Visit us at:

No Limit Hold'em Results & Report

Carnival of Poker

No Limit Hold'em
Harrah's Las Vegas
3475 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV, 89109, US
Full Schedule
Submit Photo ARE WE HAVING FUN YET? By Mike Paulle In case you missed the recent coverage of the Carnivale of Poker III at Harrah's...
Read more
Profile: Angelo Besnainou
Date: January 27, 2000 Time: 1:00 PM

Buy-In: $5,000 + $80
Prizepool: $907,360
Entries: 181
Game Type: No Limit Hold'em

Place Country Name Prize
1 Angelo Besnainou $386,900
2 USA Farzad Bonyadi $201,400
3 USA Phil Hellmuth Jr $100,700
4 USA Al Korsin $68,900
5 USA Hieu Ma AKA "Tony" $47,700
6 USA Annie Duke $37,100
7 USA Mark Heintschel $26,500
8 USA Paul McKinney AKA "Cigar" $21,200
9 USA Men "The Master" Nguyen $16,960

Tournament Report


In case you missed the recent coverage of the Carnivale of Poker III at Harrah's Casino in Las Vegas, the President, Mark Napolitano has asked me to rerun the Championship Final report for you.

In spite of the almost continuous controversy about hotel room prices, tournament facilities, a coordinator change, tax reporting et al, the Carnivale of Poker III met its stated aim of $4,000,000 in prize money. Obviously, everyone wasn't happy with the change from the Rio Hotel to Harrah's. But no matter what players SAID about the tournament, they 'voted with their wallets' and played.

Although the live action for the Carnivale was down considerably from previous years at the Rio, the Championship Final event drew a record 212 entries to push the prize money for the event over $1,000,000. This makes the Carnivale Final the second richest event on the year's poker calendar next to the World Series of Poker Final.


Thursday, January 27, 2000
$5,000 BUY-IN
$5,000 in chips


A successful Carnivale of Poker III was capped off by a record turnout for the Championship Final Event, which drew among many poker elite, NINE former World Champions.

There were 212 entrants in the $5,000 Buy-In, No Limit Championship, for a total prize pool of $1,060,000. 3 tables were paid, a total of 27 players.

Some of the Notables who played: Johnny Chan, Huck Seed, Scotty Nguyen, Berry Johnston, Brad Daugherty, Tom McEvoy, Jim Bechtel, Dan Harrington, John Bonetti, TJ Cloutier, Chip Reese, Amarillo Slim, Lyle Berman, Bob Stupak, Surinder Sunar, Erik Seidel, Padraig Parkinson, Kathy Liebert, David Sklansky, David Chiu, Donn O'Dea, Kevin Song, Daniel Negreanu, Chris Bjorin, Allen Cunningham, O'Neil Longson, Dewey Weum, Gabe Kaplan, Mike Sexton, An Tran, Ted Forrest, Brent Carter, Barry and Jeff Shulman, Marsha Waggoner, Greg Hopkins, Layne Flack, Dave Ulliott, Ken Flaton, Bobby Hoff, Barbara Enright, Bill Gazes, Tony Van, Dan Heimiller, Howard Lederer, Syracuse Chris, Alex Brenes, George McKeever, Frank Mariani, Danny Dang, Richard Tatalovich, Alan Goehring, Mike Matusow, Jennifer Harmon, Peter Vilandos, Mel Weiner, Bob and Maureen Feduniak, Milt and Phyllis Meyers, Don Barton, Jesse Jones, Tex Morgan, Cilea Organ, Hamid Mehrnaz, Melissa Hayden, Tommy Hufnagle, Ken Goldstein, Reggie Cardiel, Ngoc Tran, Tom Jacobs, Mallie Hoyer, Paul Ladanyi, Matt Lefkowitz, Ron McMillan, Charlie Brahmi, Louis Asmo, Anthony Tran, Catherine Brown, Greg Alston, Randy Holland, Hung La, Yves Lanvin, David Pham, Andre Boyer, Paul Kroh, Chau Giang, Dan Alspach, Crews Johnston, Ben Roberts, Ken Lennaard, Christoph Haller, Jim Boyd, Jimmy Touch, Andrew Bloch, Mark Gregorich, Ali Sarkeshik, Ron Stanley, Tom McCormick, Mohammed Ibrahim, Blair Rodman, John Juanda, Perry Green, John Esposito, Jim Bucci, Peter Eichhardt, Gary Haubelt, Pete Dixon, Bruce Corman, Bill Seymour, Boris Alic, Billy Duarte, Freddie Deeb, Mike Carson, Joel Fischbein, Van Pham, Hassan Kamoei, Jamie Ligator, Earl Exman, Q Knopow, Paul Phillips, Susy Thunder and 'Texas Dolly' Doyle Brunson.

