Plant City, Fla. resident cards five top-nine finishes during 12-day series.
West Palm Beach, Fla. (October 1, 2015) — With current November Niner Joshua Beckley earning gold and a Main Event that saw a year-over-year attendance uptick of nearly 30 percent, last week’s World Series of Poker Circuit at the Palm Beach Kennel Club yielded its fair share of headlines. None, though, are as impressive as the one that belongs to John Vale, the property’s Casino Champion.
Vale, a 30-year-old resident of nearby Plant City, Fla., burst onto the WSOP scene in a big way recording top-nine finishes in five events totaling 127.5 points. In addition to more than $20,000 worth of prizes, his consistent play earned him a berth in the season-ending WSOP Global Casino Championship.
“There’s a lot of really good players out here,” Vale said after locking up the title. “I was kind of surprised how well I did. It was definitely a good run.”
It wasn’t until the eve of his first WSOP-related cash — which turned out to be a gold ring win in Event #4 at PBKC — that Vale was tipped off to the Casino Championship race. After reading about the Global Casino Championship on the tournament updates, he turned around and donned his first trophy along with 50 points toward his eventual title. Rather than skip town as he’d planned, he extended his stay and stuck to the tournament grind in South Florida. Six days later he’d racked up four more top-nine finishes totaling 127.5 points — more than any player has been able to accumulate in the first four Circuit stops combined.
“When I got first place in Event #4, that’s when I really found out about [the Casino Championship],” he admitted. “I honestly had only planned on staying until last Wednesday. After that event I decided I’d stick around for a little longer and play in a few more events. Obviously it worked out really well.”
On the 12th and final day of play, Vale claimed 110 points mathematically eliminating all by a handful of players from the race. Rather than sit back and wait, he took control, making his fourth final table of the series in the event and placing an exclamation point at the end of the PBKC Casino Championship sentence.
Here’s a look at all of Vale’s in-the-money finishes at PBKC:
1st - 50 points (Event #4: $365 NLH)
4th - 27.5 points (Event #9: $1,125 NLH)
8th - 17.5 points (Event #7: $365 Six-Max)
8th - 17.5 points (Event #12 $365 Turbo)
9th - 15 points (Event #11: $365 NLH)
Vale will be among an elite field of pros and some of the game’s most-decorated amateurs at the Global Casino Championship. The tournament, slated to take place in 2016, will boast a guaranteed prize pool of at least $1,000,000 and award its champion a WSOP gold bracelet.