West Palm Beach, Fla. (August 11, 2014) — Most players earn a World Series of Poker Circuit ring before they win a WSOP bracelet, but Tristan Wade decided to do it the other way around.The 29-year-old professional poker player already had over $1.1 million in earnings and a bracelet in a shootout event at the 2011 WSOP Europe on his poker resume. With little left to prove, the South Florida native added a Circuit ring to his trophy case by emerging on top of a 303-entry field in the first WSOP Circuit Main Event of the season at the Palm Beach Kennel Club.
Wade defeated fellow bracelet winner David Diaz heads-up to take home the hardware and $106,806 with some of his family in attendance.
“I’ve been waiting to win a tournament for a while,” said Wade. “It’s in my backyard, so I got to have the family come support me. Mom got off work early and they were staying up late last night rooting for me and following the updates. It’s really nice to have my family here and be close to home. It’s always fun [to win a tournament].”
Diaz and Wade combined for over $2.7 million in tournament earnings and provided one of the more star-studded heads-up matches the Circuit has seen in recent history. Diaz started the heads-up match with the chip lead, but after Wade turned a bigger two pair than Diaz, the match swung in the other direction and Wade opened up what turned out to be an insurmountable chip lead.
Wade finished off Diaz shortly after, ending heads-up play in just over 20 minutes. All of the chips got in preflop with Diaz holding pocket jacks against Wade’s . The dealer peeled a king on the turn to put Wade in the lead and win the title.
Wade and Diaz weren’t the only two established pros who made the final table, though. Fellow bracelet winner Chance Kornuth finished in seventh place while Zo Karim and Will Souther finished in fifth and sixth, respectively.
Kristopher Bradshaw made the final table and needed sixth place finish or better to take the lead in the Casino Championship race. He earned a fourth place finish and took a sizeable lead in the race with just one event remaining.
“I started the final table with Zo Karim to my left and he had all the chips,” said Wade. “He’s a really good player so that was very difficult for me at the start. I just kind of stayed snug. We had Chance [Kornuth] also at the final table who got eliminated on a bad beat. [Diaz] is also an unbelievable player. Those three guys are guys I’m actually close with. They’re great people. Tom [Midena] played great. [Kristopher Bradshaw] played good. Everyone at the final table was playing really solid. If it wasn’t for a couple fortunate spots for me it might have went differently. Anyone could have won it. Everyone was playing solid.”
Other notables to earn at least a cash in this event are Nathan Bjerno, bracelet winner Chris Dombrowski, Justin Zaki, Chris Conrad, Nancy Birnbaum and Jimmy (Thong) Tran.
The Main Event was the 10th of 12 gold ring events on the WSOP Circuit schedule at PBKC. The $1,675 no-limit hold’em tournament attracted 303 entries generating a $454,500 prize pool. The top 33 players were paid.
The tournament featured two starting flights beginning Friday, August 8 at 11 a.m. and Saturday, August 9 at 11 a.m. Flight A boasted 109 entries and advanced 20 while Flight B drew 194 and advanced 31.
Day 2 began Sunday at 12 p.m. with 51 players and it took less than two hours to burst the money bubble. The nine-handed final table was reached at roughly 6:30 p.m. and Day 2 wrapped shortly before 2 a.m.
Day 3 began Monday at 1 p.m. with three players remaining. Play concluded at 2:15 p.m. making the total duration of the final table about eight and a half hours over two days.Final table results:1st: Tristan Wade - $106,8062nd: David Diaz - $66,0393rd: Tom Midena - $47,9634th: Kristopher Bradshaw - $35,4285th: Zo Karim - $26,5976th: Will Souther - $20,2847th: Chance Kornuth - $15,7128th: Benjamin Zetina - $12,3539th: Philip Consolo - $9,858Full results available on WSOP.com.