30 March 2022 (Las Vegas, NV) - The 2021/2022 World Series of Poker Circuit has crowned a new champion at Bally's Las Vegas in the $1,700 Main Event as Andrea Buonocore emerged victorious, claiming him first WSOP Circuit Ring and the top prize of $143,229 along with a seat in the tournament of Champions.
The newly crowned champion had a win to remember as he navigated through a star-studded field of 468 entrants and had two defeat two-time bracelet winner Eric Baldwin in his final match to make it to victory.
Buonocore started from the bottom but has climbed the ladder, and now plays high stakes cash games regularly. He has been rarely playing tournaments, but he decided to take a shot at the Main Event last minute after his game went down.
"It feels amazing. I haven't played tournaments in a long time. I've been only playing cash games. I was playing my regular 100/200 game in Bobby's room. It wasn't really a good game and the game broke, so I wasn't sure what to do next. I checked online and saw they had this tournament, so I registered very late. I went deep and everything went my way."
It wasn't a smooth ride to the top for the experience professional. Indeed, he started the final day sitting in the middle of the pack of the five finalists and dropped to the bottom not long after taking his seat when he doubled Baldwin up with a flopped set against Baldwin's flopped straight.
He wouldn't give up without a fight though, and claimed his chips back from Baldwin not long after. He eventually took over the lead after making a great read to eliminate Jim Collopy in fourth place with ace-high and a flush draw, after Collopy shoved on the turn with a straight flush draw.
"I made a good call. I called with ace-high and a flush draw after he shoved on the turn two times the pot. I was pretty sure about what he had because I saw him play hands earlier, so I put him on a big draw. Of course, if I lost the pot, I wouldn't have much left but I knew that I was ahead with my ace."
When asked what he plans on doing next, Buonocore answered:
"They just texted me, there is a seat open in the cash game so I'm probably heading there. Just joking, or... maybe not."
Official Final Table Results:
1st - Andrea Buonocore - $143,229
2nd - Eric Baldwin - $88,498
3rd - Timothy Chang - $64,664
4th - Jim Collopy - $47,875
5th - Bruce Vandervort - $35,920
6th - Daniel Jones - $27,316
7th - David Mowery - $21,060
8th - Jesse Sylvia - $16,463
9th - Kevin Fitzgibbons - $13,052
Final Table Action:
Kevin Fitzgibbons was the first casualty of the final table when he lost a flip for his tournament life with queens against Timothy Chang's ace-king.
He was followed shortly by Jesse Sylvia in eighth place as Sylvia's aces couldn't hold against Buonocore's flush draw after a check-raise from Buonocore on the flop.
David Mowery was next to go when he ran his ace-jack into Daniel Jones' ace-queen and couldn't find any help on the board.
Jones settled for sixth place after five-betting jacks against Collopy's aces in an all-in preflop situation.
Short stack Bruce Vandervort bowed out next when he shoved tens against Buonocore's pair of fours and saw a four on the river for Buonocore to claim the pot.
The fourth player to hit the rail was two-time bracelet winner Collopy. He moved all in with a flopped straight flush draw on the turn but was called by Buonocore who had flopped a straight draw and turned a backdoor flush draw. Neither hit on the river but Buonocore claimed the pot with ace-high.
After losing a large portion of his stack, Timothy Chang lost his final crumbs with queen-deuce against Buonocore's ace-king.
The heads-up match began with Buonocore holding the chip advantage and it was all over when Baldwin three-bet jammed with king-four suited against Buonocore's sevens and couldn't hit.
That wraps it up for the Bally's Las Vegas main event of the 2021-22 circuit season. Stay tuned to WSOP.com for the results of the remaining events.