The seventh edition of the Chicago Poker Classic (CPC), an annual event that comprises 10 tournaments, began at the end of last week at Indiana’s Horseshoe Casino. The first event, a $360 buy-in NL Hold’em tournament with six starting flights had a field of 2,296 players, generating a prize pool as large as $684,208. The event lasted four days, at the end of which Zal Irani, a professional poker player from Chicago, won the championship title, the first-place prize of $100k, and a seat worth $2k to the CPC Main Event.
He later said: “I couldn’t pick any other place I’d want to play. Las Vegas in the summer is fun for the World Series of Poker, but coming into the Horseshoe, honestly it reminds me of playing football in high school. I walk in here and it feels like home. I couldn’t ask for anything better. It’s hard not feeling pretty confident being in this place.”
Irani has been successful at poker tournaments in the past. He has been playing professional poker since 2012, and this is actually the third time he is winning a six-figure prize at a casino, the ninth time he is appearing at a final table, and the 15th time he is finishing in the cash. Last year, he won the $350 buy-in NL Turbo, the final event of the CPC, for which he got a WSOP Main Event seat worth $10k and the first-place prize of $27,521.
In addition, he finished fifth in the WSOP 2012 Circuit $1,675 buy-in Main Event and won a prize of $104,371. He also finished as the runner-up of the CPC 2013 $350 buy-in NL Hold’em tournament and won a prize of $104,275. His latest win has pulled up his lifetime poker tournament winnings to $717,637.
The runner-up Anthony Parille won the second-place prize of $61,166 and a seat of $2k. The player who finished third Michael Hahn won the third-place prize of $40,100 plus a seat worth $2k. The players who finished fourth, fifth, and sixth were Edward Nassif II ($28,500), John Rumishek ($21,500), and Dae Kim ($16,300), respectively. The players who finished seventh, eighth, and ninth were Theodore Zalesiak ($12,400), Ryan Gray ($9,450), and Allen Lanier ($7,210), respectively. The player to bust first was Maurice Dankha, who took home $5,502.
In the third CPC event, the $500 buy-in PL Omaha tournament, David Arfa, a general contractor based in Chicago, won the first-place prize of $18,496.