Larry Pileggi dominated the first televised tournament ever held in Pittsburgh. The local poker player obliterated a talented final table lineup, making a mockery out of what was expected to be a tough and much longer competition. He wrapped up his victory in slightly more than three hours, a lightning-fast pace that was indicative of Pileggi’s complete domination of the final day.
For his victory, the latest poker champion collected $71,782, plus a crystal trophy presented by the host property, the Rivers Casino. Pileggi was accompanied at the final table by his wife Leah, which meant the couple was able to share their special moment of triumph together.
The Pileggi’s are a compelling story, both in and away from the game. They’re not only people who like to share their many experiences, they also hope inspire others, including young people. Perhaps the best example of this is the blog written by the Pileggi’s which tracks their poker and life travels together. The blog is called “It’s a wonder-filled life” and be read at: leahpileggi.blogspot.com.
The was Pileggi’s first major tournamet win, but hardly his first foray into the national spotlight. He’d previously cashed at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. However, this victory was truly special, taking place at the biggest poker tournament ever held in his hometown of Pittsburgh.
Pileggi defeated Dave Tannenholtz, from Las Vegas in heads-up play. As the runner up, Tannenholtz’s consolation prize amounted to $35,890.
The championship event won by Pileggi was a $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament which took place over a four-day period. It was the final event on the 11-day schedule held during the end of the Thanksgiving Day weekend.
This was the second time the Rivers Casino has hosted a series called the Pittsburgh Poker Open. The previous “Summer Series” was held last August. This slate of 28 total events, appropriately called the “Winter Series” hopes to become an annual tradition as well here in the Steel City. Judging by the big tournaments for all events, poker players here in the region seem to agree.
The Rivers Casino is located in Pittsburgh’s picturesque Chateau neighborhood on the western banks of the Ohio River. The host casino is conveniently situated near Heinz Field (home of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers), PNC Park (home of MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates), and is adjacent to the Carnegie Science Center – which all means there’s plenty of entertainment options for visitors of all ages.
The Rivers Casino is also “Poker Night in America’s” third television shooting location. The initial production took place in August in Upstate New York. The second television show was filmed in Reno, just prior to this event. Broadcast dates of all three events will be announced soon.
The Pittsburgh Poker Open tournament series concludes this Tuesday with a high-stakes cash game, which will be filmed for television on a delayed broadcast. Already scheduled to appear are: Joe Cada (2009 world champion), Greg “Fossilman Raymer (2004 world champion), Steve Dannenmann (2005 WSOP runner up), Darvin Moon (2009 WSOP runner up), Dan O’Brien (2010 Player of the Year), and others.
PITTSBURGH POKER OPEN
EVENT 22 11/29/13
NO LIMIT HOLD’EM
”POKER NIGHT IN AMERCA”
BUY-IN $1,000 + $100
PRIZE POOL $287,120
1. Larry Peleggi . . . . . $71,782
2. David Tannenholz . . $35,890
3. Joseph Couden . . . . $20,098
4. Douglas Mackinnon $17,227
5. Donald Trenney . . . $15,792
6. Daniel Hill . . . . . . . . $12,920
7. Steven Merrifield . . $11,485
8. Michael McNeil . . . $10,049
9. Derek Bowers . . . . . . $8,614