WSOPC: Jonathan Tamayo Wins West Palm Beach Main Event

Jonathan Tamayo earns his second WSOP Circuit ring as he wins the Main Event at the Palm Beach Kennel Club.

The third and final day of the World Series of Poker Circuit West Palm Beach Main Event was not for the weak of heart. Normally, the final day in a tournament structure is meant for the final table. But 30 players returned to play down to a final table, then a winner. Ultimately, Jonathan Tamayo claimed the title, $206,020 and a seat in the WSOP National Championship after a 16-hour marathon session of poker.

The schedule of play was as big as any factor as hands below, Tamayo battled with the threat of the casino closing around them at 5 a.m. and having to return to play an extra day. With just minutes remaining until the early morning deadline Tamayo won his second WSOPC ring surrounded by weary fans, dealers and staff.

The event attracted 670 total players with the popular re-entry format and they created a million dollar prize pool. The tournament paid out 72 players including Will Souther, Harrison Gimbel, Ebony Kenney, Rex Clinkscales, Lee Childs, Jarred Jaffee and Pedro “Pete” Rios.

It took seven hours of play to reach the final table, which was conveniently timed for the dinner the break. The final nine players lined up as such: Clint Tolbert 2,880,000, David Grandieri 2,280,000, Tamayo 2,035,000, WIlliam Looper 1,740,000, Tom Gleason 1,320,000, Mark Rose 1,250,000, Chris Hyden 845,000, Luke Graham 580,000 and Nancy Birnbaum 520,000.

After an hour Birnbaum was the first player eliminated from the final table when she shoved holding A 6 and Tamayo called with A T. The board ran 5 K T 9 6 and Birnbaum was sent to the cashier cage.

Just minutes later Gleason would join Birnbaum in line. He three-bet shoved preflop and Looper called with pocket kings. Gleason was in a bad way after showing he had pocket queens. The board ran all rags and Gleason was out in eighth place.

An uneventful level would pass before Grandieri three-bet shoved holding pocket eights and Rose called with pocket tens. The board ran 4 Q 6 4 9 and despite entering the day with the largest chip stack, Grandieri had to settle for seventh place finish.

Less than an orbit would pass before Graham opened on the button for 120,000, Looper made it 305,000 to play from the big blind and Graham moved all in. Looper called the near million chip bet with pocket tens and was racing against Graham’s K J. The board ran 9 4 7 8 3, Graham was eliminated and Looper grabbed the chip lead for five-handed play.

Tamayo pulled out in front a short while later when Hyden opened for 100,000, Tamayo raised to 265,000 from the button and Hyden shoved for 1.75 million. Tamayo turned up pocket kings and Hyden needed to hit ace when he showed A 9. The flop ran 8 5 J and the A came on the turn. Hyden had to fade a king or a club to double up but the river came K and shipped to pot to Tamayo.

Two hours of four-handed play passed before Tolbert opened from under the gun, Looper tacked on 200,000 from the button, the blinds released and Tolbert moved all in. Looper called with pocket jacks and had to hold against Tolbert’s A K. The board ran 8 2 2 7 T and Tolbert’s nut flush gave him the chip lead and Looper was eliminated.

Tamayo, Tolbert and Rose began a long three-handed battle where the chip lead changed multiple times. In a span of 30 minutes Rose went from four big blinds to 4 million. His final hand began when Tamayo opened for 240,000 and Rose defended his big blind. The flop came K 8 3, Tamayo bet 275,000, Rose upped it to 730,000 and Tamayo got his stack in the middle. Rose flopped top pair with K 7 but Tamayo had him crushed after flopping a set with pocket threes. Rose didn’t improve and cleared the way for the heads up match.

Tamayo began heads up play with better than 2-1 chip lead, Tolbert held 4.3 million to Tamayo’s 9.1 million. With ten minutes left on the clock Tolbert and Tamayo got in a preflop raising war and got it all in preflop. Tolbert tabled pocket fives and was flipping against A J. The board ran K 9 3 A T and Tamayo clinched the win with the ace on the river.

WSOPC West Palm Beach Main Event Final Table Payouts
1. Jonathan Tamayo – $206,020
2. Clint Tolbert – $127,484
3. Mark Rose – $93,505
4. William Looper – $69,536
5. Chris Hyden – $52,411
6. Luke Graham – $40,029
7. David Grandieri – $30,974
8. Tom Gleason – $24,281
9. Nancy Birnbaum – $15,497

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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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