There aren’t many live poker options nowadays, as many casinos had to limit or close their poker rooms due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, there are several rooms still operating in Las Vegas, and one of them is part of the South Point Hotel Casino & Spa. Players had a unique opportunity to take part in a $2,050 this past weekend.
The event was called Benny Binion Shootout, and it offered a total of $256,000 in guaranteed prizes and with the maximum number of players capped at 128 players. The event included a low rake and old-school prize distribution, meaning that the winner would take a total of 40% of the entire prize pool. This attracted a lot of players, filling the allotted seats in no time.
The player who managed to top the event and win $100,000 as a prize was William Firebaugh. He did not have an easy job as he had to face Nick Pupillo in the heads-up.
Pupillo is one of the most popular live grinders in the world, so playing against him is always a big challenge. Still, Firebaugh managed to outlast him, and Pupillo had to settle for the consolation prize of $50,000.
Shootout as a Format
Shootout is a special format of poker that’s not very popular among live players, but it’s very common in online poker rooms. Still, poker lovers had a couple of opportunities to play it live as some Shootout formats were featured in the World Series of Poker.
This format allows only the table winner to progress to the next table, while all the other players have to hit the rail.
However, South Point added a slightly different rule, eliminating the bottom four and progressing the top four to the next table. Therefore, players had a goal to accumulate as many chips as possible to stay afloat.
The poker room manager at South Point stated that players were happy with this format, and all had had a great time playing.
The Final Table Overview
The final table also consisted of eight players, and the first one to hit the rail was Rich Dixon from Cheyenne, Wyo., who managed to win a total of $6,000.
He was followed by Las Vegas native Brian Mancilla, who earned $8,000 for his effort.
Sixth place was reserved for another player who resides in the Entertainment Capital of the World — Jason Phamolivo. Jason hit the rail with a total of $11,000 in his pocket.
After that, it was time for Dan Matsuzuki from Scottsdale, Ariz., to say goodbye to the rest, winning $14,000 along the way.
The fourth position belonged to Han Hoai from Las Vegas, who earned $18,000.
The last player to hit the rail before the heads-up duel could start was Daniel Pickering, also from Las Vegas. Daniel managed to win $25,000 for his effort, leaving Pupillo and Firebaugh to battle for the first-place prize.