After three days of intense competition at Harveys Lake Tahoe, Dan Harmetz is the latest WSOP Circuit Main Event winner. Harmetz earns his first Circuit ring, along with $128,699 and a free entry in the National Championship, to be held at Caesars Atlantic City in the spring. Along the way, Harmetz knocked out all of his final-table competitors on the last day of the tournament.
Day 3 action started at noon on Monday with only five players returning. Harmetz started the day second in chips behind Ryan Rinker, who eventually finished in second place.
Action got off to a face and furious start, featuring aggressive play from virtually all players. The first elimination occurred about 45 minutes into the first level of the day, as Jorge Walker was eliminated by Harmetz. Walker earns $32,538 for his fifth-place finish. Austin Buchanan was then eliminated in fourth place early in Level 4 for $43,150. Buchanan entered this tournament atop the WSOP Circuit overall points leaderboard. With his final-table performance at Harveys, he earns another 40 points, bringing his total for the year up to 192.5. Second-place on the leaderboard currently has only 130.
After Buchanan’s bustout, the pace of play slowed considerably, and three-handed play lasted over four hours. Kevin Fleming, who entered Day 3 with the shortest stack at the table, pulled into second place, and was able to secure a double-up whenever he got short-stacked. Eventually though, he pushed all in with pocket tens and ran into Harmetz’s pocket kings. He exited in third place, earning $58,114.
After the lengthy three-handed battle, heads-up play lasted only a few hands. Ryan Rinker pushed all in with pocket fives, and Harmetz called with two overcards. Two pairs appeared on the board, counterfeiting Rinker’s fives and securing the Circuit ring for Harmetz.
Rinker, unfortunately, recently became unemployed. He was fired from his job as sales manager at a car dealership because he came to this tournament, and he found out he no longer had his old job at 2:00 am on the morning before this event started. There is a silver lining for Rinker. In addition to the $79,531 Rinker earns for second place, he also won Casino Champion honors. His second-place finish in the Main Event catapulted him to the top of the Harveys points leaderboard with 77.5. He says he plans on using his earnings from this tournament to travel and play poker, and by virtue of being Casino Champion, Rinker wins an entry into the National Championship, where he may meet Harmetz again.
Harmetz, a retired hedge fund manager, says he doesn’t play many tournaments, but he has now joined the ranks of WSOP Circuit ring winners, and he’s $128,699 richer.
Here are the final table results:
1. Dan Harmetz - $128,699
2. Ryan Rinker - $79,531
3. Kevin Fleming - $58,114
4. Austin Buchanan - $43,150
5. Jorge Walker - $32,538
6. Eric Matulis - $24,903
7. Jonathan Necker - $19,340
8. Grantland Hillman - $15,233
9. Evan Karcie - $12,168