Harrisburg Poker Player Wins Heaping Helping At Parx Poker Event

Written By Marty Derbyshire on August 24, 2018 - Last Updated on May 13, 2020
big stack of pancakes with fruit

The biggest buy-in event on the Parx Big Stax XXVI poker tournament series schedule wrapped up this past weekend at Parx Casino with a Harrisburg player collecting the title and a six-figure score.

In fact, Chris Kennedy, a cash game pro from the state capitol, won the Parx Big Stax XXVI 1500 for a whopping $124,211. Kennedy got the best of a final table that included back-to-back Big Stax 300 champ Joe Palma.

Philadelphia’s Palma won the Big Stax 300 at Big Stax XXI in May 2017 for $60,675. He then got the title, trophy, and $120,000 in a four-way chop in the Parx Big Stax XXII 300 in August 2017.

However, in this week’s Parx Big Stax XXVI 1500, Palma finished third for $51,012. Kennedy went on to defeat Thai Ha heads up. Ha settled for $78,380 in second-place money.

Parx Big Stax XXVI 1500 final table results

The event drew 371 total entries, creating what amounted to a $539,805 prize pool.

Solve For Why Academy poker coach Christian Soto-Vasquez finished fifth for $27,530. Here’s how the entire final table finished up:

  • 1st Chris Kennedy $124,211
  • 2nd Thai Ha $78,380
  • 3rd Joe Palma $51,012
  • 4th Agenor Souza $36,653
  • 5th Christian Soto-Vasquez $27,530
  • 6th David DeNoon $20,836
  • 7th Anna Antimony $15,924
  • 8th Spencer Champlin $11,552
  • 9th Filippos Stavrakis $7,881

The Big Stax XXVI 1500 final table

According to the Parx Big Stax Blog, Stavrakis took ninth when Ha turned quads and faded Stavrakis’ open-ended straight flush draw. Champlin ran pocket nines into Kennedy’s aces to bow out eighth. Last-woman standing Anna Antimony took seventh when Ha drew out against her weak ace.

The final table was down to five when David DeNoon’s eights failed to hold against Kennedy’s two overs. Then, it took a classic cooler to end Soto-Vasquez’ run in fifth. His pocket kings were bested by Palma’s pocket aces.

Ha took most of Souza’s stack turning a set of eights and filling up on the river against him. Kennedy took the rest when his own pocket eights held against Souza’s weak-ace shove.

Palma took third when his king-ten suited whiffed versus Kennedy’s queens.

Finally, Ha turned trip threes and a king-high diamond flush draw, getting it in against Kennedy’s naked nut flush draw. A fourth diamond on the river sealed the win for Kennedy.

Parx Big Stax XXVI

Last week, prior to the Big Stax XXVI 1500, Tinzen Chakdor was declared Big Stax XXVI 500 champ after a four-way chop. Chakdor earned $69,850 for the win.

Additionally, David Mock was declared Big Stax XXVI 300 champion after a three-way chop. Mock earned $95,364.

This week, the Parx Big Stax XXVI series wrapped up with a $300 Pot-Limit Omaha and No-Limit Hold’em mixed event, a $300 Seniors event, a $300 Survivor event, and two bounty tournaments.

Parx is just 15 miles outside Philadelphia. It is the top poker destination in the Commonwealth.

Parx has hosted its Parx Big Stax poker tournament series since February 2013. The series runs five times annually in February, May, August, October, and December. It is the largest tournament poker series in Pennsylvania and one of the biggest in the entire Northeast.

Additionally, Parx is home to the highest-grossing live poker room in the state. In January 2018, the poker room moved into a new 48-table location inside the main casino building.

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Marty Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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