Dannenmann hits final table in Vegas poker tournament

SPORTS DIGEST

Sports Digest

November 09, 2005|By BILL ORDINE

Anne Arundel accountant Steve Dannenmann, who won $4.25 million at the World Series of Poker in July, advanced yesterday to the final table in the Tournament of Champions at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas .

The Tournament of Champions, with a prize pool of $2 million , started Sunday with a field of 114 players including the highest point-earners from a national poker circuit sponsored by Harrah's Entertainment. The field included former World Series main event champions Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth and Johnnie Chan. The top nine finishers win prizes ranging from $1 million to $25,000.

When play began yesterday, former World Series champion Phil Hellmuth was the leader with more than 281,000 chips, and colorful pro Mike "The Mouth' Matusow was second with 179,000. Dannenmann started the final table in fifth place with 122,000 chips.

Dannenmann, whose playing experience prior to his World Series finish was at a regular Tuesday night home game, was down to just 1,800 chips early in the tournament Sunday before mounting a comeback.

The Severn resident played his way back into contention Monday on back-to-back hands when he increased his chip stack from 35,000 to 140,000. First, his pocket ace-king beat Lonnie Alexander's pair of nines when an ace was dealt on the final card, known as the river. On the next hand, Dannenmann, who had a pair of kings, eliminated both Alexander and poker pro Chad Brown, who both had ace-queen but failed to improve their hands.

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