SugarRush (Day 2): 1st Place – Roberto Ilagan ($15,125)

Level 29 (60,000/120,000/20,000)
Total SugarRush Challenge Entries: 578
Players Remaining: 1
Chip Average: 15,275,000


SugarRush Challenge Champion – Roberto Ilagan

In its yearlong history, the SugarRush Challenge has proven to be a great test for a player’s patience and skill to shine through over the course of two days. Roberto Ilagan flew under the radar for most of Day 2 until it mattered most, at which point Ilagan came alive. Ilagan started Day 2 with 133,000 and wasn’t full above average until 20 or so players remained.

Ilagan made his presence felt when he eliminated former SugarRush champion John Attanasio in a monster pot that moved Ilagan among the chip leaders. From that point forward, Ilagan continued to add chips to his bank as they became more valuable than water.

At this time last year, Ilagan was taking home fifth place in the formerly named Winter Poker Showdown at SugarHouse for a then career-high score of $9,600. Not only did Ilagan best that payout total today, he also earned his first career non-daily tournament victory. Ilagan and his ever-present smile are sure to be a factor at future SugarHouse tournaments as he looks to add to his tournament legacy.

Thanks again to SugarHouse tournament staff, dealers and players for another exceptionally well-run event. This is Matt Clark, and the SugarHouse blog will return in March for the Poker Night In America series. Stay tuned to the SugarHouse Twitter page for upcoming schedule information.

SugarRush (Day 2): Five-Way Chop Agreed To, Roberto Ilagan Named Winner

Level 29 (60,000/120,000/20,000)
Total SugarRush Challenge Entries: 578
Players Remaining: 5
Chip Average: 3,055,000


SugarRush Challenge Winners (From Left): Ian Gavlick, Roberto Ilagan, Joe Del Grosso, Jeffery Peters, Tom Goshaw. 

Once Dave McConachie was eliminated, the final five players looked at their options and decided to see if a chip chop was worth further investigating. After plugging in the numbers from their respective stacks, the finalists agreed to a deal and adjusted the prize pool accordingly. As a result of the deal and by virtue of having the highest chip total, Roberto Ilagan is the winner of the SugarRush Challenge.

Ian Gavlick takes second after buying in at the start of Day 2, proving once again that the unique SugarRush Challenge structure can be tamed by any buy-in at any time. Joe Del Grosso earns third place and has plenty to show for his stack of 62,500 that started the day. Tom Goshaw started the day as the chip leader and held strong to earn a place in the deal. Taking fifth is Jeffery Peters, who grabbed chips early in the final table and kept them long enough to earn a five-figure score. A list of the deal and places for the players is below. A winner’s recap will be posted shortly.

  1. Roberto Ilagan – $15,125
  2. Ian Gavlick – $13,811
  3. Joe Del Grosso $13,668
  4. Tom Gashow – $13,003
  5. Jeffery Peters – $11,043

SugarRush (Day 2): 6th Place – Dave McConachie ($4,965)

Level 29 (60,000/120,000/20,000)
Total SugarRush Challenge Entries: 578
Players Remaining: 5
Chip Average: 3,055,000


6th Place: Dave McConachie ($4,965)

Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone and a chip lead does not guarantee a tournament victory. Dave McConachie wore the yellow jersey for much of the latter part of the SugarRush Challenge but could not expand on that lead at the final table. McConachie was barely above 2,000,000 for the better part of the recent level and eventually was knocked down to a push or fold stack.

Ian Gavlick put McConachie to the test for his stack, shoving from the small blind. McConachie agonized over the decision over whether or not to call off his last 900,000 with pay jumps lurking at every bustout. He did indeed find a call with 3♣3. McConachie noted he did not want to be in a coinflip, but indeed he was as Gavlick revealed A♠5♣.

An ace on the flop ended the drama early and McConachie was out after a blank river fell. Gavlick has been on the short stack for the majority of the final table but is now up to 3,650,000.

