For the second night in a row, an attorney won a Winnin’ o’ the Green 2004 event at the Bicycle Casino last Saturday. This time it was Robert Hartmann, a criminal defense lawyer from Dana Point who registered his first tournament win in event No. 9, $100 no-limit hold’em.
The contest came to an explosive conclusion when Hartmann knocked out two players, hauled in all but about 50,000 of the 704,500 chips in play and made a quick deal with the other remaining player.
With four players left, blinds were $8,000-$16,000 with $2,000 antes. Cape Cod poker pro Dean Shores had the button, accountant Andre Maloof had the small blind and Hartman the big. Shores looked at pocket kings and moved in.
"Well, I’m committed," said Maloof, calling with Qs-8s, while Hartmann, with the most chips, overcalled with A-Q off. The flop was 9-7-3 and Dean began jumping in excitement. "As long as you don’t put up an ace," he cried out. The turn was a 10. "No ace, no ace," he called out in increasing frenzy, one card away from virtual victory. The river was an ace and Shores hopped around in disbelief, while the stoical Maloof just shrugged.
This was a $50,000 guarantee tournament, and with an astonishing turnout of 486 players and 925 rebuys, not only was it met, but the first place payoff of $52,205 alone exceeded the guarantee.
About the winner
Robert Hartmann has been playing poker since high school, but with a wife and daughter has time for only an occasional tournament. Previously, he had a second and a third in no-limit events at The Orleans in Las Vegas. He favors no-limit because, he says, psychology, tells, learning about your opponents is so important. Just as being a criminal defense attorney, "part of my job is listening carefully to what the prosecutors say, determining if they’re weak with their case”¦ a lot of the analysis is very similar."
On Saturday, he said, with the brevity of the final table, psychology didn’t really come into play. Instead, his strategy was to let his opponents beat each other up. Earlier, he said he re-bought several times, not so much because he was in trouble but because he wanted the maximum number of chips he could have. Will he be playing more tournaments now he has a major win under his belt? "Absolutely, providing my wife will let me."
Double Chance Shootout
Earlier in the day the Mariani-Buss "Double Chance Shootout Tag-Team" event was held on the plaza. The buy-in was $5,000 +$50 per player. It was set up as two separate tag-team shootouts, one stud and one limit hold ’em.
Teams changed tables every 30 minutes, and a player busting out of one shootout would continue rotating in the other. There were14 entries with a $70,000 prize pool, and Jean BelanDe won the $30,000 top prize.
At the main event, the final table began with $500 antes, $5,000-$10,000 blinds, and 10:22 remaining. In two hands, two players were gone. First, restaurant owner Isaac Gonzales, left with just 3k after posting his blind, went in with Q-2 suited. A flop of J-10-9 gave him draws to a flush and an open-end straight, but he missed and lost to Mitch Potter’s A-10.
A beat later, Masood Vahedi, a limo business owner and brother of Amir, playing only his second live tournament, was in the big blind with J-6. The flop came 6-5-2, and he moved in with his paired six. Maloof called with pocket 7s, which held up when a 5-4 came.
On hand six, blinds went to 8-16, and Sam Lim immediately went out. He moved in from the small blind with A-Q off-suit and was picked off by music executive Mitchell Rotter, who had Ad-Kd. A board of 8-4-3-4-10 didn’t change anything.
Local pro Rocky Enciso left three hands later. He had the small blind, all in with 9-5. Maloof had the big with Js-10s and flopped a straight when a Q-9-8 came. Immediately after that, retired computer businessman William Costello raised to 20k with K-9. Hartmann moved in with A-10, and Costello called with the rest of his 108k. A flop of A-Q-10 gave Hartmann two pair and pretty much left Costello dead to a jack, which would have given him a straight. It didn’t come, and in just 14 hands, the table was down to five players.
At that point, Hartmann led with 219k, Maloof had 167k; Shores, 139; Potter, 132k; and Tear Kunso Khin, 48k. Khin, a banker at the Hustler Casino, was dispatched by Hartmann a hand later. He moved in with pocket 6s, she called with pocket 4s and the 6s held up. Just three hands later came the double knockout, and Hartmann’s arm was raised in triumph.