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Poker News: May 15, 2008

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Copyright © BCLC

HEADLINE: West Coaster crowned Canadian poker champ

It was the East Coast versus the West Coast, and at the end of the day the West Coast reigned supreme. Keith Wintermans of Vancouver walked away with bragging rights after being crowned the champion of British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s inaugural Coast to Coast Poker Championships, held May 5 to 13 at River Rock Casino Resort.

After three days of tournament play in the No Limit Texas Hold’Em main event, Wintermans outlasted 301 competitors from all over North America to take home $224,100. Television viewers across Canada can see him in action when the Coast to Coast Poker Championships is aired by the World Poker Tour CanadaTM late this summer.

This was the 35-year-old’s second time at a River Rock televised final table, but the first time as the champion. Wintermans, a software consultant, said, “Taking down first place this year feels even better because I was on the short stack for a lot of the tournament. I had more than a few lucky spots along the way, but I was a lot more patient this year and it paid off.”

Almost 2,000 players competed in the nine day tournament, which featured seven Texas Hold’Em events for a total prize pool of more than $1.6 million. Players faced pros like Brad “Yukon” Booth, Gavin Smith, Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari, and “Cowboy” Kenna James.

“Local players have definitely put Canada on the poker map,” said Darryl Schiewe, British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s Vice President of Casino Gaming. “They are among the world’s best poker players and we’re excited to give them an opportunity to compete right here in British Columbia. Congratulations to all the winners.”

The first place finishers from each event were:
-Bryan Devonshire of Henderson, Nevada, defeated 528 players to win $60,835 in the No Limit event on May 5.
-Doug Smith of Hunter River, Prince Edward Island, defeated 439 players to win $92,120 in the No Limit event on May 7-8 and 11.
-Keith Wintermans of Vancouver, British Columbia, defeated 301 players to win $224,100 in the No Limit main event from May 9-11.
-Katherine Warren of Langley and Mitch Scholten of Abbotsford, British Columbia, defeated 95 teams to win $2,880 in the Mother’s Day Team Tournament on May 11.
-Lionel Figueroa of Surrey, British Columbia, defeated 139 players to win $10,017 in the Pot Limit/Omaha event on May 12.
-Yan Lee of Richmond, British Columbia, defeated 354 players to win $25,000 in the No Limit event on May 13.

BCLC is a provincial Crown Corporation reporting to the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General through a Board of Directors. Its mission is to offer responsible gaming entertainment, generating income for the public good.

JPEG photos of the top finishers are available upon request.

A list of all the winners from each event is available at

For more information, contact:

Angela Koulyras
Corporate Communications Officer
British Columbia Lottery Corporation
O: 604-276-6443

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