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

A report by David Sasseman & Claire ‚Anne‘ McDonald

Event #4: A Neurobiology Major, Having Nerves of Steel, Wins USD 63,898 in Hold’em Tournament at Beau Rivage

Michael Benvenuti (Photo by impdi.com)
Michael Benvenuti (Photo by impdi.com)

Biloxi, MS (January 7, 2009) – University of Texas student Michael Benvenuti won USD 63,898 at the fourth event of the 2009 Southern Poker Championship. Benvenuti is a fifth year college student majoring in neurobiology.
After playing for 14 hours the first day, 207 players were eliminated. The final nine returned the next day to duke it out. Benvenuti looked relaxed as he eliminated the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finishers. John Pack finished 4th place. He had the nut flush draw but Benvenuti already had a made flush. Jeffrey Vanchiro finished in 3rd place. He was on a short stack and moved all-in with K-9. Benvenuti, having enough chips, called with a 5-3 and won when his five hit. Ron Feske finished 2nd when he was dealt A-3 to Benvenuti’s A-Q. Feske moved all-in with an inside straight draw when the flop came Q-4-2. Benvenuti called immediately with top pair, top kicker. The turn and river failed to bring Feske’s five giving Benvenuti the win.

Benvenuti was smiling ear to ear winning the money, a white gold bracelet encrusted with diamonds, and a USD 10,000 buy-in to the World Poker Tour (WPT) championship event, which will be played January 14th-17th. This is his first record cash in any tournament.
There are 11 more events to be played here in the Grand Ballroom of MGM‘s Beau. All tournaments are two day events except the WPT final which is a three day event.

For more information about Beau Rivage Resort & Casino go to beaurivage.com or come on down, the weather is fine (60 degrees fahrenheit).

Final Results:

Event #4
No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-In: USD 1,000 (+70)
Total Entries: 216
Total Prize Pool: USD 199,520
January 6-7, 2009

1. Michael Benvenuti (Newport Beach, CA) USD 63,898
2. Ron Feske (Folsom, LA) USD 35,254
3. Jeffrey Vanchiro (Queens, NY) USD 19,383
4. John Pack (Henderson, TN) USD 15,513
5. Ryan Williamson (Savannah, GA) USD 11,642
6. Gabe Costner (Long Beach, MS) USD 9,707
7. Wendell Barnes (Charlton, MA) USD 7,772
8. James A. Barnwell (Crossville, TN) USD 5,986
9. Everett Carlton (St. Paul, MN) USD 3,990
10. James Henson USD 2,793
11. Jimmy Nickens USD 2,793
12. David Diaz USD 2,793
13. Timothy Farris USD 2,394
14. Anthony Hawksby USD 2,394
15. Akbar Mahmood USD 2,394
16. Marvin Burkholder USD 1,995
17. Trey Ourso USD 1,995
18. David Terry USD 1,995