Wait until the Occupy Wall Street crowd hears this… John Dibella, a 43-year-old New York stock trader who earned his seat at the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event via a $1k buy-in satellite, has become the first amateur to take the title since John Gale in 2005. For outlasting the 1,071 other players who took part in the five-day event, Dibella earns a handsome $1.775m, roughly 111 times his previous biggest tournament payday of $16k at this same tourney in 2008. When things got down to brass tacks between Dibella and Kyle Julius, the two decided to split the remaining $3.275m prize money into two equal chunks of $1.5m, with the heads-up winner taking the extra $250k. Faraz Jaka, who started the final table as chip leader, settled for third and $755k. The rest of the elite eight finished as follows: Xuan Liu ($600k); Mark Drover ($468k); Anthony Gregg ($364k); David Bernstein ($260k) and Ruben Visser ($156k).
Elsewhere at the PCA, the $25k High Roller is down to its final eight players. From the original 148 high rollers, Jason Koon will start Saturday’s play as chip leader with 1.646m, but Jonathan Duhamel (who’s having one hell of a week down in the Bahamas) is right behind with 1.53m. Nicholas Fierro and Leonid Bilokur are sitting around the 1.1m mark, with Isaac Haxton, Govert Metaal, Michael Telker and Randy Lew rounding out the table.
Stateside, Freddy Deeb has won the main event at the World Series of Poker Circuit’s inaugural visit to the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. For outlasting a 549-player field, Deeb earned his first shiny WSOP-C gold ring and nearly $172k, lifting his career earnings over the $7.8m mark. Four-time WSOP-C ring-bearer Alexandru Masek was denied his shot at getting one more for his thumb, but he did take home $106k as consolation for finishing second. Leroy Spires earned $77k for finishing third.
Also at the Bike, we should note that last Saturday, La Sengphet overcame a 377-strong field at Event #5 (a $300 NLHE) to earn $25k. In doing so, she became the first female player to win three WSOP-C open tournaments. The next WSOP-C stop is already underway at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma, with the $1,600 main event getting underway on Jan. 21.
Across the pond in Nottingham, 433 players took part in the Dusk Till Dawn £500 Deepstack event. When it came down to heads-up play between Andrew Wan and Frank Flanagan, the pair decided to chop the remaining prize money into £45k chunks, with the extra £7,500 going to the Wanner, er, winner. (Sorry, Freudian slip.) Wan went home with the extra dosh, Flanagan took second, and Waheed Asharaf earned £21k for third place.