Monday, August 29, 2016 6:47 PM Local Time
Ledyard, Conn. (29 August 2016) – Julian Sacks gained a measure of redemption today. After falling short in the past, he won his first major victory in a live poker tournament when he won the Main Event of the World Series of Poker Circuit at Foxwoods. Sacks has come close in the past, and has several final tables on his poker resume. But he’d never walked away as a winner. Today, he completed his unfinished business and emerged victorious to earn his first WSOP Circuit ring and $148,350 – by far the biggest live cash of his career.
Sacks had finished runner up in a Circuit event before, and also had a third-place finish. He’d also made the final table of another big event at Foxwoods. But he never finished first, and burden of his past shortcomings weighed heavily on him over the past couple days, especially after he finished Day 1 atop the leaderboard. “Here at Foxwoods, I’ve had the chip lead before, and blown it,” he said after the tournament was over. “And I was putting a lot of pressure on myself not to blow it this time.”
As the final day wore on, he felt more and more comfortable with his position and his progress. “Once it got down to four-handed, at times it felt like I was winning every hand. Then I really felt like it was my tournament to lose.”
Sacks was one of several final tablists looking to improve on past performances. Johanssy Joseph and Jeremy Meacham made the final table alongside him, and they each also made the final table in this event a year ago. Joseph finished runner up in 2015, and eventually bowed out today in fourth place ($49,680). Meacham finished in sixth place a year ago. He improved on that performance this time around, finishing in third place ($66,930). The defending champion in this event, Samuel Taylor, also ran deep but failed to make the final table. He finished in 19th place.
The final day of the Main Event began Monday at noon with eight players. At the time, Julian Sacks was in the middle of the pack. He was in fifth place with 875,000 in chips. The leader, by contrast, was Muhammad Rahim with 2,900,000. He had more than double his closest competitor. But Rahim ran into trouble early. On the very first hand of the day, he nearly doubled up Travis Stams. Stams started today in last place, but ended up finishing runner up behind Sacks. Rahim ended up being eliminated in fifth place ($37,260).
Just behind Rahim was Sean Carlson, who finished in sixth place for $28,428. This is Carlson’s second final table at this Circuit stop. He also finished in second place in the re-entry event a week ago.
In addition to the prize money and Circuit ring, Sacks also receives a free entry into the 2017 WSOP Global Casino Championship. This invitation-only event boasts a minimum prize pool of $1,000,000. The Main Event winner and Casino Champion at every Circuit stop earn free entries. More information on the event and qualifying for it is available on the Circuit Leaderboard.
The tournament started on Friday, August 26, with Day 1A. There were 162 entries that day, and 30 players survived to the end of the night to advance to Day 2. On Saturday, there were another 298 entries (bringing the total up to 460), and another 50 players advanced to Day 2. After both Day 1 flights, Sacks was the overall leader. The 80 remaining players then returned for Day 2 on Sunday. The top 54 made the money, and the bubble burst less than two hours into the day when Jaime Kaplan was eliminated in 55th place.
The next WSOP Circuit stop is already in progress in Las Vegas at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. The Main Event at Planet Hollywood begins this upcoming Friday.
Here are the final table results from the Foxwoods Main Event. Full results are available on the Results Page:
1 – Julian Sacks - $148,350
2 – Travis Stams - $91,770
3 – Jeremy Meacham - $66,930
4 – Johanssy Joseph - $49,680
5 – Muhammad Rahim - $37,260
6 – Sean Carlson - $28,428
7 – Long Tran - $22,080
8 – Vinny Dang - $17,250
9 – Ronald Baker - $13,800
Monday, August 29, 2016 5:41 PM Local Time
Main Event Winner Julian Sacks
Julian Sacks raises to 175,000 on the button and Travis Stams quickly calls in the big blind.
The flop comes and Stams checks. Sacks bets 225,000 and after only a few seconds, Stams announces he is all in.
Sacks stands up, looks at the board again, and says "Call."
"Do you have the king?" asks Stams, and they table their cards.
Sacks's pair of kings is ahead of the nines of Stams.
"Hold one time!" yells Sacks. "I've never used it," he continues.
