Los Angeles, California (March 19, 2014) – On Wednesday, the World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event at The Bicycle Casino dealt its final hand. In the end it was Nipun Java who rose above the rest to claim $226,785 in first-place prize money. Nipun’s victory also earned him his first gold Circuit ring and a spot among the Circuit elite at the National Championship in May.
The Main Event at The Bike was one of the longer tournament stops on the Circuit this year. The tournament had three starting flights, which allowed for five full days of play before a victor was crowned. The tournament was a re-entry event where players were allowed a to fire off a maximum of two bullets over the course of the three starting flights or the beginning of Day 2. Ultimately, the event drew 756 entries, allowing for a total prize pool of $1,134,000, easily surpassing the $1,000,000 guarantee.
Familiar faces and amateurs alike took their seats for play and one by one they fell victim to the tournament field. The top 81 players made the money and were guaranteed a min-cash of at least $2,825. Notable players such as Nancy Birnbaum, Chris DeMaci, Charles “Woody” Moore, Caufman Talley, and Tim West were just a few of those to make the money.
The third and final day of play began with 13 players remaining. Java held the lead coming into the day, and while the chip lead changed hands many times throughout the day, Java remained steadfast in his quest for victory. Most of the day’s eliminations came at Java’s hands and by the end of the day he found himself heads up with noted tournament player Shane “shaniac” Schleger. The match came to a head almost instantly, however, as Java put the nail in the coffin in just two hands.
“This feels great,” said Java after his victory. “If you play poker, you play for a win. That’s one of the goals when you start playing – especially tournament formats. So yeah, this feels pretty awesome.”
Java was just another face grinding it out in a massive field for the first day and a half of play. Then, post-dinner break on Day 2, Java found the perfect string of cards and turned into an almost unstoppable force.
“I went into Day 2 with a top 20% stack,” said Java. ”At the end of Day 2 I had the biggest rush I’ve had in a long, long time. Whether I had the worst hand or the best hand, I won the pot and eliminated a lot of people. It made me realize how much importance luck is in a tournament. But, I’ll take it!”
Once the final table was reached, Java’s chip stack fluctuated between chip leader and middle of the pack. That said, whenever the money went in before the flop Java was able to pull away with a win. On his path to victory, Java won three crucial preflop races to eliminate Bao Dao, Jack Duong, and Danny Illingworth.
“We hit the final table and basically I didn’t pick up any starting hands,” said Java. “We were playing nine-handed, six-handed, whatever, and I was just grinding. I really tried to pick my spots. Luckily, I wont all of the hands that mattered in terms of showdown. Whenever there was an all in spot, I won those hands. I did win an insane number of flips in the past few days. I’ve lost count how many I won.”
Once play got three-handed, Java’s weapon of choice was none other than big-slick. Java got both David Chase and Schleger all in before the flop with ace-king and dominated them both all of the way to victory. Now, Java will see if he can parlay this victory into a bracelet win in the National Championship.
“It was never in my mind I’d even go there,” said Java about the National Championship. “It feels awesome.”
Final table results are as follows:
1st – Nipun Java - $226,785
2nd – Shane Schleger - $139,820
3rd – David Chase - $103,080
4th – Danny Illingworth - $76,830
5th – Jack Duong - $58,025
6th – Bao Dao - $44,395
7th – Christopher Hyden - $34,395
8th – Zewdie Wondimagegnehu - $26,980
9th – Javid Javani - $21,420