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National QQWIN99 League Vegas Open Championship

Glenda Conner 0

The National Poker League Vegas Open ended last night with Allen Cunningham on top of the poker heap at the Venetian in Las Vegas. December is generally a ‘stay at home’ month for poker professionals and since most of them live in Las Vegas, a $15,000 buy-in event like the NPL final tends to draw a small but very experienced group of players. Add to that the luxury of playing in the room at the Venetian and you have a unique tournament.
The NPL is a televised event with the NPL promoters cobbling together a network of television stations around the world for pin-up kaz their tour. What was to be a three day event turned into a four day tournament when union rules caused the television crews to go off the clock early Thursday morning. Coming back for the final day were three players: David Singer with over a million in chips, Antonio Salorio at close to a half million and Cunningham short-stacked at 252,000.
The chip lead was up and down all day until the dinner break when David and Allen had been heads up for nearly two hours and took a much needed break, only to have the tournament end on the first hand post-supper. Allen caught an ace for a broadway straight and David held the short end of the straight to a 9. Allen takes home $325,000 for the win, with David winning $203,000 for the runner-up spot.
Next the players move across the Las Vegas Strip to continue play in the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond QQWIN99 Classic at Bellagio.
Chip Reese Remembrance
There will be dozens if not hundreds of articles and blogs commemorating the passing of David “Chip” Reese. I would like to do something a bit different and give you my most recent memory of a truly great poker player.
This past summer during the World Series of Poker, one of my assignments was to follow three or four players during the course of a tournament and write a running blog of their impressions. As you might imagine, lots of pros are eager to do this at the beginning of a tournament but if the day does not go well, they are less interested in talking to someone from the media late in the day as their chipstack shrinks.
One day I was working with Chip, which meant passing by his table a couple of times an hour to watch for a few hands and then catching him at each break and getting his take on the previous two levels of the tournament. Chip, always the professional, gave me great stuff no matter how his tournament was going and he presented the information in near perfect copy. He knew what my job was and he delivered his thoughts on the tournament so that my editing job would be minimal.
Beyond that Chip also knew that both of our jobs could get boring, so after the printable blog material I would turn off the digital recorder and he would tell me about his current table; who were the weak players, who might be on tilt and even how he was going to attack certain players and avoid others. We both knew this was not for immediate internet release. Imagine watching a professional poker player during a tournament and knowing how he intends to play each of the other players at the table and then watching him execute that game plan. Truly a unique experience.
I like Chip Reese, most of people in the poker world do and that is a sentence that need not be placed in the past tense.

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