Dana Castaneda Becomes First Woman to Win Open Event at 2013 World Series of Poker

Posted at 09:30 2013-07-04 by Brett Collson

It was a historic day at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino on Tuesday. For the first time since 2007, a woman not named Vanessa Selbst took down an open event at the World Series of Poker. Dana Castaneda, a cocktail waitress from California, went from short stack at the final table to WSOP bracelet winner, adding her name to an elusive list of female players who have won non-ladies-event titles.

Also collecting a bracelet on Tuesday was Brett Shaffer, who defeated tough British pro David Vamplew heads-up for the hardware. Elsewhere in the Amazon Room, the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship was playing down close to the money bubble, and the $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em event reached the final three tables.

Event #53: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em

It took an extra day on the schedule, but Brett Shaffer emerged as the champion of Event #53: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em on Tuesday. Shaffer bested a field of 2,816 runners to win the biggest $1,500 of the summer so far, collecting his first WSOP bracelet and $665,397 in the process.

1Brett Shaffer$665,397
2David Vamplew$413,157
3Arttu Raekorpi$291,392
4Loni Harwood$210,456
5Mike Watson$153,850
6Deigo Zeiter$113,819
7Jonathan Cohen$85,193
8Darren Rabinowitz$64,513
9Matias Ruzzi$49,420

Play resumed Tuesday with only three players returning after action was halted due to time constraints. Arttu Raekorpi lasted just four hands before falling in third when his queen-jack failed to improve against Shaffer's king-queen.

Shaffer took a very slim chip lead into heads up play. David Vamplew, who already had a runner-up finish coming into this event, took the lead early, but Shaffer snatched it back before extending it to two-to-one advantage. After 23 hands of heads up play and 201 hands at the final table, Vamplew snap-called Shaffer's three-bet shove with {Q-Clubs}{Q-Diamonds}, but Shaffer's {A-Spades}{9-Hearts} finished best when he made two pair to send Vamplew out in second place.

Brett Shaffer
Brett Shaffer

Event #54: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em

For the past six years, Vanessa Selbst was the only female to win an open event at the WSOP. Selbst won her first bracelet in 2008, and she added another in 2012. With the number of events dwindling here in 2013, it was beginning to look like we would go another year without a non-Selbst female champion.

But in Event #54, Dana Castaneda outlasted a massive field of 2,883 to claim her first bracelet and the top prize of $454,287. According to Castaneda, the only reason she even played this event was because she cashed in Event #51: $10,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold'em Championship. She was able to parlay that small cash into a title and a massive payday.

1Dana Castaneda$454,207
2Jason Bigelow$281,991
3Matthias Bednarek$198,883
4Michael Zucchet$143,642
5Philippe Clerc$105,007
6Barry Hutter$77,685
7Jacob Bazeley$58,147
8Joseph Wertz$44,032
9Kenneth Gregersen$33,731

Day 3 began with14 players, and it didn't take long to reach the final nine. It was Nicco Maag who fell just short of the final table when his {a-}{3-} couldn't outrun pocket fours. That brought the players to the final table where the first to fall was Kenneth Gregersen, who got his money all in for a race with Barry Hutter. Hutter hit the river hard to send Gregsen home in ninth. A short while later, Jason Bigelow eliminated both Joseph Wertz and Jacob Bazeley when his aces held up to score the double knockout.

Going out in sixth was Barry Hutter, who was the chip leader after both Day 1 and Day 2, as well as the final table. Hutter had lost a lot of traction and doubled up several players including Castaneda. In his final hand, Castaneda made a tough call against Hutter with a pair of threes on a {10-}{4-}{4-} flop. Hutter held {A-}{K-} for ace-high and was unable to improve. Castaneda took over the chip lead in that hand and never looked back.

Philippe Clerc was eliminated in fifth place when he moved in with a straight draw against Michael Zucchet's aces. Clerc didn't catch up and that was the end of his tournament.

The final four players were very close to evenly stacked when four handed play began, but one by one they dropped until only one was left. First to go was Zucchet who shoved all in with a semi-bluff, and couldn't catch up to Castaneda's made hand. Going home in third was Matthias Bednarek. Bednarek got it all in preflop with {K-}{J-} but it was no match for Castaneda's {K-}{Q-}. Castaneda flopped a {Q-} and it was off to heads-up play.

Jason Bigelow was at a 7-to-1 chip disadvantage when the match began, and despite chipping up with some preflop aggression, he was unable to pick up any momentum. In his last stand, Bigelow got his last chips in with a flush draw against Castaneda's two pair. The flush never arrived and Bigelow was eliminated, making Castaneda the first female champion in an open event since June 2012.

Castaneda will attempt to parlay her winnings once again later this month. She informed PokerNews.com reporters on Monday that she would be using her winnings to play in Event #62: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event. So keep an eye out for her during our extensive coverage when the tournament kicks off this week!

