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Online phenom Tom Marchese wins NAPT Venetian

25 Feb 2010

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Before last month, online poker phenom Tom 'kingsofcards' Marchese had never even cashed in a major live poker tournament. Today he's $827,648 richer and the proud owner of a shiny new NAPT championship trophy.

The 22-year-old professional poker player from Parsipity, New Jersey outlasted a pro-heavy 872-player field, claiming the inaugural $5,000 buy-in NAPT Venetian Main Event championship in Las Vegas. Marchese overcame a major chip differential against runner-up Sam Stein en route to winning the first ever NAPT event held on American soil.

"It's a bit overwhelming," said a camera shy Marchese in a postgame interview. "The event is definitely one of my new favorites. The turnout was great, the structure was really good and the tournament staff did a really good job all week. I'll definitely be back next year," Marchese said.

A total of 35 countries were represented in the five-day tournament, though the final table was an all-American affair. The event was 18 players away from reaching its 890-player cap and the prizepool eclipsed the $4 million mark. The top 128 finishers were paid.

Several members of Team Pro made the money including Vanessa Rousso who finished 25th ($18,080), Friend of Bill Chen who came 81st ($10,446) and former world champions Tom McEvoy and Greg Raymer who finished 101st and 102nd respectively.

While the final table was primarily dominated by youngsters, poker's elder statesmen were honorably represented by 66-year-old professional poker player 'Miami' John Cernuto, who finished in seventh place ($104,461). Cernuto now boasts over $4.8 million in tournament earnings, spanning his 30-year poker-playing career.

The Main Event attracted numerous celebrity players including baseb Orel Hershiser, talk show host Montel Williams and comedian Brad Garrett.

A charity tournament was held on the eve of the Main Event, raising over $42,000 for Las Vegas based philanthropy Three Square. Tony Hawk, Christian Slater, Jason Alexander, Marlon Wayans and Slash all participated in the event. Recording artist T-Pain performed a set at the player party.

Final table payouts:
1st: Tom Marchese (USA) - $827,648
2nd: Sam Stein ( Player, USA) - $522,306
3rd: Daniel Clemente (USA) - $309,366
4th: Yunus Jamal (USA) - $241,064
5th: David Paredes (USA) - $184,816
6th: Thomas Fuller (USA) - $144,639
7th: 'Miami' John Cernuto (USA) - $104,461
8th: Eric Blair ( Player, USA) - $60,266

The NAPT Venetian Main Event final table was streamed on a five-minute delay over the Internet via NAPT Live at The 2010 NAPT Venetian concludes later today with the final table of the $25,000 buy-in High Roller Bounty Shootout.

Both the NAPT Venetian Main Event and the High Roller Bounty Shootout have been filmed for broadcast on ESPN2; dates airing TBC. The next stop on the North American Poker Tour is the inaugural $5,000 buy-in NAPT Mohegan Sun event, running from April 7-11, 2010 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. For more information, please visit

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