Monday, August 14, 2023 10:04 PM Local Time
Billy Kopp continued an outstanding poker year with his latest victory at the WSOP-C stop in Cherokee, North Carolina at Harrah's casino. This one is quite a hefty payday for the Ohio native.
Players turned out in droves the entire series, but the Main Event itself attracted numbers that would make any tournament player water at the mouth. A total of 1,623 entrants took part in the $1,700 event, building a prize pool of $2,458,845, obliterating the $1.5 million guarantee.
This marks Kopp's third WSOP ring to go along with his one bracelet. That bracelet came earlier this summer when he took down Event #66: $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better for $259,549. It took less than 90 days to one-up that high score with a new one here in Cherokee.
Action of the Day
When 19 players came back for today's final day, it didn't take long to work down to the final table. In fact, there was an elimination at all three tables on the very first hand off the deck at each one. Kopp won one of those when he made a flush in a three-way all in with AdKd that propelled him toward the final table.
Kopp continued running hot over the next few levels, eliminating both John Galleher (13th) and Cody Stanford (11th) to reach the final table. He was the overwhelming chip leader once that final 10 were set.
Soon thereafter, he flopped trips against fellow big-stack Lam Nguyen, who was also the start-of-day chip leader. He got paid on all three streets to hold about one-third of the chips in play 10-handed. It looked as if nothing could stop him on his path to victory. That is, until three-handed play.
A key pot that nearly thwarted Kopp's plans was when he faced Preston McEwen during three-handed play. Kopp correctly called a pot-sized, all-in semi-bluff from McEwen on the turn. Kopp had ace high and an open ender as backup, but McEwen had a combo draw. McEwen made a pair on the river, and suddenly all three stacks were even.
"I had to ease up a bit after that one," said Kopp. "Pick my spots. Before that I was opening lots of hands, putting ICM pressure on."
Still, though he had taken a blow, he composed himself and got back to work. However, for a while, it was Brian Jones who was winning all the pots, holding half of the chips in play before Preston McEwen's final hand.
McEwen moved all in with pocket sixes but ran into the pocket aces of Kopp. That hand seemed to right the ship for Kopp who took a nearly-even chip stack into heads-up play and never looked back. Kopp won the first hand of heads up, took the chip lead, and never gave it up.
The final hand came when Brian Jones moved all in for about 17 big blinds with Jd5d and Mcewen found pocket nines to make the call. Though Jones picked up a flush draw on the flop, the board ran out cleanly to ship all of the chips to Kopp.
The new high score brings Kopp up to over $1.7 million in career earnings according to Hendon Mob.
Congratulations to Billy Kopp on the victory and putting on a clinic at the final table! Enjoy your second WSOP Circuit ring, and we'll see you at the next one.
For more event photos and news, head to Poker.org, WSOP's official partner for circuit reporting coverage.
Monday, August 14, 2023 7:10 PM Local Time
Brian Jones moved all in from the button for about 8,000,000. Billy Kopp looked down at a pair and immediately called to try and finish the tournament.
Brian Jones -
Billy Kopp -
Kopp was way ahead, but the flop was a big sweat. The board came out , bringing the flush draw. The turn was safe, one card away. Finally, the completed the board, making it official.
Billy Kopp is your newest WSOP Cherokee Main Event Champion!
A full recap will be posted shortly.
Monday, August 14, 2023 6:50 PM Local Time
Brian Jones opened to 1,000,000 on the button, and Kopp made the call in the big blind.
The flop came , and both players checked.
On the turn, Kopp led for 1,800,000, which Jones decided to call.
The river landed a . Kopp led again, the final bet being 3,500,000. Jones thought for a bit before calling.
Kopp showed for top pair, and Jones let out a groan as the chips went to his opponent.
Billy Kopp - 45,275,000
Brian Jones - 19,000,000
Monday, August 14, 2023 6:33 PM Local Time
Monday, August 14, 2023 5:56 PM Local Time
Kopp and Jones and been trading small blows since the initial big pot. Very few pots have gone past the flop, the ones that do aren't seeing many bets go in.
They're heading on a 45-minute dinner break now and will return at approximately 7:35 p.m.
Billy Kopp - 53,275,000
Brian Jones - 11,675,000
Monday, August 14, 2023 5:30 PM Local Time
On one of the first hand of heads-up play, Brian Jones limped the button for 400,000. Billy Kopp raised to 1,500,000 from the big blind, which Jones called.
The flop came out . Kopp bet 1,000,000, and Jones made the call.
The turn hit the board. Kopp upped the bet to 3,500,000. Once more, Jones put in the call.
The river fell the . Kopp checked it over on the final street. Jones assembled a full stack of 500,000 chips, a 10,000,000 chip bet, and pushed them across the line.
Kopp went into the tank. He thought it over for about 60 seconds before slamming in a call.
"Good call, I missed," said Jones. He showed , missing both his straight and flush draws. Kopp revealed to take down the pot and the chip lead.
Billy Kopp - 45,500,000
Brian Jones - 18,500,000
Monday, August 14, 2023 5:20 PM Local Time
Billy Kopp raised to 800,000 in the small blind. Preston McEwen moved all in from the big blind for about 12,000,000. Kopp called faster than you can say luscious locks.
McEwen ran into the goods and was looking for a six-ball. Unfortunately, it wouldn't come, so the pocket aces sent him to the rail in third place. The local legend had the largest rail that let out a round of applause.
"We'll probably go bowling," said McEwen.
Billy Kopp - 31,000,000
Brian Jones - 34,000,000
Preston McEwen - Eliminated
Monday, August 14, 2023 5:13 PM Local Time
For the second time in three three-handed orbits, the same action has gone down. Kopp's not enjoying it.
