Tryba captures WPT Isle Black Hawk main event

November 22, 2011  

You couldn’t say the odds exactly favored the first World Poker Tour regional event at the Isle in Black Hawk.

The October tournament was a first-time event. The poker room right down the street, the Golden Gates, is known as a big tournament room and hosted its most recent Heartland Poker Tournament event within weeks of the Isle’s big tourney. It wasn’t helped by an online disinformation campaign in September, replete with someone impersonating Isle poker manager Matthew Dodd and falsely claiming the WPT had pulled the plug.

Heck, even the Las Vegas pro who ended up winning the main event (as part of a three-way chop) hadn’t even heard of the tournament a few weeks before the satellites cranked up, despite being in Colorado at the time.

“Yeah, I was in Colorado and I didn’t even know about it,” said Chris Tryba, 43, who eventually cashed $67,000 after agreeing to the chop in the main no-limit hold’em event. “I saw something on it and called them up, asked if it was a misprint.”

Tryba’s happy it wasn’t. A professional poker player for about eight years, he ended up coming to Black Hawk for the HPT and WPT events, the second one giving him his second win of the calendar year.

After 11 hours of poker on the event’s final day, Tryba (pronounced TREE-buh) was in the final three when he agreed to chop with two in-state players. Michael Bonetto of Golden cashed $60,222 and Aaron Frei of Longmont pocketed $59,078.

Any concerns about the premiere event were allayed by the results. The main event was a hit with 207 players and a prize pool of $310,500. Tryba was one of those who bought in directly for $1,600. The total prize money for all the WPT events was slightly less than $600,000.

Speaking by phone from Ft. Lauderdale a couple of weeks after the event, Tryba was mostly complimentary of the WPT’s debut of the Isle. Outside of some issues with what he considered some uneven experience among the floor supervisors, he was quite pleased.

“For their first event, they did a really good job,” he said. “Overall, it was solid. I talked with Dodd about a few things I thought they could do. There were a few things, when they’ve already set up things a certain way, their hands are kind of tied, but I gave them some suggestions for things they could have done with the satellites, things that would generate a much larger prize pool. But it was a good event.”

It wasn’t without its rough spots. Tryba had some issues on the first day; a player took umbrage after Tryba said all hands needed to be shown with three players all-in, though only one was exposed.

“The kid that busted was pissed off, really irate, and he went over the top, threatened to take me outside. … I don’t want to be the poker police, but I just want the rules to be fair and even and followed.”

That said, he found Dodd and the casino manager to be receptive to his concerns when he got to speak with them. “They were great.”

Tryba had to rally on the second day just to stick around, entering “pretty short” and catching well just to survive, including one where he shoved with A-8 just to be called with A-K, but he spiked his eight to stay alive.

“I was just looking for shove spots. Once I was in the money and got some chips, I never really felt uncomfortable.”

— Rick Gershman is Ante Up’s Colorado Ambassador. Email him at rickgershman@gmail.com.

Colorado WPT Poker Showdown

$1,600 Main Event
Entries: 207 • Prize Pool: $310,500
1. Christopher Tryba, $67,000
2. Aaron Frei, $59,078
3. Michael Bonetto, $60,222
4. Mary Flurkey, $31,050
5. Niels Rikhof, $18,630
6. Robert March, $15,525
7. Jamal Sawaqdeh, $12,420
8. Francois Safieddine, $9,315
9. Allan Hedin, $6,210
10. Richard Klein, $6,210
Event 3 • $225 NLHE
Entries: 212 • Prize Pool: $42,400
1. Andrew Kim, $4,664
2. Abdulla Fakhroo, $4,664
3. Daniel Chamberlain, $4,664
4. Claude Garcia, $4,664
5. William Hager, $4,664
6. Reza Yazdi, $4,664
7. Charles Prignano, $4,664
8. Martin Kay, $4,664
9. David Devincenzi, $848
10. Nicholas Marchitti, $848
Event 4 • $545 NLHE
Entries: 98 • Prize Pool: $49,000
1. James Vaughn, $4,900
2. Travis Miller, $4,900
3. James Pursley, $4,900
4. Tony Dam, $4,900
5. Kory Mitchell, $4,900
6. Kyle Nisenson, $4,900
7. Theodore Skinner Jr., $4,900
8. Terry Harper, $4,900
9. Joseph Petrovich, $4,900
10. James Goodman, $4,900
Event 5 • $300 6-Max
Entries: 103 • Prize Pool: $30,900
1. Frank Baris, $4,352
2. Lucinda Gallagher, $4,352
3. Reza Yazdi, $4,352
4. Jay Pinkussohr, $4,352
5. Norman Tanner, $4,352
6. Andrew Kim, $4,352
7. Jake Nguyen, $1,236
8. Christopher Hodgson, $927
9. Michael Murphey, $618
10. Darrin Witten, $618
Event 6 • $200 Omaha/8
Entries: 132 • Prize Pool: $26,400
1. John Ivy, $6,736
2. Robert Moore, $4,750
3. Stephen Tanner, $4,750
4. Stephen Johnson, $2,640
5. Vinh Ung, $1,584
6. Jason Zimmerman, $1,320
7. Michael Colecchia, $1,056
8. Dianne Kettle, $792
9. Jerry Eachus, $528
10. Nathaniel Smith, $528
Event 7 • $200 NLHE
Entries: 210 • Prize Pool: $42,000
1. Steven Rule, $10,000
2. Jonathan Sampson, $4,500
3. Greggory Drew, $4,500
4. Paul England, $2,806
5. Robert Winandy, $2,806
6. Mark Kremer, $2,806
7. Andrew Sargent, $2,806
8. Matthew Voorhees, $2,805
9. Andrew Dewart, $2,805
10. Terence Miller, $2,806
Event 8 • $200 NLH/PLO
Entries: 112 • Prize Pool: $22,400
1. Thomas Bailey, $6,720
2. Ross Transmeier, $4,480
3. Stephen Boyer, $2,800
4. Roger Martin, $2,240
5. Karl Westheimer, $1,568
6. Tao Gong, $1,120
7. Steven Olds, $896
8. Carl Merkling, $672
9. Frank Nocera, $448
10. Eric Pfenning, $448
Event 9 • $300 NLHE
Entries: 213 • Prize Pool: $63,900
1. Jeffrey Granowsky, $10,000
2. Daniel Rose, $6,608
3. Christopher Chan, $6,604
4. Larry Carwin, $6,604
5. Matthew Mason, $6,604
6. Michael Murphy, $6,604
7. Leandro Gamboa, $6,604
8. William Givens, $6,604
9. Joseph Sullivan, $1,278
10. Jassim Alansari, $1,278