Tunica, Mississippi (May 1, 2023) - With his parents in attendance, Trace Henderson of Gulfport, Mississippi survived a roller-coaster day of poker to take home the WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Tunica Main Event title for $132,684 and his second career WSOP Circuit ring.
With several previous cashes here in Tunica including a deep run in 2019 where he finished 16th, Henderson said that made the victory that much sweeter.
“I feel good. This particular tournament I’ve been deep in a couple of times, so it was kind of something I wanted to do. It feels good to do it.”
Henderson defeated Steve McCluskey in a battle that lasted over two hours, where he had to overcome his second short stack of the day to earn the title.
He had extended the chip lead that he brought into the day after eliminating Dale Humphrey in 6th and Dalton Fry in 5th, but just before the first break of the day, after McCluskey eliminated Andrew Groendal in 4th place, Henderson dropped a large pot to McCluskey where he ceded the chip lead for the first time, then lost a large pot to Marshall White three-handed that left him as the notable short stack.
“It went south quick, which can happen. Probably for like ten minutes doubt crept into my mind, but I just hung on and tried to find a good spot and was able to turn it around.”
He did just that by first doubling up through McCluskey and then getting his revenge on White by eliminating him in third place to draw near even to McCluskey as heads-up play began.
“I knew I had a shot again, but Steve was tough. He didn’t give me nothin’, and I just finally made some hands toward the end.”
That he did, as McCluskey held the lead for much of their two-plus hour match but Henderson persevered to eventually take the lead himself and never let it go. Once he held a four-to-one chip lead, Henderson got his in versus McCluskey’s and drilled a queen on the river to win the title.
Henderson shook hands with McCluskey and then celebrated with his parents who as mentioned were in the bleachers watching their son win his first major WSOP title.
“It was cool. They don’t come on the scene much. My Mom’s into it big, she’s always keeping up with me, asking how I’m doing. But I always told them maybe come to something in the south, like in Mississippi, and it worked out that they were able to, and it feels great to win.”
Along with his largest-ever WSOP cash and his 2nd Circuit ring, Henderson will also be entered in the WSOP Tournament of Champions later this month in Las Vegas at the 2023 World Series of Poker.
With that, our coverage of the WSOP Circuit stop at Horseshoe Tunica comes to an end. Congratulations to Trace Henderson and all the Circuit ring winners this series. Stay tuned to WSOP.com for coverage of our next stop at Harrah’s Cherokee in Cherokee, North Carolina.