Plaza holds 1st tourney

Jun 15, 2004 3:13 AM

The culmination of the World Series of Poker didn’t signal the end of big time tournament poker in downtown Las Vegas. Daniel Negreanu won the inaugural Plaza Poker Championship, which attracted some of the biggest names in poker.

Negreanu used the same hand twice to become the first annual Plaza Poker Champion held last the first weekend in June.

His pair of fives knocked out both Freddy Deeb and Ted Forrest in the tournament presented by Barrick Gaming Corp. Both players had an ace and a king in their hand when they were eliminated.

Negreanu walked away with $310,000 after starting the day in fifth place with only $86,600. He made it through a tough field of 68 of the world’s top poker players.

After Negreanu knocked out Forrest with a pair of fives Deeb and Negreanu had almost an even number of chips. After trading chips for more than two hours Negreanu won a pot totaling more than $200,000. That put him firmly in the lead and he never relented.

Deeb had been successful with the ace king combination but in the end fives were too strong.

Gavin Smith started the day in the lead with $165,400 but he was eliminated in the first hour. His three nines were beat by Deeb’s ace-high straight.

The field of sixty-eight players included professionals such as Annie Duke, Mike Sexton, Scotty Nguyen, Phil Hellmuth and Phil Laak.

The tournament was filmed by Fox Sports Network and will air beginning on June 19.