Event #55: The $50,000 Poker Players' Championship

Day 3 of the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship came to a close Wednesday morning, and leading the remaining 26 players is Don Nguyen. Nguyen was the only player to bag over two million chips, and is one of only eight players who will enter the penultimate day with a seven-figure stack. Joining him in the millionaire club are Mike Gorodinsky, Minh Ly, Michael Glick, John Hennigan, David Benyamine, Troy Burkholder, and Jonathan Duhamel.

Also surviving the day were notables Mike Wattel, Matthew Ashton, George Danzer, Bryn Kenney, Huck Seed, Greg Mueller, Joe Hachem, Gary Benson, and a host of others.

Seventy-eight players started the day, which means exactly two-thirds of the players hit the rail today. Doyle Brunson's elimination may have been the biggest, since he had several side bets that could've netted him up to $800,000. Unfortunately for Texas Dolly, he was eliminated in a hand of Stud against Ofir Mor, where Mor made aces-up. Brunson had a pair of sevens and a gut-shot straight draw heading into seventh street, but was unable to make trips or a straight.

Jared Bleznick and Jason Mercier, two of the players with bets against Dolly, also hit the rail, along with Jean Gaspard, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, David Oppenheim, Scott Bohlman, Jason Gray, Roman Yitzhaki, Paul Volpe, Tom Koral, and Justin Bonomo.

Play will resume on Wednesday at 2 p.m. local time. Be sure to join us then as the tournament plays down to an official final table of eight players.

Event #56: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em

After 10 levels of play on Day 2, 23 players are still standing in Event #56: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em. OJ Ojiri holds the chip lead with 1,510,000 followed by Rahul Raju Byrraju with 1,190,000. A few other notables still in the field are Nicolas Levi (762,000), Josh Arieh (517,000) and Jonathan Tamayo (100,000).

The day began with 243 players all vying for a spot in the top 198, because that was the magic number to secure a payday. It took about one hour into the day before the money was reached. Following the burst of the money bubble, a flurry of bustouts ensued including such notables as Lee Childs (190th), Erik Seidel (170th), Dan Smith (161th), David Peters (114th), Pius Heinz (112th), Marc-Andre Ladouceur (64th), Matt Stout (52nd), Jesse Sylvia (35th) and Matt Marafioti (30th).

On Wednesday, the final 23 players return to the Amazon Room with their eyes on the first-place prize of $730,756 and the coveted World Series of Poker gold bracelet. Keep your browsers locked to PokerNetwork as we continue to bring live reports from the tournament floor and hand-for-hand coverage of the final table.

Event #57: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em

Event #57: $5,000 No Limit Hold’em attracted 784 players on Tuesday, and at the end of 10 60-minute levels only 252 were left contending for the bracelet and . The overnight chip leader is Mark Darner, who turned his 15,000 starting stack into an impressive 222,700.

Darner flew under the radar for the majority of Day 1, but he will be the man to chase on Wednesday’s Day 2. Darner, a Florida native, is looking for his second cash of the series, having finished 16th in Event #9 ($3,000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout). Should Darner reach the money in this event — 81 places are paid – it would be Darner’s third cash at the WSOP in his career.

As you would expect from a tournament costing $5,000 to buy into, Event #57 saw some of the biggest names in poker take part. Timothy Reilly (154,200), Philipp Gruissem (143,800), Matt Perrins (142,500), Sam Trickett (116,000) and Antonio Esfandiari (97,000) each had good days at the felt and enter Day 2 with sizable stacks.

Some of the notables who did not fare as well and busted during proceedings included Christopher Brammer, Chris Moorman, Jonathan Aguiar, Elio Fox, David “Bakes” Baker, Sorel Mizzi, Marvin Rettenmaier, Yevgeniy Timoshenko and Phil Ivey.

Day 2 commences at 1 p.m. Las Vegas time, and continues until 10 60-minute levels have been played. Join the PokerNews Live Reporting Team Wednesday as Event #57 plays through the money bubble and toward the final table.

On Tap

Five events will be in action on Day 36 of the 2013 World Series of Poker. Only one is scheduled to come to a close: Event #56: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em. Event #55: The $50,000 Poker Players' Championship will resume with Day 4 and will likely reach a final table, while Event #57: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em will resume with Day 2 of four on the schedule.

Two new events will get underway: Event #58: $1,111 Little One for One Drop No-Limit Hold'em and Event #59: $2,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball.

Video of the Day

In the latest edition of the WAG Diaries, Sarah Grant tested Jesse Sylvia's knowledge of his girlfriend, Ashley Sleeth.

Be sure to follow our Live Reporting page for continuing coverage of every event at the 2013 World Series of Poker, and follow PokerNetwork on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

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