Arian Alemzadeh Scores First PNPC Ring

Arian Alemzadeh

It took an extra day to complete, but the first event of the 2018 Fall PlayNow Poker Championship wrapped up on Friday afternoon. and Arian Alemzadeh won the first trophy of the series. The normally-one-day event has been growing over the past few series, to the point that it's outgrowing its one-day format. In the spring version of this event, the final players made a six-way at the end of Day 1 to end it before the casino closed for the night, rather than returning to finish it out the following day.

This time around, they went to the extra day. It took some 13 hours to work through the starting field of 203 and get down to five, but by the time the hard close time of 3 a.m. loomed, there were still five players active and quite a few chips on the table. The players agreed to halt play for the day and return on Friday to finish it out.

On the first day, it took nearly 10 hours to play down to the 21 money spots and it was Cory Husak and Randy Lamont who ended up splitting a minimum cash as they busted on the same hand on different tables. It took until 1 a.m. to play down to the final table.

Brian Friesen was the first to exit from the final table when his {a-Diamonds}{q-Spades} found Arian Alemzadeh's {a-Clubs}{k-Clubs}. Friesen was unable to improve, and ended up at the cage collecting $2,441. Wayne Bartnik ended up in ninth, once again a victim of Alemzadeh. Alemzadeh flopped a set of fives to leave Bartnik's {j-Spades}{9-Spades} drawing very thin, and dead by the turn. He won $2,804 for ninth place.

Next to exit was Ivan Tang and once again, it was at the hands of Alemzadeh. Tang found his spot with {a-Clubs}{10-Spades} but Alemzadeh found {a-Diamonds}{j-Clubs} and sent Tang to the exit with an eighth-place score worth $3,301. Shawn Sperber was the next player to get run over by the Alemzadeh train. Sperber got the rest of his money in with pocket tens, but Alemzadeh woke up with pocket kings and held to send Sperber home with $4,002 for seventh place. The final elimination of Thursday night was Norbert Rosario, and he too was a victim of Alemzadeh. The money went in on the {4-Clubs}{q-Clubs}{5-Hearts} flop, but Rosario's aces were in rough shape against the {5-}{4-} of Alemzadeh. The four on the turn sealed the deal, and Rosario won $5,107 for sixth place.

Players played for a few more hands Thursday night before play was halted to return Friday at 1 p.m. to finish it out. When they returned to the felt the following day, Alemzadeh had the commanding chip lead, with nearly half the chips in play, and more than twice the the stack of second-place player, Dylan Ellis.

The first player to exit on Day 2 was Graham Thomson. He fell victim to Matt Perin's {a-}{4-} when his {q-}{10-} couldn't improve on the board. The fifth place finish was worth $6,529. Perin wasn't able to hold onto those chips for long however, as he was the next casualty. Perin shoved his big blind over an open-raise from Alemzadeh and his {a-}{5-} was in good shape against the {q-}{10-} of Alemzadeh. A queen on the flop put Alemzadeh ahead, and Perin couldn't recover. He won $8,860 for fourth place.

Three handed play didn't last long before Aidan Tiefenbach found himself on the wrong side of Dylan Ellis' aces. Tiefenbach jammed into Ellis' big blind, and Ellis snapped him off. There was no miracle on the board for Tiefenbach and he ended up with $12,589 for third.

The remaining two players then decided to talk deal. After a friendly negotiation, chip leader Alemzadeh agreed to $23,000 while Ellis was happy with $22,000, leaving $3,445 and the title to play for. Heads-up play went on for nearly an hour, with the chip lead shifting a couple of times, but ultimately, Ellis' day ended when he shoved {q-Hearts}{7-Clubs} into Alemzadeh's big blind. Alemzadeh called with {a-Clubs}{10-Spades} and spiked an ace on the river to take down the hand and the top prize.

Dylan Ellis finished for $22,000 in second, while Arian Alemzadeh pocketed $26,445 for the win.

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