Monday, November 6, 2017 6:47 PM Local Time
Oregon pro collects second WSOP Circuit ring and career-best $147,699
Max Young is becoming something of a standout on the WSOP Circuit. Young put on another impressive performance this weekend at Harveys Lake Tahoe, outlasting a field of 458 entries to win the Main Event. The victory is his second in as many seasons on the traveling tour.
Young, 32, is a professional poker player from Portland. He initially moved to the coast of Oregon for its world-class surfing, but he eventually headed into the city once poker became more of a serious pursuit.
“I played poker just for fun, just to be social,” Young spoke of his background. “Some people noticed my game, and they encouraged me to keep working on it. And I have.”
The efforts are paying off so far. This result moves him well over a half million dollars in tournament earnings, with most of that coming during the last two years. “It’s just been unreal,” he said.
Young’s first win came in January in West Palm Beach on a rare trip to the east coast. Despite cashing five times in that series, he lost his grip on the Casino Champion title during the final event, finishing second in the race. This win in Tahoe gives him that seat to the WSOP Global Championship that eluded him the last time around.
The path to this victory was mostly smooth for Young, who needed only a single entry to advance to Day 2. He did so with 123,000 chips, about an average stack, and he was the chip leader by the end of the day.
One of the pivotal pots came on the last hand before the Day 2 dinner break. Young check-raised with jack-high on a seven-high flop, then put in another raise when he faced more resistance. His opponent was the eventual third-place finisher, Jasthi Kumar, who surrendered the big pot.
That bluff moved Young into second place with 16 players left, and he ended up taking the chip lead on one of the first hands at the final table.
“I was pretty nervous coming into Day 3,” Young said in his postgame interview. “It’s a lot of pressure to be the chip leader. But once we started playing I felt good.”
If he was nervous at the final table, it didn’t show. Young is a poised tournament player, and he was in and out of the chip lead for the entirety of the final day. He eliminated Cary Marshall in sixth place, then his friend Kumar in third to set up the heads-up match against James Carroll.
Carroll was also in and out of the chip lead all tournament long, and he put up a good fight for the ring in the end. There were close to 200 big blinds in play for the final duel, but neither man seemed interested in taking it slow.
On the final hand, Carroll was dealt ace-ten against Young’s pocket tens, and all the chips went into the middle. A board full of blanks ended the match in short order, with Young as the victor.
The nerves finally did come out once the final river card was dealt. Young held two shaking fingers up to signify his two wins as he posed for photos once again. “I need a drink,” he laughed.
Final Table Results:
1st: Max Young - $147,699
2nd: James Carroll - $91,323
3rd: Jasthi Kumar - $66,715
4th: Jed Hoffman - $49,457
5th: Tony Bracy - $37,194
6th: Cary Marshall - $28,373
7th: Justo Avalos - $21,950
8th: Haran Nagarajan - $17,223
9th: Victor Paredes - $13,706
Monday, November 6, 2017 3:58 PM Local Time
Max Young (pictured) opens the button to 150,000, and James Carroll three-bets to 450,000 from the big blind. Young four-bet shoves with the larger stack.
"Well, I said I was going to go with it," Carroll sighs. He calls all in for what looks like exactly 3,000,000 chips, putting himself at risk.
Carroll needs to catch up in a hurry to stay alive, but he can not. The board runs out , and Young wins the pot and the tournament with a set of tens.
The victory is the second Circuit win this year for Young, who has been on something of a heater this fall. He won a big $1,600 event in Pennsylvania back in August for what was, at the time, a career-best score of about $120,000. He's improved on that here in Lake Tahoe, though, snagging his second ring and a new top payout.
Carroll is forced to settle for the runner-up consolation prize of $91,323.
Monday, November 6, 2017 3:34 PM Local Time
Max Young raises to 140,000 on the button, and James Carroll re-raises to 450,000. Young calls.
The flop comes . Carroll bets 400,000, and Young calls.
Both players check the turn.
The river is the . Carroll opts to check, Young bets 250,000, and Carroll calls.
Young shows , and Carroll mucks without showing.
"You should have just shoved pre," Carroll says as the chips are passed to Young.
Max Young - 6,350,000 (105 bb)
James Carroll - 2,810,000 (46 bb)
Monday, November 6, 2017 3:28 PM Local Time
Monday, November 6, 2017 3:27 PM Local Time
Max Young limps in on the button, and James Carroll raises to 150,000. Young calls.
The flop comes . Carroll bets 150,000, and Young calls.
The turn is the . Carroll bets 325,000, and Young calls again.
The river is the . Carroll bets 1,150,000, and Young quickly calls.
Carroll turns over for a pair of aces, but Young shows for two pair to win the hand.
