Despite being a full-time equities trader, Tom Drivas is also a semi-pro poker player. Considering that he lives in Las Vegas, it definitely makes it easier for him to do just that. However, Drivas left the poker Mecca of the world to score the biggest victory of his career.
Drivas was on a trip to visit some friends and family in Mobile, Alabama when he decided to make the trek down to Biloxi to play the $550 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold ‘em event at the World Series of Poker Circuit event. A total of 159 players joined Drivas in the field and created a prizepool of $77,115. After a solid two days of play, Tom Drivas came into the final table with a big chip lead.
The chip counts going into the final table were as follows:
1. 1. Tom Drivas 702,000
2. 2. Captain” Tom Franklin 500,000
3. 3. David Nicholson 249,000
4. 4. Matt Lischke 230,000
5. 5. Aaron Brant 157,000
6. 6. Mike Wissler 71,000
6th Place – Aaron Brant quickly got his few remaining chip in the middle at the final table and couldn’t have picked a better spot. His Ad-Jd had the Ac-10c of Tom Franklin dominated. The flop came down Qc-5c-4d and Franklin picked up the nut flush draw. The 2s on the turn was a safe card for Brant, but the 6c on the river gave Franklin his flush. Brant was eliminated in sixth place and took home $3,736.
5th Place – Despite coming into the final table third in chips, David Nicholson took a hit early on and lost about half of his chips. After Tom Franklin raised from the button to 40,000, Nicholson moved all in from the big blind for 99,000 more. Franklin reluctantly made the call and turned up Qs-10d. Nicholson was ahead with 4c-4d but quickly was the underdog when the flop came 10s-8s-5d, pairing Franklin’s ten. The turn was the 9d and the river came the Qc. The Perkinston, MS native pocketed $4,923 for his fifth place finish.
4th Place – Mike Wissler came into the final table as the extreme short stack but doubled up early on when he picked up pocket kings against his opponent’s A-Q. After watching two players get knocked out before him, Wissler found a spot to make a move.
When it was folded around to him in the small blind, Wissler announced that he was all in. Matt Lischke immediately made the call from the big blind and showed 9d-9s. Wissler flipped up Ks-8d and needed to improve to stay alive. However, he was drawing nearly dead when the flop came out 9c-8c-3c. Only running eights or kings would keep him in the tournament. The turn was the 5d and the river came the 3h. The poker dealer from St. Louis, MO was eliminated in fourth place for $6,600.
3rd Place – Even after eliminating Wissler, Matt Lischke was still the short stack three handed. He and Tom Drivas saw a flop of 9-8-7 and they got all the chips in the middle. Lischke turned up pocket queens but Drives had flopped a set of sevens. The turn and river bricked out for LIschke and he was knocked out of the event in third place. The Duluth, GA native took home $9,005 for his finish.
2nd Place – Coming into the final table, all eyes were on “Captain” Tom Franklin. The WSOP bracelet winner has over two million dollars in career earnings and was looking to add his first WSOPC Ring to him long list of accomplishments.
Play was heads-up for only about a half hour when the players saw a flop of Qs-8s-7s. Tom Drivas bet the flop and was called by Franklin. The turn brought the Ah and both players checked. When the 5c fell on the river, the fireworks started to play. After a raise and reraise, the two Tom’s got it all in. Franklin showed 8c-5c for a rivered two pair but Drivas turned up As-10s for a flopped flush. Drivas had Franklin covered and sent the veteran just down the road to Gulfport in second place for $12,509.
Tom Drivas pocketed $20,241 for his victory and is now considering sticking around for some additional events. His first place finish put him in a tie for first place in the IP Casino Championship for entry in the WSOPC Championship freeroll. The player with the most points through ten ring events scheduled at the IP will be automatically qualified into the WSOPC championship.
See the complete IP Resort Hotel and Casino poker tournament schedule and previous results here. The WSOP Circuit at the IP runs through November 10th. You can find the complete 2010/2011WSOP CIRCUIT SCHEDULE here.