After extended absence, Michael Hudson returns to tournament poker and runs pure for Circuit Main Event title.

Milwaukee, Wis. (February 11, 2019) -- Michael Hudson became the World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event conqueror after a four-day bout in the Potawatomi Events Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The 32-year-old ultimately topped a combined field of 667 entries, snatching his first WSOP gold ring and six-figure payout of $207,159.

Day 1A of Event #10: $1,700 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event drew 292 entries, including the eventual champion. Hudson got the ball rolling during Flight A and ended up bagging a healthy stack of 333,000 among 36 survivors.

Day 1B added another 375 entries, boosting the overall total to 667. The prizepool sum narrowly broke the one million mark, $1,010,505 to be exact, and broke down into 72 payout spots. Flight B concluded with 61 players remaining, leaving a joint group of 97 players advancing to the next leg.

Day 2 was when Hudson really hit is stride. After cruising into the money, an extremely pivotal hand occurred near the end of Level 19. Hudson got mixed up in a hand with gold ring winer Kevin Saul who sat with one of the biggest stacks at the time. Getting it all in on the turn, Hudson needed to hit a double gutter and did on the river. It was a hand that could have ended his Main Event life, but instead catapulted Hudson to a chip-leading position.

As Day 2 went on, Saul effectively regained his seven-figure stack and chip lead. However, he again clashed with Hudson late in the day only to lose another heartbreaker for heaps.

Both Saul and Hudson went on to survive Day 2, which happened to precisely leave off with an official final table.

The stage was set for a Day-3 finale, featuring nine competitors, including seven-time gold ring winner Josh Turner, two-time gold ring winner Cody Brinn, ring winner Damjan Radanov, Hank Sitton, and Brett Apter, winner of the Potawatomi Six Max.

Hudson began Day 3 with a massive chip advantage. To make things worse for his opponents, Hudson scored the first two knockouts of the day, pushing his stack to over 10 million. The other six players held an average of less than two million.

Eventually the short stacks proceeded to fall. Nathan Braungardt was eliminated in 7th place ($31,144), Damjan Radanov dropped in 6th place ($40,248), and Brett Apter went bust in 5th place ($52,698) by way of Hudson.

With play down to four players, Hudson still had a substantial chip lead, but his three opponents also had a few more chips to play with. Saul fought a good fight but fell in 4th place ($69,917). Hank Sitton was eliminated by Hudson in 3rd place ($94,017), leaving Turner heads up against a massive chip lead.

No matter the odds, Turner remained confident. He started to mount a comeback. The seven-time WSOP champ, going for his second Main Event title, even succeeded in taking the chip lead at one point.

However, shortly after the lead changed, it changed back. The momentum swung back Hudson’s way. Then, it all ended when Hudson moved all in with top pair on a low board. Turner called with a world of outs, but could not connect, leaving him as the runner-up, good for $128,183.

Hudson earned the top prize of just over $200,000, a Circuit Main Event ring, and automatic seat to the 2019 Global Casino Championship. The Poker Pro from Illinois has been absent from the tournament scene for an extended period.

“Yeah, I haven’t really been playing much… came out for the big event. It’s the first tournament I’ve played all series… and just got lucky,” Hudson said after his win.

“I just play here and there,” Hudson explained, regarding his professional poker career schedule. “I’m sure I’ll play like the Hammond [Circuit], but I’m not going to like grind my life away.”

With the automatic bid in his back pocket, Hudson was asked if he would be ready for the prestigious event when it comes around in the fall. Hudson responded, “Yeah, let’s go.”