The turn is the and Sacks shouts "Yes!" Stams is now drawing dead.
The river is insignificant and Sacks shakes Stams's hand before celebrating his win.
Julian Sacks will take home $148,350, a gold ring, and an entry into the WSOP National Championship for his win today.
Congratulations to Travis Stams, second place finisher, who earns $91,770 for his performance in the Main Event.
A full recap of the event will be posted shortly.
Second Place Finisher Travis Stams
Monday, August 29, 2016 5:30 PM Local Time
Travis Stams raises to 175,000 from the button, and Julian Sacks three-bets to 500,000 from the big blind. Stams calls.
The flop is . Sacks continues for 515,000 and Stams quickly folds.
Julian Sacks - 7,150,000
Travis Stams - 2,065,000
Monday, August 29, 2016 5:23 PM Local Time
Jeremy Meacham goes all in for 1,420,000 on the button and action is on Julian Sacks in the big blind. He is still stacking chips from the previous hand against Travis Stams, and he finally looks down at his cards. He sighs and announces, "Call," putting Meacham at risk.
The board runs out , and Sacks's sixes are good. Meacham is eliminated and receives $66,930 for his third place finish.
Julian Sacks and Travis Stams will return after a short break to play heads up until a winner is determined.
Julian Sacks - 6,395,000
Travis Stams - 2,820,000
Jeremy Meacham - Eliminated
Monday, August 29, 2016 5:16 PM Local Time
Julian Sacks opens to 180,000 on the button and Travis Stams calls in the big blind.
The flop comes . Stams checks, Sacks bets 150,000, and Stams check-raises to 300,000. Sacks calls.
The turn is the . Stams checks, Sacks bets 350,000, and after several seconds, Stams folds.
Julian Sacks - 4,900,000
Travis Stams - 2,830,000
Monday, August 29, 2016 5:12 PM Local Time
Julian Sacks limps from the small blind and Jeremy Meacham raises to 275,000. Sacks calls.
Both players check the flop, and the turn is the . Sacks leads out for 300,000 and Meacham calls. The river is the and Sacks continues for 600,000. Meacham thinks for a minute, then pushes out a call.
Sacks turns over for a straight, and Meacham mucks his cards.
Julian Sacks - 4,400,000
Jeremy Meacham - 1,450,000
Monday, August 29, 2016 5:05 PM Local Time
Jeremy Meacham opens to 165,000 on the button, Travis Stams calls in the small blind, and Julian Sacks three-bets to 520,000 in the big blind.
Meacham thinks for a couple minutes and pushes calling chips forward. Stams gets out of the way and they are heads up.
The flop comes and Sacks bets 450,000. Meacham thinks for a couple minutes again and folds.
Julian Sacks - 3,150,000
Jeremy Meacham - 2,650,000
Monday, August 29, 2016 4:55 PM Local Time
Jeremy Meacham raises to 165,000 from the button. Travis Stams calls from the small blind and Julian Sacks calls from the big blind.
All three players check the , and the turn is the . Stams checks again, and Sacks bets 240,000. Meacham then raises to 660,000. Sacks thinks for about a minute, then folds.
Jeremy Meacham - 3,225,000
Julian Sacks - 2,880,000
Monday, August 29, 2016 4:46 PM Local Time
Julian Sacks opens to 180,000 on the button and Jeremy Meacham goes all in for 1,080,000 in the small blind.
Sacks quickly calls to put Meacham at risk, again, and they table their hands.
The board runs out and Meacham doubles up with aces up.
Jeremy Meacham - 2,250,000
Julian Sacks - 3,930,000
Monday, August 29, 2016 4:32 PM Local Time
Monday, August 29, 2016 4:18 PM Local Time
Players are now on a short break. Play will resume at roughly 4:30 p.m.
Here are the current chip counts:
Julian Sacks - 4,775,000
Travis Stams - 3,290,000
Jeremy Meacham - 1,150,000
Monday, August 29, 2016 4:17 PM Local Time
Julian Sacks completes in the small blind and Jeremy Meacham checks in the big blind.
The flop comes and both players check.
