Stateline, Nevada (November 7, 2016) – Michael Pearson
navigated through 475 players and three, grueling days of poker to
claim the ultimate Circuit prize and a monstrous payday to boot. The
29-year-old came out on top of Event #10: $1,675 No-Limit Hold’em Main
Event to win his first WSOP gold ring. The signature tournament
concluded Monday evening under the main stage spotlight at Harvey’s LakeTahoe.
“It’s a good tournament. Tahoe is great; a great place to be for a weekend,” Pearson stated.
It could be said that the trip proved to be more than great for
Pearson. He will be going home with a remarkable souvenir and over
$150,000. This will surely be a visit he never forgets.
The lure of the Main Event brought Pearson to Stateline, Nevada,
traveling from his hometown of San Francisco, California. Pearson
started playing poker, as a hobby, when he was seventeen years of age.
Only somewhat recently has he dove into the live poker scene.
“I guess I started playing three years ago, more live. Mostly cash,
but I’m liking tournaments a lot more now,” Pearson said with a grin.
Tournament style seemed to work out splendidly for Pearson. He became
a large blip on the Main Event radar when he survived Day 1A with the
overall chip lead. There were 38 players that made it out of Flight A
and 68 players from Flight B, for a total field of 106 moving on to play
in Day 2.
Pearson maintained his success in Day 2 and even scored the fateful,
money bubble knockout to provide all remaining players at the time with a
guaranteed cash finish. Only eight players survived Day 2 of the Main
Event and Pearson finished in the middle of the pack with just over one
million in chips.
Day 3 began and Pearson was holding his own at a tough final table. A
tremendously pivotal point in play for Pearson happened when he found
himself butting heads with Valerie Hanley.
There was almost 360,000 in the pot and two diamonds on the flop when
Hanley bet 200,000. Pearson held the king and queen of diamonds and made
“I think at that point I just have to go with it. If there’s any
chance she is foldiing I have to ship it (move all in). If I have any
fold equity I have to try and take it,” said Pearson. “Then she ends up
having the very worst thing for me to see.”
Hanley called Pearson’s shove and turned over her ace and jack of
diamonds, showing a superior high card and higher flush draw. Pearson’s
tournament life was on the verge of being extinguished. Then, a fateful
queen came on the river, giving Pearson a pair and new life.
Pearson took his second chance and pushed forward. In fact, almost
directly after the hand with Hanley, he found himself in another bout.
This time around it was against an unfriendly foe, Ted Lawson,
the owner of a WSOP bracelet and Circuit gold ring. Lawson was
submerged in the tank early on in Day 3 and Pearson called the clock on
him. Pearson alluded to the incident when talking about his succeeding
clash with Lawson.
“Nothing personal, but I have to think it might play into what’s
going on in his head and I just happened to have aces,” said Pearson.
The two got it all in on the flop and Lawson’s pocket queens were no
match for Pearson’s rockets. Pearson scored yet another huge double up
and claimed the outright chip lead. From there, he never looked back.
With his dominant collection of chips, Pearson rolled through the
rest of the final table, seemingly bulling all the smaller stacks. He
eventually found himself heads up with Michael McDonough who put up a
good fight, but could not overcome the substantial. Pearson was crowned
the Main Event Champion, awarded $153,191, and is now the owner of a
World Series of Poker gold ring. He also clinches an automatic bid to
the Global Casino Championship that will take place in late 2017.