CASINO CHAMPION PROFILE: JESSE YAGINUMA

DECEMBER 17, 2016 - 12:47:27 PM EST   |  

CASINO CHAMPION PROFILE: JESSE YAGINUMA

 On Heels of Ring Win, Jesse Yaginuma Wins Bike Casino Championship

The Casino Championship at the Bicycle Hotel and Casino came down to the last hand of the entire WSOP Circuit series. Jesse Yaginuma became the latest player to secure a spot in the 2017 Global Casino Championship by earning that title on the final day of the series with  a win in the $3,250 no-limit hold'em high roller event.

Yaginuma racked up three cashes throughout the 13-day series, but until the final two days of the series, Yaginuma only had one cash in the series - a sixth place for $6,165 in the $1,125 no-limit hold'em. He didn't secure another cash until the penultimate day of the series, busting out of the main event in 19th place for $10,535 late on Day 2.

After busting out of the main event, there was only one event left in the series. The Los Angeles-based professional poker player hopped into the $3,250 no-limit hold'em high roller event with just a couple levels left in Day 1. Yaginuma ran his 30,000 starting stack up to over 300,000 and finished the day with a massive chip lead.

With 42.5 points from his first two cashes and Alex Massman still alive in the main event, Yaginuma still needed a lot to go right to take home the title. Massman, who had won the first event of the series to earn 50 points, came in fourth in the main event and added another 40 points to his total and temporarily taking the lead in the Casino Championship race.

When Massman busted out of the main event, the high roller was just reaching the final table. Yaginuma came into the final table with the chip lead, but would need to leave the Bike with a Circuit ring if he was going to earn the title of Casino Champion.

Yaginuma had to navigate through a high roller final table that featured several other tough pros, including Joe Serock, Mike Leah, Ben Palmer, Tom Braband, and Barry Hutter, in order to overtake Massman. He extended his chip lead and crossed the million chip mark when he eliminated Serock early at the final table and he never seemed to look back. 

He held the chip lead for almost the entire final table and scored knockouts of Palmer in fouth and Leah in third. He started heads-up play against Matthew Wantman with about a 3-to-1 chip lead. In less than an hour, he won a flip with king-queen against Wantman's pocket threes to earn his first Circuit ring, the Casino Champion, and a guaranteed seat into the 2017 Global Casino Championship, where he has a shot to win his first WSOP bracelet. 

"I ran really well last night," said Yaginuma after his win. "And I continued to run really well today. Sometimes, that's all it takes."

The win in the high roller gave Yaginuma another 50 points to finish with 92.5 points and just barely edge out Alex Massman for Casino Champion.

Jesse Yaginuma's cashes at the Bike:

Event #8: $1,125 no-limit hold'em - 6th for $6,125
Event #11: $1,675 no-limit hold'em main event - 19th for $10,535
Event #12: $3,250 no-limit hold'em high roller - 1st for $108,345


 
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