Max Young - 6,310,000 (126 bb)
James Carroll - 2,850,000 (57 bb)
Monday, November 6, 2017 3:12 PM Local Time
James Carroll (pictured) opens the button to 125,000, and Max Young defends his big blind.
The flop is . Young checks, Carroll continues for 150,000, and Young calls.
The turn is the , and Young checks again. Carroll bets again, though the amount is not clear. As soon as he moves the chips forward, Young check-raises all in, and Carroll calls off his last 2,180,000 to put himself at risk.
Carroll's flush already has the pot locked up, and the river makes his double-up official. He retakes the chip lead with that pot.
James Carroll - 4,920,000 (98 bb)
Max Young - 4,240,000 (85 bb)
Monday, November 6, 2017 3:08 PM Local Time
James Carroll raises to 125,000 on the button, and Max Young (pictured) raises to 275,000. Carroll calls.
The flop comes . Young checks, Carroll bets 225,000, and Young calls.
The turn is the . Young checks again, Carroll bets 600,000, and Young pauses for a few seconds while raising his eyebrow, then leans forward and calls.
The river is the . Young checks a third time, and Carroll places a bet of 1,200,000. Young announces that he is all-in, and Carroll quickly mucks his cards.
"Did you flop quad jacks?" Carroll asks Young as the pot is pushed over to him. Young smiles slightly, and does not verbally respond.
Max Young - 6,260,000 (125 bb)
James Carroll - 2,900,000 (58 bb)
Monday, November 6, 2017 3:03 PM Local Time
Max Young raises to 150,000 in the small blind, and Jasthi Kumar (pictured) moves all in from the big blind for around 900,000. Young quickly calls, and the players table their hands.
The flop comes , leaving Young in the lead with his ace-king high.
The turn comes the , giving Young a pair of kings to seal the deal. Kumar taps the table, stands up, and says, "Good game," to Young as the river comes the .
"Turned into the nuts," Young says to quietly to himself after Kumar has walked away from the table.
Max Young - 3,850,000 (77 bb)
Jasthi Kumar - Eliminated
Monday, November 6, 2017 2:57 PM Local Time
James Carroll opens the button to 125,000, and Max Young calls in the small blind. From the big, Jasthi Kumar three-bet shoves for about 1,245,000 total. Carroll quickly folds, but Young calls just as quickly, putting Kumar at risk.
The flop comes , and Kumar offers a, "Nice hand," to Young. The on the turn increases the lead even further, as Young turns a Broadway straight to leave Kumar dead to a chop. The latter needs to find one of the three remaining jacks in the deck to stay alive. And he does. The river is the , and the two men split the pot with the same hand.
Monday, November 6, 2017 2:50 PM Local Time
Jasthi Kumar opens the button to 125,000, and Max Young defends his big blind.
Both players check through the flop and the turn. The river is the , and Young bets 250,000. Kumar calls.
Young shows , having flopped a flush.
"Oh wow," Kumar says as he pays off his debt.
Max Young - 2,850,000 (57 bb)
Jasthi Kumar - 1,250,000 (25 bb)
Monday, November 6, 2017 2:46 PM Local Time
Max Young limps in from the small blind, and Jasthi Kumar raises to 150,000 in the big blind. Young calls.
The flop comes [ , and both players check.
Both players also check the turn.
The river is the . Young bets 225,000, and Kumar thinks for nearly a minute before moving the chips forward to call.
Young shows for two pair, and Kumar shows for ace-high before pushing his cards forward into the muck.
Max Young - 2,500,000 (62 bb)
Jasthi Kumar - 1,675,000 (41 bb)
Monday, November 6, 2017 2:38 PM Local Time
The new level has begun with significantly less calling than the previous two levels today. Although there is a fair amount of three-betting and continuation betting going on, very few hands are proceeding with more than one street of betting.
About 15 minutes in the level, the first three-bet is finally called. The pot begins with James Carroll opening the button to 125,000. Max Young calls in the small blind before Jasthi Kumar raises to 425,000 in the big. Only Carroll calls.
The flop is . Kumar checks, Carroll bets 300,000, and Kumar folds. Carroll wins the pot, and he's been the primary beneficiary of the small ones so far. This one further extends his three-handed chip lead.
James Carroll - 4,390,000 (88 bb)
Jasthi Kumar - 2,280,000 (46 bb)
Monday, November 6, 2017 2:22 PM Local Time
Monday, November 6, 2017 2:07 PM Local Time
The final three players are on a 15-minute break. Here's how they'll stack up when they return for the new level with a 50,000 big blind:
James Carroll - 3,685,000 (74 bb)
Max Young - 3,355,000 (67 bb)
Jasthi Kumar - 2,120,000 (42 bb)
Monday, November 6, 2017 2:06 PM Local Time
James Carroll raises to 90,000 on the button, and Max Young calls in the small blind. Jed Hoffman (pictured) quickly moves all in for around 600,000, and Carroll quickly re-shoves over the top.