The turn is the . Sacks checks, Meacham bets 70,000, and Sacks calls.
On the river, Sacks checks, Meacham bets 250,000, and after about a minute, Sacks calls.
"Good call," says Meacham, and he turns over .
Sacks shows for a pair of nines and wins the pot.
Julian Sacks - 4,775,000
Jeremy Meacham - 1,150,000
Monday, August 29, 2016 4:12 PM Local Time
Travis Stams limps from the small blind and Julian Sacks checks his option in the big blind.
The flop comes and Stams bets 75,000. Sacks calls.
The falls on the turn and Stams continues for 150,000. Sacks thinks a minute, then raises to 450,000. Now Stams thinks a minute, and he decides to fold.
Julian Sacks - 4,200,000
Travis Stams - 3,175,000
Monday, August 29, 2016 4:09 PM Local Time
Travis Stams raises to 140,000 in the small blind and Julian Sacks calls in the big blind.
The flop comes and Stams leads out for 275,000. Sacks calls and they head to the turn.
On the turn, both players check.
The river is the . Stams bets 250,000 into Sacks and Sacks calls.
"Seven," says Stams, and he looks at Sacks. Then he shows his .
Sacks mucks and Stams takes down the pot.
Travis Stams - 3,600,000
Julian Sacks - 3,830,000
Monday, August 29, 2016 4:03 PM Local Time
Julian Sacks limps from the small blind and Jeremy Meacham checks his option in the big blind.
Both players check the flop and turn as the board comes . On the river, Sacks leads out for 60,000. Meacham quickly raises to 150,000. Sacks thinks a minute, then calls.
Meacham shows for bottom pair, bottom kicker, and Sacks mucks his cards.
Jeremy Meacham - 1,650,000
Julian Sacks - 3,940,000
Monday, August 29, 2016 4:00 PM Local Time
Julian Sacks goes all in from the small blind, putting Jeremy Meacham to a decision for all his chips in the big blind.
Meacham picks up his and pushes his stack of 740,000 forward.
He is behind the of Sacks.
The board runs out . Meacham flops open-ended and turns a straight, earning him a double up.
Jeremy Meacham - 1,550,000
Julian Sacks - 4,100,000
Monday, August 29, 2016 3:57 PM Local Time
Julian Sacks raises to 140,000 on the button, Jeremy Meacham calls in the small blind, and Travis Stams calls in the big blind.
All players check the flop.
On the turn, Meacham bets out 240,000. Stams calls and Sacks folds.
The river is the . Meacham bets 300,000 and Stams instantly announces he is all in.
Meacham sighs, tilts his head, and folds.
Travis Stams - 3,575,000
Jeremy Meacham - 760,000
Monday, August 29, 2016 3:48 PM Local Time
Julian Sacks raises to 140,000 from the button, and Travis Stams calls from the big blind.
The flop comes and Stams leads out for 200,000. Sacks calls.
The turn is the and Stams bets another 200,000. Sacks thinks for a minute, then announces a raise. Before he can put out the chips for his raise, Stams mucks his mucks.
Julian Sacks - 5,000,000
Travis Stams - 2,680,000
Monday, August 29, 2016 3:45 PM Local Time
Jeremy Meacham completes in the small blind and Travis Stams checks his option in the big blind.
The flop comes . Meacham bets 75,000, Stams raises to 150,000, and Meacham calls.
The turn is the . Meacham checks, Stams bets 200,000, and Meacham calls.
Both players check the river and they show down.
Meacham has missed his open-ended straight draw and Stams's two pair are good.
Travis Stams - 3,125,000
Jeremy Meacham - 1,650,000
Monday, August 29, 2016 3:42 PM Local Time
Travis Stams raises to 125,000 on the button and Jeremy Meacham calls in the big blind.
The flop is . Meacham checks, Stams bets 200,000, and Meacham calls.
The turn is the and both players check.
On the river, Meacham leads out for 240,000. Stams instantly says, "Call."
"You're good," Meacham says before he mucks his cards. Stams takes down the pot without showing his cards.
Travis Stams - 2,660,000
Jeremy Meacham - 1,925,000