28 February 2018 (Las Vegas) – After more than a decade, Kevin Iacofano finally has his first live tournament win, and he accomplished the feat in dramatic fashion by winning the World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, earning $259,463.
“I feel absolutely amazing. This has been ten, twelve years of hard work.” Iacofano already has over $1 million in live tournament earnings on his poker resume, but he lacked a signature victory – or any victory, in fact. But now he has a title, a ring for his trophy case, and over a quarter million dollars in prize money.
Iacofano outlasted a tough final table and a marathon heads-up battle against runner-up finisher Nikhil Gera, who was looking for his second Circuit Main Event victory. “Heads-up … he played great,” Iacofano said of Gera. “He was really tough. I could just tell he was solid.”
Iacofano had a tough road even before facing off against Gera. At all three of the final three tables, I Brett Bader, who was chip, leader to my left, so I was kind of in survival mode. It felt like every time I raised, that guy was there. And then I woke up to aces in the big blind when he shoved. And after he was gone, I just felt like, ‘Let’s play!’”
Bader finished Day 2 with the chip lead, and spent the first half of Day 3 extending that lead. But after a while he plateaued, and his stack started to dwindle. Other players, Gera in particular, took over as chip leader, and eventually Bader was eliminated by Iocafano in sixth place ($51,025).
Also making Day 3 were Matt Affleck (9th place, $24,694), Joe Kuether (15th, $16,166), bracelet winner Arkadiy Tsinis (16th, $13,318), and Rex Clinkscales ($9,353).
The tournament started on Saturday, February 24 and attracted 887 entries over two starting flights, creating a prize pool of $1,330,500. There were 155 players who advanced to Day 2 (Monday), and then 22 who made it to Day 3. Iacofano secured his victory at roughly 2:45 a.m. after over 12 hours on the final day.
Here are the final table results: FULL RESULTS are available here.
1 - Kevin Iacofano - $259,463
2 - Nikhil Gera - $160,325
3 - Boris Kasabo - $118,095
4 - Jesse Cohen - $88,132
5 - Yashvenn Mudireddy - $66,631
6 - Brett Bader - $51,025
7 - Jim Agate - $39,569
8 - Mark Kaganovsky - $31,067
9 - Matt Affleck - $24,694