Monday, November 7, 2016 9:09 PM Local Time
No-Limit Hold'em Main Event
Buy-in: $1,500 (+$175)
Total Entries: 475
Michael Pearson endured three days of tournament play to find himself as the last man standing in the Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Main Event.
Stateline, Nevada (November 7, 2016) – Michael Pearson navigated through 475 players and three, grueling days of poker to claim the ultimate Circuit prize and a monstrous payday to boot. The 29-year-old came out on top of Event #10: $1,675 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event to win his first WSOP gold ring. The signature tournament concluded Monday evening under the main stage spotlight at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe.
“It’s a good tournament. Tahoe is great; a great place to be for a weekend,” Pearson stated.
It could be said that the trip proved to be more than great for Pearson. He will be going home with a remarkable souvenir and over $150,000. This will surely be a visit he never forgets.
The lure of the Main Event brought Pearson to Stateline, Nevada, traveling from his hometown of San Francisco, California. Pearson started playing poker, as a hobby, when he was seventeen years of age. Only somewhat recently has he dove into the live poker scene.
“I guess I started playing three years ago, more live. Mostly cash, but I’m liking tournaments a lot more now,” Pearson said with a grin.
Tournament style seemed to work out splendidly for Pearson. He became a large blip on the Main Event radar when he survived Day 1A with the overall chip lead. There were 38 players that made it out of Flight A and 68 players from Flight B, for a total field of 106 moving on to play in Day 2.
Pearson maintained his success in Day 2 and even scored the fateful, money bubble knockout to provide all remaining players at the time with a guaranteed cash finish. Only eight players survived Day 2 of the Main Event and Pearson finished in the middle of the pack with just over one million in chips.
Day 3 began and Pearson was holding his own at a tough final table. A tremendously pivotal point in play for Pearson happened when he found himself butting heads with Valerie Hanley. There was almost 360,000 in the pot and two diamonds on the flop when Hanley bet 200,000. Pearson held the king and queen of diamonds and made his move.
“I think at that point I just have to go with it. If there’s any chance she is folding I have to ship it (move all in). If I have any fold equity I have to try and take it,” said Pearson. “Then she ends up having the very worst thing for me to see.”
Hanley called Pearson’s shove and turned over her ace and jack of diamonds, showing a superior high card and higher flush draw. Pearson’s tournament life was on the verge of being extinguished. Then, a fateful queen came on the river, giving Pearson a pair and new life.
Pearson took his second chance and pushed forward. In fact, almost directly after the hand with Hanley, he found himself in another bout. This time around it was against an unfriendly foe, Ted Lawson, the owner of a WSOP bracelet and Circuit gold ring. Lawson was submerged in the tank early on in Day 3 and Pearson called the clock on him. Pearson alluded to the incident when talking about his succeeding clash with Lawson.
“Nothing personal, but I have to think it might play into what’s going on in his head and I just happened to have aces,” said Pearson.
The two got it all in on the flop and Lawson’s pocket queens were no match for Pearson’s rockets. Pearson scored yet another huge double up and claimed the outright chip lead. From there, he never looked back.
With his dominant collection of chips, Pearson rolled through the rest of the final table, seemingly bulling all the smaller stacks. He eventually found himself heads up with Michael McDonough who put up a good fight, but could not overcome the substantial. Pearson was crowned the Main Event Champion, awarded $153,191, and is now the owner of a World Series of Poker gold ring. He also clinches an automatic bid to the Global Casino Championship that will take place in late 2017.
Here's a look at the final table results:
1st: Michael Pearson - $153,191
2nd: Michael McDonough - $94,713
3rd: Chris Moody - $69,191
4th: Bill Watchman - $51,293
5th: Ted Lawson - $38,575
6th: Wes Nally - $29,462
7th: Valerie Hanley - $22,764
8th: Vi Khoa Duong - $17,862
9th: Devin Jackson - $14,214
Complete results can be found above, under the "Results" tab.
Monday, November 7, 2016 5:18 PM Local Time
Michael Pearson Wins Harveys Main Event ($153,191)
Michael McDonough raises to 215,000 on the button and Michael Pearson reraises to 565,000. McDonough calls.
