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Parx Casino Wraps Up Successful Big Stax XXII Poker Tournament Series


Pennsylvania’s largest and most successful live poker tournament series wrapped up last week with a three-way chop in the $1,500 Main Event.

The Parx Big Stax XXII $1,500 Main Event drew a total of 447 entries to the Parx Casino complex in Bensalem, PA. A $650,385 prize pool was created that paid the top 53 finishers.

By the time they reached just three players remaining, Oregon’s Maxwell Young had built a dominating lead over New Jersey’s Mike Lavenburg and New York’s Vineet ‘Vinny’ Pahuja.

According to the Parx poker blog, the three players then struck a deal, giving Young the title, trophy and $120,930. This marked the largest lifetime score for Young, pushing his total tournament earnings up to $372,834.

Lavenburg, who also finished second in the Big Stax 1500 event in August 2016 for $78,912, took runner-up and $90,000.

Pahuja, the most accomplished of the three players, having more than $2.4 million in live career tournament winnings coming into the event, accepted third and $85,000.

Palma wins back-to-back Big Stax 300 events

The Parx Big Stax XXII series also included a Big Stax 300 event that saw Philadelphia, PA’s Joe Palma go back-to-back in $300 Big Stax events at Parx. Palma won the Big Stax 300 at Big Stax XXI in May for $60,675.

The Big Stax XXII Big Stax 300 drew a whopping 2,805 entries creating an $841,500 prize pool. This time, Palma got the better end of a four-way chop that saw him earn the title, trophy and $120,000.

Big Stax side event results

Side events on the Big Stax XXII schedule included the $430 Double Black Chip Bounty event that drew 190 entries creating a $36,860 prize pool. Kevin Grabel was crowned champion after a four-way chop that saw him take away $9,500. He also added 20 bounties for another $4,000.

Big Stax XXII also hosted a $230 PLO/NLHE Mixed Event that drew 160 entries creating a $31,040 prize pool. Another four-way chop saw Gary Kosakowski and Demetrios Frangas share the win, earning a little over $6,000 each.

Parx and Big Stax

The Parx Casino, which sits just 15 miles outside Philadelphia a few minutes off of I‑95, has hosted the very successful Parx Big Stax poker tournament series since February 2013.

The series runs five times annually in February, May, August, October, and December. It has become one of the biggest draws in tournament poker in Pennsylvania, and the entire Northeast.

Parx also operates the largest and most popular poker room in Pennsylvania. The room features more than 80 tables spreading No-Limit Texas Hold’em, Limit Texas Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha 8 or Better, and mixed games.

The room runs regular weekly tournaments in addition to the Big Stax tournament series.


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.