Ledyard, Conn. (29 August 2016) – Julian Sacks gained a measure of redemption today. After falling short in the past, he won his first major victory in a live poker tournament when he won the Main Event of the World Series of Poker Circuit at Foxwoods. Sacks has come close in the past, and has several final tables on his poker resume. But he’d never walked away as a winner. Today, he completed his unfinished business and emerged victorious to earn his first WSOP Circuit ring and $148,350 – by far the biggest live cash of his career.
Sacks had finished runner up in a Circuit event before, and also had a third-place finish. He’d also made the final table of another big event at Foxwoods. But he never finished first, and burden of his past shortcomings weighed heavily on him over the past couple days, especially after he finished Day 1 atop the leaderboard. “Here at Foxwoods, I’ve had the chip lead before, and blown it,” he said after the tournament was over. “And I was putting a lot of pressure on myself not to blow it this time.”
As the final day wore on, he felt more and more comfortable with his position and his progress. “Once it got down to four-handed, at times it felt like I was winning every hand. Then I really felt like it was my tournament to lose.”
Sacks was one of several final tablists looking to improve on past performances. Johanssy Joseph and Jeremy Meacham made the final table alongside him, and they each also made the final table in this event a year ago. Joseph finished runner up in 2015, and eventually bowed out today in fourth place ($49,680). Meacham finished in sixth place a year ago. He improved on that performance this time around, finishing in third place ($66,930). The defending champion in this event, Samuel Taylor, also ran deep but failed to make the final table. He finished in 19th place.
The final day of the Main Event began Monday at noon with eight . At the time, Julian Sacks was in the middle of the pack. He was in fifth place with 875,000 in chips. The leader, by contrast, was Muhammad Rahim with 2,900,000. He had more than double his closest competitor. But Rahim ran into trouble early. On the very first hand of the day, he nearly doubled up Travis Stams. Stams started today in last place, but ended up finishing runner up behind Sacks. Rahim ended up being eliminated in fifth place ($37,260).
Just behind Rahim was Sean Carlson, who finished in sixth place for $28,428. This is Carlson’s second final table at this Circuit stop. He also finished in second place in the re-entry event a week ago.
In addition to the prize money and Circuit ring, Sacks also receives a free entry into the 2017 WSOP Global Casino Championship. This invitation-only event boasts a minimum prize pool of $1,000,000. The Main Event winner and Casino Champion at every Circuit stop earn free entries. More information on the event and qualifying for it is available on the Circuit Leaderboard.
The tournament started on Friday, August 26, with Day 1A. There were 162 entries that day, and 30 players survived to the end of the night to advance to Day 2. On Saturday, there were another 298 entries (bringing the total up to 460), and another 50 players advanced to Day 2. After both Day 1 flights, Sacks was the overall leader. The 80 remaining players then returned for Day 2 on Sunday. The top 54 made the money, and the bubble burst less than two hours into the day when Jaime Kaplan was eliminated in 55th place.
The next WSOP Circuit stop is already in progress in Las Vegas at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. The Main Event at Planet Hollywood begins this upcoming Friday.
Here are the final table results from the Foxwoods Main Event. Full results are available on the Results Page:
1 – Julian Sacks - $148,350
2 – Travis Stams - $91,770
3 – Jeremy Meacham - $66,930
4 – Johanssy Joseph - $49,680
5 – Muhammad Rahim - $37,260
6 – Sean Carlson - $28,428
7 – Long Tran - $22,080
8 – Vinny Dang - $17,250
9 – Ronald Baker - $13,800