The Casino Champion points race at the Horseshoe Southern Indiana came down to the wire, literally. The Champion was not determined until the final hand of the Main Event was completed.
Jonathan Taylor came into the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Circuit Series with a commanding lead in the National Championship points race. With Circuit Ring victories at both the IP Biloxi and Horseshoe Bossier City stops, Taylor probably had enough points to get an at-large bid at the end of the Circuit season.
However, he did not want to leave any margin for error. In Event #2 at Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Taylor scored a 12th place finish and followed that up with a 5th place finish just a few days later, both in $365 No-Limit Hold ‘em events. The 35 points he earned for those two events were enough to put him in a position to catch points leader Aaron Massey.
By virtue of winning a Ring as well as a third place finish in the final Ring event, Massey had accumulated 80 total points. When the final table of the Main Event was set, Taylor was the only player who had a shot at catching him. The scenario was simple: If Taylor finished second or third, he would win the Casino Championship. Any other spot and Massey takes the title.
Once play was three-handed, Taylor had assured himself a spot in the National Championship. The only question was, would Massey get a seat. Heads-up play would determine the Casino Champion, as Taylor would win the automatic seat if he won the Main Event. However, Heimiller was able to defeat Taylor, earning the National Championship seat and Taylor would take the Casino Championship.
Only three events into the current Circuit season and it has already been an incredible year for the Phil Campbell, Alabama native. Two Circuit victories, over $100,000 in earnings and a seat locked up to the National Championship. Not bad for a player that focused solely on cash games less than a year ago.
The 30-year old was formerly an accountant with Price Waterhouse Cooper for four years. He played football at the University of North Alabama and then got his Masters from the University of Alabama. He then decided to play poker as a profession, concentrating mainly on the cash games near his home.
The recent addition of the National Championship points system helped motivate Taylor to concentrate more on his tournament game in hopes of securing a seat to the National Championship in New Orleans. In three stops he has accomplished his goal and now looks to add to an already impressive and growing Circuit resume.
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