Shirley Rosario
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Hustler Poker Grand SlamHustler Casino Grand Slam of Poker III
Event #10, No Limit Holdem, July 12, 2004
Buy-in: $330, Entrants: 139, Prize Pool: $41,700

'Poker Babe' Shirley Rosario Wins Her First Event: No Limit Shootout

Shirley Rosario, a former cocktail waitress at the Bicycle Casino who now props $100 and $200 buy-in no-limit games there and also founded and operates her website, scored her first live tournament win tonight in the 10th event of Hustler Casinoís Grand Slam of Poker Tournament III.

The fetching Rosario arrived with a chip lead of $15,075 and ran it up to about $30,000 before being cut down in two consecutive hands by runner-up Chris Karagulleyan. But she still had the lead when the five remaining players made a chip-count deal.

This may have been the first time in history where the outcome of a tournament was decided by a bystander. Toward the end, Jenny Kang had gone on a rush, knocking out the last two players, and was anxious for more action. After tournament coordinator Warren Karp had made the chip count calculations, she was not inclined to cut into her winnings to sweeten the deal for the lowest-chipped player, Freddy Legaspi. "Iím giving up nothing," she declared firmly.

"Iíll give him $200 more out of my own pocket!" an onlooker who turned out to be her partner kept shouting. That was the decider. "He doesnít have enough confidence in me," a disappointed Kang grumbled. "Thatís why I donít like to go partners."

Ah, well, a new chapter in poker tournament history.

Rosario, whoís kept busy propping four days a week, doesnít have much time for tournaments, but manages to play three or four a month in local casinos. Sheís a student of Omaha guru Steve Badger, and Omaha/8 has been her favorite game, but no-limit is catching up fast for her. She also plays online, and has some wins there. She said in tonight's tournament she had to fight hard in the beginning just to stay in action.

Incidentally, guys, if you go to the Poker-Babes website looking for girly pictures, youíll be disappointed. Itís a serious, informative poker site with lots of player profiles, journals and tournament results.

The format for tonightís shootout event called for the 14 final players, all in the money, to play down at two tables. When both tables of seven had gotten down to five, the 10 finalists sat down at the final table. One table met its quota at about 9:30, but it took an hour and a half longer for the other second table so lose its last player.

The final table started with $100-$200 blinds and 3:04 remaining. In addition to Rosario and Kang, there was a third lady at the table, Betsy Superfon.

After $25 antes kicked in, with the same blinds, there were several early all-in survivors. First Kang prevailed with aces against Eric Jamiís A-K suited. Next, Emad Rayyan hung in with pocket queens against Daniel Adelsonís pocket 10s. And then Adelson, holding pocket fives, beat Legaspiís A-J.

Finally, on hand 17, we had our first casualty. Superfon moved in for $2,475 with pocket 8s and Dahan Yarony called with Ad-4d. It was not a superflop for Superfon. Two aces came, and Yarony filled on the river to leave her in 10th place.

Three hands later, Rosario opened for $1,200 and Yarony called. The flop of K-Q-4 was a disaster for him because he had a king with a jack kicker while Rosario had a king with an ace kicker. He shoved in a messy pile of chips, maybe $10,000, and Rosario called and left him in ninth place when he couldnít improve. Poker Babe now had a big lead with about $30,000.

After blinds went to $150-$300 with $50 antes, Mike Mizrachi busted out in one of those made-for-TV hands. After Karagulleyan opened for $2,500, Mizrachi went all in for $25 more and asked Karagulleyan if he would call. Surprisingly, Chris did. Mizrachi had the lead with A-Q to Kd-6d for Karagulleyan. Chris took the lead when a king flopped, Mizrachi took it back when an ace turned, and Karagulleyan took it for the final time with another king on the river as "The Grinder" finished eighth.

Adelson, a realtor, was all in again with just A-5, but it was better than Jamiís 5-4 suited, and he was still in action. Rayyan then cut down Legaspiís stacks when he went all in with Q-Q and prevailed against Legaspiís A-9.

As play continued, Rosario had the bad luck to raise twice, both times running into pocket kings held by Karagullayan, winner of a Legends of Poker championship event, and she had to fold when he moved in.

Jami finished seventh. He was in the big blind with just 3-2 off and decided to gamble, calling all with his last chips when Kang raised from the small blind with 9d-5d. The board came K-K-7-A-J, and he was out on hand number 40.

Four hands later Kang defeated Adelson in the last hand of the tournament. He was all in with A-Q to her A-K and a board of 10-9-8-5-3 failed to help him.

A chip count was taken. Rosario had $22,800 to Karagulleyanís $21,000. Kang had $13,800; Rayyan, making his third final table in this series, had $7,700; and Legaspi, $4.600. And that, along with the $200 gift, ended it. - Max Shapiro

1. Shirley Rosario $15,490
2. Chris Karagulleyan $8,9095
3. Jenny Kang $4,645
4. Emad Rayyan $2,710
5. Freddy Legaspi $2,130
6. Daniel Adelson $1,745
7. Eric Jami $1,355
8. Michael Mizrachi $970
9. Dahan Yarony $775
10. Betsy Superfon $595
11. Nick Dileo $595
12. Tim Shamroy $595
13. Frank Francheteau $595
14. Kirk Conrad $595