Harry Arutyunyan wins Cherokee main event after coming to the venue to sweat Sean Yu's bracelet win
August 14, 2017 (Cherokee, NC) - On Monday evening, Harry Arutyunyan continued the trend of Los Angeles based players thriving at the World Series of Poker Circuit at Harrah’s Cherokee. Arutyunyan defeated a field of 1,022 entries to earn his first Circuit ring, a seat into next year’s Global Casino Championship and $283,597.
The win is just the latest at the stop of Los Angeles based player winning titles in Cherokee. It comes on the heels of his good friends Sean Yu winning a bracelet in the Global Casino Championship and Nikhil Gera winning a ring earlier in the series. Gregory Armand and Scott Stewart were also Southern California players that took home rings in Cherokee.
“We got rings, bracelets, a global cash, a main cash,” said Arutyunyan pointing to Yu, Gera and Sohale Khalili who were on his rail throughout the final table. “We are taking it all back to L.A.”
Ironically, it was Yu’s bracelet victory that brought Arutyunyan to the mountains of North Carolina. When he took the chip lead into the final day, Arutyunyan hopped on the next flight out of Los Angeles to be at Harrah’s when Yu took it down.
Since he was already there, he decided to stay and take a shot at the main event. It worked out well.
“It feels great, man,” said Arutyunyan after his win. “I’m just really tired. I didn’t sleep on Thursday. When Sean shipped the bracelet, he was just like ‘Fly out here, man. We got the tournament going.’ Or else I was going to Florida.
‘So, I didn’t sleep. Took 12 hours to get here and didn’t sleep that night. Played the first flight, did good. The second day, I did good. And now the third day. It feels amazing.”
Arutyunyan took a page out of Yu’s book when it came to winning. Apply pressure, win pots and finish the tournament as quickly as possible. Yu ended the final day of the Global Casino Championship in 61 hands and in under three hours. Arutyunyan made similar time.
The third and final day of the main event came back with 19 players and Arutyunyan second in chips. He quickly took the chip lead from Randy Lowery and never looked back. He accumulated all of the chips in play and defeated Lowery heads-up for the title in less than six hours.
“I was just getting cards and kind of studied all of my players on Day 2,” said Arutyunyan. “There were just a couple of spots that, you know, I picked correctly and it worked out perfect.”
Arutyunyan feels that the impressive showing at this stop, not only by himself, but from other Southern California players, is a testament to how tough it is to play poker in Los Angeles. It forces players to improve or fall by the wayside.
“I think L.A. poker is way harder than over here,” said the successful entrepreneur.
When it came to the property and the tournament itself, he echoed Gera’s sentiments after his ring win earlier in the series.
“It’s an amazing place and an amazing staff. Everything is perfect,” said Arutyunyan. “There is a region in Armenia where I bring my mineral water from. It’s exactly the same way. A creek going through it. It’s amazing to be here.”
Arutyunyan didn’t have an easy path to his first WSOP title. He had to navigate his way through a final day that featured some of the Circuit’s better players. He emerged victorious at a final table that featured Kindah Sakkal, Marshall White and Josh Vizcarra. Krzysztof Stybaniewicz and Chris Carey were also Circuit regulars that were alive on the final day, but fell short of the final table.
Most of Arutyunyan’s tournament scores come in California. As a successful entrepreneur with a family, he doesn’t have time to get away from home and grind all of the different stops on the Circuit.
“It’s very hard for me to leave work for too long,” said Arutyunyan. “I have businesses to run, two kids, a wife. And to just travel the circuit, I have to pick and choose carefully what to play. This is all to Sean Yu right there, for shipping the Global.”
Arutyunyan is one of the first two players to secure a spot in next year’s Global Championship, joining Todd Mercer, who won this stop’s Casino Champion crown. He’s excited to have a shot at a bracelet and take after Yu, but he hopes that one of his business obligations won’t get in the way.
“Yes, actually I am [excited],” he said. “Hopefully it falls during the same time because any other time I’m very busy with work.”
This is his first Circuit ring, but Arutyunyan already has a major title to his name after winning a big event in California a few years ago. Since then, he’s become a household name in Southern California and shown success in the stops at the Bike.
Last December, he finished sixth in the WSOP Circuit main event at the Bike, which Gera actually went on to win. This time around, he finished the job and took it down himself. With the success he’s been enjoying, it’s no surprise that he’s thinking about taking shots a few more events down the road.
“I guess I need to take more chances on Circuit mains,” said Arutyunyan with a laugh.
Final Table Results:
1st: Harry Arutyunyan - $283,597
2nd: Randy Lowery - $175,345
3rd: Norman McKeldin - $130,305
4th: Kindah Sakkal - $97,959
5th: Scott Ryder - $74,488
6th: Marshall White - $57,304
7th: Josh Vizcarra - $44,595
8th: Danny Lawson - $35,106
9th: Brian Feck - $27,962