LAS VEGAS (20 June 2017) – James Moore has repeated as champion of the 2017 World Series of Poker's $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold'em event, earning his second WSOP gold bracelet and $259,230.
Moore, 66, of New Hope, Pennsylvania, dominated much of the final-table action on Tuesday at the Rio Convention Center in Las Vegas. Moore's triumph in Event #35 on the 2017 WSOP's slate came over a record field of 1,720 paid entries, each of whom was required to be age 65 or older to participate..
The win by Moore was only the third cash of his WSOP career. In addition to his triumph in the 2016 WSOP's Super Seniors event, he also cashed in the 2013 $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Championship.
Moore's final hurdle before his successful bracelet defense was official was Jacksonville, Florida's Kerry Goldberg. Goldberg held a hefty chip lead as the head-up duel started, but he couldn't close this one out. Moore fought back early, and both players grabbed the lead twice as they battled for more than three hours. Moore finally sealed the victory, with Goldberg's second-place finish worth $160,120.
In the final hand, Goldberg pushed the last of his chips, about 1.2 million, into the pot after a flop. Moore quickly called and showed , leading Goldberg's . The turn gave both players two pair but left Goldberg drawing only to the two remaining tens, and the river ended the event.
Florida's John “Jack” Isler finished in third for $115,537.
Wednesday's third and final day of action in the Super Seniors Championship began early, at 11am, with 22 players still in the hunt. The bustouts came fast, however, and when Stanley Siegel exited in 10th a little more than three hours later, the official final table was set.
The nine finalists included start-of-day chip leader Kerry Goldberg, former bracelet winner Ken “Teach” Aldridge, and last year's winner in this same event, James Moore.
The rapid pace continued with Terry Stuhldreher's exit in ninth. Stuhldreher's day ended when he pushed all in for 450,000 over Moore's preflop raise. Moore quickly called and showed , way ahead of Stuhldreher's steal attempt with , and Stuhldreyer found no help on the board.
Daniel Favreau exited next, one hand after his pocket sevens were cracked by David Smith's K-3 in a short-stacked preflop battle. Smith flopped an open-ended straight draw and complete it with a rivered ace, leaving Favreau just a few chips. Those went to Goldberg, who was dealt A-K and found another ace on the flop, never being threatened by Favreau's 8-3.
Smith himself was bounced just two hands later, moving all in before the flop with . Moore called with and that held up when the board brought .
Nearly an hour elapsed before Darrell Ticehurst was bounced in sixth after a two-hand sequence. In the first hand, shorter stack John Isler doubled through with , catching the on the flop and eventually cracking Ticehurst's pocket kings. Ticehurst limped from the small blind to see a flop the next hand with , and he moved in when that flop brought . Big blind Isler called with , and Ticehurst found no spades nor other help on the turn or river.
Former bracelet winner Aldridge left in fifth after being on the worst end of a classic aces-versus-kings collision. Aldridge had , Moore had , the chips went in before the flop, and the board ran out seven-high. And that left four players in the running.
Fourth-place money went to Veronica Daly in a battle of the blinds between she and Moore. Moore limped in with , and called a raise from Daly, who held . The flop gave Daly top set but Moore an open-ended straight draw. Daly checked out of turn on the flop, and Moore then checked as well, and Moore then led out for 125,000 on the turn, with Daly calling. When the river brought the , Moore announced “All in,” and Daly called for all in for less. Moore then showed his 7-5 for the nut straight to send Daly to the rail.
That pot moved Moore over the 5,000,000-chip mark, with remaining foes Goldberg and Isler each under 2,000,000, but the battle wasn't done. Goldberg soon went on his own run, in the process taking two big pots off of Moore and moving over six million chips in the surge.
Isler eventually bowed out in third, losing a pre-flop all-in race against Moore. Isler had A-Q to Moore's pocket threes, but the suspense disappeared when Moore hit his set on a 10-high flop. The turn and river changed nothing, setting the stage for heads-up play and Moore's dramatic, though protracted, comeback.
This third edition of the WSOP's Super Seniors Championship was the largest and most successful to date. The 1,720 paid entries smashed the previous mark of 1,533 set in the Super Seniors' 2015 debut. The record field built a $1,548,000 prize pool, and 258 players made the money.
Moore claimed to have a plan to get back to the final table, but might have been surprised how well it worked. "I'll tell you, starting out heads-up," he said, "I tried to stay positive, but it was very tough and I had so few chips. That was a lucky, lucky run."
A big piece of that luck came during four-handed action when he caught the river three that wound up eliminating Daly and, at least temporarily, moving Moore to the top of the board. As to that trey, a relieved Moore just noted, "It certainly was a pleasure, wasn't it? Veronica, she's a very strong player, but she let me draw out too cheap." The odd action in the hand turned out to be "pivotal," as Moore put it, to his being able to defend the Super Seniors title.
The heads-up duel against Goldberg also found Moore ramping up the aggression, making several all-in pushes, including on check-raises. Yet more also said it was situational, saying, "I went with my reads. I felt that he was weak and I check-raised all in. I took big chances; I had to.
Among those running deep in the Super Seniors Championship were actor James Woods (34th), Josef Monro (49th), Gary Gibbs (51st), Dan Lacourse (65th), Chris Bjorin (72nd, for his 84th lifetime WSOP cash), Tom Franklin (89th), and TJ Cloutier (174th).
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Final Table Payouts: