Computer Consultant Takes $300,000 Pot to Clinch Win in $300 No-Limit
With four players left, almost half the 645,000 chips in play went into the middle in heads-up action. As a roar went up from spectators and from players watching TV monitors, Mostafa Jamasbi took the pot and now had a commanding lead, while Ernesto Ernie Sebastian was left with practically nothing.
A couple of hands later, after Sebastian was knocked out, the three finalists made a chip count deal and Jamasbi, a computer consultant who plays a lot of poker, was the victor in event four of Cal State 2005, $300 no-limit holdem. It was his biggest cash-in to date. He also has a couple of other money finishes, including a second, in Heavenly Holdem events at Commerce.
This was a $250,000 guaranteed event. It attracted 492 entrants who made 796 rebuys and add-ons to generate a prize pool of $374,808, considerably more than all three prior events combined.
The final table started with $500 antes and $2,000-$4,000 blinds, 20:53 left. Nobody was critically short-chipped. Counts ranged from 35,500 for Mike Joon Lee to 98,000 for Jason Mullen.
There was immediate action on the first hand. Lee opened for 11k, Hoang Ho came over the top for 23k, and after several minutes of thought, Lee moved in with pocket 6s. They held up against Hos A-J, and Lee vaulted from last place to a near-tie for second.
Two hands later there was another double-through. This time, Mullen called Raed Abukartomys 6k raise and then, after longer deliberation than Lees, called again when Jamasbi moved in for $46,500. Jamasbi won with pocket kings against pocket 10s and became the chip leader with 110k.
The first casualty came on hand nine. Samuel Hu opened for 18k with Ah-5h and Jamasbi called with A-6 off. On a flop of As-8s-3h, Hu moved in for 46k and Jamasbi called. When a 2h turned, Hu had a gut-shot draw to a straight flush, but he missed and finished 10th. Jamasbi, meanwhile, now had a huge lead of close to 175k.
The best-known player at the table was Kevin Song, but the best he could do tonight was ninth place. Rick Villapando opened for 18k with A-J and Song moved in for 43k with pocket 8s. The board came J-9-3-6-9, and the paired jack ended Songs evening.
A few hands later, Tor Gammelgard, a Swedish pro who had just moved in two consecutive times without being called, opened for 18k and Ho called all in. Gammelgard had A-5 to Hos Kc-8c. The board came 9-9-7-A-10, and Ho was out in eighth place.
Mullen, who had taken a couple of hits, had been up and down, winning one time when he made trip queens on the turn, then losing with Q-10 after Sebastian moved in with pocket 4s. Then, with seconds left on the clock, Miller pushed in his 70k with pocket 6s, and Gammelgard called with As-8s. The Swede was in the lead when the board showed K-8-5-3 with two spades, and then a 9s gave him a runner-runner flush to leave Mullen in seventh place.
Gammelgard now was the leader with about 205k. Following him were Jamasbi, 160k; Villapando, 126k; Sebastian, 94k; Lee, 40.5k; and Abukartomy, 19k.
Blinds were now $4,000-$8,000 with $1,000 antes. Abukartomy managed to double through twice when he moved in on the first two deals and got called by players with weak hands trying to put him out. But the third time was no charm for him. On the third hand at the new level, he pushed in about 60k with Q-10. Sebastian called with A-6 and won with ace-high.
On hand 29, Gammelgard made a runner-runner flush for the second time, this time with hearts, to knock out another player. He raised with 5h-5s and Lee called all in for about 13k with A-J. A board of J-7-4-6 and three hearts gave Gammelgard draws to a straight and flush, and he made the latter with a 2h on the river, as the field narrowed to four.
Five hands later, Villapando doubled up and took the lead with about 200k when his A-J beat Jamasbis A-10.
Blinds now were $6,000-$12,000 with $2,000 antes. Villapando suggested a deal, but Jamasbi wanted to play, and so did Gammelgard. As action continued, the chips virtually evened out at one point, with everyone in the 160k range.
But that changed dramatically on hand 48 in what would be by far the biggest pot of the night. Sebastian, first to act, looked at Kc-5c and moved in for 157k. Jamasbi had pocket 8s, and that was good enough to call with all of his 146k. The board came 9-6-3-7-Q. The chip transfer was made, and suddenly Jamasbi had more than 300k, while Sebastian had only 11k left.
That disappeared on the next hand. Sebastian called all in for 10k holding A-7. Gammelgard called from the small blind with Q-J, and Villapando checked in the big blind with 7-6. The board of K-Q-5-2-5 was checked down, Gammelgard took the pot with his paired queen, and now three were left.
Another hand was played, with Jamasbi taking the pot when he bet 60k into a board of 8-7-5, and then the finalists began discussing a deal.
The chips were counted. Jamasbi now had 350,000 to 171,000 for Gammelgard and 122,000 for Villapando. After the usual back-and forth negotiatons, a deal was agreed on. Jamasbi took about $110,000, the title and the trophy. Gammelgard got $72,000 for second, and Villapando, who works in the L.A. County accounting department collected $61,000 for third.