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2015/2016 WSOP Circuit - HARRAH'S ATLANTIC CITY (New Jersey)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 to Thursday, March 17, 2016

Event #2: $365 No-Limit Hold'em

download official reportdownload official winner photo
  • Buy-in: $365
  • Prizepool: $54,000
  • Entries: 180
  • Remaining: 0


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Thursday, March 17, 2016 7:54 PM Local Time
John Yanni

John Yanni is the champion of Event #2 at Harrah’s Atlantic City, defeating a field of 180 players to claim his first gold ring. In addition to the jewelry, Yanni collected $14,582 in cash and 50 points in the race for Casino Champion at this venue.

The champ is a 34-year-old poker pro originally from Buffalo, New York. He’s played the game recreationally while juggling a full-time day job since graduating from high school. “I was a glorified gas station attendant,” he said. “I fueled planes for a living.” After notching a five-figure score in 2014, though, Yanni opted for an early retirement to pursue the game full time. “I felt like that was it. I always wanted to pursue this dream, and I went for it.”

So far, so good for the new pro.

Yanni entered the Event #2 final table as the chip leader with just shy of 40 big blinds and Steven Rodriguez nipping at his heels. Five hours later, the two were heads up for the title, with Rodriguez beginning the battle holding a 2:1 chip lead. That lead event swelled to more than 5:1 before Yanni went on a massive rush. Over the course of just a couple orbits, he took over the lead, accumulating his own 5:1 advantage.

On the final hand, Rodriguez moved all in with pocket deuces on the button, and Yanni called with king-five. The sweat lasted all the way to the river before the King of Spades filled out the board to sent the pot and the title to Yanni.

“This means the world to me,” he said, fighting to keep control of his emotions after his first live tournament victory. “It means I can keep doing my thing, you know?”

When asked about his plans for the rest of the Circuit season, Yanni had no answer. “I don’t know what I’m doing next,” he laughed. “I really have no idea. I have to take this all in first.”

Thursday, March 17, 2016 6:30 PM Local Time

On the final hand of the match, Steven Rodriguez moves all in for just over 10 big blinds with   . John Yanni calls with    and the covering stack, flipping for the title.

The board runs out      , and Yanni rivers his king to win the pot and the tournament. A recap of his victory will be published shortly.

John Yanni
John Yanni - Winner ($14,582)

Steven Rodriguez
Steven Rodriguez - 2nd place ($9,010)

Thursday, March 17, 2016 5:56 PM Local Time

Level 25 concludes, and the final two players are on a short break. Steven Rodriguez began the duel with a significant chip lead, but John Yanni has turned the tables over the course of the last hour.

Here's how they stack up with the blinds going to 15,000/30,000 and a 5,000 ante:

John Yanni - 980,000 (33 bb)
Steven Rodriguez - 820,000 (27 bb)

Thursday, March 17, 2016 4:44 PM Local Time
Alyson Parker
Thursday, March 17, 2016 4:37 PM Local Time
Anthony Conti
Playtika - Jason Alexander
Thursday, March 17, 2016 4:30 PM Local Time
Guillermo Beramendi
Thursday, March 17, 2016 3:50 PM Local Time
Raymond Palmieri Jr.
Thursday, March 17, 2016 2:36 PM Local Time
Vimy Ha
Thursday, March 17, 2016 2:14 PM Local Time
Jaime Reid
Thursday, March 17, 2016 2:14 PM Local Time

Greg Humphrey loses a big flip and most of his chips to Raymond Palmieri Jr. when his ace-king falls to his opponent's queens. Humphrey turns his ace, but a third queen on the river gives the pot to Pamieri Jr., and Humphrey is eliminated a few hands thereafter.

Gary Humphrey
Playtika - Jason Alexander
Thursday, March 17, 2016 2:01 PM Local Time
The nine finalists are in their chairs, and the final table has begun.
Thursday, March 17, 2016 2:29 AM Local Time

With about nine minutes left in Level 21, the field is reduced to nine players, and the final table is set. Unlike the Event #1 final table, this one does not feature any former WSOP Circuit winners, so it'll be a guaranteed first for the eventual champion.

Here's how the final table is laid out as Day 1 comes to a close:

Seat 1: Jaime Reid - 84,000
Seat 2: Raymond Palmieri Jr. - 159,000
Seat 3: Gary Humphrey - 170,000
Seat 4: Anthony Conti - 279,000
Seat 5: Alyson Parker - 121,000
Seat 6: John Yanni - 372,000
Seat 7: Vimy Ha - 175,000
Seat 8: Steven Rodriguez - 319,000
Seat 9: Guillermo Beramendi - 128,000

Blinds will be 5,000/10,000 with a 1,000 ante when play resumes, and the average stack is 20 big blinds. Everyone left is guaranteed to earn at least $1,299, while the winner will collect the ring and the top prize of $14,582. Play resumes at 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 17, 2016 1:38 AM Local Time

It's just past 1:30 in the morning in Atlantic City, and Day 1 is winding down. Level 21 begins with 4,000/8,000 blinds and a 1,000 ante. With 12 players remaining, the average stack is about 19 big blinds.

Play will continue until the end of this level or until the final table is set, whichever comes first.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 11:04 PM Local Time

The field is reduced to 18 players, and they're now drawing for new seats around the final two tables. Everyone left is now in the money, guaranteed to earn at least $724.

Blinds are 2,000/4,000 with a 500 ante, and the average stack is just less than 100,000 chips.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 8:01 PM Local Time

Registration is closed for Event #2, and the staff has finalized the numbers. A total of 180 players entered the field, generating a prizepool worth $54,000. That money will be shared by the final 18 players, with a min-cash worth $724. The eventual winner will collect the gold ring and the top payout of $14,582.

A full breakdown of the payouts can be found in the Prizepool tab.

Playtika - Jason Alexander
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 4:37 PM Local Time

Fresh of a sixth-place finish at the Event #1 final table, Bernard Lee joins the Event #2 field.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 4:18 PM Local Time

Level 8 concludes, and the players are headed off for their second break of the day. When the new level begins, registration will close, and the prizepool will be announced shortly thereafter. The board shows 169 entries at the moment.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 2:09 PM Local Time
The first four levels are complete, and the field is on a 10-minute break. The board shows 143 entries so far, and late registration is available through the next break.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 12:02 PM Local Time

The starting time has arrived, and cards are in the air for Event #2. Players begin with 10,000 in tournament chips for this event, and levels are 30 minutes apiece to begin. Registration remains open for the first eight levels.