TUNICA, MS. – One by one, players at the final table of WSOP Circuit Event #4, $345 buy-in, No-Limit Hold’em at Harrah’s Tunica each began to show signs of a strange malady.

Their symptoms were eerily similar: Gradual or dramatic reduction of chip stack size, followed shortly by an uncontrollable urge to call “All-in.” The end result was the always the same: elimination from the final table.

After closer observation, the diagnosis became clear – Weber Fever.

The culprit: a 24-year-old student from Sacramento, CA, Matthew Weber.

Weber Fever struck so hard and so fast at the final table of Event #4 that not much could be done to stop it. Within two hours, seven of the nine players would be stricken, and in no time, were gone.

Of the 359 players who entered Event #4, it is unknown how many fell victim to the Fever, but based on the carnage that took place at the final table stage at the Harrah’s Tunica Event Center, the number is certain to be high.

The chip leader heading into the final table, Jesse Jackson, appeared to have the best chance of survival, but this would turn out not to be the case and as the rest of the table would soon find out, there would be no cure.




Chip Count

Jesse Jackson

Cathage, NC



Steve Melton

Noble, OK



Matthew Weber

Sacramento, CA



Steven Williams

Little Rock, AR



William Buckmaster

Atlanta, GA



George Perkins Jr.

Kennesaw, GA



Brandon Horton

Anderson, SC



Richard Ricardo

Buford, GA



“Captain” Tom Franklin

Gulfport, MS



9th Place

Brandon Horton was the first to be eliminated by Weber after his    was unable to improve against Weber’s pocket nines all in on a jack-high board. Horton, a 27-year-old landscaper from Anderson, SC, earned $2,229 for 9th. 

8th Place

It appeared that no one was immune to Weber, not even former WSOP bracelet winner “Captain” Tom Franklin. The tournament veteran with over $1 million in WSOP-related tournament earnings got it all in with    against Weber’s tens and like Horton, the result was the same: elimination. Franklin was sent away from the final table with $2,792 in prize money.

7th Place

Richard Ricardo was the next to go after getting it in the middle with    vs. Weber’s   . The board was no help to Ricardo and his day was over. Ricardo, a 42-year-old bus driver from Buford, GA was awarded $3,547 for 7th.

6th Place

Although no doubt affected by Weber, George Perkins Jr., a 47-year-old automotive manager from Kennesaw, GA was able to escape the fate shared by his tablemates. However, Perkins fared no better after being eliminated by another player, Jackson after his pocket kings were unable to fade Jackson’s A-Q all-in on a ace-high board. 6th place paid $3,547.

5th Place

Jackson was the fifth place finisher in this event. Despite holding a massive chip lead over his final table opponents, Weber Fever proved too much to overcome. Weber sent his opponent to the payout table to collect $5,977 for fifth.

4th Place

After flopping a pair of jacks all-in preflop with    vs. Weber’s   , the prognosis was very good for William Buckmaster, a 25-year-old student from Atlanta, GA. However, he suddenly went into critical condition after an ace fell on the turn. After a 9 on the river, Buckmaster’s fate was sealed: a 4th place finish worth $7,934.

3th Place

Often, when two players are all in with the same hand, the result is a chopped pot. However, Weber Fever defied this normality, and with   , Weber eliminated Steve Melton with a river spade flush. Melton, a 50-year-old poker player from Noble, OK collected $10,697 for third. 

Going into heads up play, Weber had a monstrous 13-1 chip lead over his final opponent, Steven Williams and it was certain that the tournament would be over after just one or two hands, however Williams was able to secure an early double up and played skillfully enough to decrease that deficit to 2-1.5. It appeared that Williams had beat the fever, but soon had a relapse and found himself on life support. The final hand of the night saw Williams all-in with    vs. Weber’s   . The       board helped neither player and it was all over. Williams, a 36-year-old player from Little Rock, AR was forced to settle for the runner-up spot, worth $14,662. 

For his second-ever WSOP Circuit victory, Weber collected $23,719 and the coveted Circuit gold ring. Players should be warned, that if they experience any of the symptoms displayed by those at the final table of Event #4, Weber Fever may be in their midst.  

Still to come are 8 events. See the complete Harrah’s Tunica Circuit schedule and previous results here. The WSOP Circuit Events at Harrah’s Tunica runs through February 13th. You can find the complete 2010/2011 WSOP CIRCUIT SCHEDULE here.