Nearly 50 players took part in this fun-filled charity event, including past U.S. Eagles Mike Saunders, Mose Timoteo, John Jelaco, Tom Brewer, Chris Petrakes, and Brian Vizard. Defending I'Maul In Champion Mark Hawkins was back to defend his title while 2014 I'Maul In Champion Martin Olsen was attempting to become the first two-time I'Maul In Champion. After a two year hiatus, Las Vegas Advisor Founder and former Las Vegas Blackjacks rugby player Anthony Curtis was back to try his luck. Also back from a year's absence was the player with the greatest name in poker, Rose Angry. You do not want to get her mad!
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 $1,050 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 Bermuda 7s team manager, Jonathan Cassidy, veteran I'Maul In player Todd "Judge Ito" Komori, and first year I'Maul In entrant Darren Webster.
The final six saw Webster, Komori and Cassidy joined by Curtis, and perennial I'Maul In cash winners, Matt "Tatonka" Szkotak and Matt Eshoo.
Although only five would officially cash, a gentlemen's agreement was made between the final six players that whoever went out in 6th would receive $10 from each player. And the man who walked away with the 6th place money was first year I'Maul In player Webster. The next to head for the rail with the 5th place prize money of $117 was Cassidy. The Matts were the next to be eliminated. First it was Eshoo who departed with 4th place money of $234. He was quickly followed by Szkotak, who walked away with $350.
That set the stage for the heads up battle between Komori and Curtis. The battle didn't last long. Curtis had about a 2-1 chip lead over Komori at one point, but the Judge came back and the two were nearly even in chips when the final hand was dealt. Komori was the small blind and went all in with an unsuited King and Queen. Curtis called with an unsuited Queen Jack. Curtis knew he'd gotten in bad and needed a queen, or a miracle flush or straight to come out ahead. That didn't happen. The dealer counted out the chips and the Judge had Curtis covered by $2,000. The two shook hands and Todd Komori became the 2016 I'Maul In Texas Hold 'em Charity Poker Tournament Champion.
Curtis earned $585 for coming in 2nd while Komori took home the $1,050 in cash and the coveted I'Maul In No Limit Texas Hold 'em Crystal Chip trophy.
The final three runners-up with the 2016 I'Maul In Champion.
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, Building Infrastructure Group, Canterbury, Tilted Kilt, Classic Eagles 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; Godek Rugby & Soccer; Core Carrier Xchange; Rugby Partners Inc.; Global Sports Collective; Hands On Labor; World Rugby Shop; Econo Air; Silich Construction; Falcon West Insurance; Bill Fraumann; The Lyle Family; Santa Monica Rugby Club; CATS Rugby; Twin Cities Amazons; B & B Surplus; Mark Williams Painting; Irvine Enterprises; Oakland Warthogs; Rugby Today; John Mickel; Silich Homes; Maroon Peak Capital; Pacific Development Group; Aspen Jr. Gents Rugby;
Logan Property Management; Bully's East; Mountain Temp Services;Construction Sealant & Supply; Mystic River Rugby; Old Blue RFC; Richard Donelli Scholarship, Storlie Family Trust