Tennessee's Donald Crabtree takes down the Cherokee Circuit Main Event for $329,828, a gold ring, and a seat to the 2022 Tournament of Champions.
Cherokee, NC (December 7, 2021) - Donald Crabtree (pictured) won his first World Series of Poker Circuit gold ring and earned a payday of $329,828 on Monday, December 6 when he took down the Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event. Crabtree, a Juliet, Tennessee native, earned the victory by defeating Scott Davis, who was also after his first ring, during heads-up play.
The marquee tournament attracted a total 1,375 entries over two starting flights and smashed the $1 million guarantee with a prize pool of $2,083,125 — the largest ever for a Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event.
Crabtree, who previously had $118,651 to his name in WSOP cashes, in part from a 220th place finish in the 2009 WSOP Main Event, said in a winner’s interview that he has been playing poker since 2005 and felt “overwhelmed” to win his first ring and cash for his best-ever score.
“It’s definitely better,” Crabtree said when asked about previous tournament scores. “Way better.”
Final Table Results
1st Place - Donald Crabtree - $329,828
2nd Place - Scott Davis - $203,849
3rd Place - Asaf Ben Shushan - $154,985
4th Place - Youssef Aly - $118,780
5th Place - Adam Ross - $91,770
6th Place - David Mzaruelov - $71,480
7th Place - Scott Reginatto - $56,134
8th Place - Rohit Kwatra - $44,449
9th Place - Jayson Henderson - $35,491
10th Place - Brian Altman - $28,577
Day 3 Action
Youseff Aly of Coopertown, Tennessee was the antagonist of Day 3 and took it upon himself to needle, taunt, and take digs at his opponents whenever possible.
"The poker game I play in my basement is stronger than this whole table,” Aly said at one point.
Georgia’s Adam Ross, who was looking for a second title in the Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event title after winning the event in 2018, ultimately fell short and was eliminated in fifth place for $91,770. Ross held the chip lead five-handed until a crucial hand where he doubled up Aly, who held the nut flush to Ross’ second nut flush. Aly was not humble or empathetic about being on the winning end of the massive cooler.
“I cracked him (Ross),” Aly later told the table. “I was going to call the paramedics for him.”
Aly took a big chip lead four-handed and threatened to “crack” his other opponents but was ultimately the next to go as his stack dwindled down and he got the rest of his chips in with eight-six against the ace-king of Asaf Ben Shushan. Shushan hit an ace on the flop and the rest is history.
Ross wasn’t the only player at the final table who Aly took aim at. Three-time Circuit ring winner Brian Altman, who was sent home in tenth place when he ran ace-jack into the big slick of Ross, was an early target of “the best poker player in Tennessee.”
"I will chop with anyone else at this table other than Mister ‘Oh, I'm a pro.’ Alt-man. Alt-MAN,” Aly said at the start of the final table, mispronouncing Altman’s name in various ways.
Crabtree said he did his best to not let Aly’s antics impact his poker play.
“We had one loudmouth. He gives a rough time,” said Crabtree. “It just irritates you.”
He continued, “I had to keep my head clear, so I just stayed focused on what I was trying to do. I knew what he was trying to do… they try to intimidate you a lot. I’ve been on other tables where people try to intimidate you. So I just stay cool and do what I do.”
Heads-up play began when Shushan ran queen-ten into the pocket kings of the eventual champion and was sent out in third place.
Crabtree entered the heads-up battle with a chip advantage and took a big lead by winning a string of small and medium pots. The final hand of the tournament occurred when Davis moved all-in with a straight draw and Crabtree called with trips. Davis couldn’t get there on the river and secured the victory for Crabtree, who celebrated with his twin brother and sister-in-law on the rail.
Other players who made Day 3 but came up short of Main Event glory include Christopher Carey, Scott Smile, Dylan Lemery, Matt Bond and Shanmukha Meruga.
That wraps up Main Event coverage on the tail end of an exciting and eventful WSOP Circuit stop at Harrah’s Cherokee.