Atlantic City, N.J. (December 27, 2014) – John Jones has won the Casino Champion title at the Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City stop following a dominate performance at the beginning of the series. Jones made three final tables in the first seven events to earn 95 points. Jones best result was a first place finish in Event #3 - $580 No-Limit Hold’em.
The series opened with Malik Boney winning Event #1 - $365 No-Limit Hold’em. His lead in the Casino Championship wouldn’t last long however. He was passed for the lead at the conclusion of Event #2 - $365 No-Limit Hold’em Re-entry by Daniel Buzgon. Buzgon finished runner-up in both Event #1 and #2 to start the series off with an impressive 75 points and $32,131 in tournament earnings. It was an amazing start to the series and it looked like Buzgon would be the man to catch. Unfortunately for Buzgon, he did not cash for the rest of the series and he was unable to add to his 75 points.
Jones captured his first cash of the series in Event #3 - $580 No-Limit Hold’em. He went on to defeat Julia Cornelius heads-up for his first WSOP Circuit gold ring and the first place prize of $17,100. He collected 50 points with his victory, which put him within striking distance of Buzgon.
Just three events later, in Event #6 - $365 No-Limit Hold’em Tubro, Jones found himself at his second final table of the series. He needed a fourth place finish or better to pass Buzgon for the lead for the Casino Championship. It was not that simple though because Boney was at the final table too, and he had the same amount of points as Jones. Jones would need to do better than Boney to stay ahead of him.
Jones ended up being the first player eliminated from the final table. He finished in ninth place for $1,148. Boney went on to finish in sixth place. That meant Buzgon held on to his lead and the first half of the series was complete. Jones knew he missed out on a valuable opportunity to pick up points when he failed to have any success at the Event #6 final table. He still had half the series left to catch and pass Buzgon though.
Jones did not waste any time to go and pick up more points. The next event was Event #7 - $365 No-Limit Hold’em Six Handed. Jones made his way through the tough field all the way to his third final table of the series. By reaching the final table, Jones had passed Boney and Buzgon for the lead in the Casino Championship race. Jones ended up finishing in third place to not only pass Buzgon, but also put some distance between him and the rest of the field in the Casino Championship race.
It was a good thing he did put some distance between himself and the field because Boney would end up going on to cash in two more events to bring his points total all the way to 90, just five points shy of Jones.
Jones had a comfortable lead headed to the final day of play in Atlantic City. The only two men with a reasonable chance of catching Jones were Boney and Buzgon. There were a few other players who could pass Jones with a win, and only a win. Jones, Boney and Buzgon all played in the final event, but all of them ended up busting short of the money. The final table in Event #12 was reached, and by that time the sweat was over for Jones. He had officially clinched the Casino Championship title with none of the players at the final table close enough to pass him.
Jones and the Harrah's Resort Atlantic City Main Event winner, Mukul Pahuja, are headed to the 2015 National Championship where they’ll freeroll for their share of an up-to $2 million prize pool against some of the WSOP’s top performers. Beside the six-figure score, the eventual winner of the National Championship will win the first bracelet of 2015.
More information and full point standings for the year-long race are available on WSOP.com.
Jones’ Harrah's AC cashes:
Event #3 - $580 No-Limit Hold’em – 114 entries – 1st place for $17,100
Event #6 - $365 No-Limit Hold’em - 159 entries – 9th place for $1,148
Event #7 - $365 No-Limit Hold’em Six Max – 238 entries – 3rd place for $8,345