The World Series of Poker Circuit rolled into the Lodge Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado for the first time in the tour’s history. After three starting flights the Main Event attracted 421 players and 11 players returned for the third and final day. After the last cards were dealt Jonathan Taylor claimed the the gold ring, $138,938 and a seat in the National Championship held in New Orleans.
Before the final table could begin Bryan Campanello and Ting Ho were eliminated in 11th and 10th place respectively. Players that collected a cash but failed to make Day 3 include Ross Lecavalier 19th, Drazen Ilich 25th, David “ODB” Baker, Gary Germann 39th and James Arruebarrena 44th place.
The first elimination of the final table came when Taylor opened for 40,000, Jerry Johnson and Allan Hedin both called and Isaac Kirchner moved all in from late position. Taylor and Johnson folded but Hedin called with A K. Kirchner tabled pocket sevens, watched the board run A Q J 9 8 and was eliminated when his sevens didn’t improve.
Thirty minutes would pass before the next elimination occurred and Ashly Butler went from second in chips at the table to out of the tournament. Rosie Paules opened to 40,000 and Butler called from the small blind. The flop came Q Q J, both players checked and the turn came 9. Butler checked, Paules bet 75,000, Butler check-raised to 150,000 and Paules played back with a raise to 450,000. Butler called, the river came 4, Butler checked and Paules moved all in. Butler snap-called but mucked after Paules tabled pocket jacks for a flopped full house.
The table would play for another hour before Lawrence Blazer would gamble with his short stack. He open-shoved and Benjamin Kim called from the small blind with pocket tens. Blazer’s tournament life hinged on K J and he came up empty when the board ran Q 5 2 Q T. Kim crossed the seven-figure chip count as Blazer was eliminated in seventh place.
The next elimination came when Kevin Eyster opened for 90,000 and Kim made it 200,000 to play. Eyster called and the flop fell K Q J. Kim bet 100,00, Eyster called to see the 6 turn and called another 100,000. The river came 3, Kim bet 100,000 and Eyster raised to 625,000. Kim moved all in and Eyster called; Kim tabled pocket kings for a flopped set but Eyster held Broadway and tabled A T. Kim’s kings sent him to payout desk and Eyster took over the chip lead.
Ten minutes later the last woman standing, Paules, played her final hand after Eyster opened to 90,000 from the small blind and Paules called from the big. The flop came 7 6 5, Eyster bet 100,000, Paules shoved and Eyster called with a flopped flush holding K T. Paules has the nut draw though with A J but the board finished Q A and Paules was eliminated.
Jerry Johnson was the next player to go when he and Eyster saw a flop of A J 3. Eyster led for 175,000 and Johnson shoved. Eyster called with a weak 8 6 and Johnson had the best of it with A 5. The turn was a dud with 2 but the 9 river dealt the knockout blow for Johnson. Eyster’s momentum continued as he had over four million, Taylor a little over 3.5 million and Hedin was a long ways behind with 605,000.
Hedin didn’t last long, though his day was lengthened by the dinner break, he open-shoved, Taylor woke up with pocket aces, called and Hedin tabled K T. The board ran J 4 3 2 J and Hedin cleared the way for the heads up match for the ring.
Taylor started with the chip lead but Eyester flipped chip stacks with Taylor with a timely pair of fours. Then Eyster extended his lead to six million to 3.2 million but the Taylor turned the tables by flipping the counts again. He doubled up with pocket fives against Eyster’s A T and had a 6,000,000 stack.
Taylor kept the pressure on grinding on Eyster. The breaking point came when Eyster opened for 120,000, Taylor called and the flop came 7 6 4. Taylor led for 100,000, Eyster called and the turn came 5. Taylor bet 375,000 and Eyster called to see the 7 river. Taylor set Eyster all in and after a short tank he called with 7 3. Taylor tabled J 8 for a turned flush and won the tournament.
WSOPC Black Hawk Main Event Final Table Payouts
- Jonathan Taylor – $138,938
- Kevin Eyster – $85,852
- Allan Hedin – $62,733
- Jerry Johnson – $46,579
- Rosie Paules – $35,124
- Benjamin Kim – $26,883
- Lawrence Blazer – $20,877
- Ashly Butler – $16,444
- Isaac Kirchner – $13,135