early into her tournament run. First, running into them with her own Queens to lose 25% of her stack. She was crippled severely the second time when her KQ flopped top two, turned a full house, and then was rivered by third ace. She exited shortly therafter.
2003 World Series of Poker Main Event winner Chris Moneymaker did not advance to Day 2, being eliminated just short of the top 20 who advanced from his Day 1 flight. Chris was a tremendous presence at the tournament, playing $2-$5 No-Limit and $1-$2 Pot Limit Omaha and turning a scheduled 1-hour Q & A session into a 2-hour tournament training session, has confirmed that he will return in December to compete again. All players who competed in this year’s event have until February 28 to buy-in to December’s tournament at a discounted rate, $400, from the $750 direct buy-in price. Otherwise players can qualify in through $150 buy-in satellites aboard Carnival cruise ships throughout 2011.
One last note, the closest we found to another competitor from Kansas was a fellow from Alva, Oklahoma, located just south of Medicine Lodge, Kansas. He was at my first table and was an early bust out.