Lou Esposito(credit: Esposito's Official Web Site)
The Binion’s Poker Classics have become for many a way to preserve some of the old-timey Vegas style that has gone out of the World Series since Harrah’s took over the tournament series at the end of 2005. Running almost simultaneously to the bigger-named summer series that used to be held at Binion’s Gambling Hall, Binion’s Poker Classics may be smaller, but it attracts a different type of crowd.
The buy-ins are lower, the clientele is a bit less well-known but no less loyal. This is the church of the World Series. Reverence is a must. Benny Binion began the Big Show here. The Main Event of the Binion’s Poker Classics began on July 7, 2008 and featured 58 players. Each put up their $1,920 to play in the event, driving up the prize pool to $108,019.
In the end, a familiar face took the title. That man was Lou Esposito. The 30-something former business owner from the East Coast, Esposito is no stranger to poker success. So far, he’s earned more than one million in his tournament career, winning a WSOPC crown in New Orleans in ’07, then following it up with a final table appearance in the same event a year later.
He’s also cashed in multiple WSOP events. In ’08 alone, he made four cashes including one in the main event after the Binion’s tourney. He even took five figures for his work at the Bellagio Cup IV, a WPT tournament a few days after he won this title.
Obviously, Esposito, a New York resident, tries to make the most out of his trips out west. For his championship win at Binions, the big guy earned $38,600, defeating fellow New Yorker, Joe Cutler, in heads-up play.
Here are the final results:
1) Lou Esposito - $33,000
2) Joe Cutler - $25,275
3) Anthony Noreen - $22,725
4) Michael Hirschensohn - $11,900
5) Todd Thomas - $8,650
6) Allie Prescott - $6,469
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