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Monday, March 20, 2023 1:52 PM Local Time
John Lopez Wins the Tulsa Main Event
Day 3 of the Tulsa Main Event began at 12 noon with five players remaining and in less than one hour of play there was a fresh new champion who emerged with the $145,876 grand prize.
John Lopez went from short stack to champion in the span of one hour as he conquered the Main Event field of 476 to win his first ring as well as a by far best career tournament cash result.
Lopez hails from Springfield, MO and afterwards talked about his poker prowess. "I mainly play cash games in the Springfield/Joplin area and usually play about 3-4 tournaments per year." he said. When asked if he now planned to play more tournaments thanks to this victory he said "Yeah maybe so. It's more of a time thing than anything, but if I can find the time I definitely will"
Lopez's run to the ring was a wild one as he ended Day 1 as the huge chip leader as he had over a million in chips, which was much more than any other stack. He made it down to the final table as a middle stack but ended Day 2 as the short stack which he then turned into gold with the first place win.
Day 3 began with five remaining. Lopez was all in and at risk in one of the first hands of the day. But he was able to win a flip with king-jack vs the pocket nines of start of day chip leader Eric Bunch. A king would come on the flop to save Lopez and begin his spin up.
Kasey Mills was the first player to hit the rail on the day as she was eliminated by Lopez to finish in fifth place.
Bunch was the chip leader to start but he would find himself exiting in fourth place when he ran pocket jacks into the pocket aces of Lopez which gave Lopez the big chip lead.
Brandon Elmore went out shortly afterwards to make for a memorable third place finish for the Raymore, MO native.
Richard Gebhart was going for his second ring of the series and after Elmore's elimination went into heads up play which would be a battle of two players who went wire-to-wire as Lopez and Gebhart were the two largest stacks in the entire field after Day 1 and rode that all the way to the final two.
Heads-up play looked poised to be a battle as Lopez held about a 60/40 % chip advantage with the effective stack still being 75 big blinds deep. But that battle would end up only taking about five hands as Gebhart used his preflop aggression to find himself dominated by ace-king which would hold for Lopez to take the title.
That wraps up the coverage from WSOP.com for the Tulsa Main Event. Thanks for following along!
Monday, March 20, 2023 12:55 PM Local Time
After only a handful of heads-up hands, John Lopez raised from the small blind, Richard Gebhart three-bet to 480,000 from the big blind. Lopez four-bet to 1,300,000. Gebhart jammed all in and Lopez snap-called.
Gebhart was at risk with the while Lopez had the .
The flop came to make things look dire for Gebhart. The turn was the to put the possibility of a wheel chop into play but the river was the and just like that the Tulsa champion was determined in under an hour of play.
Richard Gebhart - Eliminated in 2nd Place
John Lopez - 14,280,000
Heads Up Play
Monday, March 20, 2023 12:47 PM Local Time
Brandon Elmore jammed from the button for about 800,000. John Lopez called in the big blind.
The flop hit Lopez as it came down . The turn was the and the river came the to bring the field to heads up play in under an hour.
John Lopez - 8,000,000
Brandon Elmore - Eliminated in 3rd
Monday, March 20, 2023 12:38 PM Local Time
Brandon Elmore raised to 180,000 under the gun. Eric Bunch flatted from the small blind. John Lopez three-bet to 400,000 from the big blind. Elmore took a few moments before he called. Bunch jammed all in, Lopez re-jammed his bigger stack and Elmore quickly released his cards.
The stacks were close but Bunch was suddenly at risk with the and in big trouble against the of Lopez.
The flop came to leave Bunch drawing only to runner runner broadway or running jacks. The turn was the to end it as the was meaningless on the river and the start of day chip leader was out in fourth place.
Eric Bunch - Eliminated in 4th
John Lopez - 6,550,000
Bunch Moving In
Monday, March 20, 2023 12:20 PM Local Time
John Lopez raised to 175,000 from under the gun. Kasey Mills jammed 1,430,000 from the big blind. Lopez took a few ,oments before he called.
Mills saw the bad news as she was pipped by the better pocket pair. The flop came . The turn was the and the river the to end her run in fifth place.
Kasey Mills - Eliminated in 5th Place
John Lopez - 4,400,000
Lopez Calling the All In From Mills
Monday, March 20, 2023 12:15 PM Local Time
In a blind on blind battle, the flop came . Brandon Elmore bet 200,000 from the small blind and Richard Gebhart called.
The turn was the . Elmore led for 250,000 and Gebhart clicked it back for 500,000. Elmore folded.
Gebhart showed the and said "We're playing poker now" as he stacked the chips.
Richard Gebhart - 3,900,000
Brandon Elmore - 1,800,000
Monday, March 20, 2023 12:07 PM Local Time
John Lopez raised to 115,000 under the gun. Eric Bunch three-bet to 640,000 from the small blind. Lopez four-bet jammed and Bunch called.
The flop came to hit Lopez. The turn was the and the river came the to give him an early double.
John Lopez - 2,950,000
Eric Bunch - 3,875,000
Monday, March 20, 2023 12:01 PM Local Time
The final day of the Tulsa Main Event is now underway with cards in the air on the first hand of the day.
Monday, March 20, 2023 12:00 PM Local Time
Monday, March 20, 2023 11:00 AM Local Time
At 12 noon the five remaining players in the Tulsa Main Event will commence their battle for the ring and for the $145,876 grand prize.
Leading the way to start the day with about 66 big blinds is a familiar face to the Tulsa poker scene in Eric Bunch. From right here in Tulsa, Bunch will be going for his second career circuit ring as he won his first one in July of 2022 in Choctaw. He has over 1.2 million in career poker earnings.
Second in chips is Richard Gebhart with 44 big blinds. Gebhart is from right across the border in Arkansas and is going for his second ring of this series. He won Event #5: Monster Stack last Monday for just over $23,000.
Brandon Elmore of Raymore, MO is third in chips with 28 big blinds. He has already secured the largest cash of his poker career, with his previous best being for close to $12,000.
Kelsey Mills starts the day fourth in chips with 21 big blinds. Another Tulsa local, she has just over $100,000 in career earnings and is aiming for her first ring after she had a second place finish to barely miss out on winning one in Choctaw in January.
John Lopez begins as the short stack with 18 big blinds. Lopez is from Springfield, MO and is looking for his first bigtime score as he has about $27,000 in career earnings.
Play will start at Level 27 with blinds as 40,000/80,000/80,000 and will continue all the way down to a winner.
Coverage from WSOP.com will be in depth with hands today so keep it locked here to see who comes out on top in Tulsa.