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2018/19 WSOP Circuit - THUNDER VALLEY (Sacramento area)

Thursday, January 17, 2019 to Friday, January 18, 2019

Event #10: $3,250 High Roller

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  • Buy-in: $3,250
  • Prizepool: $222,000
  • Entries: 74
  • Remaining: 0
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01/18/19 10:36:06 PM PDT (about 21 hours and 55 minutes ago)

Stephen Song

Stephen Song is the champion of the $3,250 Thunder Valley WSOP Circuit High Roller event. He defeated a 74-player field to earn his second career WSOP Circuit ring and the top payout of $75,480. In addition, Song earned 50 Global Casino Championship points and now has a total of 265 on the season, which puts him in first place on the season-long leaderboard.

“I was grinding pretty hard to get a [Global Casino Championship] seat, but at this point I have locked one up,” said Song.

The two-day high roller tournament started Thursday at 4 p.m. with just two tables worth of players. It quickly grew to a 70-player field by the end of the night. Four more players registered before the start of play on Day 2 to bring the final tally to 74 entries and a $222,000 prizepool. It was the largest WSOP Circuit High Roller event ever held at Thunder Valley in terms of both entries and prizepool amount.

Song finished Day 1 second in chips out of 28 survivors, but was well behind chip leader and eventual 3rd place finisher Jeff Tugwell. Song was able to start Day 2 right where he left off on Day 1 and collected a KO in the first orbit of play.

“Things went my way right from the start [of Day 2],” said Song. “I won a flip third hand in for some guy’s starting stack who bought in.”

Song’s stack continued to grow and by the time the unofficial final table of 10 was reached, he was the chip leader.  The top 8 players were set to cash and Song used his big stack to bully the table. Song continued to extend his chip lead as he played the majority of pots on the bubble and applied maximum pressure.

“Pete [Cross] was pretty short. Everyone at the table were pretty good players and everyone understood ICM. So they understand that they are incentivized to wait [Cross] out. All you have to do is raise and that kind of just does the job,” said Song.

Song grew his stack to about twice his nearest competitor on the money bubble and it looked like there would be no stopping him, but eventually had a slip up and doubled up Jordan Cristos right after the money bubble burst. Song was back within striking distance of the rest of the pack and ended up relinquishing his chip lead back to Tugwell a few hands later.

Song stayed composed and didn’t allow the downward trend spiral out of control.  Song got the ball rolling back in his favor right after the return from the dinner break when he eliminated three-time Circuit ring winner Joe Kuether in 6th place.

Song was rolling at this point, but so was Randy Lew. Lew flopped quads and turned it into double up against Jordan Cristos. Song and Lew accounted for the next three eliminations and then found themselves heads up for a WSOP Circuit ring. Song began heads up with a slight chip lead, but never gave it up at any point. In the final hand of the tournament, Song flopped top pair and check-raised Lew all in on the flop. Lew decided to go for it with two overs and gut shot straight draw, but didn’t hit any of his outs and was eliminated in 2nd place for $46,702.

The victory marked Song’s 17th career WSOP cash (12 of which are WSOP Circuit cashes), his seventh final table and second career WSOP Circuit ring. The $75,480 payday is the largest of his WSOP career and pushes his WSOP tournament earnings over the $350,000 mark.

 “These [WSOP Circuit] stops are great, especially ones with high rollers,” said Song. “Small field tournaments are way more fun because you get to make the FT way more often.”

Besides finding Song in a WSOP Circuit High Roller, he said that if this summer is anything like last, he’ll be playing at the World Series of Poker at the Rio on a nearly daily basis. Next up for Song - the Thunder Valley Circuit Main Event.

Final Table Results:

1st: Stephen Song - $75,480
2nd: Randy Lew - $46,702
3rd: Jeffrey Tugwell - $30,743
4th: Jordan Cristos – 21,521
5th: Evan Price - $15,948
6th: Joe Kuether - $12,472
7th: Michael Horchoff - $10,265
8th: Heinz Schluter - $8,869

01/18/19 09:22:49 PM PDT (about 22 hours and 9 minutes ago)


Randy Lew raises to 65,000 on the button and Stephen Song three-bets to 230,000. Lew calls and the flop comes    . Song checks and Lew bets 175,000. Song moves all in and Lew calls for his remaining 650,000. Both hands are tabled.


The turn is the   and the river is the  . Song wins the pot, the tournament, his second career WSOP Circuit ring and $75,480.

Lew will take home $46,702 for his runner-up finish.

01/18/19 09:08:57 PM PDT (about 22 hours and 23 minutes ago)

Randy Lew raises to 70,000 from the button and Stephen Song moves all in. Lew has about 840,000 behind. Lew thinks for a minute before folding and the pot is pushed to Song.

Stephen Song - 2,100,000 (70 bb)
Randy Lew - 840,000 (28 bb)

01/18/19 09:02:36 PM PDT (about 22 hours and 29 minutes ago)
Level:24  Blinds:15,000/30,000  Ante:30,000
01/18/19 08:49:07 PM PDT (about 23 hours and 42 minutes ago)

Jeff Tugwell was eliminated in 3rd place for $30,743.

Stephen Song will begin heads up play against Randy Lew with a slight chip lead.

Stephen Song - 1,600,000 (66 bb)
Randy Lew - 1,360,000 (56 bb)
Jeff Tugwell - Eliminated
01/18/19 08:40:33 PM PDT (about 23 hours and 51 minutes ago)


Jordan Cristos

According to Stephen Song, Jordan Cristos raised to 50,000 from the small blind and Song called in the big blind.

The flop came    . Song checked and Cristos bet 26,000. Song moved all in and Cristos called for the remainder of his stack.