"Oh wow," Young says raising his eyebrows, "I was trying to set him up to go all in, I didn't think you would re-shove."
"Ah, this sucks," Young says, as he slowly moves his cards forward into the muck.
"Nice fold," Carroll says to Young as he turns over .
"I had nines," Young says, just before Hoffman turns over .
"Nice fold," Carroll says again to Young.
The board runs out , awarding Carroll the pot, and eliminating Hoffman in 4th place.
James Carroll - 3,680,000
Jed Hoffman - Eliminated
Monday, November 6, 2017 1:53 PM Local Time
Tony Bracy (pictured) open-shoves the button for 305,000, and James Carroll calls in the big blind to put him at risk.
"I need a double," Bracy shrugs. He doesn't get it, though. The board runs out , and Carroll's queen plays to earn him the pot.
Bracy is eliminated in fifth place.
James Carroll - 2,650,000 (66 bb)
Tony Bracy - Eliminated
Monday, November 6, 2017 1:45 PM Local Time
There are three players to see the flop. Max Young checks in the small blind, Jed Hoffman checks in the big, and Tony Bracy bets 50,000 from under the gun. Young pauses for over 30-seconds before raising to 175,000, and Hoffman quickly folds. Bracy chooses to call.
The turn is the , and Young quickly announces that he is all in. Young has Bracy covered, so Bracy's tournament life is at stake should be choose to call.
Bracy sits back in his chair, thinks for nearly two minutes, and then hesitantly moves his cards forward into the muck.
As the next hand is being delt, Bracy says to Young, "I almost pulled the trigger."
"You should have," Young responds.
Max Young - 3,500,000 (87 bb)
Tony Bracy - 575,000 (14 bb)
Monday, November 6, 2017 1:39 PM Local Time
Jed Hoffman limps in from the small blind, and Tony Bracy checks in the big blind.
The flop comes . Hoffman checks, Bracy bets 45,000, and Hoffman calls.
The turn is the , and both players check. They also both check the river.
Hoffman flips over , and points to the , signifying he has king-high.
"I thought my queen high might have been good," Bracy says with a laugh as he shows the , and tosses his other card into the muck.
Hoffman laughs slightly at Bracy's comment as the pot is being pushed over to him.
Jed Hoffman - 850,000 (21 bb)
Tony Bracy - 890,000 (22 bb)
Monday, November 6, 2017 1:33 PM Local Time
Action folds around to the blinds where Tony Bracy raises to 90,000 in the small and Jasthi Kumar defends the big.
The flop is . Bracy continues for 95,000, and Kumar calls. The turn is the , and Kumar calls a second bet worth 160,000. The river is the , and Bracy checks this time. Kumar quickly moves all in for what looks like 1,140,000. It also appears to be just enough to cover Bracy, who shakes his head and sends his cards into the muck.
Kumar wins the pot with no showdown.
Jasthi Kumar - 1,855,000 (46 bb)
Tony Bracy - 1,030,000 (26 bb)
Monday, November 6, 2017 1:30 PM Local Time
Jasthi Kumar opens the cutoff with a big raise to 250,000. James Carroll calls on the button, and the blinds fold out of the way. That's where things get interesting.
The dealer burns a card to prepare for the flop. As she does, Kumar begins moving chips forward — first one barrel and then another. The dealer already has the three flop cards face-down in front of her by this point, and as she prepares to turn them face-up, Kumar reaches out to stop her. "All in," he says.
Sensing some confusion, the dealer tries to assess what Kumar intends. "Are you all in dark?" she asks. Kumar explains that he misinterpreted Carroll's action as a re-raise, and he was trying to four-bet shove preflop.
The floor supervisor is called, and everyone has a chance to explain their side of the story. Nobody seems to think Kumar was taking a shot, but there are rules that govern situations like this. The supervisor rules that Kumar's chips must stay in the pot.
"Protection against angles," Carroll says at one point. "I'm not saying that's what you're doing, but that has to be the ruling."
The flop comes , and the action is on Carroll. He literally laughs out loud. "God... you gotta give me that flop?" He sinks into the tank and asks for the count. It's 1,050,000, about 40 percent of Carroll's remaining stack. After maybe two or three minutes of letting Kumar squirm, though, he surrenders.
Kumar wins a dramatic one.
Jasthi Kumar - 1,635,000 (41 bb)
James Carroll - 2,600,000 (65 bb)