The Chicago area had a champions battle during the Windy City Poker Championship in mid December as one World Series of Poker champion, two World Poker Tour champions and four Heartland Poker Tour champions were in attendance.
Colorful high-stakes amateur Rick Rahim (made famous from his stint on Fox’s the Big Game) was there along with fellow Big Game Loose Cannon Nadya Magnus. Rahim flew in a soldier from the East Coast who fought in the Iraq war.
“The WCPC tournaments are unique, giving local players a chance to battle it out with the top players in the world,” said Dick Carlson, playing in his third WCPC event.
Amanda Musumeci and Jamie Kerstetter, who both cashed in the 2011 WSOP main event, were on hand as well.
The four-day event kicked off with the Ante Up Magazine-Chicago Poker Championship as Nancy Fallah returned to try to defend her title and 2009 champ Leroy “Talk Show” Carver and 2010 winner Mike Sabbia were there.
For David McDermott, co-creator of the WCPC, this tournament may be his most memorable. The savvy veteran, runner-up at the Chicago Poker Classic six-handed event in 2010, found himself facing his son, David Jr., for the Ante Up Championship. David Jr., an 18-year-old business major at Illinois State, showed he was just as talented as his dad. His aggressive style in his first live tournament proved too much for his father, winning the Ante Up Championship.
The High Roller Winner Take All Invitational for the second year drew a star-studded field, including Jerry Yang, Richard Roeper, Faraz Jaka, Chad Brown, Rahim, David Kaplan and last year’s champ Nick Brancato. Two female amateurs, Meg Bertini and Nikki Griffith, were among the field, too.
“The $1,500 winner-take-all event was a great experience, giving me the chance to play with a caliber of player I usually don’t get to experience,” said Bertini, who won her seat that afternoon in a $75 satellite. For Griffith, who lost her mother to cancer, this was a special experience knowing proceeds from this event went to cancer research.