Ankush Mandavia Wins $2,500 CPPT Venetian Event

Ankush Mandavia in action at the poker table

Ankush Mandavia is $260,000 richer than a couple of days ago thanks to winning the $2,500 Card Player Poker Tour Venetian event in Las Vegas.

Live poker tournaments are something of a rarity in the current climate so it was great to see 652 players turn out for this event. The top 72 finishers won a slice of the $1,467,000 prize pool. Only 27 players made it through to Day 2 with Mandavia 18th in chips when play resumed.

$24,939 was the least any of the eight finalists took home. Qing Liu banked this prize when Kristen Bicknell cracked his aces with pocket jacks. That hand sent Liu home in eighth-place and Bicknell soaring up the chip counts.

Bicknell’s boyfriend, Alex Foxen, busted Yosif Nawabi in seventh-place. Nawabi committed his stack with As-9s but Foxen woke up with pocket queens. Those ladies held and the tournament was now a six-handed affair.

Foxen was the next casualty despite winning Nawabi’s stack. Foxen raised to 680,000 during the 80,000/160,000 (big blind ante of 160,000) level. Timothy Capretta called in late position and watched as the flop fell Td-8d-2h. Foxen ripped in his last 550,000 and Capretta called. It was Js-8s for Foxen, Ac-Jd for Capretta. The Tc turn kept Foxen ahead, but the Ad river sent him to the showers. The $45,477 prize Foxen claimed takes his lifetime winnings to almost $17.4 million.

Bicknell Climbs, Mandavia Cuts Her Down

The final five became four when Bicknell busted Derek Gregory. Bicknell moved all-in from the small blind and Gregory called off his stack. Bicknell flipped over 3s-3d and was coinflipping against Gregory’s Qd-Jc. The five community cards ran out kindly to Bicknell’s treys and Gregory was gone.

Bicknell was now the chip leader while Mandavia occupied the bottom spot when the tournament was four-handed. Mandavia doubled through Bicknell with pocket eights versus ace-seven, which sent Bicknell into a downward spiral. The popular Canadian pushed all-in with 5d-5h and lost against Anselmo Villareal’s Ac-Kc courtesy of a Kd-6c-3c-7h-Th board.

The $90,954 Bicknell secured for her fourth-place finish was the last five-figure prize of the evening.

Third place went to Capretta after he made an ill-timed bluff against Villareal. Capretta bet 1,000,000 on the Ah-Ad-9h flop and Villareal called. Capretta pushed his 3,400,000 stack into the middle when the 3s landed on the turn. Villareal called with Qh-9h and Capretta could only muster the Kd-Th. The 3d river completed the board and confirmed Capretta’s demise.

Villareal held a narrow 13,855,000 to 12,225,000 chip lead over Mandavia going into heads-up. They paused the clock and discussed a deal. The deal bore fruit, with Mandavia taking home $260,000 and Villareal $253,441. One can only assume Villareal knew he had a significant skill disadvantage to Mandavia so took less money.

The tournament needed settling so the players agreed to run a flip for the trophy. Madanvia held Tc-8c and Villareal As-3c. The board ran Qc-7h-3d-8s-Th to hand the title to Mandavia.

Card Player Poker Tour Venetian Final Table Results

Place Player Prize
1 Ankush Mandavia $260,000*
2 Anselmo Villareal $253,441*
3 Timothy Capretta $132,030
4 Kristen Bicknell $90,954
5 Derek Gregory $60,147
6 Alex Foxen $45,477
7 Yosif Nawabi $35,208
8 Qing Liu $24,939

*reflects a heads-up deal

Mandavia is a superb poker player both in the live and online poker worlds. Live, Mandavia has almost $5.3 million in winnings. His $3.3 million online winnings bolster that sum. You may know Mandavia by his famous “pistons87” alias in the online world. He mostly plays on regulated American sites these days as “ricktosstheb” but travels out of the country to play in PokerStars and GGPoker’s biggest tournaments when those sites run festivals.

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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