Tuesday, May 24, 2016 1:29 AM Local Time
David Hubbard Channels Loni Harwood En Route to Victory
While reigning WSOP National Champion and two-time bracelet winner Loni Harwood won't be taking part in the Global Casino Championship at Harrah's Cherokee later this year, she apparently can take a little credit for how this season's WSOP Circuit ended in New Orleans.
David Hubbard, who hails from Angleton, Texas, took down the last $1,650 buy-in Main Event of the this season in the Big Easy and he dedicated his win to two important ladies in his life: his youngest daughter and Harwood.
While some players like to idolize Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, or Daniel Negreanu, this father of two was proud to admit one of the players he looks up to most is Harwood.
"Loni Harwood is my favorite poker player," Hubbard explained shortly after his victory, which earned him his first Circuit ring, a seat into the Global Poker Championship, and a handsome payday of $235,500. While he credits Harwood as being part of his inspiration, he dedicated the ring itself to his daughter.
“I promised her that ring a long time ago when I started playing poker. She follows poker and likes poker. She might be the next Loni Harwood."
Hubbard's path to victory was not an easy one, especially at the final table where he began the day fifth in chips out of the final 15 players with some very experienced competitors in the field.
After a number of close calls in other Circuit tournaments though, Hubbard was not going to let this opportunity pass him by.
“My first ring, it feels really good. I’ve played a lot of tournaments and I’ve run deep a lot and I got coolered in a few of ‘em. So I got paid back in this one big time," Hubbard explained. "I’m a big crybaby. I always complain to my wife, ‘Man, this variance never evens out.’ But I guess it does. I was in a bracelet event with 70 people left. I ran kings into sixes and there was a six right in the window. I complain, ‘I guess the poker gods hate me.’ But in this tournament I ran really good.”
Hubbard is a recreational poker player whose day job is as a federal agent, but with his retirement looming in six months, the upcoming WSOP and the Global Casino Championship will not be the only poker events Hubbard decides to hop into.
"I’m gonna play a lot more poker starting in February when I retire. I’m looking forward to that. I’m gonna travel the Circuit a lot more.”
First though, he wants to go home and celebrate with the possible future Loni Harwoods of the poker world. This family man is ready to get back to his family and celebrate this momentous victory and the potential start of a post-retirement poker renaissance.
This year's final table featured a bracelet winner in David Diaz, who finished in fourth place, as well as two Circuit ring winners in Blake Barousse (9th) and David Slaughter (5th). Slaughter won his first ring not two weeks ago right here in New Orleans when he took down the opening event of this Circuit series. That finish combined with his final table showing in the Main Event gave Slaughter the title of Casino Champion and earned him a seat in the Global Casino Championship along with Hubbard.
This year's Harrah's New Orleans Main Event saw a huge boost in attendance with 785 entries compared to last year's turnout of 554 entries by almost 42 percent. Thanks to the exceptionally large turnout, the prizepool swelled to $1,177,500 and paid out the top 81 finishers.
Some of the notable names who made the money in this tournament include Ting Ho (79th), who secured an at-large bid into the Global Casino Championship with her finish, Yuval Bronshtein (77th), Josh Arieh (73rd), Rex Clinkscales (72nd), seven-time ring winner Cory Waaland (64th), bracelet winner Jonathan Hilton (61st), Vincent Moscati (58th), Tripp Kirk (50th), bracelet winner Phillip Hui (31st), Circuit legend Charles "Woody" Moore (21st), and bracelet winner Foster Hays, who bubbled the official final table in tenth place.
Here are the final table results for this year's Harrah's New Orleans Circuit Main Event:
1st: David Hubbard - $235,500
2nd: Jake Dollinger - $145,186
3rd: Riley Fuller - $107,035
4th: David Diaz - $79,776
5th: David Slaughter - $60,253
6th: Ryan Dunn - $46,099
7th: Corey Brysman - $35,714
8th: Virgil Beddingfield - $28,013
9th: Blake Barousse - $22,243