The World Series of Poker Horseshoe Hammond $1,700 Main Event is now history and at the end of play on Day 3, it was a familiar Chicago name who emerged as the champion.
Ravi Raghavan conquered the gargantuan field of 1,063 to win a first-place prize of $272,32 and his second WSOP circuit ring, the first also coming in Hammond in 2016. At the beginning of the day, it was asked if Raghavan, who was the most accomplished player returning to action, could recreate the Hammond magic that has benefited him in the past. And after nine and a half hours of play, the answer to that question was a resounding yes.
“Pretty good, pretty, pretty good” said Raghavan, who seemed overcome with glee when asked how it felt to take yet another title in his home casino.
One of the perks of winning a WSOP circuit ring is the qualification for the year end Global Casino Championship, which is something that Raghavan values as he wasn't up to date on the point system and how it worked.
“That’s a great feature to get the qualification to the GCC. Now I don’t have to chase it. It’s really tough to get it this year and it’s really a big load off my mind now that I don’t have to chase it.”
That won't change his poker playing plans drastically in the coming months: “I always play the driving-distance circuit events, so I will go [to those stops] as planned.” But he admits that it does in fact put a new perspective on things as he clarified a few moments later: "You know what I know, everything changes when you win a big one.”
Final Day Action
Day 3 started at a tentative place as the original field of 19 players was cut down by only two in the first two hours of play, with players wanting to solidify their place in the chips counts rather than taking big risks.
Eliminations started to rev up after the first break of the day as WSOP bracelet Alan Percal was toasted by Raghavan in 17th when his ace-king ran into aces. A steady pace of elimination then began to develop as players dropped one by one from 16th down to 10th.
The pace would again hit a snag when the final table of 10 was formed, which saw Raghavan begin with the chip lead. But it was Michael Wolff who would take the initiative in the early part of the final table as he won several big hands to gather a substantial chip lead as everyone else began to fall behind him, including when he eliminated Blake Battaglia in 10th place to break the barrier.
Wolff would continue to soar until one hand changed the course of the final table and wound up being the hand of the entire tournament. Raghavan flopped a set of eights against the top two pair of Wolff. The chips ended up all in on the flop and after the board ran out clean Raghavan was suddenly the huge chip leader while Wolff was knocked back down.
Just two minutes after that, Raghavan eliminated Michael Rossitto in eighth place when he woke up with pocket kings against the pocket nines of Rossitto to gain another critical pot, which Raghavan would specifically note afterward as being just as important to his win as the big hand against Wolff.
The eliminations came at a steady pace after that as Matthew Shepsky went down in seventh place, David Lindquist in sixth and Andrew Ostapchenko in fifth, two of which were sent to the rail courtesy of Casey Carroll. Raghavan would claim another victim when he eliminated John Shannon in fourth place when his flush got a river call.
Three-handed play would be defined by one hand when Raghavan flopped Broadway versus Carroll, who had a healthy stack at the start of the hand. Raghavan shoved on the river to send Carroll deep into the tank and eventually took all of his chips when Carroll called off with a pair of jacks.
Raghavan would take an overwhelming 7:1 chip lead heading into heads-up play against Wolff, who e would finish off in short order with ace-three running down pocket sixes to win the title
Final Table Results:
1: Ravi Raghavan- $272,322 & WSOP Circuit gold ring
2:Michael Wolff - $168,325
3: Casey Carroll - $126,749
4: John Shannon - $96,304
5: Andrew Ostapchenko - $73,837
6: David Lindquist - $57,131
7: Matthew Shepsky - $44,615
8: Michael Rossitto- $35,167
9: Bryan Skreens - $27,981