Ultimate poker victory for Ultimate’s Kampmann

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Peppermill Casino, in conjunction with Ultimate Poker, hosted the NV Poker Challenge’s $100K main event on May 17, and featured a somewhat poetic ending. Ultimate Poker, the first legal online gambling site in Nevada, is owned by Ultimate Fighting, so it was quite fitting that Ultimate Fighter Martin Kampmann would take the title and $52,700.

Site pros were invited as guests to participate, including WSOP bracelet-winner Jason Somerville and some of his “Run It Up” crew. Kampmann, playing in his first multiday event, was short-stacked with eight big blinds just two spots from the bubble.

“I had to move all-in a few times and did not get called, so that helped me get some chips,” he said. Somerville was Kampmann’s coach and admitted he was somewhat nervous about his student’s stack as they approached the money bubble.

“I was wondering if he was going to make the money,” Somerville said. “But he did great and I am so much more excited for him than I have ever been when I won a tournament.”

Kampmann entered the final table second in chips, with Day 1 leader Tony Le going in with about a 250K chip advantage.

The game-changer occurred when Le led out preflop with a substantial raise, only to have Kampmann take a few moments to debate his next move, a reraise. Le shoved and Kampmann snap-called with A-A to Le’s Q-Q.

Kampmann didn’t just run well, he also played a solid game and took out most of the remaining players. Ed Miller finished fourth, Roy Armstrong was third and Peppermill local Michael Cooper was runner-up. Cooper entered heads-up play nearly a 4-1 underdog and made a good run winning most of the first dozen hands.

In the end, Kampmann hit a flush against Cooper’s pocket pair sending Cooper home with $30,640.

The inaugural NV Poker Challenge was a huge success and the main event exceeded the guarantee, reaching more than $170K. The fall edition will run Oct. 17-26 and will offer NLHE, Omaha, stud and razz, along with another $100K main event. Poker room manager Mike Nelson wasn’t surprised at the success of the tournament and foresees the next event to be even better. “We will keep working hard and making more improvements as our goal is to set a new higher standard in tournament play,” he said.

Without revealing many details, Nelson expressed how excited he is for the upcoming fall event and wants all of his players to know 2015 is going to be a very exciting year at the Peppermill.

POT OF GOLD: Grand Sierra’s summer series is back, running July 23-27. See the ad in our July issue for more details.

— Email Leslie at anteupcali@gmail.com.