Cherokee, North Carolina (5 Nov 2022) - It was another successful return to Harrah's Cherokee for the World Series of Poker's 2022/2023 Circuit season, its second of four stops, as a field of 1,502 entries was recorded through two starting flights generating a $2,275,530 prize pool.

After the numbers were finalized, 219 players were able to take a piece of it, but it was Donovan Dean who walked away with the lion's share, as he claimed the $1,700 Main Event title that came with a $356,963 top prize and a seat into the 2023 Tournament of Champions.

 “It feels pretty awesome,” Dean stated after his victory, “I’ve been on a heater as of late, making a lot of deep runs but haven’t been able to close out a Circuit event in a while, so it feels really good,”

Dean’s last win on the Circuit came back in 2014 here at Harrah’s when he took down the multi-flight event for $57,777 and he came close to adding another just last month at Grand Victoria after he second place finished the Monster Stack.

“The start of the Main Event here didn’t start off so well, but I really started to gain traction in level 6 on Day 1b,” stated Dean.

“I had 278,000 when I flopped two-pair with king-jack to crack pocket aces for a double up, and after that it just seemed like everything was going my way.”

The statement couldn’t have been accurate anymore as Dean was able to collect every chip in play to secure his largest career cash and it couldn’t have come at a better time as the father of two twin boys, is expecting his third, William Shane Dean, May 2023.

Final Table Results 

1st Place: Donovan Dean - $356,963

2nd Place: Tyler Phillips - $220,613

3rd Place: Howard Mash - $165,568

4th Place: Shea Quintin - $125,423

5th Place: Juan Mora - $95,912

6th Place: Brad Albrinck - $74,046

7th Place: Brad Wilson - $57,717

8th Place: Greg Dalton - $45,428

9th Place: David Moses - $36,107

Day 3 Action

The final day of the Main Event saw 13 players return from Day 2, each guaranteed at least a $23,500 payday. 

The action kicked right into gear off the bat as four-time ring winner Ryan Van Sanford was out-kicked holding ace-nine against Howard Mash's ace-king. Van Sanford was the first player to exit on the final day while ring winner Scott Hall and Mett Emmel both failed to win a race, setting the stage for the unofficial final table. 

Final Table Action

The first final table elimination came after Dean's pocket jacks hooked Lithuanian crusher Deividas Daubaris while WSOP bracelet winner David Moses failed to hit live cards against Brad Albrinck.

Shortly after Moses' departure, Tyler Phillips handed Greg Dalton a cooler after he rivered straight to crack Dalton's set of queens, and then won a race against Brad Wilson to send him home in seventh place. 

Day 3 chip leader Brad Albrnick continued to build his stack at the final table until he ran his pocket kings into Donovan's pocket aces. The hand left Albrinck short and he departed in sixth place for $74,406. 

With five players remaining, it would normally take a while for each to make their exit but in this case, it took less than two full levels. 

Juan Mora, who came into the day near the bottom of the chip counts, was able to ladder his way up to a $95,912 payday with his fifth place after he called the wrong side of a flip against Shea Quintin's pocket sevens. 

Quintin would be the next person to exit after his king-ten was out-kicked by Mash's ace-ten and he took home 125,423 for his efforts.

The start of the final level saw Mash make his way to the payout desk after he failed to complete his double gutter straight/flush draw and his run ended in third place for $165,568.

The heads-up battle only lasted a few short hands after Dean won continuous pots to send Phillips home in second place for $220,613.

That wraps up Main Event coverage on the tail end of an exciting and eventful WSOP Circuit stop a Harrah’s Cherokee! Make sure to tune in for our coverage of The Bicycle Casino Main Event December 11-14th!