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Van Alstyne rides high in WSOP H.O.R.S.E. event

Just last week, James Van Alstyne came tantalisingly close to winning a H.O.R.S.E. event at the World Series of Poker, but was pipped at the post in the $3,000 buy-in Event 21 by Zac Fellows. This week Van Alstyne proved what a consummate H.O.R.S.E. player he is, collecting his first WSOP bracelet by winning Event 31 - the $1,500 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. competition after startring the final table as one of the low men in chips.

Outlasting an entry field of 769 players chasing a prize-pool of $1,051,050, Van Alstyne convincingly sealed his victory in a heads up with Tad Jurgens, claiming a WSOP gold bracelet and the winner's prize of $247,033 and leaving Jurgens with a second placing worth $152,654.

When Lana Maier headed for the rail in tenth place, the final table was decided and looked like this: Mitch Schock - chip leader on 693,000, followed by Shannon Shorr (565,000), Brian Malcolm (436,000), Tad Jurgens (391,000), Fabrice Soulier (380,000), Bryan Micon (354,000), Ron Schiffman (313,000), James Van Alstyne (202,000) and Farzad Rouhani (136,000).

Twelve hours later it was Van Alstyne who stood up from the table with the bracelet and the main prize after using a chip lead of over 1.5 million to outplay third placed Mitch Schock, who had entered final table action as the chip leader.

By the time Van Alstyne faced Jurgens as his last remaining obstacle he was 1.5 million ahead in chips, and he used this to good effect, eroding his rival's stack down to 200,000. At that point Jurgens made his final challenge during stud with split deuces. Van Alstyne called with ten-high. Jurgens never improved from his starting baby pair and Van Alsytne caught a pair of tens on sixth to win the hand and the game.

After Van Alstyne's thus far successful run in the H.O.R.S.E. events this year, railbirds are likely to be standing in line to see how he fares in the really big event in this gamestyle - the $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. World Championship scheduled for later in the tournament.

Another World Series of Poker player likely to attract some interest is former US Senator and Poker Players Alliance chairman Alfonse D'Amato, who is scheduled to appear in Las Vegas to play in Event 43 - the $1,000 buy-in Seniors No-Limit Hold'Em World Championship of the 40th World Series of Poker. Representing over a million US poker players, the not-for-profit PPA has been extemely active across America in recent years, tackling draconian laws and promoting the cause of legalised and regulated online poker with politicians and other organisations with an interest in the game.

D'Amato's itinerary includes a press conference prior to sitting down to enjoy some poker action at the Rio Hotel, where the WSOP events are being held. It is understood that another longstanding supporter of poker player rights, Nevada Representative Shelley Berkley, is also entered for the event.

Source: InfoPowa News