Posted 3/22/11 : Social gaming firm's Las Vegas tourney well organised and attended
 
Zynga's first venture into live poker tourneys in support of its high-popularity poker offering took place over the weekend, and the consensus appears to be that it has been a resounding success, characterised by a good turnout and efficient organisation at the Palms venue.
 
Held over two days, the event was sold out well before the kick off, with two flights of 250 players each entering the main event. Each of these played down to three players, making up six seats at the final table.
 
These were then joined by four players who had qualified through the Zynga facilities at Facebook, making up a ten-seat final table that comprised: Shirley Richards, Hugh Davies,  Alfred Calimbas, Dave Bille, Casey Connor, Howard Lee, Robb Jones, Robert Holmes, Aaron Alanen and Charles Milham.
Play was brisk as the finalists competed for a $100 000 prize pool, with 54 players making the money bubble, but in the end it was a Phoenix, Arizona player, Aaron Alanen, who came away with the main prize of $15 000 after a five-way chop.
 
The table action was complemented by the presence of poker aces like Annie Duke (who also conducted poker teach-ins), Doyle Brunson, Scotty Nguyen and Antonio Esfandiari
 
Zynga execs on the scene appeared pleased with the way things went, and there was talk of making it a regular calendar event.