Cherokee, North Carolina (28 February 2023) - The Cherokee Main Event has reached its conclusion after yet another extremely successful stop on the WSOP circuit calendar which saw a staggering 1,703 entries in the main event which created a prize pool of $2,356,299 and a grand prize of $393,753. 

The winner of that grand prize was none other than Brian Altman who took down his fourth WSOP circuit ring and secured himself a spot WSOP tournament of champions in the summer in Las Vegas. 

It would be accurate to say that Altman is one of poker’s most consistent tournament crushes as this victory moves him above $7 million in career earnings. This win in Cherokee is his 22nd recorded tournament victory and comes in as his fifth largest money score in his career. 

Altman discussed why he enjoys playing on the WSOP circuit after his win “I love playing circuit events. I would consider myself a Main Event player and I really enjoy playing against all different kinds of player types. Trying to figure out how they play and that’s what I really like about this type of player pool at the WSOP circuits.” 

In particular Altman really enjoys the Cherokee stop as he added “I really love this stop because the casino is in the middle of the Smoky mountains, it’s absolutely beautiful here and there’s great hiking that’s very accessible.” Which he said he usually takes part in when here in Cherokee but this time was all business with a lot of poker. 

One of the interesting things about Altman is that he does not discuss strategy with his opponents while playing mid-tournament or on breaks like other players sometimes like to do. Altman was asked about certain hands or strategies a few times by various opponents throughout the event and each time he declined to discuss, telling them he would prefer not too while play was still going. He explained this line of thinking “we are playing for a lot of money. I don’t want to give away my exact strategy in real time. It’s more fun that way. Players have to figure out how I think and I have to figure out how they think.”

And figure out how they think he did indeed with his impressive Day 3 performance which saw him climb from a smaller stack to the leader and weather his way through a back and forth heads up battle to emerges the victor. 

Action of Final Day

Day 3 began with 15 players. The eliminations started very quickly as five were gone with the snap of the fingers to go from 15 to 10 in under an hour where the final table would begin with fairly deep stacks at the start of it. 

Play would slow down from there as it would take over two hours for the ten-handed duct to be broken when Nir Cohen was on the wrong end of some coolers to go from start of day third in chips to out in 10th. 

Warren Sheaves would be eliminated in 9th after a hot start to the day ran out after his aces were cracked by a flopped set. 

Heath Claxton and Shouyi Gao went out next in 8th and 7th. 

Ashraf Chehata was the start of day chip leader but made lost a critical huge hand while ten-handed as he chose the wrong time to jam into Altman’s flopped set. He never was able to recover from there and bowed out in 6th.

Kyle Cartwright started to gain momentum at the final table and it looked like his push for ring #9 had serious legs, but he was cut down in 5th after losing some coolers to Altman. Ultimately running into aces.

Charles He was a short stack for much of the day, and even in Day 2. But he was resilient and was able to move all the way up to a 4th place finish. 

Leo Taffe made only his second live cash of his career as he is almost exclusively an online player but was was able to make quite a splash here in Cherokee for his first big live score. 

Ronald Sewell was the veteran player of the final table as he has cashes dating back to 2007 and a circuit ring from 2009. He fought valiantly during heads up play vs Altman after his slight lead to start became a big deficit, he was able to claw back to take a decent lead himself. But ultimately he finished as runner-up for a massive score.

That wraps up’s coverage of the Cherokee Main Event. Check back in the next couple of days for the official Cherokee stop report and updated results of all of the other ring events.