Sequeira wins Players Championship at Thunder Valley

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Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Players Championship is in the books, and from experiencing this series first-hand, it’s easy to see why Thunder Valley in Lincoln, Calif., is considered a premier spot for tournament poker in Northern California.

The $1,100 main event drew 347 players for a $347K prize pool. After fighting through a tough field and an action-packed final table, Mario Sequeira of Hanford, Calif., captured the title and $75K. He outlasted the seven-handed final table featuring Quan Tran (second, $53K), Alan Ribardo (third, $35K), Al Stonum (fourth, $25K), Dinh Le (fifth, $19K), Jason Simpson (sixth, $15K) and Tay Nguyen (seventh, $14K).

Sequeira has been playing poker for the past six years and credits his home-game poker league for its support throughout his career.

“The TVPC is my biggest cash by far and it came at a perfect time,” Sequeira said. “Fresh off of a sick bad run, I was seriously considering quitting poker. The emotional rollercoaster this game puts us through had taken its toll on me and if not for my home game and the support of my group, I would have quit.”

After taking some time off, Sequeira cashed in the Caesars Palace Mega Stack Championship in Las Vegas and followed that up with this win. When asked what he was going to do with the money, Sequeira said, “The TVPC main event was a blast. It feels awesome to finally get a good cash and now I am going to pay off some bills and play a lot more poker.”

The TVPC ran Aug. 1-12 with 11 events, including variations of no-limit hold’em, H.O.R.S.E. and Omaha. Every guaranteed prize pool in the series was exceeded, including the main event, which toppled its guarantee by almost $100K.

Next month, look for a preview of Thunder Valley’s Ante Up NorCal Classic on Nov. 7-18. Please see the schedule in our current issue (Oct. 2013) of Ante Up.

— Email Garrett Roth at roth@anteupmagazine.com.

Players Championship winners

Event 2: Steven Geralis, Stockton, $42,000
Event 3: Roger Wilson, Somerset, $1,900
Event 1: Zion Tout, Nevada City, $4,455
Event 4: Mousa Helo, Antelope, $960
Event 5: Noah Nistler, Grass Valley, $2,005
Event 6: David Miller, Carmichael, $2,166
Event 9: Sean Burson, Middletown, $5,500
Event 7: David Nguyen, Tracy, $1,332
Event 8: Curtis Labay, Fair Oaks, $1,189
Event 11: Rudy Puente,Sacramento, $3,517
Main Event: Mario Sequeira, Hanford, $75,000
* All winners were from California