The World Series of Poker Circuit had never crowned a female Main Event winner since its inception in 2005. Three women – Jennifer Harman, Esther Taylor-Brady and Traci Brown – all finished second in WSOPC Main Events over the years, but until Monday afternoon there hadn’t been a female champion. Michelle Chin had the chiplead to start the WSOPC Council Bluffs Main Event, carried that lead into four-handed play Monday and eventually completed a wire-to-wire victory to make history.
A field of 235 entries generated a prize pool of $352,500, paid out among the final 24 players. Blair Hinkle attempted to win this event for an astounding third consecutive year, and while he did manage to make the money his run came to an end in 20th place. Other notables finishing in the money included WSOP bracelet winner Eric Rodawig (14th), all-time WSOP Circuit ring leader Alex Masek (17th), and recent HPT Kansas City winner Frank Patti (18th).
The official final table of nine players started with these chip stacks:
Seat 1: Jesse Wilke – 756,000
Seat 2: Michelle Chin – 1,530,000
Seat 3: Greg Beaufait – 356,000
Seat 4: Greg Jennings – 774,000
Seat 5: Tom Moss – 260,000
Seat 6: Richard Fitzgerald – 50,000
Seat 7: Michael Jensen – 417,000
Seat 8: Mike Lang – 165,000
Seat 9: Michael Sanders – 396,000
Starting as the shortest stack, Richard Fitzgerald hung around at the final table, poised to double up again when he shoved with K K against Greg Jennings A Q, holding the lead until the river when Jennings spiked the A to send Fitzgerald to the rail. Gregory Beaufait finished eighth when Michael Jensen’s pocket tens crushed Beaufait’s A J, when Jensen flopped a set. Tom Moss found pocket tens and moved all in, unfortunately for Moss, Mike Lang held pocket aces and flopped a third to send Moss to the cashier in seventh place.
Sixth place went to Michael Jensen as his 5 5 lost a coinflip when WSOPC Lake Tahoe Main Event winner Jesse Wilke’s A Q flopped a queen. The final elimination on Sunday was Greg Jennings, also losing with pocket fives as Michelle Chin’s Q T paired up on the river, leaving four players returning Monday with Chin leading the way.
The final day, from four-handed to a champion, took less than one hour as Michelle Chin eliminated her three opponents. Jesse Wilke lost a big hand to Chin, falling under 20 big blinds when he shoved over Chin’s opening raise with T 9 as Chin called with 3 3. The T 8 7 flop moved Wilke in front, but the 3 on the turn gave Chin a set and the Q shut the door on Wilke earning a second WSOPC Main Event title this season. Chin disposed of Michael Sanders in third a few hands later. After Sanders opened, Chin moved all in and Sanders called with A T, well ahead of Chin’s Q 5. Sanders remained in front on a flop of J 8 4, but the 5 gave Chin the lead, which she maintained when the 6 hit the river, giving her nearly three-fourths of the chips in play against Mike Lang.
The final hand of the tournament had Mike Lang raise, Michelle Chin three-betting and Lang four-bet shoving with T 8 against Chin’s 77. The flop of K J 2 kept Chin in front, two cards from the title. The T on the turn put Lang in front, one card from doubling up. The river was the 7, giving Chin a historic victory as the first female winner of a World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event and a seat at the WSOP National Championship at North Carolina’s Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in late July.
Speaking of Harrah’s Cherokee, the WSOP Circuit is well underway at that location, where large turnouts are standard. The $1,675 Main Event has a guaranteed prize pool of $750,000, running April 24th through 27th.
WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Council Bluffs Main Event Final Table Results:
- Michelle Chin – $88,126
- Michael Lang – $54,468
- Michael Sanders – $39,642
- Jesse Wlke – $29,317
- Greg Jennings – $22,021
- Michael Jensen – $16,797
- Thomas Moss – $13,007
- Gregory Beaufait – $10,223
- Richard Fitzgerald – $8,153
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