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2018/19 WSOP Circuit - SEMINOLE COCONUT CREEK (Florida)

Sunday, February 10, 2019 to Sunday, February 10, 2019

Event #3: $250 No-Limit Hold'em

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  • Buy-in: $250
  • Prizepool: $45,200
  • Entries: 226
  • Remaining: 0


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Sunday, February 10, 2019 11:45 PM Local Time

Meriden, Connecticut native and current Pembroke Pines, Florida resident Eliezer Gonzalez has taken down Event #3 at Circuit Coconut Creek, $250 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo 1-Day. The triumph is the first major victory of Gonzalez's poker career, and it capped an amazing comeback that found Gonzalez climbing back from having less than one big blind not long before the money bubble to surge all the way to the title.

Gonzalez earned $11,300 and his first gold Circuit ring. Lawrenceville, Georgia's Mark Merritt took second for $6,984, while Davie, Florida's David Ward took third for $5,083.

Gonzales described the extended run of fortune that began when he was down to less than one big blind just a few spots outside the money bubble. "I got kings... I pushed all in and got four callers. Amazingly the kings held up... . I got kings again later on, shoved all in, and they held up again. Then I got ace-king and knocked out a couple more players, then little by little built up a stack.

"I got extremely lucky," admitted Gonzalez, and indeed, he flopped sets twice in big pots when way behind late at the final table to ultimately seal the win. Three-handed play was a duel of sorts between Gonzalez and eventual third-place finisher David Ward, and Gonzalez got his stack all in with pocket eights against Ward's pocket jacks. Gonzalez caught an eight on the flop to double through and leave Ward with crumbs.

Later, eventual runner-up Merritt seemed poised to mount his own comeback win against Gonzalez, clawing back from a short stack to own about 40 percent of the chips in play. Then Gonzalez moved all in with pocket fives, and Merritt called after only a moment's hesitation, soon showing pocket nines. Again Gonzalez spiked his set on the flop, the needed five appearing in the window. The turn and river brought no help for Merritt, and Gonzalez had his first major title.

It was an enthusiastic moment for Gonzalez, a 14-year veteran of the Coast Guard who now lives and works in south Florida. He's married with two children and makes room for poker alongside his full-time career and family life. He's playing up to five events in the early portion of the Coconut Creek series, though the rest of his busy life will keep him from playing in this stop's Main Event.

Sunday, February 10, 2019 8:15 PM Local Time

Event #3 has played down to its unofficial 10-player final table. Here are the final 10, with seat assignments and chip counts:

Seat 1: Jackie Lee – 129,000
Seat 2: John Van Arnam – 156,000
Seat 3: David Ward – 454,000
Seat 4: Jeffrey Morrison – 155,000
Seat 5: Michael Newman – 184,000
Seat 6: Arnon Cline – 165,000
Seat 7: Eliezer Gonzalez – 202,000
Seat 8: Walter Bravo – 284,500
Seat 9: Johnny Gagelonia – 154,000
Seat 10: Mark Merritt – 343,000

Sunday, February 10, 2019 6:18 PM Local Time

Late registration has closed in Event #3 and prizepool and payout information has been calculated. Here are Event #3's topline numbers:

  • Entrants: 227
  • Places paid: 24
  • Total prizepool: $45,200
  • Winner's prize: $11,300
  • Min-cash: $417
Sunday, February 10, 2019 9:31 AM Local Time

The affordably-price Event #3, $250 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo (1 Day), leads off a busy Sunday at Circuit Coconut Creek. This fast-paced event begins at 11 am and offer the following:

  • 10,000 in starting chips
  • 30-minute levels
  • Late registration until the beginning of Level 13

Prizepool and participation numbers will be available late this afternoon.

Sunday, February 10, 2019 9:31 AM Local Time