Central Coast Poker Championship goes four ways

Central Coast Poker Championship winnersAfter 11 hours of play, four mostly even chip stacks made it a fairly easy decision for Ricky Rodriguez, Rob Abraham, Mario Aguilar and Mike Noori.

The final four players at the Chumash Casino’s Central Coast Poker Championships decided to chop the remaining prize pool on Saturday, each taking home $17,500.

“I was totally happy with chopping. I’m not a greedy man,” said Rodriguez, who works for Formula One Flooring in Ventura.  “I can use any money right now man. It helps, you know what I’m saying?”

Had they played it out, $25,000 would go to the champion and $10,000 to fourth place. The top 90 out of 646 players were paid.

Abraham, a Santa Barbara native, made his push at the final table by busting out longtime chip leader and fellow Santa Barbara resident Loren Manser.

Ricky Rodriguez, left, shakes the hand of Rob Abraham, middle, with Mike Noori, right, after the conclusion of the Central Coast Poker ChampionshipThe Tournament's last big handWith seven players remaining, Abraham took two consecutive large pots from Manser as his pocket jacks beat AQ, and then AK defeating Manser’s A7, which sent Manser home and catapulted Abraham into the lead.

(Photos by Dwight McCann/Chumash Casino Resort)

“(Abraham) had already taken me down three times before, he was unstoppable,” reasoned Manser, who said he was just happy to have made it that far.

Unstoppable until Aguilar’s pocket sevens stood up to Abraham’s AK in a three-way hand that ended short-stacked Jose Zaragoza’s run in fifth-place while doubling up the at-risk Aguilar.

When the dust settled, the four remaining players were relatively even stacked and all worn out from playing all day.

“There wasn’t much difference between first place and last place,” explained Noori, a poker pro from L.A. playing in his third CCPC. “We were playing with such shallow stacks that there wasn’t enough room to outplay people so that’s why I offered to chop.

“Everyone got a nice payday.”

Ramada Limited - Official Hotel of the Santa Barbara Foresters!The players weren’t the only ones happy with the outcome.

“My boss texted, don’t win it all because you won’t come back to work,” joked Rodriguez.


1. Richard Rodriguez     $17,500
1. Michael Noori              $17,500
1. Robert Abraham         $17,500
1. Mario Aguilar               $17,500
5. Jose Zaragoza              $6250
6. Freddy Castro             $3000
7. Loren Manser             $2000
8. Alfonso Jiminez         $1500
9. Michael Gill                 $1250
10. Jorge Tut                   $1000