Tuesday, November 25, 2014 2:30 AM Local Time
Planet Hollywood Resort Casino is Las Vegas’s home for the glitz and glamour of tinseltown. Its walls are decorated with images of stars of film and music. And for the past weekend, it was home to stars of the poker world, who came out in droves to play the Main Event of the World Series of Poker Circuit. After three days of intense competition, it was Englishman John Eames whose star shone brightest of all. He won the tournament, earning his first WSOP Circuit ring and $289,706 in prize money.
John Eames was almost the first player eliminated from the final table. After he doubled up Quang Ngo, he was down to his last 220,000 when the big blind was 50,000. He moved all in and was called by Matt Berkey, and then Michael Skomac moved all in over the top. Berkey called Skomac’s all-in raise with . Skomac held , and Eames was in last place with . The deck saved him, though. He flopped a pair and ended up rivering a straight to triple up, and he continued building his stack from there.
Matt Berkey went on to finish in second place for $179,119. Berkey was on top of his game throughout the entire tournament. At the end of Day 1, he was the overall chip leader, and only one other player, 2010 November Niner Joseph Cheong, was close to him. He was atop the leaderboard again at the end of Day 2. He battled heads up against Eames for almost two hours. When they started heads-up play, Eames had a slight lead. He extended it until Berkey was short-stacked, but Berkey came roaring back to take over the chip lead. Soon afterward, Eames won a big all-in pot for almost 75% of the chips in play. Then it wasn’t long before he held all the chips, and Berkey’s amazing run this tournament halted in second place. The tournament finally ended at about 1:15 a.m., and an exhausted Eames had nothing but praise for the runner-up finisher. “Matt’s a really, really good player. If there was one player I didn’t want to have to go against heads up, it was him.”
This was actually the first Circuit event Eames has ever played. After this success, though, it likely won’t be the last. And by virtue of his victory in this Main Event, he earns an entry in next year’s WSOP National Championship.
Monday was the third and final day of the Main Event. It started at 2 p.m. when 18 players who survived the first two days of action returned. After a little more than 2 and a half hours, half of them had been eliminated, and the tournament was down to the official final table of nine players.
At first, it looked like the final table would be an extremely lengthy affair. It wasn’t until the 69th hand at the final table that the first player was eliminated (Michael Skomac in 9th place). By comparison, when the November Nine met for the final table of the WSOP Main Event two weeks ago, the first elimination occurred on the 56th hand. However, at Skomac’s elimination, the pace of bustouts picked up. On the 104th hand, Brad Libson was eliminated in 5th place, leaving only four players still with chips: Berkey, Eames, Ping Liu, and Dustin Johns. Four-handed play lasted a while as well, almost 60 hands. Then, at about 11:30 p.m., Dustin Johns and Ping Liu were eliminated on back-to-back hands, leaving Berkey and Eames to battle for the spoils—a WSOP Circuit ring, the lion’s share of the prize pool, and a free entry into the 2015 WSOP National Championship.
The tournament featured two starting flights, one on Friday and one on Saturday, and a massive field turned up to play. The event attracted a total of 1,044 entries, making it the second largest Main Event on the Circuit so far this year. The entry list was a veritable “who’s who” of the poker world. Entrants included 2001 WSOP Main Event champion Carlos Mortensen, 2013 WSOP Main Event champion Ryan Riess, and 2014 WSOP APAC champion Scott Davies. There were four November Niners in addition to Riess—Joseph Cheong, Phil Collins, Jake Balsiger, and Dan Sindelar, who finished 7th in the Main Event earlier this month. There were also several WSOP bracelet winners, including Kathy Liebert, Robert Mizrachi, Leo Wolpert, Dan Heimiller, and Eric Baldwin. Other well-known poker faces were scattered throughout the field, David Levi, Jimmy Fricke, and Chris Lindh. Lindh finished in 9th place the last time the WSOP Circuit was in Las Vegas (at Caesar’s Palace in February), and he finished 10th at Planet Hollywood today.
