The World Series of Poker Circuit tournament series takes players to the far corners of the country to play for big prize pools and gold rings. Its most recent stop brought the WSOP-C action to the home of many professional players, Las Vegas. The $1,600 Main Event at Caesars Palace brought a packed field of 496 players, with several big names making rare appearances in a WSOP-C event. Notables who made the money included David Williams, Jimmy Fricke, JJ Liu and Erica Schoenberg.
Final table chip leader Chris Johnson made quick work of his final table adversaries, taking under three hours to win his first WSOP-C gold ring, over $153,000 and an entry into the National Championship later this month. Another story at the final table was who will take home the Casino Champion honor given to the player with the most points from the ten WSOP-C ring events. Three players were in contention to earn the National Championship seat headed into the final day of play, with two of those players at the final table as John Kulish and Adam Hui could pass Blake Kelso in the points race.
Less than an hour into play, the final table of ten was down to six players. Derrick Kwenzel started the table ninth in chips, but lost a race when his pocket sevens ran into A-K. A king on the flop improved to a flush on the river meant Kwenzel was the first to visit the cashier, collecting $11,492. Matthew Leecy moved up a spot in the money despite starting as the short stack, his A-8 no good against Chris Johnson’s A-Q, cashing in for $14,249. The most recognizable name among the final ten, UB Poker pro “Hollywood Dave” Stann fell short of earning his second WSOP-C gold ring when his A-T could not improve against the pocket kings of Brian “brianm15″ England, sending the boisterous Stann to the rail in eighth place. Alex Santiago couldn’t win a flip with A-Q against pocket tens, finishing seventh for $22,820.
Action continued to move along at a brisk pace as James Martini was shaken and stirred in sixth, pocketing $29,498 when his pocket fives ran up against England’s K-J when the online pro flopped two pair. England would also dispatch Adam Hui from the final table, outflopping the Casino Champion contender when his K-4 made a pair when Hui couldn’t couldn’t connect with K-5. Hui’s departure meant John Kulish needed a win or second place finish to overtake Hui in the standings. Unfortunately for Kulish, Jon Seaman ended his hopes and dreams. On an A-T-9 flop, the chips went in the middle with Kulish holding A-T and Seaman revealing A-9. Seaman improved to a full house with a lucky nine on the turn, and when Kulish’s two-outter didn’t materialize on the river, he lost the Casino Champion title, but got a nice consolation prize of $51,418 for his fourth place finish.
Jon Seaman went out third when his K-J failed to improve against Johnson’s A-2, earning $69,360. Heads-up play began with Chris Johnson holding a 5-1 chip lead over Brian England. A few hands into heads-up play, England four-bet shoved with A-J only to see Johnson wake up with A-K. Both players flopped a pair but England was unable to improve, collecting $94,944 for his bankroll as Johnson earned the title.
Just two events remain on the WSOP-C calendar this season and the next series is already underway at the Harrah’s casino in Chester, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. The WSOP’s first visit to the booming Keystone State poker scene has their $1,600 Main Event running May 8-10.
Final table results of the $1,600 WSOP-Circuit event at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas:
1. Chris Johnson – $153,559
2. Brian England – $94,944
3. Jon Seaman – $69,360
4. John Kulish – $51,418
5. Adam Hui – $38,669
6. James Martini – $29,498
7. Alex Santiago – $22,820
8. Dave Stann – $17,906
9. Matthew Leecy – $14,249
10. Derrick Kwenzel – $11,492
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