Windy City Championship Attracts Poker Elite

The Chicago area had a champions battle during the Windy City Poker Championship in mid December as one World Series of Poker champion, two World Poker Tour champions and four Heartland Poker Tour champions were in attendance.

Colorful high-stakes amateur Rick Rahim (made famous from his stint on Fox’s the Big Game) was there along with fellow Big Game Loose Cannon Nadya Magnus. Rahim flew in a soldier from the East Coast who fought in the Iraq war.

“The WCPC tournaments are unique, giving local players a chance to battle it out with the top players in the world,” said Dick Carlson, playing in his third WCPC event.

Amanda Musumeci and Jamie Kerstetter, who both cashed in the 2011 WSOP main event, were on hand as well.

The four-day event kicked off with the Ante Up Magazine-Chicago Poker Championship as Nancy Fallah returned to try to defend her title and 2009 champ Leroy “Talk Show” Carver and 2010 winner Mike Sabbia were there.

McDermott & McDermottFor David McDermott, co-creator of the WCPC, this tournament may be his most memorable. The savvy veteran, runner-up at the Chicago Poker Classic six-handed event in 2010, found himself facing his son, David Jr., for the Ante Up Championship. David Jr., an 18-year-old business major at Illinois State, showed he was just as talented as his dad. His aggressive style in his first live tournament proved too much for his father, winning the Ante Up Championship.

The High Roller Winner Take All Invitational for the second year drew a star-studded field, including Jerry Yang, Richard Roeper, Faraz Jaka, Chad Brown, Rahim, David Kaplan and last year’s champ Nick Brancato. Two female amateurs, Meg Bertini and Nikki Griffith, were among the field, too.

“The $1,500 winner-take-all event was a great experience, giving me the chance to play with a caliber of player I usually don’t get to experience,” said Bertini, who won her seat that afternoon in a $75 satellite. For Griffith, who lost her mother to cancer, this was a special experience knowing proceeds from this event went to cancer research.

Windy City Poker Championship TV Weekend Results

Pros & Amateurs Charge the Felt. Who will Celebrate when Last Cards are Dealt?

Another TV series is in the books (and in the can) for Windy City Poker Championship (WCPC), with new episodes premiering in the fall.  Stay tuned for broadcast schedule and details.  If you want to be surprised in early-2012, you can stop reading here.


Faraz Hungry!

Poker Pros Jerry Yang, Chad Brown, Nick Brancato, Amanda Musumeci, and Faraz Jaka headed out, as did Rick Rahim, and local celebs Richard Roeper and David Kaplan (who guest hosted last year's WCPC season finale).  

Thursday featured the Ante Up Magazine Chicago Poker Championship, a $150 event, which left two McDermott's standing when they were head's up.  David McDermott Sr, lawyer, entertainment representative, and co-creator of WCPC lost his head's up bid to his eldest offspring - David McDermott Jr.  Here they're shown later in the weekend:

McDermott and McDermott

McDermott Jr. sported a Johnny Cash-esque studded black shirt for the weekend, which drew some comments, mostly complimentary.  I had the opportunity to play with the young rounder, who had just busted his second live tournament ever (the first being the one he won, and the second you'll hear about in our next post, but involves a final table finish in the Main Event.)  The younger David was a surprising pleasure to play with at the cash table, fending off barbs from "The King" (a local ego... er... player), handling himself with maturity and decorum.  End diversion...

Friday brought Day 1 of the Main Event, a $400 deep stack event that allowed multiple entries.  This author busted the aforementioned McDermott Sr. in Level 3 of the event in a triple up hand.  (He promptly re-entered for another deep run) I then played 80% of the hands for the next level to accumulate almost t90,000, from the t25,000 start.  I was chip leader for the next several hours, continuing to play 70%+ of all hands, and eventually doubling up David "The Fish" Backstrom when my flopped top two (Aces and Kings) ran into his flopped set of Kings, as the case King came in the door.

Day 1 ended with only 15 or so players remaining to come back for an abbreviated Day 2 to set the final table for Sunday's TV table.  

WCPC Deep Stack Main Event Feature Table

Chicago Joe on the Felt

2011's third episode of Windy City Poker Championship airs this Sunday, March 20, 2011. This episode not only brings the conclusion of the Heads Up event, but introduces Day 1 feature table action from the Deep Stack Main Event. Players are competing for over $50,000 in cash and prizes.

The table is a veritable who's who, including WPT Player of the Year Faraz Jaka, our own Chicago Joe, last year's Windy City Poker Championship Champion Leroy Carver, WSOP Main Event Winner Jerry Yang, WSOP Circuit Event winner Scotty Clark, Horseshoe Hammond Indiana's Poker Room Manager Jeremy Smith, and a host of amateur Chicago players.

The episode airs on Comcast SportsNet at 9pm. Here's a sneak preview of the show, including a opportunity to win a free seat to the March 31 Chicago Poker Open and Casino Night benefiting the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago.

WCPC Heads Up Finale Preview

This Sunday, March 20, 2011 tune in for part 3 - the exciting conclusion of the Windy City Poker Championship Heads Up Match. We will crown the first ever Wind City Poker Championship Heads Up Champ. The episode airs on Comcast SportsNet at 9pm. Here's a sneak preview of's Jason Pace versus 2007 WSOP Champ Jerry Yang..