Action has folded to Brian Jones in the small blind. He's raised to 800,000. On Kopp, he three-bet to 2,500,000.
Both times, Jones moved all in, prompting snap folds from Kopp each time.
Monday, August 14, 2023 4:55 PM Local Time
Action picked up on the river in a big pot between Brian Jones and Billy Kopp. About 10 million was in the middle and the board read .
Jones led out from out of position for 5,500,000 on the river. Kopp, frustrated at the river bet, agonized for a minute before tossing in the call.
Jones rolled over for the rivered straight to scoop the large pot and catapult into the dominating chip lead.
Brian Jones - 34,000,000
Billy Kopp - 16,800,000
Monday, August 14, 2023 4:47 PM Local Time
Monday, August 14, 2023 4:46 PM Local Time
Preston McEwen opened up the button to 600,000. Both Brian Jones in the small blind and Bill Kopp in the big blind made the call.
The flop brought . Jones checked, Kopp led out for 600,000, and only McEwen called.
The turn came the , and both Kopp and McEwen checked.
The river fell the . Kopp checked again. McEwen bet 1,900,000. After some thought, Kopp let it go, and McEwen raked the pot.
Preston McEwen - 21,000,000
Billy Kopp 18,000,000
Monday, August 14, 2023 4:26 PM Local Time
After McEwen took the big pot from Kopp, Kopp hasn't been able to buy a pot. Chip counts have leveled out across the three players.
Brian Jones - 23,200,000
Preston McEwen - 21,000,000
Billy Kopp - 19,300,000
Monday, August 14, 2023 4:08 PM Local Time
Billy Kopp opened the button to 600,000. Only Preston McEwen made the call from the small blind.
The flop came out . McEwen checked, and Kopp continued for 500,000. McEwen check-raised to 1,200,000. Kopp made the call in position.
The hit the turn. McEwen counted his stack out before moving it all in the middle, 5,075,000 in total. Kopp went deep into the tank. After a couple minutes, he made the call.
"Wow," said McEwen when he saw what Kopp called with. McEwen picked up one of the best cards in the deck and went for it with the combo draw.
McEwen's tournament resting on the river card, it fell the to give him a pair, good enough to win the massive pot and not reward Kopp for the hero call.
"That'll work," said McEwen.
Preston McEwen - 16,000,000
Billy Kopp - 24,500,000
Monday, August 14, 2023 3:49 PM Local Time
Monday, August 14, 2023 3:39 PM Local Time
Billy Kopp leads the final three players with half the chips in play. Preston McEwen will look to spin up his short stack when they return.
Monday, August 14, 2023 3:36 PM Local Time
Lam Nguyen put half his stack in from under the gun, leaving about 1 million behind. Action folded to Billy Kopp in the big blind. He raised enough to put Nguyen all in, and Nguyen called.
Kopp flopped best on the king-high board and ended up making two pair, so the Day 3 chip leader Nguyen headed out the door in 4th place.
Billy Kopp - 29,500,000
Lam Nguyen - Eliminated
Monday, August 14, 2023 3:29 PM Local Time
Preston McEwen is in a weird spot at the final table. Lam Nguyen has about half his stack, but just won't bust.
"New gameplan boys," McEwen recently announced, implying taking more aggressive routes.
The next hand, Billy Kopp opened to 500,000 on the button. McEwen called in the big blind.
The flop came out . McEwen checked, and Kopp continued for 300,000. McEwen check-raised to 700,000, but Kopp called.
The turn brought the . McEwen slowed down and check-folded when Kopp bet 400,000.
Preston McEwen - 5,000,000
Billy Kopp - 27,000,000
Monday, August 14, 2023 3:10 PM Local Time
Playing five handed, Brian Jones opened to 525,000 from the hijack. Action folded to Jorge Arriola in the big blind. He three-bet to 1,500,000.
"You have about 10 behind?" asked Jones.
"Yeah, 10 or 11," replied Arriola.
"All in," announced Jones.
Jones called immediately to head to a runout in a massive pot.
Arriola was in prime position to score a huge double. The cards had other plans. The eliminated Arriola in the brutal spot to send him out in 5th place.
"I wish I was running better," Jones said sarcastically.
"Hold one time," Arriola said, understandably frustrated at the result.
Brian Jones - 26,000,000
Jorge Arriola - Eliminated
Monday, August 14, 2023 3:04 PM Local Time
Brian Jones raised to 525,000 from under the gun and JW Wilder three-bet to 1,300,000 from the button. Jones called and the two players went to the flop. Jones checked, Wilder bet 625,000 and Jones called.
The turn was the and Jones opted to move all in this time, putting Wilder to the test for his tournament life. Wilder called and tabled for a pair of queens and a straight draw.
Jones had for a straight draw, and nailed it on the river for the dagger to send Wilder home in 6th place.
Brian Jones - 14,000,000
JW Wilder - Eliminated
Monday, August 14, 2023 2:57 PM Local Time
Preston McEwen raised to 525,000 in early position, and only Jorge Arriola called to his left.
The flop came out . McEwen checked, and Arriola checked behind.
Action repeated on the turn, it looked to be a nothing pot.
The river fell the . On that card, McEwen led for 450,000. Arriola leapt into action with a raise to 1,500,000, sending McEwen deep into the tank. Eventually, he made the call.
Arriola tabled for the rivered full house.
"Oh my god, how do you have nines?" said McEwen.
Jorge Arriola - 11,000,000
Preston McEwen - 5,000,000