Circuit Star Kyle Cartwright Wins First WSOP Bracelet in $1K NLHE

Kyle Cartwright now has a bracelet to go along with five rings. (Drew Amato photo)

Kyle Cartwright now has a bracelet to go along with five rings. (Drew Amato photo)

Five times in his career Kyle Cartwright has conquered a WSOP Circuit field to capture a gold ring. He’s made just over $400,000 playing events from Tunica to Cherokee to Los Angeles to Hammond. Saturday night though Cartwright took center stage at the 2014 Word Series of Poker in Las Vegas and walked away from Event #4, a $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event, with his first WSOP bracelet.

“Man this means a lot. I haven’t played the Circuit at all lately. I went and played a few events but winning a bracelet has been my whole life dream and now it’s finally come true. I’m so excited and happy, ready to go out and party. Going to have fun tonight,” said Cartwright.

But first he had to call his mom.

“I said ‘I won’, she goes ‘I’m in Tunica right now, I was about to go watch it on the laptop’. I was like ‘you’re too late, it’s already over'”,” said Cartwright, who started the final table with a monumental chip lead. With 1.9 million, he had more than double his closest competitor, Robert Kuhn.

The first player to bust was Michael Sortino. After Matthew O’Donnell raised to 32,000 pre-flop, Sortino re-raised to 85,000 and Ylon Schwartz responded by moving all-in from the small blind. O’Donnell folded but Sortino called and tabled 9 9 to find out he was racing against Schwartz’s A K. The flop came A T 2 giving Schwartz a huge lead heading to the final two cards. The 6 turn and 7 river were both blanks for Sortino and was eliminated in ninth place.

Just a few minutes later Ken Weinstein, who began the final table as the second shortest stack, found himself all-in with 8 7 against Jeremy Drescsh’s A 9. The A J 2 flop put Dresch well ahead and when the A and 6 completed the board Weinstein was sent to the rail in eighth place.

Cartwright had been mostly inactive at the final table but finally found a hand to play, resulting in the elimination of Kuhn. Cartwright raised to 40,000 from the cutoff, Kuhn made it 110,000 from the small blind. The big blind folded and action was back on Cartwright, who called. After a flop of 7 3 2 Kuhn bet 125,000 and Cartwright called. Following the 9 turn Kuhn moved all-in and Cartwright called instantly, tabling 9 7 while Kuhn showed A T. The meaningless river was the 8 and Kuhn was sent home with a seventh place finish.

The fast pace of eliminations continued and just over five minutes later Dresch became Cartwright’s second victim. Cartwright raised to 40,000, Dresch made it 101,000 and Cartwright fired back, this time to 192,000. The raise war continued with Dresch put in the fifth bet, raising to 365,000. Cartwright moved all-in for 1.73 million effect and Dresch called. Cartwright had Q Q and was racing against the A K of Dresch. The dealer ran out a 8 5 2 5 2 board and Cartwright’s queens held-up to move him near the four million chip mark.

It took only ten more minutes of play for yet another player to be eliminated. Shortly after a 20-minute break Schwartz made it 55,000 from the button. O’Donnell moved all-in from the big blind for a total of 284,000 and Schwartz called. O’Donnell was ahead with A 7 against Schwartz’s K T but the Q J 9 flop basically ended everything. When the Q hit the turn O’Donnell was eliminated in fifth place. The river was the J.

While the first five bustouts seemed to come quickly there was a 90-minute gap before the next player was sent packing. Dizenzo moved all-in from the button for 435,000, Cartwright folded the small blind but Schwartz called from the big. Dizenzo turned over A 4 while Schwartz showed 8 8. The Q T 2 flop was no help for Dizenzo and the 8 turn sealed his fate, eliminating him in fourth place after the K completed the board.

While it appeared that Schwartz vs. Cartwright was the inevitable heads-up match, the cards had other ideas. Jason Paster made it 100,000 to go from the button, Cartwright re-raised to 260,000 from the small blind before Schwartz moved all-in for 2,025,000. Paster quickly folded but Cartwright went into the tank. After more than three minutes Cartwright announced call and turned over 9 9 while Schwartz flipped over 4 4. The 8 2 2 flop was a safe one for Cartwright as were the J turn and A river and Schwartz was eliminated in third place.

When heads-up play began Cartwright held 4,605,000 of the 6,630,000 chips in play. With Schwartz, who Cartwright admitted giving him fits throughout the final table, out of the way, it didn’t take long for Cartwright to dispatch Paster. Just nine hands into heads-up play Cartwright finished the job. Paster raised to 100,000 from the button, Cartwright re-raised to 270,000 and Paster responded by moving all-in for 1,845,000. Cartwright called and tabled A Q and again found himself racing, this time against the 4 4 of Paster. The flop came Q 5 2  putting Cartwright ahead. Neither the J turn or Q river helped Paster and he was eliminated in second place leaving Cartwright as the champion.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Kyle Cartwright – $360,278
  2. Jason Paster – $223,418
  3. Ylon Schwartz – $157,855
  4. Daniel Dizenzo – $113,499
  5. Matthew O’Donnell – $82,688
  6. Jeremy Dresch – $61,041
  7. Robert Kuhn – $45,635
  8. Ken Weinstein – $34,552
  9. Michael Sortino – $26,489
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Lance Bradley

Editor in Chief at
Editor in Chief: Lance Bradley began working with BLUFF in March 2008 and was named Editor in Chief in August 2009. Prior to joining BLUFF Bradley launched an independent poker blog, in 2006. Before entering the world of poker media he was the Poker Room Manager for Bodog from January 2004 until June 2006. He graduated from the Applied Journalism program Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, Canada.
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