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Iowa Poker Amateur Pockets $1 Million in MANSIONPOKER POKER DOME CHALLENGE and Gets Second 'Winning Hand' with Whirlwind Vegas Wedding

Gibraltar (PRWeb) March 23, 2007 -- Poker amateur Rodel Tuazon from Iowa has emerged $1 Million richer following his winner-takes-all triumph in the MANSIONPOKER POKER DOME CHALLENGE.

Tuazon outlasted five tough competitors in the battle for the MANSIONPOKER Poker Dome's first prize, proving himself the best man on the day in the most innovative and sophisticated twist on televised Texas Hold'em yet.

Less than 24-hours after taking down the pot of his life, Tuazon, a 40 year old mortgage clerk from downtown Des Moines, swapped his previous day's 'best man' role for that of 'groom'. Tuazon made his second 'winning hand' in as many days, walking fiancée Manisone Douglas down the aisle -- a fitting finale to a perfect Vegas weekend for Poker's newest millionaire.

On Saturday March 17, when the six final qualifiers entered the Poker Dome, "part game show, part gladiators arena", they knew the drill well, having already waded their way through two previous six-handed qualifying rounds to make the cut. This time around, the players were painfully aware that the all-ins and fold-em decisions would be better, the competition generally tougher, and the atmosphere more intense.

Almost a year in the making, a one-in-six shot at the $1,000,000 prize, and the spotlight game of MANSION Speed Poker affording players a mere 15 seconds to act, the series always promised an edge-of-your seat climax, and it didn't disappoint. For the players, the stakes were high and heart-rates soared accordingly.

The field consisted of two pro players:
•    28 year-old Rob Sherwood from Manchester in the U.K.
•    58 year-old Dennis Waterman from Sedona, Arizona
and four amateurs, including Tuazon and three other 'regular guys' of varying experience:
•    35 year-old Andrew Rogers from Montgomery, Minnesota - Poker tournament host
•    36 year-old Jerry Schrader from Woodbridge, Virginia - Locksmith
•    29 year-old Ben Ludwig from Collegeville, Pennsylvania - Investment broker

Schrader's hopes were dashed early in the piece. On a Flop of 9s-Ad-Ks, Schrader made his move with Ah-6h, but Waterman had him trapped with As-Jc. No luck came on the turn or the river, and Schrader knew he would be back at work on Monday.

Waterman dominated play for much of the day, also taking out fifth placed Rogers, while also significantly crippling Ludwig's chipstack before fellow pro player Sherwood finished the job for him.

Down to three-handed play and the well-credentialed pro Waterman was calling all the shots. Sherwood, the only non-U.S. player to reach the final, had done a fine job of playing short stacked for much of the event, but was eventually eliminated on hand 121 when his Qd-6d ran into Tuazon's Ad-6h.

Heads-up saw amateur Tuazon skilfully rise to the challenge, teaching a few new tricks to eventual runner-up Waterman, whose 20 year Poker career had him enter the field as clear odds on favourite.

The million-dollar question of just who would be crowned MANSIONPOKER's king of the cards was about to be answered.

In a fabulous David and Goliath turn of fate, Tuazon, who got hooked on Poker less than three years ago, showed his strength when it counted. Waterman had him out chipped 198,000 to 102,000, but after a few hands, Tuazon had managed to scrape up the chip lead, edging ahead with 153,000 versus 147,000.

On the final hand, Waterman opened the betting with a raise, and Tuazon looked down, and found 9h-9c. Tuazon re-raised all in, and Waterman had a tough decision. Waterman took his maximum time, but ultimately decided to call with 10s- 7s. The flop held a 9. Tuazon had flopped a set. The flop also held a Jack, meaning Waterman actually had live outs for the win (any 8). The turn was a six, and the river was a four and we had our winner.

After a titanic struggle, the 40 year-old Tuazon was crowned the MANSIONPOKER Poker Dome Champion, pocketing the winner-takes-all $1,000,000 purse, and watched by a prime time national audience across the United States on a leading regional sports network.

Final results and total tournament series prizemoney won

1st    Rodel Tuazon          $1,075,000   
2nd    Dennis Waterman $     75,000
3rd    Rob Sherwood         $     75,000
4th    Ben Ludwig         $     75,000
5th     Andrew Rogers         $     75,000
6th     Jerry Schrader         $     75,000

It has been a long road travelled by all six Poker Dome finalists. The debut episode of the 43-week live televised tournament series kicked off in May 2006, turning televised poker into a live spectator sport. MANSIONPOKER set out to design and build the most advanced poker studio and production facility ever created, providing a totally unique television experience for viewers and players alike.

The revolutionary Poker Dome allowed a live studio audience to see and hear everything as the play unfolded, including each player's hold cards, heart rate and chip count. With more cameras in the Poker Dome than are used at the Super Bowl, the MANSIONPOKER POKER DOME CHALLENGE has successfully raised the industry bar in televised poker.

Players qualified for the POKER DOME CHALLENGE by playing online at MANSIONPOKER.

Through the MANSIONPOKER portal, Members can participate in frequent guaranteed tournaments with some of the most exceptional player value to be found online, plus take advantage of one of the best Deposit Bonuses in the industry for both Poker and Casino - 100% up to US$1000.

For further media information, please contact:
Kathryn Farrell         Communications Manager (MANSION)
Tel: +350 792 62    Mob: +44 7912 895 804

MANSIONPOKER is headquartered in Gibraltar and has been focused on establishing itself as a leading brand in online poker. The company is funded by private equity investors who share a passion for the thrill of games of skill and who see the potential of the Internet to provide a forum for players from all over the world to compete. Through the MANSIONPOKER portal, the company provides a community for poker players to develop their skills and compete in a challenging environment amongst players of all levels.

About Speed Poker
During the 43 weeks, the mainstay of the MANSIONPOKER POKER DOME CHALLENGE has been MANSION Speed Poker. Created by legendary poker tournament director Keith "Bendigo" Sloan, this innovative poker game leaves regular Hold 'Em in its tracks. Imagine poker on an NBA shot-clock. Now imagine that shot-clock always at fast-break speed. Players had 15 seconds to bet, check or fold. Instead of playing the standard 15-20 hands an hour, Speed Poker ratchets that up to 80-100 hands an hour. It's poker on triple espresso.

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