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Poker News: October 10, 2006

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HEADLINE: Alex Jacob Wins U.S. Poker Championship

Author: Ryan McLane

Poker phenom Alex Jacob captured his first major title Saturday, winning $878,000 in the 2006 United States Poker Championships $10,000 Main Event.

Jacob's victory in one of the country's largest non-tour tournaments solidifies his standing as one of poker's rising young stars. In just one year of live-tournament play, Jacob has won more than $1.6 million.

Until Saturday, his best showing was a second place finish to Victor Ramdin in April's World Poker Tour Foxwoods Poker Classic Main Event. His aggressive style won him $655,507 in that contest - enough money to allow him to play tournament poker professionally after his graduation from Yale University in May.

Jacob also made two final tables this summer at the World Series of Poker and cashed in four events.

Jacob beat 261 of the biggest names in poker over five days at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, N.J. to win the U.S. Poker Championship.

Never holding the actual chip-lead until play was three-handed, Jacob was able to grab a pivotal monster pot from third-place finisher Michael DeMichele without showing his cards.

Demichele raised the pot $75,000 from the button. Despite being out chipped by $1 million at the time, the eventual winner immediately re-raised $225,000 from the big blind and DeMichele called.

The flop came K-9-3. Jacob led out with a $325,000 bet and DeMichele raised it up to $900,000. After a small deliberation, Jacob moved all-in. DeMichele mucked his hand and Jacob took a sizable chip lead that he would never surrender.

In a sequence of consequential hands over the next 20 minutes, second-place finisher Jordan Morgan doubled through DeMichele before Jacob went all-in with K-Q suited against DeMichele who called with a pair of eights. When a King came on the flop, DeMichele went to the rail in third place, earning $215,194 and his first major tournament cash.

Heads-up play did not last long with the aggressive Jacob holding a $4.5 of the $5.2 million chips in play. Eight minutes into the final pairing, Morgan called an all-in bet from Jacob and watched as his K-Q fail to improve over Jacob's A-5.

Morgan earned $405,072 for second, the largest tournament pay-out of the 22-year old's career. His previous best was an $87,000 prize for making the final table of a 2006 WSOP $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event.

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