Here are the final table results from the Main Event at Planet Hollywood. Full results can be found in the “Results” tab, above.
1. John Eames – $289,706
2. Matt Berkey – $179,119
3. Ping Liu – $ 133,110
4. Dustin Johns – $100,067
5. Brad Libson – $76,092
6. Corey Emery – $58,537
7. Jonathan Neckar – $45,555
8. Quang Ngo – $35,861
9. Michael Skomac – $28,564
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 1:22 AM Local Time
John Eames raises to 325,000 and Matt Berkey calls from the big blind. The flop is and Berkey checks to Eames, who bets 350,000. Berkey check-raises to 850,000 which causes Eames to sit up in his chair and inquire about how many chips Berkey has left.
Eames moves all in and Berkey calls off the rest of his roughly 3,000,000 stack. Berkey tables and is open ended against Eames' .
Eames needs to fade a five or a ten to earn the title. The fell on the turn, which keeps just one card between Eames and the ring. The river is the and Eames' queens hold up to eliminate Berkey in second place.
Berkey takes home $179,119, while Eames gets $289,706, the ring, and a seat into the WSOP National Championship.
A full recap of the final table will be posted shortly.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 1:14 AM Local Time
Matt Berkey raises to 375,000 on the button and John Eames three-bets to 975,000 from the big blind. Berkey cuts out a four-bet to 2,100,000 and Eames goes into the tank before moving all in for the rest of his roughly 8,000,000 stack.
It's a race for Eames' tournament life with Eames showing against Berkey's . The board runs out and Eames doubles up. The dealer counts down Eames' stack and verifies that Eames is all in for 8,525,000 in chips as Eames takes back the commanding chip lead that he once had.
John Eames - 17,050,000 (106 BBs)
Matt Berkey - 3,030,000 (19 BBs)
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 1:07 AM Local Time
John Eames raises to 375,000 on the button and Matt Berkey three-bets to 900,000 from the big blind. Eames folds and Berkey wins the pot.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 1:06 AM Local Time
Matt Berkey raises to 375,000 and wins the blinds and antes.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 1:05 AM Local Time
John Eames raises on the button and takes the blinds and antes.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 1:04 AM Local Time
Matt Berkey raises 375,000 on the button and John Eames calls from the big blind. The flop is and Eames checks. Berkey bets 375,000 and wins the pot.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 1:03 AM Local Time
John Eames folds his button. Matt Berkey shows in the big blind.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 1:02 AM Local Time
Matt Berky raises to 375,000 on the button and takes the blinds and antes.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 1:02 AM Local Time
John Eames raises to 360,000 on the button and takes the pot.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 1:01 AM Local Time
Matt Berkey folds his button.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 1:00 AM Local Time
John Eames raises on the button and folds to a Matt Berkey three-bet from the big blind.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 12:59 AM Local Time
Matt Berkey raises to 350,000 from the button, and John Eames calls. The flop is , and both players check. The turn is the , and both players check. The river is the , and both players check again. Eames shows , and he wins the pot.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 12:57 AM Local Time
John Eames raises to 375,000 on the button, and Matt Berkey calls. The flop is , and Berkey checks. Eames bets 400,000. Berkey check-raises to 1,000,000, and Eames folds.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 12:56 AM Local Time
Matt Berkey raises to 325,000 on the button and John Eames folds.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 12:55 AM Local Time
John Eames raises to 375,000 on the button, and Matt Berkey calls. The flop is , and Berkey leads out with a bet of 450,000. Eames folds.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 12:54 AM Local Time
Matt Berkey raises to 350,000 on the button and John Eames calls from the big blind. The flop is and Eames checks. Berkey bets 450,000 and takes the pot.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 12:52 AM Local Time
John Eames raises to 365,000 on the button and Matt Berkey three-bets to 975,000 from the big blind. Eames folds his hand and Berkey wins the pot.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 12:51 AM Local Time
Matt Berkey raises to 375,000 and takes the binds and antes.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 12:50 AM Local Time
John Eames folds his button.