Oboodi Becomes 2009 World Championship of Battleship Victor

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By Jennifer Newell

Sure, the 2009 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure main event is the reason that players travel the world to get to the Bahamas in January, but there has come to be another tournament during that poker-filled week that is a much-anticipated one. The World Championship of Battleship Poker typically consists of online poker players, and much of poker cyberspace awaits this tournament each year.

The laptop computers were at the ready at the Atlantis Resort and Casino on January 8th for the first day of the Battleship competition, and 64 players took to the ballroom floor for their heads-up SNG matches. Each player paid $2,000 to enter, creating a $128,000 prize pool for the top eight finishers to share.

The first matches found a notable absence in reigning champion Dustin “Neverwin” Wolff, though former champion Sorel Mizzi was in the field. All players were divided into four brackets, and the results of the first round were as follows:

Clubs Bracket:
Shawn Buchanan defeated Philip Wiszowaty
William Reynolds defeated Jonathon Dull
Blake Cahill defeated Victor Ramdin
Ryan Gartitta defeated Michael Somma
Sorel Mizzi defeated Travis Brown
Jamin Stokes defeated Adam Ewestein
Aaron Jones defeated Dan Jiacpello
Adam Koll defeated Lance Boner

Diamonds Bracket:
Justin Truedell defeated Marcus Mizzi
Andrew Boccia defeated David Munson
John Drake defeated Emil Holmsten
Michael Chappus defeated Michael Krantz
Michael Banducci defeated Derek Andersen
Jared Bleznick defeated Bagrov Ruslan
Ketul Nathwani defeated Randy Wood
Steve Gross defeated Carlos Neira

Hearts Bracket:
Kyle Broccia defeated Andrew Pantling
Yervand Boyadjian defeated Michael Shklover
Michael Glasser defeated Jeff Sluzinski
Joe Serock defeated Sergey Rybachenko
Bahbak Obodi defeated Dan Didech
Jared Jaffe defeated Oliver Busquet
Armitkaj Singh defeated Mark Radoja
Josh Weizer defeated Keith Block

Spades Bracket:
Emmanuel Failla defeated Jon Turner
Justin Bonomo defeated Christian Harder
Robert Forrester defeated Jonathon Jaffe
Rob Ford defeated Dennis Waterman
Petter Berg defeated Dan Carter
Maksim Serebrinsky defeated Brian Hawkins
Richard Gryko defeated Michael McNeil
Keven Stammen defeated Anthony Venthrini

Those 32 winners came back shortly thereafter to play the second round, and a few recognizable pros were still left in the field when it was all said and done, including Mizzi, Justin Bonomo, and Shawn Buchanan.

Clubs Bracket:

Shawn Buchanan defeated William Reynolds
Ryan Gartitta defeated Blake Cahill
Sorel Mizzi defeated Jamin Stokes
Adam Koll defeated Aaron Jones

Diamonds Bracket:

Andrew Boccia defeated Justin Truedell
John Drake defeated Michael Chappus
Jared Bleznick defeated Michael Banducci
Ketul Nathwani defeated Steve Gross

Hearts Bracket:
Yervand Boyadjian defeated Kyle Broxia
Joe Serock defeated Michael Glasser
Bahbak Obodi defeated Jared Jaffe
Armitkaj Singh defeated Josh Weizer

Spades Bracket:

Justin Bonomo defeated Emmanuel Failla
Rob Ford defeated Robert Forrester
Petter Berg defeated Maksim Serebrinsky
Richard Gryko defeated Keven Stammen

Later in the evening, the “Sweet Sixteen” played for the money, and the eight finalists made it to the next day’s finals as follows:

Clubs Bracket:

Ryan Gartitta defeated Shawn Buchanan
Sorel Mizzi defeated Adam Koll

Diamonds Bracket:
John Drake defeated Andrew Boccia
Jared Bleznick defeated Ketul Nathwani

Hearts Bracket:
Yervand Boyadjian defeated Joe Serock
Bahbak Obodi defeated Armitkaj Singh

Spades Bracket:
Justin Bonomo defeated Rob Ford
Richard Gryko defeated Petter Berg

With that, the “Elite Eight” retired for the evening and returned on January 9th to play for the victory and the title in the 2009 World Championship of Battleship Poker. Despite everyone being guaranteed at least four times their buy-in, it was the $44,800 first prize that they were all after.

The first matches were over rather quickly, with Mizzi defeating Gartitta for the Clubs bracket, Bleznick ousting Drake in the Diamonds group, Oboodi sending Boyadjian out of the Hearts bracket, and Gryko eliminating Bonomo to take the Spades victory. The four players leaving the tournament were awarded $8,000 each for their efforts and making it substantially far in a tough heads-up event.

The semi-final round was a best-of-three for each set of players, and they were given the option of playing those three matches at once or one at a time. Bleznick and Mizzi decided to multi-table their three, but Gryko and Oboodi wanted to play each match separately.

One of the Mizzi/Bleznick matches was over without much ado when Mizzi lost most of his chips early, then took his A-8 into battle with the A-K of Bleznick to lose the first match. The second match was decided not long after. Bleznick looked solid right away, and when Mizzi took a chance with pocket aces, Bleznick accepted the challenge with A-K again. But a king on the flop and a king on the turn gave him the set and the best hand, sending Mizzi out of the tournament in fourth place with $12,800.

The other two players also completed their games in two instead of three. Oboodi took the first match quickly with a flush that beat Gryko’s top pair. Oboodi didn’t exactly dominate the second match, but when he was able to double through Gryko with A-9 when an ace came on the river to beat the kings of Gryko, things got easier. Gryko was eliminated soon after in third place with $12,800.

And the final was set between Jared “Harrington10” Bleznick and Bahbak “bigredAK” Oboodi with the best-of-three being played out one at a time.

Oboodi took the first match with ac 9s against the A-K of Bleznick when the board of qs ts 3c as finished with a 9c on the river. But Bleznick won the second match when his 5s 4d hit the flop of ac 3h 2s for the wheel, but Oboodi liked his chances with pocket threes and the set. The wheel prevailed, and Bleznick took the second game to even it up.

The final match was a longer and more even-handed one, with both players taking the chip lead, losing it, and taking it back. The key hand came for Oboodi when he won an important pot with A-K against the K-9 of Bleznick with A-5-2-K-3 on the board. Bleznick was crippled with only 336 chips left, and he finally lost to Oboodi. Jared Bleznick was out in second place with a substantial $25,600 prize.

Bahbak Oboodi became the 2009 World Championship of Battleship Poker victor, which was worth $44,800 in prize money.

(Thanks to PokerStars Blog for detailed tournament information.)