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Tom Marchese Defeats Sam Stein for NAPT Venetian Main Event Title

Just weeks after finishing in 3rd place at the Borgata Winter Open, 22 year-old Tom "Kingsofcards" Marchese won the North American Poker Tour (NAPT) Venetian Main Event. Marchese, a Seton Hall drop out turned online poker player, said on February 24th, 2010 that he is very happy about his win since he was able to face some of the biggest names in the poker circuit.

Eric Player, who finished in 8th place at the Borgata Winter Open, was the first player to go home during Wednesday's final table in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he shoved with seven facing a raise made by Marchese. Sam Stein, who is the overall chip leader at the start-of-the day, pushed in with an ace-king and after Marchese folded, a king place on the flop sent Blair home in 8th place.

A veteran of twenty-six world series of poker final tables, including three wins; Full Tilt poker pro John Cernuto can now include a PokerStars NAPT 7th place finish to his poker resume. Cernuto moved up from being the short stack to begin the final table, but after getting all of his chips in the pre-flop with an ace-5, he was defeated by the jack-ten of Stein.

After that, 2007 European Poker Tour (EPT) Baden 4th place finisher Tom Fuller saw his chip stack reduced and then decided to ship it in with his jacks against raise made by Daniel Clemente. Clemente then called with his queens to send Fuller home in 6th place. With more than a two-one chip lead on the nearest poker player to him and less than half of the chips in play, Stein appeared to be in the lead to take home the NAPT Las Vegas title.

Stein's domination continued when he wagered a five-bet shoved with his jacks against David Paredes' aces and hit a jack to rail him in 5th place. The four-handed play went quite well with Stein losing the odd but not the overall chip lead.

However, Marchese's chip stack improved when Clemente shoved into his full house and the New Jersey resident said that it was then that he believed that winning the tournament was a distinct chance for the first time. After doubling once to stay in contention for the title, Yunus Jamal was sent home in 4th place after losing a race with tens vs. the ace-queen of Marchese.

A few card hands later, Marchese shoved in with queens, Clemente called with an ace-eight and missed to bow out in 3rd place. Marchese went into the heads-up showdown with just three million chips shy of Stein's thirteen million chips and although Stein won the first few hands in the heads-up showdown, his hold on the title slipped away he made a call with his third pair against the top pair of Marchese.

Just a few card hands later, with Marchese suddenly in the lead, he shoved on the river and Stein called with second to the bottom pair. But Marchese had a set of tens this time and it is enough to win the NAPT title and the $827,648 1st place cash prize. Marchese said that you will never know what will happen during a heads-up showdown so he is very happy to make some good hands and got called lightly.


03/03/2010, Wednesday
Todd Sanders

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