San Diego, CA (January 29, 2014) – A field of 60, including U.S. Eagles captain Todd Clever, took part in the 5th Annual I’Maul In No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament on Friday, January 24th at the Poker Room at the Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino.
A great time was had by all as play got underway at about 10:30 pm. Before players had even started taking their seats for the tournament one man, former Eagles prop John Jelaco, was already exiting the poker room having been knocked out on the first hand of the tournament.
But when all was said and done, there could be only one man left standing and that man was Martin Olsen. The current Old Aztec player got his start in rugby at Central Washington University before transferring to the University of Washington, where he played for three years. For his efforts, Martin took home the first place prize of $1,173 and the coveted I’Maul In No Limit Texas Hold ’em crystal trophy.
It took just over three hours for the field to be down to the final six. Englishman Richard Dodd was the first to go, taking home $273. Then it was JoJo Gunn’s turn as he got knocked out having earned $313. A local poker player, “Mr. Happy,” came in fourth and won $430.
That left Olsen and two former Eagles scrumhalves, Mike Saunders and Dave Bateman. It was no surprise that Bateman was in the final three as he’s cashed in multiple I’Maul In tournaments, including a third place finish in last year’s tournament.
But Saunders was the big surprise on the night as no one thought he would even get past his starting table. The former U.S. captain played well throughout the evening however, and deserved his place in the final three.
But when it came down to the final three, the scrumhalves looked at Olsen’s massive chip lead, then they looked at their watches, and decided to call it a night. Bateman and Saunders chopped second and third place money with each winning $860, while Olsen took home the first place money and the trophy.
See you next year!