Tommy Nefcy Wins 2022 Bar Poker Open Championship at Golden Nugget Las Vegas ($37,115)
June 16, 2022 @ 06:11 PM
The 2022 Bar Poker Open Championship at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas has come to an end after four days of action. Tommy Nefcy found himself as the last man standing, defeating a player pool of 1,240 entries and taking home the top prize of $37,115.
The invite-only BPO Championship, which qualified players via bar leagues across the country, was action-packed from the get-go, with the first of three flights reaching a total of 531 entries. Of those 531 players, 54 players made the min-cash of $500 but only 26 found a bag at the end of the night, advancing to Day 2. The second flight was at 4 p.m. on the same day and attracted a total of 219 entries with 22 players making the money and just 11 advancing to Day 2.
The 'second chance' final flight was the following day and attracted 490 entries, with 49 making the money and 25 bagging at the end of the day. All three flights combined had a total of 1,240 entries, creating a prize pool of $229,400.
Two players had bagged twice, earning themselves an extra $1,500 each, meaning Day 2 started with 60 players and it was extremely fast-paced as only 31 were remaining by the first break. The day continued with rapid bustouts, and just eight players remained after 10 hours of play. The eventual champion had bagged an impressive 10,725,000 to lead the final table into Day 3, more than double the second-highest stack which was Ruben Vancellete with 4,800,000.
The final table kept with the theme of the tournament with players busting especially quickly as Martin Bender was eliminated in eighth place within the first couple of hands as he got his short-stack in with jack-eight and couldn't get there against Vancelette's ace-queen.
About 15-minutes later, Mike Schnitzer was all in with queen-jack against John Kelly's queen-five and both players had flopped a queen. However, Kelly ran out a backdoor straight to eliminate Schnitzer in seventh place.
Vancelette was next to hit the rail as he finished in sixth place after his ace-queen couldn't win a flip against Kourtney Sim's pocket nines.
Adam Iaccarino exited in fifth place after getting it all in preflop with ace-six against Nefcy's king-jack suited and losing to the latter's two pair.
Carlin "Ox" Soto tried his best to be patient after finding himself getting short and eventually got it in with king-jack and was called by Kelly's ace-eight. Soto hit a king on the turn but Kelly smashed his ace on the river to eliminate the former in fourth place.
Kelly battled it out three-handed for quite some time before getting his stack in the middle with queen-jack but found himself dominated by the ace-jack of Sims, who flopped an ace. That sent Kelly to the payout desk in third place.
Heads-up play lasted about an hour with both competitors trading pots and playing aggressively. Sims lost the chip lead when she missed an open-ended straight draw against Nefcy's king-high. Eventually, Sims found herself on the wrong side of a cooler as she flopped top pair against Nefcy's flopped flush to bust her in second place.
Nefcy, who qualifier via the Sunshine Poker League, was more than excited to take home the championship.
"I can barely stand here right now," Nefcy said after his victory. "I feel great! This is the best feeling. Everybody should try it."
He came into the final table as the massive chip leader and never let his foot off the gas. Once he was heads-up he had quite the battle as runner-up Sims went toe to toe with him in the aggression department.
"This hand made me feel a lot better, as it validated my thinking," he commented in regards to the hand he won with king-high.
Although he felt confident that he was going to win throughout the final table, Nefcy said everyone who made the final table deserved to be there as they played hard.
"This was a great game," he said. "It was difficult to play this game today."
The Sunshine Poker League is super ecstatic to have this victory as they have only been around for a couple of years. They began only a year or so before the pandemic hit and were shut down for two years, which made it extremely hard on the league.
The owner of the Sunshine Poker League, Donny, had a couple of words of his own to close it out: "I am just so proud. I am happy for all of the leagues that came out, this is what the Bar Poker Open is all about. We get together and have fun and enjoy ourselves."
That does it for the 2022 Bar Poker Open Championship, but the action continues at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas with more events in the 2022 Grand Poker Series. The venue will also play host to next week's $1,100 buy-in, $1,000,000 GTD PokerNews Cup, which you can read more about here.