David Davenport begrudgingly enters Council Bluffs Main Event and ends up winning it all.
Council Bluffs, Iowa (April 9, 2018) – Another Main Event Champion has been added to the World Series of Poker Circuit. It was David Davenport who conquered Event #10: $1,675 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event at the Horseshoe Council Bluffs, earning $97,754 and his first gold ring.
The momentous achievement may have never materialized for Davenport if it were not for some encouragement from his wife and relentless coaxing from a friend.
“The strange thing is that I wasn’t even going to play. I actually came up just to play the cash games,” Davenport explained. “So I’m sitting there eating breakfast with my friend and he’s like, ‘Come on Dave. Don’t be such a wimp. Just go play.’ I’m humming and hawing. My wife can vouch for me on this. Finally, he gets irritated with me and I was like ‘Okay, I’ll go play.’”
It was a decision that paid massively in the end and Davenport will surely be thanking his friend for the push. Live tournament poker is still a fairly new arena for Davenport.
“I’m a physician. But I’ve been playing [poker] my whole life and I’ve always played cash,” mentioned Davenport “Then, last year, I said ‘you know what, I’m just gonna try to focus on playing tournaments.”
At the beginning of the 2017/18 Circuit season, Davenport dropped into the Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event and finished in 19th place. Shortly after, he followed up with a 4th-place finish in the Foxwoods High Roller.
“So, I was like ‘you know what, maybe I have a little knack for this. So, I try to apply myself, and continue to apply myself,” said Davenport. “I kind of play tournaments every now and then, but I usually get so bored in them. It’s hard for me to sit for days,” he said with a laugh.
The Horseshoe Main Event took three days to reach a conclusion and throughout a majority of the signature, WSOP tournament Davenport sat low on the totem pole.
“I was 45 out of 47 to start [Day 2]. I had 55,000,” said Davenport. “I was last, or next to last, on every single table on Day 2.” Even with his short-stack positioning, Davenport continued to make table redraws and hang in as other players busted.
“I was just kind of running good and just trying to stay alive really,” Davenport recapped. “I never got my money in bad and I won every race. It was the perfect tournament, like who ever does that?” he said with a laugh. “It was completely amazing.”
There were only four players still in the hunt going into Day 3. Jeff Banghart, coming in as the short stack, was eliminated in two hands, finishing his run in 4th ($32,116).
Davenport then found a huge double through the chip leader, Jeff Tebben, during three-handed play. Shortly after, with his newfound pile of chips, Davenport knocked out Andy Van Blair in 3rd ($43, 639).
All that remained was Davenport and Tebben, heads up for the Main Event title. Each player hails from the Kansas City area, a fact they bonded over during the final table. Tebben has a gold bracelet to his name, but both competitors were striving for their first gold ring.
In the end, Tebben would have to settle for 2nd ($60,401), as Davenport relished in a final moment of triumph, taking home 1st ($97,754).
“I exercise a lot of patience and discipline. I’m really proud of myself for the way that I played, so really excited, really happy,” expressed Davenport after his momentous victory.