John Garcia started out as an accountant, decided it didn't pay enough, became a trucker, and now conveniently drives around the country making pit stops at various casinos. His nickname is "Poker Trucker," and his girlfriend Cynthia, who travels with him, maintains that poker is his job and driving is his hobby.

Either way, things worked out for him pretty well today as he arrived at the final table with the chip lead, steadily increased it and coasted to a win in the third event of the WSOP Circuit stop at Caesars Indiana, $300 no-limit hold'em. His payday for the win was $39,399, probably more than he made any one day as either an accountant or a trucker.  

He made spectacular catches along the way, and ended with a flourish. With his final opponent, Justin "Rabbit" Stigger, down to about 80,000 and in the big blind, Garcia decided to make a blind all-in bet. Stigger, with pocket 8s, had to call. Garcia was behind with As-3d, but then flopped an ace and it was all over.

Garcia, 43, is from West Palm Beach, Florida. He's divorced, with four children, his other hobby is basketball. He taught himself poker and has been playing four years. This is his second time playing a Circuit tournament, and he's won daily tournaments at Grand Tunica and Foxwoods. He describes his play as "moderately aggressive, and gives credit to Ron Rose (author of the book "Poker Aces") for improving his game. He was playing at the Wynn in a no-limit cash game when Rose advised him that he was betting too weakly, allowing opponents to chase him down.

With 10 players left at around 10 p.m., it appeared as if we might play through for the third straight day. But when it got down to nine, the finalists voted to play one more round and return at 4 p.m. (instead of 2 p.m.) the next day. During that round, John Hemphill  got knocked out when his Qs-Js was beaten by an A-K.

So, depending on one's perspective, we either had a final table of nine players on March 28, or a table of eight on March 29. Let's call it "Final Tables A and B."

Hemphill is a bar owner from Westerville, Ohio. He's  married with four kids, has played 30 years,  and this is third Circuit attempt. Last night he was down to only 250 in chips in early (100-200 blinds) action but managed to climb back to make Final Table A. 

When second-day action began, there was 12:25 left on the clock with 500 antes and 2,000-4,000 blinds. Garcia, with 161,500 chips, had a strong lead. You might call this a "dealer's choice" table, because three of the players work as poker dealers.

Here were the starting chip counts:

SEAT 1 Robert French         33,000
SEAT 2 Joe Disney              99,500 
SEAT 3 Justin Stigger        126,000
SEAT 4 John Garcia           161,500 
SEAT 5 Antonio Pansera     60,000
SEAT 6 Bill Coyle               106,000
SEAT 7 Shawn Cunix           43,000
SEAT 8 (Vacant)                  
SEAT 9 Jason Campbell      75,000

There was immediate action, with five all-ins in the first five hands. In the one call, Antonio Pantera survived when his pocket treys turned into a flush to beat Joe "Diz" Disney's paired ace.

First to depart, on hand eight, was Disney. Blinds were now 3,000-6,000 with 500 antes. He moved in from the button for 38,000 with A-3 suited, and was called by Stigger, who turned over pocket aces. The board made no difference, and Disney took home $3,940 for finishing eighth.

Disney, from Milan, Indiana, was one of the three dealers at the table. He works at the Argosy Casino up the river. He's 31, single, and has been playing poker three years, learning in home games. "Dealing and playing, poker is my life," he said. This is his second stab at a Circuit event. His eighth-place finish paid $3,940.

Robert French, down to19,000, had a close call when he was up against Garcia's pocket kings, but survived when his Ac-6c flushed on the river.   Pocket aces, this time held by Stigger, again claimed a victim on hand 15. Stigger called after Shawn Cunix moved in with As-Ks. The board came K-10-9-9-6, and Cunix cashed out seventh for $5,253.

Cunix is 34, from Galena, Ohio, and owns 50 Verizon phone stores. He placed 12th in a $2,000 event here last year. With three kids, Cunix doesn't have as much time for poker as he'd like, so he can't wait for them to grow up.

A few deals later, French survived a second time when he was all in with Q-10 against Jason Campbell's A-10 and made a straight on the turn.

On hand 28, Garcia was in the big blind with 8-6 and flopped a straight when 9-7-5 was dealt. On the river he moved in. Jason Campbell, with A-9, called for his last chips and busted out in sixth place, worth $6,566. This was to be the first in a string of great catches for Garcia.

Campbell, 31, is from Kokomo, Indiana and is currently a college graduate student.  He's played poker for five years, learning from a roommate.

The blinds moved up to 4,000-8,000 with 1,000 antes on the next deal. Garcia had now more than doubled his starting chip lead with a total of 353,000. On the first hand of the new level, French was all in pre-flop with As-3s. Garcia called with Ah-2h, and caught perfectly when a flop of Qh-5h-4h gave him an unbeatable nut flush.

French, 27, who deals at a poker bar, was  another one of the three dealers at the table. "Playing and dealing, I live for poker," he says. French is from Warner Robins, Georgia. He's single, has a degree in computer science and has been playing for 13 years. This is his fourth year at Circuit events, and he has one small cash-out at Grand Tunica. His fifth-place finish paid him $7,880.

Another 30 hands went by. With blinds now at 6,000-12,000 with 2,000 antes,  Pansera pushed in with pocket jacks. Garcia called with a coin-flip Ad-Ks and unexpectedly made a flush when four straight spades hit the board.

Pansera, 52, is from Logan, West Virginia. He comes from a military family (one nephew is a major), and he is on disability retirement after being wounded in Vietnam. He's had one small cash-in at a tournament here. Fourth place paid $9,193.

Garcia had now surged ahead with about 375,000 of the 704,000 chips in play. Then, waving his magic wand, he registered yet another spectacular draw-out. This time, he called with a mere Q-8 after Bill Coyle moved in for 60,000 with A-7, filling when the board came Q-8-10-8-5!

Coyle, 58, cashing third for $10,506, is an attorney from Indianapolis, Indiana, with the nickname of "Big Count." He is married with one child, His best prior cash-outs were  third in a $1,000 event here last year and 19th in a Bellagio seniors event.

 Heads-up, Garcia held about 460,000 of the 704,000 chips. He had to pull another rabbit or two out of the hat to win this tournament, and his final opponent was Justin "Rabbit" Stigger. No problem. His first hit came when he had K-9 to Stigger's pocket 6s. With about 200,000 in the pot, and a board of 8-7-5-J, Garcia made a straight when a 6 hit the river, and he got another 40,000 bet out of Stigger, now down to 150,000.

Stigger had one final reprieve when he beat Garcia out of 111,000 after catching two aces to his A-8 against Garcia's paired king. But 38 deals later, on hand 98, the one-sided contest ended. That was when Garcia made his unusual all-in blind bet and outd