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Limit Hold'em Results & Report

Showdown at the Sands

Limit Hold'em
Sands Hotel & Casino
Indiana Ave & Brighton Park
Atlantic City, NJ, 08401, US
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Submit Photo "Cimino the Survivor" Atlantic City Poker Dealer Wins First Major Tournament The fourth event at this year's "Showdown at...
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Profile: Michael V. Cimino (Egg Harbor, NY)
Date: November 17, 2003 Time: 11:00 AM

Buy-In: $500 + $40
Prizepool: $70,500
Entries: 141
Game Type: Limit Hold'em

Place Country Name Prize
1 Michael V. Cimino (Egg Harbor, NY) $24,670
2 USA Bernard West $12,690
3 Alessandre Naro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) $6,345
4 Rubenstein (New York) $4,935
5 David Ferrante (Atlantic City, NJ) $3,878
6 Willaim L. Sanford (Yonkers, NY) $3,173
7 Gary E. Henry $2,468
8 USA Tom Fiore $2,115
9 USA Kelly Voci $1,763
10 Unknown $1,119

Tournament Report

"Cimino the Survivor"
Atlantic City Poker Dealer Wins First Major Tournament

The fourth event at this year's "Showdown at the Sands" was won by Michael V. Cimino, a poker dealer in Atlantic City. Cimino topped a tough field of 141 players, which started on a Monday morning, promptly at 11:00 am. Thirteen hours later, what was technically the next day, Cimino was declared the winner and walked away with first-place prize money, which amounted to $24,670.

After 132 players were eliminated, the nine finalists began play. The final table started with blinds at $2,000-4,000 and betting limits at $4,000-8,000.

Kelly Voci was the first player to bust out from the final table. She was short-stacked with A-Q and put the remainder of her chips into the pot. William L. Sanford, with 8-6 was a dog, but managed to catch a pair on the flop and put Voci out in ninth-place with $1,763.

Thomas Fiore came in with medium-sized stack, but was never able to establish any momentum at the final table. He seemed to be in a favorable position to double-up early when he was dealt pocket Jacks -- but the hand ultimately proved to be a loser. Fiore exited in eighth-place, good for $2,115.

Big pairs proved to be disastrous at this final table. A short time later, Gary Henry was dealt K-K and moved his last chips into the pot before the flop with the powerful hand. William L. Sanford faded the bet with A-J and watched happily as the final board showed A-5-3-8-Q. Sanford's pair of Aces knocked-out Henry (with kings) in seventh-place, which meant a $2,468 payday for the player who has also finished high in the money at previous poker tournaments in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

William L. Sanford's good fortune ran out a short time later when he was dealt K-9 and flopped top pair. Unfortunately, David Ferrante also had a King with a better kicker (a Jack versus a Nine), which meant a disappointing sixth-place finish for Sanford. He received $3,173.

After a short break, blinds increased to $3,000-5,000. Limits went up to $5,000-10,000. That effectively made any single hand critical for the remaining five players, since no player had over $100K in chips. David Ferrante was blinded down to his last $2K and made his final stand in the big blind with J-3. Rubenstein faded the bet with Q-8 and made a pair of Queens which effectively knocked Ferrante out in fifth-place. Ferrante, an Atlantic City local, collected $3,878.

Down to four just players, Bernard West had a slight chip lead. He improved his position a few hands later when his flush crippled Rubenstein, leaving him very short on chips. Rubenstein, finally moved his last chip into the pot shortly thereafter with 9-10 suited, and appeared to like the flop -- which came J-10-8. Rubenstein had a pair, along with an outside straight draw. However, Michael V. Cimino had a Jack (for top pair) and won the pot with a single pair when two blanks fell on 4th and 5th street. Rubenstein was awarded $4,935 for fourth place.

Down to three players, Bernard West enjoyed a slight chip lead. The three players battled for over an hour back and forth before everyone looked around and realized that the chip counts had drawn very close to even. In a incredibly close finale, Cimino had $120K to West’s $118K, and Naro’s $116K. The three survivors then agreed to split the top-three places in prize money and play one final hand to determine the tournament winner.

On the final hand of the night, Cimino was dealt A-4. The final board showed 9-7-7-9-2, which gave Cimino two-pair, along with an Ace kicker. The Ace proved to be the difference as Cimino took first place, while opponents West and Naro finished second and third, respectively.

Michael V. Cimino has been a poker dealer in Atlantic City for the past seven years. He decided that a deal was in his best interest, since both of his opponents has proven to be solid players over the course of the marathon tournament. Cimino was quick to credit both of his adversaries, especially Brazilian player, Alessandre Naro, who is from Rio de Janeiro.

"I thought it was amazing that (Naro) was able to come back from being down in chips so many times," Cimino said. "I was happy to make a deal with them."

"Besides," he added, "after playing for thirteen hours, my back was killing me."

Final Table Started: 9:00 pm EST Final Table Ended: 1:12 pm EST

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