For the large number of poker pros who make their home in Las Vegas, the big tournaments at the local casinos provide top quality action without having to travel. For that reason, and many others, the Venetians regular Deep Stack Extravaganza has become one of the most popular high stakes tournaments on the Vegas calender. Held four times a year, the three day competition is the culmination of a series of events, all notable for the high number of chips on offer. For this tournament, the 23rd tournament in the series, a buy-in of $2,500 allows you to start with an impressive 15,000 chips.
Two hundred thirty-three of Vegas’ finest poker minds were on show to compete for a slice of the $539,628 prize pool. In the end, the top prize was taken by experienced female pro J.J. Lui. A healthy $167,283 brings her lifetime tournament winnings to over $2 million. One of the other notable faces to make the final table was young gun Nicholas Sliwinski. Having arrived on the scene just this year, he has clocked up over $500,000 in tournament winnings already. The bulk of which is a result of his 13th place finish at this year’s WSOP main event.
Joanne Lui, better known as “J.J.” made her first major final table in 1996, having only learned to play poker the same year. Fighting her way to the final table of the 1996 WSOP limit hold ’em event was her first taste of WSOP cash, an experience she would enjoy another 11 times over the next 12 years. This victory was the third biggest win of her career, the highest coming at the 2007 WPT Bay 101 where she received $600,000 for second place.
Final table cashes were:
1. Joanne “J.J.” Liu — $167,283
2. Ulises Roman — $98,212
3. Nicholas Sliwinski — $59,359
4. Richard Dinunzio — $48,567
5. Stewart Yancik — $32,378
6. Anasavanh Sittivong — $26,981
7. Blake Cahail — $21,585
8. Christopher MacNeil — $16,189
9. Randy Dorfman — $10,793