2009 Southern Poker Championship, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi USA

A report by David Sasseman & Claire ‚Anne‘ McDonald

Local Biloxi Pro Overcomes Short Chip Stack to Win Event #3

Mark Wilds (Photo by impdi.com)
Mark Wilds (Photo by impdi.com)

Biloxi, MS (January 6, 2009) – This third event is the second USD 500 event here in the Grand Ballroom of the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino. The first event was USD 300 with 1005 entries. The second event was USD 500 with 566 entries and this event has 409 entries and a prize pool of over USD 188,000.
After playing the first day for 14 hours, 20 players remained. Returning the next day, our newest champion of the year, Mark Wilds, is 2nd to the last place in the chip count. But this experienced pro just played his game and made it to the final table. But, again, he is on the short stack (ninth out of the ten players). Mark is comfortable playing tournaments with very few chips. „I have lots of experience playing with a short stack,“ he jokes. „Living only 10 minutes away I can go home, sleep in my own bed and eat my own food.“

The hometown 43 year old has played in many of the local tournaments and has had great success online. In fact, he has 56 tournament cashes and has won over USD 700,00 in his eight year career. Previously winning the World Poker Open in Tunica, Mississippi, this is his second major live tournament win.

Playing heads-up for nearly an hour, this exciting final hand took place between Mark and self proclaimed sexy, 24 year old, Eric Crain. Mark has J8 of spades and Eric with his T8, flops two pair (tens and eights) but, Mark has a flush draw and moves all-in. He winces when he see he is up against two pair but the turn brings a straight draw. He needs any one of 21 cards out of the remaining 43 cards (any spade, a J, Q, or 7) and boom, he rivers a spade giving him USD 50,859, a seat in the USD 10,000 WPT championship (Jan. 14-17), and a white gold bracelet encrusted with diamonds. Eric won USD 28,255 for his second place finish.

Event #4 (a USD 1,000 no-limit event) and #5 (a USD 500 seven card stud event) will finish tomorrow.

Final Results:

No-Limit Hold’em Event #3
Date: January 5-6, 2009
Buy In: USD 500
Number of Entries: 409
Net Prize Pool: USD 188,365
First Place Prize: USD 50,859
Places Paid: 36

1. Mark Wilds (Biloxi, MS) USD 50,859
2. Eric Crain (Murphysboro, IL) USD 28,255
3. Phong Truong (Atlanta, GA) USD 16,576
4. Paul Distefano (Plaquemine, LA) USD 12,440
5. Jeff Tims (Houston, TX) USD 10,612
6. Jack Miller (Pass Christian, MS) USD 8,786
7. John Holly (Destin, GA) USD 6,958
8. Brandon Jarrett (Cartersville, GA) USD 5,274
9. Kenneth Sewell (Stockbridge, GA) USD 3,391
10. Gregg Fund (Myrtle Beach, SC) USD 2,673
11. Bill Hobbs USD 2,673
12. Steven Rush USD 2,673
13. Tony Sevnsom USD 2,260
14. Franklin Dawkins USD 2,260
15. Charles Lunn USD 2,260
16. B.J. McBrayer USD 1,884
17. Joseph Bueche USD 1,884
18. Joe DeFilippo USD 1,884
19. Tony Hatley USD 1,507
20. Will Duke USD 1,507
21. Michael Fess USD 1,507
22. William Jackson USD 1,507
23. Robert Toye USD 1,507
24. Benjamin Thomas USD 1,507
25. Terry Myers USD 1,507
26. Tony Herring USD 1,507
27. Jessica Dawley USD 1,507
28. Brandon Newsome USD 1,130
29. Clint Coffee USD 1,130
30. Justin Dykes USD 1,130
31. Lanh Van Bui USD 1,130
32. Jon Bergeron USD 1,130
33. Sam Kiger USD 1,130
34. Henry Gill USD 1,130
35. Lucas O’Connor USD 1,130
36. George Hartley USD 1,130