SugarRush (Day 2): 7th Place – Joseph Tapilo ($4,098)

Level 29 (60,000/120,000/20,000)
Total SugarRush Challenge Entries: 578
Players Remaining: 6
Chip Average: 2,545,000


Joe Del Grosso was near the outhouse for most of the final table but he is nearing the penthouse after his elimination of Joseph Tapilo. 

The parade of players making a trip to the pay is at a fever pitch with Joseph Tapilo the latest to join the dearly departed. Tapilo came into the final table with under five big blinds but hopped, skipped, and jumped up the pay ladder. Joe Del Grosso stopped Tapilo dead in his tracks from climbing any further, bringing the field down to six.

Tapilo moved all-in for 1,600,000 with 6♣6 from the cutoff and Del Grosso woke up with AA♠ in the big blind. Tapilo needed to improve but found nothing positive in the Q♣22 flop. The 7 turn and 9♣ river left Tapilo with only his underpair and he exited in seventh place. Del Grosso is now at his peak for his event with 3,500,000.

SugarRush (Day 2): 8th Place – Paul Zurgchka ($3,268)

Level 29 (60,000/120,000/20,000)
Total SugarRush Challenge Entries: 578
Players Remaining: 7
Chip Average: 2,185,000


8th Place: Paul Zurgchka ($3,268)

All players have seen their stacks pushed under under 20 big blinds at some point during the SugarRush Challenge final table but Paul Zurgchka is the unlucky soul among them who did not have his all-in wish granted. Zurgchka was among the chip leaders for nearly all of Day 2 but did not get any forward momentum going at the final table and saw his chip stack drop as a result.

Zurgchka shoved for 1,085,000 from early position and got a caller in Roberto Ilagan from the small blind. Ilagan held a large edge with 1010♠ against the A♠10 of Zurgchka. The J625♠Q♣ board was relatively sweat-proof and Zurgchka is the latest casualty of the final table.

Ilagan is the first player over 4,000,000 and has a chance to pull away from the field should he eliminate another player.

SugarRush (Day 2): 9th Place – Mike Marquad ($2,451)

Level 28 (50,000/100,000/15,000)
Total SugarRush Challenge Entries: 578
Players Remaining: 8
Chip Average: 1,910,000


9th Place: Mike Marquad ($2,451)

Plenty of records have been set in the relatively short history of the SugarRush Challenge, but a new one has likely been set tonight. In what was over three full levels of final table play, there was not a single elimination until Mike Marquad hit the rail a short while ago.

Joe Del Grosso did the deed to Marquad in fairly brutal fashion to leave Marquad with a pile of crumbs left in front of him. Del Grosso moved all-in for 895,000 from early position and Marquad called from the button. Del Grosso would need serious help with Q♣9♣ against the A♣A of Marquad.

Del Grosso may have been behind when the chips went in but in a full 180-degree turn, he took the lead after flopping a straight on the J10♣8♠ runout. Marquad needed running outs to catch up but was drawing dead after the turn.

Marquad hit the rail a few hands later and it will be interesting to see if a line of payouts form behind him as the average stack is still below 20 big blinds.

SugarRush (Day 2): Pace Remains At A Crawl, Peters In The Lead

Level 27 (40,000/80,000/10,000)
Total SugarRush Challenge Entries: 578
Players Remaining: 9
Chip Average: 1,700,000


Jeffrey Peters is the current chip leader with over 3,000,000 as nine players still remain in the SugarRush Challenge. 

Similar to the most recent update, play is at a near standstill in the SugarRush Challenge final table. Other than two small double ups from Joseph Tapilo, nearly all hands have ended preflop with little change on the leaderboard to show for it.

Jeffrey Peters has taken the chip lead and is the only player over 3,000,000. The blinds are set to jump a level, leaving the average stack at a feeble 17 big blinds. With that figure in play we should see some all-ins and potentially some calls to go with them. But given how unpredictable the final table has been thus far, anything is possible.