The final three tables were set up Thursday night when Jim Justice called Mike Shi's raise all-in. Justice was served 28th place, one out of the money, for making an unfortunate call. Jim had the K 9 of Spades, Mike Shi had pocket Kings.

This Championship Event was so dramatic from start to finish a book could be written about it. From Huck Seed going out in the first hour to the final hand that won the title, a TV mini-series could be made. Since it's almost as important to know who played and lost as who played and won, the Notables section is included. Sadly, there is no room to tell of all that happened from player 27 to player 11, or of those who came so close to the money.

On Friday afternoon the Final Table was set up when Day One chip leader Eric Holum called his last $50,000 all-in against Al Korson on the flop. The flop had come down A Q J. Holum had A 9, Korson had A 10. With two small cards on the end, Al Korson's 10 played and Eric Holum didn't.

THE FINAL TABLE: 41 mins left of 1 hr. The Ante is $1,000. The blinds are $3,000/$6,000

Player Hometown Chip Count
Seat 1 Phil Hellmuth Jr Palo Alto CA $74,500
Seat 2 Hieu "Tony' Ma S El Monte CA $133,000
Seat 3 Farzad 'Freddie' Bonyadi Laguna Hills CA $127,000
Seat 4 Men 'The Master' Nguyen Bell Gardens CA $120,000
Seat 5 Al Korson Las Vegas NV $162,500
Seat 6 Annie Duke Columbus MT $167,500
Seat 7 Matt Heintschel Escondido CA $103,500
Seat 8 Angeol Beshnainou Paris France $71,000
Seat 9 Paul McKinney Kingsport TN $59,000

No matter how great a player you are, you have to get lucky to make a Final Table. Men 'The Master' Nguyen got the chips he needed by going all-in with a 9 6 of Clubs against Eric Holum, with 11 players to go, and turning a flush. Nguyen's luck ran out in 9th, though, as he found pocket Queens in his hand and went all-in. Freddie Bonyadi had raised to $16,000 in front of The Master and was happy to call with pocket Aces.

It's a real bad idea to run low on chips with this group. Paul McKinney was down to his last $30k and raised all-in on the button with K 10. Tony Ma called from the big blind with pocket 6's. McKinney finally got to smoke his cigar in 8th.

There are six Heintschel brothers. Matt is 2nd in line and ironically the second Heintschel to make a Carnivale Final Table. Matt's younger brother Mike was 8th in Carnivale I. Matt now holds the family record by finishing 7th. After playing incredibly well for two days, Matt made the mistake that cost him. Angelo Beshnainou raised under the gun to $85,000 about 2/3 of his chips. This has to be a big hand. Maybe Matt thought he saw something. Anyway, Matt went all-in from the big blind with the A 5 of Clubs. Angelo nearly beat Matt into the pot with all his chips. Now if an Ace flops, you are a genius. It didn't. Beshnainou had Kings and Matt Heintschel had a lot of time to think.

