The Legends of Poker tournament at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens crowned a champion last weekend, as Chris Karagulleyan took the top honor in the $5,000 buy-in, No Limit Hold’em championship event.
In addition to a standing-only-crowd, the event was filmed for broadcast in the World Poker Tour’s globe-trotting circuit.
Of the $670,000 prize pool, Karagulleyan took home $258,000. Rounding out the final table in order of finish were:
2. Hon Le, $122,550
3. Stan Goldstein, $61,270
4. Mark Seif, $38,700
5. Can Hua, $29,025
6. Kathy Liebert, $22,575
7. Paul Darden, $16, 125
8. Phil Hellmuth, $12,900
9. Scott Brayer, $11,285
Karagulleyan, an ex-taxi cab driver, used pocket queens to first knock out Kathy Liebert to gain an enormous chip lead, then eliminated Hon Le (he no longer wants to be called The Kamikaze Kid!) with pocket queens on the last hand to gain the title.
Originally from Lebanon, Karagulleyan has prior wins at the Normandie, Commerce and Bicycle Casinos. As an inspiration to poker players around the country, all six finalists had gotten in via super satellites.
In the All Around Points Championship, David "The Dragon" Pham topped everyone and drove off in a brand new Mercedes SUV for his effort. He made eight final tables, won two events (the $1,000 Seven Card Stud and $1,000 7-Stud Hi-Lo; placed second in the $500 stud hi-lo; plus three third-place finishes.
Runner-up was Men Nguyen, Pham’s cousin ($10,000) and Kathy Liebert was third ($5,000).