Taking Texas Hold ‘Em to the exotic Turks & Caicos Islands, World Poker Tour and The Players’ Club welcomed hundreds of locals, poker players and pros, who gathered last week on the Island of Providenciales (Provo) in the British West Indies to take part in the inaugural WPT Turks & Caicos Classic. Welcoming the island visitors, The Honorable Premiere Michael Misick, or President of Turks and Caicos, dropped by the tournament and called “Shuffle Up & Deal” at the final table.
Hosted by The Players’ Club, the premier poker and gaming destination in Turks and Caicos for tourists and residents alike, the week kicked off with ongoing cash games and multiple $65, $140, $500 and $1,080 satellite games giving players the opportunity to parlay into a coveted $7,500 seat in the WPT main event.
Day 1 of the main event saw a field of 137 local players and top pros—including Phil “The Unabomber” Laak, Antonio Esfandiari, Mark Seif, Jennifer Tilly, Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, Evelyn Ng, WPT Season IV Player of the Year, Gavin Smith, WPT Season V Player of the Year, JC Tran, and many more—who would battle it out for a WPT title and the $1 million prize pool paying out the top nine spots. After four days of play just steps from one of the top-ranked beaches in the world, 34-year old Players’ Club Partner and local Turks & Caicos resident Rhynie Campbell emerged the winner of the event he helped bring to his country. Campbell also won his first WPT title, $436,675 in prize money, and a $25,000 seat in the WPT World Championship held at the Bellagio in April 2008.
Alongside Campbell at the WPT Final Table was top pro Nam Le, who placed sixth in his third WPT final table appearance and took home $30,000. Coming in fifth place for $50,000 was poker circuit newcomer, Trevor Hebert, a Vancouver native who owns a small business and teaches kids inline skating. Fourth place and $70,000 went to Chris Smith, a high stakes cash player with very few tournament appearances. Online player Alan “The Usher” Sass took third place in his first televised final table, securing $125,000, while Montreal native Erik Cajelais left the table boasting a second place finish and $225,000 for his fifth WPT tournament cash.
In addition to the main event, Players’ Club held several $540 and $1,080 WPT bracelet events. Winner of the first $540 bracelet event was Patrick White from Nyack, NY, while Tom “Captain” Franklin, who has numerous event cashes and recently placed sixth in the WPT final table at the Gulf Coast Poker Championship, won the WPT bracelet in $540 event #2. Tony Kassouf of Iowa City, Iowa left with a bracelet in $540 event #3 and Matthew Gardner clinched his first bracelet in $540 event #4. Taking down the $1080 WP T bracelet event was Jonathan Little, who won his first WPT title earlier this year in the Mirage Poker Showdown.
The Turks & Caicos Classic will air on GSN in the Spring 2008 as part of their Monday night casino lineup. For more information on WPT Season VI schedule, the WPT Turks & Caicos Classic tournament and the final table, visit the World Poker Tour
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