Hollis Holcomb dedicates his first career WSOP ring to late friend Chris Ghylin
July 29, 2019 (Choctaw) - A Main Event Champion was crowned Monday evening on the World Series of Poker Circuit at Choctaw Hotel & Casino. Hollis Holcomb outmatched 976 entrants to be the last man standing in Event #11: $1,700 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event. The 47-year-old cyber security expert earned his first Circuit gold ring, $255,535 and a seat in the 2020 Global Casino Championship.
Moments following his victory, Holcomb was ecstatic yet emotional about the victory, "I do want to say that I had a really good friend of mine that taught me a lot about poker and life, passed away two years ago. He would just love this, he was in his thirty's and its just unfortunate that such a good player passed so soon. I wouldn't be here without Chris Ghylin."
Holcomb won his seat by earning the Chris Ghylin trophy, awarded to the Player of the Year in his home town poker club. Holcomb and twenty of his close friends earn points throughout the year, with the highest earner winning a seat into the Choctaw Main Event. The only stipulation in the deal is that half of any earnings are split with the group. After the last hand was dealt, Holcomb proclaimed, "My phone is blowing-up right now." Rightfully so, club members have cashed-in on Holcomb's success. Nearly $130,000 is soon to be split amongst friends and family.
The tournament started on Friday, attracting 354 players on Day 1A. Russ Floyd was the chip leader after the remaining 59 bagged from the first flight. Day 1B compiled a total of 622 slips, with Thomas Johnson emerging as the chip leader of the 108 that moved on from that flight. The remaining 167 players came back on Day 2, playing 10, 60-minute levels before bagging up and moving on to the final day.
To reach the momentous achievement, Holcomb had to maneuver through three days of tournament poker and a tough Final Table. The Fort Smith, Arkansas native began by surviving Flight B of Event #11. His stack moved in roller-coaster fashion throughout the day, but he eventually finished with 381,000, good for a top-10 stack. He had a phenomenal Day 2, heading into the final day 3rd in chips with 5,575,000.
The biggest turning point during the final table for Holcomb was during a hand where chip leader Shomari Williams would end-up moving all-in with pocket jacks against his pocket fives. Holcomb couldn't have hit the flop much harder, flopping a full house. After a favorable run-out, Holcomb eliminated Williams and was the new owner of over 6-million chips.
After a staggering 8-hours of play to get heads-up, it didn't take more than 10-minutes for Holcomb and 7-time ring earner Vincent Moscati to get all 29-million chips in the middle. In a flip for nearly $100,000, Holcomb's J-J withstood Moscati's A-K, leaving the Bartlesville, Oklahoma resident the Main Event champion.
Here is a look at the final table results. Click here for full results or updates from the events.
1st - Hollis Holcomb - $255,535
2nd - Vincent Moscati - $157,929
3rd - Jesse Solano - $118,349
4th - Tony Nguyen - $89,536
5th - Braxton Dunaway - $68,390
6th - Matt Russell - $52,747
7th - Steven Williams - $41,082
8th - Shomari Williams - $32,314
9th - Scott Hall - $25,672