Las Vegas, NV (February 14, 2015) - Copying the play that took place on the turf at Sam Boyd Stadium over the weekend, the action was fast and furious at the 6th Annual I'Maul In No Limit Texas Hold 'em Charity Poker Tournament which was held at the Poker Room at the Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino on Friday, February 13.
Over 50 players took part in this fun-filled event, including past U.S. Eagle and 2011 I'Maul In Tournament Champion Gary Lambert. He was joined by fellow past U.S. Eagles Mike Saunders, Dan Payne, Jay Hanson, Tim Kluempers, Brian Vizard, and past Canadian international Al Charron. 2014 I'Maul In Champion Martin Olsen was back to defend his title and 2013 I'Maul In Champ Adam Mick was looking to reclaim his crown. In addition, retired 10 year NFL veteran Seth Payne was there,trying his luck on the felt.
With just the top five places cashing, tensions were high as one by one, players dropped by the wayside. They were all vying to win the first place money of $1,200 and the highly coveted I'Maul In No Limit Texas Hold 'em Tournament crystal trophy.
There were some familiar faces at the final table and some that have not been there before, including former Houston Texans noseguard Seth Payne who was playing in his first ever poker tournament. But even the big man's luck ran out eventually and he finished a respectable 7th.
When it got down to the last five it was two men, Matt Szkotak and Mark Hawkins, whom held the majority of the chips, while the other three, Charron, Mick and Steve Hobbs, were just trying to hang on.
The former Canadian captain represented his country well by finishing 5th and took home $134 in U.S. greenbacks. Hobbs was next to hit the rail as he earned $267 for his fourth place finish.Another deep run by Mick saw him add $401 with his I'Maul In third place finish.
That set the stage for the heads up battle between Szkotak, better known in rugby circles as Tatonka, and Hawkins, who held the chip lead. Both men made it clear they wanted to end the game quickly. That was good news to those who stayed to watch it to the end as it was nearly 3:00 am already. The players kept their word for on just the second hand of heads up action, Tatonka said "I'Maul In" looking down at his 7,4, and holding the "Doyle Brunson Hand" of 10 and 2, Hawkins made the call, and his hand held up.
Szkotak earned $668 for coming in 2nd while Hawkins took home the $1,200 in cash and the coveted I'Maul In No Limit Texas Hold 'em Crystal Chip trophy.
Thanks to one and all for taking part in this year's I'Maul In Tournament!
The USRF would like to thank the following for their support of our Vegas events: USA Sevens LLC, Gosling's, Building Infrastructure Group, Canterbury, Tilted Kilt and TaylorMade. Proceeds from the USRF I'Maul In and Scrumble events will further the youth and high school programs offered by the USRF.
In addition to the sponsors above, the USRF would also like to thank the following for their support of this year's I'Maul In and Scrumble tournaments.
Dan Larrea Milwaukee Brewers Chicago Lions
Classic Eagles Godek Rugby & Soccer Storlie Family Trust
Sylvan Advantage Bear Data Mountain Temp Services
Hands On Labor World Rugby Shop Econo Air
RPM Mortgage Falcon West Insurance Bill Fraumann
The Lyle Family Santa Monica Rugby Club CATS Rugby
Twin Cities Amazons B & B Surplus RugbyToday.com
Irvine Enterprises Oakland Warthogs Kern County Rugby
Bully's East Mystic River Rugby Silich Construction
Maroon Peak Capital Silich Homes Packaworld
Pacific Development Group Construction Sealant & Supply
DHL Aspen Jr. Gents Rugby
Mark Williams Painting Inc.