Cristos showed   , but that was behind the    of Song's. Song's two pair held and he eliminated Cristos from the tournament.

Stephen Song - 800,000 (33 bb)
Jordan Cristos - Eliminated

01/18/19 08:33:40 PM PDT (about 23 hours and 58 minutes ago)


Evan Price

Evan Price raises to 55,000 from under the gun and action folds to Randy Lew in the small blind. Lew three-bets to 130,000 and Price calls after Jordan Cristos folds his big blind.

The flop comes     and Lew leads for 85,000. Price calls and the turn is the  . Lew leads again, this time for 125,000. Price moves all in for 360,000 and has Lew slightly covered. Lew instantly calls and both players table their hands.


The river is the   and Lew's ace hold. Lew doubles up and Price is left with just 17,000. Price is eliminated on the next hand in 5th place.

Randy Lew - 1,116,000 (46 bb)
Evan Price - Eliminated

01/18/19 08:22:39 PM PDT (about 23 hours and 9 minutes ago)
Level:23  Blinds:12,000/24,000  Ante:24,000
01/18/19 08:18:47 PM PDT (about 23 hours and 13 minutes ago)

Jordan Cristos raises to 42,000 from under the gun and Randy Lew calls in the big blind.

The flop comes     and both players checks. The turn is the   and again, both players check. The river comes the   and Lew leads for 75,000. Cristos raises to 200,000 and then Lew moves all in for 321,000. Cristos snap calls and both hands are tabled.


Lew's quad threes are best and he scores the double up, while Cristos falls to the bottom of the chip counts.

Randy Lew - 672,000 (33 bb)
Jordan Cristos - 190,000 (9 bb)

01/18/19 07:58:02 PM PDT (about 24 hours and 34 minutes ago)

Evan Price moves all in for 302,000 from the button and Stephen Song calls from the small blind. Both hands are tabled.


The board runs out         and Price doubles up.

Evan Price - 644,000 (32 bb)
Stephen Song - 550,000 (27 bb)

01/18/19 07:51:32 PM PDT (about 24 hours and 40 minutes ago)

Joe Kuether

Joe Kuether moves all in from under the gun for 145,000. Action folds to Stephen Song in the small blind and he calls. Both players table their hands.


The board runs out        . Song wins the pot and eliminates Kuether from the tournament.

Stephen Song - 785,000 (39 bb)
Joe Kuether - Eliminated

01/18/19 07:45:01 PM PDT (about 24 hours and 47 minutes ago)
Level:22  Blinds:10,000/20,000  Ante:20,000
01/18/19 06:47:44 PM PDT (about 1 day and 1 hour ago)
The six remaining players are now on a 60-minute dinner break. Cards will be back in the air at about 7:41 p.m. local time.
01/18/19 06:46:29 PM PDT (about 1 day and 1 hour ago)


 Michael Horchoff

Michael Horchoff moves all in for 127,000 from under the gun and Jordan Cristos moves all in for more from the cutoff. The rest of the table folds and both hands are tabled.


The board runs out         and Cristos eliminates Horchoff in seventh place.

"Good game, guys," says Horchoff has he exits the table to head to the payout desk.

Jordan Cristos - 655,000 (40 bb)
Michael Horchoff - Eliminated

01/18/19 06:24:30 PM PDT (about 1 day and 1 hour ago)


Heinz Schluter

Jeff Tugwell raises to 35,000 from the cutoff and Heinz Schluter moves all in for 125,000 from the button. The players in the blinds fold and Tugwell calls. Both players table their hands.


The board runs out         and Tugwell's pocket jacks hold to knock out Schluter in 8th place.

Jeff Tugwell - 905,000 (56 bb)
Heinz Schluter - Eliminated

01/18/19 06:02:55 PM PDT (about 1 day and 1 hour ago)
Level:21  Blinds:8,000/16,000  Ante:16,000
01/18/19 05:55:01 PM PDT (about 1 day and 2 hours ago)

Jordan Cristos raises to 53,000 from the button and Stephen Song moves all in from the big blind. Cristos has about 180,000 behind and calls. Both hands are tabled.


The board runs out        . Cristos doubles up and Song's big stack takes a hit. Song remains the chip leader, despite doubling up Cristos.

Jordan Cristos - 480,000 (40 bb)
Stephen Song - 715,000 (59 bb)

01/18/19 05:46:23 PM PDT (about 1 day and 2 hours ago)


Peter Cross

Jeff Tugwell raises to 25,000 from the button and Peter Cross moves all in for 27,000 from the small blind. Action folds back to Tugwell and he calls.


The board runs out        . Tugwell's full house eliminates Cross on the bubble.

The remaining eight players are all in the money and guaranteed a minimum payout of $8,869.

Jeff Tugwell - 555,000 (46 bb)
Peter Cross - Eliminated

01/18/19 05:22:58 PM PDT (about 1 day and 2 hours ago)
Level:20  Blinds:6,000/12,000  Ante:12,000
01/18/19 05:19:27 PM PDT (about 1 day and 2 hours ago)

Stephen Song raises to 23,000 from the cutoff and Heinz Schluter calls in the big blind.

The flop comes     and Schluter checks. Song bets 35,000 and Schluter calls. The turn is the   and Schluter checks again. Song bets 65,000 and Schluter calls. The river brings the   and Schluter checks for a third time. Song announces he is all in. Song has Schluter covered and Schluter has about 245,000 remaining. He thinks for about four minutes before finally releasing his hand to the muck.

Stephen Song is awarded the pot and he increases his chip lead.

Stephen Song - 812,000
Heinz Schluter - 245,000