Loni Harwood has done it again. The poker pro from New York, now residing in Florida, has taken down the $2,200 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller at the Rio in Las Vegas for $72,802 and her fifth career World Series of Poker Circuit ring. This brings the two-time bracelet winner's total career WSOP earnings to over $1.7 million. This win is the second one in two weeks after winning the $365 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry event at Coconut Creek for her fourth ring.
Harwood would like to dedicate this tournament win to her Dad. "He wanted me to win a tournament for him, since I won a tournament last week and dedicated it to my brother's wife. So, thanks to my 'donk Dad'" laughed Harwood.
Quietly amassing overall career earnings of over $2.6 million and now booking her 10th recorded live tournament win, Harwood has generally flown under the radar. The pro credits hard work and experience to her success, and has plans of winning some more major tournaments before she is satisfied with her results. Harwood also had some advice and said "your perception of yourself and your opponents" is an important factor in being a successful player.
When asked about her mindset and recent success, Harwood credits a healthier lifestyle and being around like-minded people. "I started working out. Crossfit. That really helped me out. Ever since I've been working out I just feel better, I've been eating better. I'm obviously with Phil (Hui) all the time - he's super healthy. He cooks all the time, so it makes it a lot easier when I'm not traveling. I don't feel tired - I just feel a lot better from working out."
Harwood topped a field of 130 entries across two days for a prize pool of $260,000. The field was certainly a tough one, with pros from across the world taking a shot at winning some hardware. The final table alone was full of heavy-hitters, but Harwood held her own and found herself in a position to knock out Ankush Mandavia in third place, and eventually Joseph Cheong in second place.
A few times on the final table, Harwood found herself as one of the short stacks but she bounced back quickly, doubling through Mandavia multiple times, always getting it in ahead. She also won a big flip with two tables left, putting her stack in the middle with two tens against Ryan Olisar's ace-king. The start-of-day chip leader ended up bubbling the final table after being on the wrong end of several coolers.
In the final hand, Harwood got it in good again with ace-queen of diamonds to Cheong's ace-nine off-suit. She flopped a flush draw to block one of Cheong's outs and the board ran out clean for her to clinch the hand and the tournament.
As for what's next, the newly crowned five-time Circuit ring winner plans to grind more tournaments back in Florida and will certainly be at the World Series of Poker later this summer.