PokerStars had the second U.S. stop of the new North American Poker Tour (NAPT) go through the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut over the past few weeks. There were multiple tournaments, culminating in two large contests, the Main Event and the High Roller Bounty Shootout, both of which were taped for ESPN2.
The NAPT Mohegan Sun Main Event featured a multiple day format. On Day 1, a familiar face had the chip lead, as bracelet winner David Williams was on top of the field. Unfortunately for Williams, he was eliminated and didn’t make the final table. At the final table, there were two names that dominated the headlines, Vanessa Selbst and Mike Beasley.
Late into the day before the final table, Selbst was dominating play by all accounts. Nevertheless, Beasley managed to win big pots and inched into the chip lead heading into the final. At the final table, there was no doubt who was going to take down the tournament, as Selbst crushed her competition. Within a half-hour, she had taken the chip lead from Beasley and increased it as time went by for a near wire-to-wire run. When the match was heads-up, Selbst had a shocking 7:1 chip lead and had her A-8 hold up against Beasley’s Q-10 to take down the title and $750,000 in prize money. This was her first NAPT title and will go alongside a WSOP bracelet in her trophy case.
Selbst was second to David Williams in the Day 1 chip counts and was in third place at the end of Day 2. She told the PokerStars blog, “I was playing well and just got the cards and everything came together. I have a habit of busting out in the fourth level or accumulating a [lot] of chips… This is by far my biggest win, so I’m really excited about it.”
The final table of the NAPT Mohegan Sun Main Event was taped for ESPN2 and featured Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy, Scott Seiver, Al Melville, Jonathan “FatalError” Aguiar, Mike Woods, Selbst, Derek Raymond, and Beasley.
The final event of the NAPT Mohegan Sun was the $25,000+$600 High Roller Bounty Shootout. Players collected $5,000 for knocking out an opponent and 35 poker hopefuls entered. There were five tables of six-handed play and one table of five-handed play. Each table winner received $60,000 plus bounties, with the remaining $350,000 reserved for the tournament’s ultimate champion.
After all was said and done on the first day, six players remained: Matt Glantz, Sam Stein, Shawn Buchanan, Jason Mercier, Faraz “The-Toilet” Jaka, and Luiz Vazquez.
Stein already made waves at the NAPT by finishing in second in the Venetian Main Event for $522,000. He continued his impressive run until the action got heads-up against Team PokerStars Pro member Mercier.
When heads-up play began, Mercier had a slight chip lead on Stein and extended it over an hour of play to the point where he was up 2:1. Mercier then made a bluff with an open-ender on a paired board and was called by Stein, who had the straight to even the chips once again. After that, Stein’s good fortune came to an abrupt halt when he had every opportunity to win. He went all-in with A-9, was called by A-8, and ended up chopping the pot. The next hand, he had to dodge three outs to take down the title, but couldn’t hold. Not too many hands later, Mercier needed eight outs with one card to come and hit once again. After those untimely hands were played, Stein barely had any chips at all and, eventually, his 9-3 fell to Mercier’s 10-6 offsuit.
For his efforts, Mercier took in $450,000 plus a $25,000 reward to be used on the next NAPT High Roller Bounty Shootout. Mercier has won nine major tournaments in the last year and a half and might be the hottest tournament pro on the circuit. Visit PokerStars for more details.