In one of the fastest Main Events in recent memory on the World Series of Poker Circuit, Sean Yu emerged victorious to earn his first Circuit ring and a first-place prize of $101,881.
The Main Event played out so quickly that the tournament ended a night early. There were still three players left Sunday night when the tournament reached the point when play was scheduled to stop until Monday (Neil Scott – 3rd Place, Dan Stir – 2nd Place, and Yu). The tournament director gave players the option of playing two more levels, and before the extra levels had concluded, Yu held all the chips.
If the entire tournament were quick, the last two tables were especially so. It was a wild affair that saw a player lay down the second-nuts in a 100-big blind pot (his opponent then showed a weaker hand), and frequent all-in bets that resulted in big pots and frequent bustouts. Yu eventually eliminated his last two opponents by cracking pocket kings both times. He held pocket tens against Neil Scott’s kings and made a full house. And against Stir, he flopped a pair, they got all their chips in the middle, and Yu rivered trips to win it all.
Yu is a professional poker player who recently started specializing in tournaments, a decision that is obviously paying dividends for him. “I play mostly tournaments,” he said after his victory. “I used to play cash for many years, and started playing tournaments only at the beginning of this year. This year’s been phenomenal.” He went on to say this was his second big score of 2014, so it looks like tournament poker is treating him well. This is Yu’s first ring, and he said he plans on playing more on the Circuit. “It feels good,” he said of the ring.
Along with the ring and his earnings, Yu also receives a free entry into the 2015 National Championship. He’s not the only member of this final table who will be there. Tavish Margers, who was eliminated in 6th place, won Casino Champion honors at Harrah’s Southern California. He won a ring in a preliminary event, and had one more cash in addition to the Main Event for 95 points. His performance today pushes him ahead of Vincent Moscati, who had been in the lead for most of this Circuit stop.
The tournament field was relatively small with 283 entries, but it was littered with well-known pros and other accomplished players. Three WSOP bracelet winners made the money. Brandon Paster made the final table and finished in 9th place. Jordan Morgan finished in 29th, and Eric Baldwin finished in 30th. Baldwin went on an impressive late run to make the money. He busted out late on Day 1B, went to the bar and got himself a glass of wine, then re-entered the tournament and tripled his starting stack before the end of the night. Bracelet winners Josh Pollock, Brent Hanks, Robert Cheung, and Howard “Tahoe” Andrew were also in the tournament. Pollock advanced to Day 2, but was eliminated before the money.
Former November Niner Soi Nguyen was in the field as well. He finished in 24th. Bernard Lee, also famous for a deep WSOP Main Event run, made Day 2 and finished 26th. David “Bakes” Baker, Josh Hale, eight-time ring winner Alex Masek, five-time ring winner Val Vornicu, five-time National Championship qualifier Charles “Woody” Moore, and Rex Clinkscales entered the event, but did not cash.
The 283 entries generated a prize pool of $424,500. The top 30 places were paid.
Here are the final table results. Full results are available on the live reporting page.
1 – Sean Yu - $101,881
2 – Dan Stir - $62,962
3 – Neil Scott - $45,685
4 – David Powers - $33,705
5 – Jacob Gruny - $25,279
6 – Tavish Margers - $19,264
7 – John Cynn - $14,908
8 – Gary Sewell - $11,716
9 – Brandon Paster - $9,347