With three tables left, Annie Duke was all-in for her last $1,500. After winning the hand, she went on a rush that made her the chip leader at the start of the Final Table. With six players left, it became mandatory to steal the blinds. It was too expensive to wait for a good hand. The best stealers were Phil Hellmuth and Freddie Bonyadi. Annie Duke was getting blinded off. When Duke tried to steal the blinds with an A 3 of Hearts on the button, she went all-in for $93,000. Phil Hellmuth, in the big blind, dramatically dropped his pocket Kings on the table before saying "call." Again an Ace didn't come. Annie Duke, the only woman to make a Carnivale of Poker Championship Final Table, was a disappointed 6th.

The second place finisher in Carnivale II, Tony Ma is usually the aggressor at a Final Table. Today he was stuck between Hellmuth and Bonyadi. Ma could hardly see a flop. In frustration, Tony asked for a deck change. Being treated like road kill by the players on both sides, Ma finally had enough and made a move. He went all-in from the small blind for his last $80,000 and a K 3. Freddie Bonyadi found a hand he could call with, an A 9. An Ace on the flop and another on the turn sealed 5th for Tony. Look, Ma gets no more hands.

Four-handed, Phil Hellmuth or Freddie Bonyadi raised every hand. Al Korson finally got tired of it and called an all-in bet by Hellmuth from the big blind with A K and his last $140,000. Hellmuth had a real hand this time, pocket 10's that turned a straight. Korson needed a 10 for a higher straight, but got 4th instead.

Unable to agree on a deal, the remaining three played on. The difference between 2nd and 3rd pay was a cool $100,000. They were playing for big money now. It seemed as if it was a two-player game as Hellmuth and Bonyadi traded punches. Angelo Beshnainou seemed doomed for third. Then suddenly Phil Hellmuth took two horrendous beats from Angelo and everything was different. In the first hand, Angelo took an A 6 up against Phil's A Q of Diamonds and Angelo caught a 6 on the turn. Then, in Phil Hellmuth's last hand of a tremendous performance, the last remaining former World Champion (out of the nine that started) had the best of it again. Phil had A 10. Angelo had K J. The board came Q J 4. Angelo was leading. The turn came an Ace. Phil was leading. The river came a 10 that Hellmuth didn't need. "Straight!" Angelo screamed, jumping into the arms of his French countrymen on the rail. The new Phil Hellmuth just rapped the table and said "Nice hand."

With 55% of the chips, Angelo Beshnainou offer Freddie Bonyadi a generous deal. They would save $260,000 a piece and play for $68,300. The winner of the extra money was to give $12,000 to the dealers. It was agreed. First would pay $260,000 plus $56,300 and get the Nieman Marcus watch. The chip lead went back and forth as the two played mind games with each other. At last came the pivotal hand. Angelo went all-in and Freddie called. Beshnainou had the A 5 of Hearts, Bonyadi had an A 2. Two hearts flopped and another came on the turn. It was a $1,000,000 pot. Bonyadi was left with $37,000. After doubling up three times, Bonyadi finally lost with K high to an Ace high for Beshnainou. The largest Carnivale of Poker to date was over. They only get more exciting.

Official Money Winners

1. Angelo Beshnainou$386,900
2. Farzad Bonyadi$201,400
3. Phil Hellmuth Jr$100,700
4. Al Korson$68,900
5. Hieu 'Tony' Ma$47,700
6. Annie Duke$37,100
7. Matt Heintschel$26,500
8. Paul McKinney$21,200
9. Men 'The Master' Nguyen$16,960

10th-12th received $12,720
Eric Holum, Steve Rydel and Dr Phil Earle

13th-15th received $10,600
Tony Cousineau, Robert Tolliver and Mike Shi

16th-18th received $8,480
Young Phan, Steve Zolotow and Eli Bajayo

19th-27th received $6,360
David Plastik, Ken Buntjer, Buddy Bonnecaze, Eskimo Clark, Russ Bouffiou, Van Zakarian, Daniel Moran III, 'Miami' John Cernuto and 'Doc' Jennings

Copyright 2000 Mike Paulle All Rights Reserved

Back to results
Back to schedule