CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Related Links
Related News
Recent Articles
Best of Ryan McLane

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Cantu leads impressive field at the Festa Al Lago Main Event

17 October 2006

Brandon Cantu leads a star-studded field after the first day at the fourth-annual Festa Al Lago Main Event.

Still alive at the $10,000 World Poker Tour event are legends Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Erik Seidel and Dan Harrington while young guns Phil Ivey, Jeff Madsen, Patrik Antonius, Alex Jacob, Tuan Le, Michael Mizrachi and Erick Lindgren all lurk near the top of the leader board.

The 433-entries represent the third largest total for the WPT in Season Five. The Las Vegas location, the prestige of the Bellagio Poker Room, the 20,000 chip starting stack and the $1,000,000 first place prize proved the right combination to draw the stars. Currently, 207 competitors remain. Given the blinds-to-chip-stack ratio, players still have plenty of time to drum up some excitement.

Cantu, the 2006 WSOP Event # 1 Champion, is the chip leader, grabbing a massive 130,000-chip stack on Day One. He is one of three players already over the 100,000 chip mark. Joining him are amateurs Matt Wolfe and tournament regular Abraham Gray.

The 25-year old poker phenom burst onto the poker scene at the WSOP this summer after spending a couple of years flying under the radar in low-limit cash games. And even though his tournament resume is short, he is quickly becoming a player to fear, defining the go-big –or-go home mantra by amassing big stacks early on in tournaments.

Also in the hunt is Juan Carlos Mortensen, a ruthless tournament player who furthered his name at the WSOP this summer by making three final tables. Mortensen is arguably the best player of this century's World Champions, having proven his metal in several large tournaments since he won the WSOP Main Event in 2001. He won this event and $1 million in 2004.

Rounding out the dangerous top-15 is poker phenom Madsen, model-turned poker stud Antonius, and WPT Champion Alan Goehring. All three are at their best when they have chips and they have plenty.

Resting comfortably around the average-stack mark are talented players Victor Ramdin, Jacob, Chris Bigler, Lindgren, Mizrachi and Allen Cunningham. Also in this group is the deadly Ivey. Although Ivey has never won a WPT event, he is tied for the record in final table appearances and seems poised for a big finish soon. Several players have sprinted to an early lead, but the big-tournament experience of these current middle-of-the-road competitors should lead to one or more of them making a big move on Day Two.


Related Links
Related News
Recent Articles
Best of Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane

Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.
Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.