Gary "Debo" DeBernardi - A well-known and respected online poker player.
Klara Leto - Master card counter and professional blackjack player.
"Big" Chuck Gorson - A dangerous all-around gambler and larger-than-life figure.
Michael Castellana - One of the best card counters in the world. Has been banned from casinos on six continents.
Monica Reeves - New to the world of tournament blackjack. Only learned how to play a few weeks before qualifying. Member of Team UBT.
Steven Suh - Internet qualifier.
Mark "Poker Ho" Kroon - An aggressive player from the world of online poker.
Castellana and Chuck Gorson are meeting at a final table for the 2nd time this year (the first time was in week 1 of the competition). That time around, Michael finished 3rd and Chuck finished 7th.
Hand 7 - Gary DeBernardi loses many of his early bets and comes into this hand way behind the competition (he has $75,000, while the next lowest player has $93,000). With a forced elimination in hand 8, Gary goes all-in in an attempt to pull himself out of the hole. He gets a 17, but the dealer draws to 19 and eliminates him from the game. While he was eliminated, Gary made the correct play based on his situation. If he went less than all in, he might still not have made up enough ground. And if he had bet less and lost the hand, he would have still been eliminated on hand 8.
Hand 8 - The first Elimination Hand. Steven was in last place with $89,000. Klara was in next-to-last with $91,000. Internet qualifier Steven Suh makes a critical mistake and gets himself eliminated in a very close round. He bet $3,000, which was the same bet as 4 other players who had more money. With a bet like that, there was no way that he was going to be able to pull himself out of last place. The proper play would have been for Steven to have went all-in. He was going to be eliminated otherwise, but a win on an all-in would have saved him and significantly boosted his chip stack.
Hand 15 - Mark Kroon is in last place with $35,400. Michael Castellana has $53,000. Even though he's not in last place, Michael recognizes the need to gain some chips before the next elimination hand (hand 16). He tries to spilt his aces but can't due to a lack of remaining chips. He winds up busting out. He is the 3rd player to be eliminated. Mark Kroon also bet big this hand and lost, virtually guaranteeing himself of an elimination on hand 16.
Hand 16 - With Mark Kroon a lock for elimination, the other players make conservative positioning bets. Kroon is eliminated, and the "Poker Ho" is forced to go home. Klara Lato is now in last place.
Hand 25 - Chuck is in the lead with $119,500. Monica is in 2nd with $114,500, and Klara is bringing up the rear with $79,500. Klara Lato makes a desperate bid to get back into the game and wagers $78,000 with her Secret Bet card. When Monica stands on 16, Klara only needs to win to pass Monica. She loses and becomes the 5th player to be eliminated. Only Monica Reeves and Chuck Gorson remain.
Going into the heads-up section of play, Monica has a $65,000 lead over Chuck. Try as he might, "Big" Chuck just can't seem to catch up with her. He loses a $40,000 bet, then follows that up with a $39,000 loss on hand 27. These two losses allow Monica to play conservatively for the rest of the game and become the first woman to win the Ultimate Blackjack Tour.
Winner: Monica Reeves
Ultimate Blackjack Tour returns on Saturday, November 4th, at 2 p.m. Eastern and 1 p.m. Central. Join us when the competitors will be Spencer Mohler, Adriana Jade, Norm Sheridan, Tom Long, Blair Rodman, Dewey Tomko, and Patrick Taylor.