2 April 2018 (Las Vegas) – At noon today, a veritable murderer’s row of poker talent sat at the final table of the WSOP Circuit Main Event at Planet Hollywood – bracelet winner Barry Hutter, Jesse Yaginuma, November Niner Joseph Cheong, Dylan Wilkerson, and two-time bracelet winner Benjamin Zamani were all among the final ten players, ready to battle on the felt for the $192,152 first-place prize and WSOP Circuit ring.
Despite the star-studded field and tough final table, for most of the last day of competition, the result was never in doubt. Zamani absolutely ran with it, putting on one of the Circuit’s most dominating performances in recent memory. “I had a lot of chips coming in,” Zamani recalled after the tournament. “There were a lot of tough players, but I had the best position at the table compared to the other players. The way the chips were, everything kind of played itself.” And he added with a smile, “And no bad beats.”
Zamani started the final day third in chips behind the leader Scott Powrie and Barry Hutter. But Zamani quickly climbed the leaderboard, and he never looked back. Once he took over the chip lead, he aggressively took control of the tournament, slowly wearing down his opponents’ stacks until they had few options to try to fight back. It got to the point that Zamani had roughly 85% of the chips in play with four players remaining. He knocked out the other three in just two hands.
This is the first WSOP Circuit ring of Zamani’s career, but he already has other WSOP hardware in his trophy case. He has two career WSOP bracelets, one from 2015 and one from 2017.
The event lived up to its home at Planet Hollywood, and there was no shortage of drama fit for the silver screen. In addition to the double-bustout with only four players left, there was a hand where a husband eliminated his own wife, and another double elimination with only two tables remaining.
The Main Event started on Friday, March 30. Over the course of two starting days, the tournament attracted 610 entries. There were 113 who advanced to Day 2 (Sunday), and the final 10 returned for Day 3. With Zamani’s dominating performance, Day 3 was relatively short. It started at noon, and the final hand was dealt at about 5:15 p.m.
Other players cashing include former November Niner Joseph Cheong (eighth place), bracelet winners Barry Hutter (third), Sean Yu (14th), Jared Jaffee (19th), Anthony Marquez (31st), Nipun Java (44th), Eric Baldwin (55th), and ten-time ring winner Valentin Vornicu (34th).
LIVE UPDATES FROM THE EVENT