ST. LOUIS, MO. – Charles Kuhnert, a 42-year-old farmer from Du Quoin, IL, staged an impressive comeback from the bottom of the leader board to win event #10 of the World Series of Poker Circuit Events at Harrah’s St. Louis.
Kuhnert plays poker recreationally and said that he simply waited for the good cards to come and made the best of them when they did.
Event #10 was the final preliminary tournament held before the championship event and drew a field of 116 players.
Day number one of the $1,500 (+90) buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament ended with nine players who returned the following afternoon to play for first place prize, worth $48,776 and the last preliminary Circuit Event ring of the series. The chip leader heading into the final table was 28-year-old software engineer, Anand Mody.
Kuhnert had a mammoth of a mountain to climb to take the win. In addition to having to surmount a large chip deficit against most of his final table opponents, Kuhnert would have to deal with the likes of St. Louis poker pro and mixed games specialist, Kyle Kloeckner, who finished second to Max Pescatori in event #24 of the 2008 World Series of Poker.
Playing in his own home court against less-seasoned players, it was Kloeckner’s tournament to win.
Name Hometown Seat Chip Count
Peter Hernandez San Antonio, TX 1 123,000
Ken Wade Georgetown, KY 2 49,500
Kyle Kloeckner St. Louis, MO 3 113,500
Bill Emerson St. Louis, MO 4 38,500
Gregory Headrick St. Louis, MO 5 158,500
Angelo Williams Hillsboro, MO 6 55,000
Charles Kuhnert DuQuoin, IL 7 43,500
Jason Goldman Port Charlotte, FL 8 171,500
Anand Mody St. Charles, MO 9 175,000
The remaining nine players began day two play with blinds and antes at 1,500/3,000/500. After chips were passed around for a short while, Bill Emerson was the first player to be eliminated when he was all-in with vs. Kuhnert’s . Emerson was unable to improve on the board, resulting in an early exit.
Emerson is a 37-year-old IT manager from St. Louis. He earned $4,321 for his ninth place finish.
Angelo Williams was down to $2,500 after losing a race with AK offsuit to Kloeckner’s pocket jacks. Williams managed to stay alive after tripling and then doubling up to 16,000, but luck ran its course for Williams after he lost another race with AK vs. Kloeckner, who this time, had pocket 8’s. Eighth place paid Williams $5,114.
With blinds and antes at 2,500/5,000/500, Peter Hernandez was the next player to be eliminated from the final table after he moved all-in in from early position with AQ and got a call from Kloeckner with pocket tens. The board ran , improving neither player’s hand. Hernandez’s tournament bid ended in a seventh place finish, worth $6,295.
Jason Goldman ran his all-in from the small blind against Kloeckner’s pocket aces. The flop came , adding nine outs for Goldman. He missed them all however when the was dealt on the turn followed by a river .
Goldman is an attorney from Port Charlotte, FL. This was the third WSOPC final table for the 40-year-old lawyer and married father of two. He finished 3rd and 10th in two events at the 2009 WSOP Circuit at Caesars Palace and 5th in a 2008 Circuit Event at Caesars Atlantic City. Sixth place paid $9,452
From the cutoff, Kuhnert moved all-in with pocket jacks and was called by Ken Ware, who turned over pocket aces.
With his tournament life at stake, Ware saw the flop come . The turn was a harmless , but was followed by a gut-wrenching on the river. It was indeed an unfortunate end for Ware, who had been waiting patiently to get his relatively short stack all-in with a premium hand such as rockets.
Ware is a 55-year-old contractor from Georgetown, KY and has multiple final tables in $1,500 buy-in tournaments under his belt. His third one here at Harrah’s St. Louis grossed $12,591.
Anand Mody was the fourth place finisher. Having fallen to near the bottom of the pack after an initial final table chip lead, he moved his remaining stack all-in with K2 off.
Mody was outflopped by Gregory Headrick, who called the all-in player with . Mody pocketed $15,747 for fourth place.
Video of the final two eliminations of Event #10
Three handed play lasted through two levels of blinds. At the 4,000/8,000 level, it was Headrick all-in with vs. Kloeckner’s pocket aces. The board ran out , eliminating Headrick in third place.
Although it was a disappointing finish for Headrick, the 26-year-old poker player can be proud of his results at Harrah’s St. Louis, having made his second final table of the series. Headrick took home $22,043 for his two-day effort.
Kloeckner had a significant chip lead over Kuhnert when heads up play began. But after a couple of critical hands, fell far behind his heads up opponent.
The hand of the day was a bit of a cooler in which the two saw a flop of . Kloeckner lead the betting through a turn and river, at which point Kuhnert was all-in for his remaining chips.
Kloeckner called, showing 68. Kuhnert also had a pair of 8’s but with a king kicker, took the massive pot.
In the final hand of the night, Kuhnert raised for about 100,000 before Kloeckner moved all-in. Kuhnert called, turning over pocket jacks. Kloeckner was looking to pair his king after tabling , but the board played out , giving Kuhnert the victory over a formidable opponent.
Although Kloeckner fell short of the win, his prowess was not understated by his second place showing, worth $33,047.
“He’s a pretty good player, I can tell you that,” said Kuhnert of his heads up foe.
“I feel really good, I wanted that ring really bad. I had a rough week and things finally turned around for me,” Kuhnert said of his win.
Still to come is the $5,000 (+190) championship event. The WSOP Circuit at Harrah’s St. Louis runs through April 15th.