The flop comes . Pearson bets 475,000, and McDonough calls.
The turn is the . Pearson shoves all in, and McDonough goes into the tank.
Pearson leans his head down and covers his face so that he can not see his opponent, and McDonough can not see him.
McDonough shifts back in his chair, gathers his chips like he is going to move them forward to call and then pauses. He waits another two minutes before moving his stacks forward to call.
Pearson flips over for a pair of sevens, and McDonough says, "Ahhh, you did have it," as he turns over for a pair of fives.
The river is the , and McDonough is eliminated in 2nd place, taking home $94,713, while Pearson is the newest WSOP Circuit champion taking home $153,191.
"That is NOT how I thought the tournament would end," Pearson's friend on the rail says aloud. He then turns to Pearson and asks, "Is that how you thought it would end?" Pearson shakes his head no, seemingly a bit in shock.
Michael McDonough - 2nd Place - $94,713
A full recap of this event, along with the winner story will be posted later this evening.
Monday, November 7, 2016 5:01 PM Local Time
Michael McDonough limps on the button, and Michael Pearson checks his option.
The flop comes , and both players check.
The turn is the . Pearson leads for 125,000, and McDonough raises to 325,000. Pearson pauses for nearly a minute before calling.
The river is the . Pearson checks, and McDonough checks behind.
Pearson turns over for ace high, but McDonough will take the pot with two pair, holding .
Michael McDonough - 2,100,000 (26 bb)
Michael Pearson - 7,400,000 (92 bb)
Monday, November 7, 2016 4:50 PM Local Time
Chris Moody moves all in for 820,000 on the button. Michael McDonough thinks it over and eventually calls in the small blind. Michael Pearson gets out of the way.
Moody tables . McDonough flips over . McDonough is hurting in the pair over pair situation.
The flop is and the turn is the .
McDonough is drawing to two outs and the hits on the river, giving McDonough a set of sevens. This is a heartbreaker for Moody who goes out in third place.
Michael McDonough - 1,900,000
Chris Moody - Eliminated in 3rd ($69,191)
McDonough is left to play Michael Pearson in a heads-up battle for the Main Event title and a WSOP gold ring.
Monday, November 7, 2016 4:40 PM Local Time
Chris Moody shoves all in from the small blind for 560,000, and Michael McDonough quickly calls.
McDonough shows and Moody says, "I'll need a king," as he turns over .
The appears in the window, followed by the and the .
Moody maintains his lead when the turn comes the , but McDonough picks up a straight gutshot straight draw.
Luckily for Moody, the river is safe, and he doubles up.
Chris Moody - 1,150,000 (14 bb)
Michael McDonough - 1,130,000 (14 bb)
Monday, November 7, 2016 4:27 PM Local Time
Monday, November 7, 2016 4:20 PM Local Time
The final three players are now on their second 15 minute break of the day. They will return to play Level 30 with 40,000/80,000 blinds and a 10,000 ante.
Here is a look at how they will stack up upon return from break:
Chris Moody - 720,000 (9 bb)
Michael McDonough - 1,710,000 (21 bb)
Michael Pearson - 7,200,000 (90 bb)
Monday, November 7, 2016 4:16 PM Local Time
Chris Moody raises to 200,000 in the small blind, and Michael McDonough quickly calls in the big blind.
The flop comes . Moody checks, McDonough shoves all in for 470,000, and Moody snap-calls.
Moody: (two pair)
McDonough: (straight draw)
The turn is the giving McDonough the straight, and the river does not change the hand. McDonough doubles up and Moody is left with only ten big blinds.
Michael McDonough - 970,000 (16 bb)
Chris Moody - 650,000 (10 bb)
Monday, November 7, 2016 4:02 PM Local Time
Michael Pearson raises to 150,000 on the button and Bill Watchman shoves all in from the small blind for around 775,000. Chris Moody folds his big blind, and Pearson calls.
The board runs out awarding Pearson the pot, and eliminating Watchman in 4th place.
Michael Pearson - 7,050,000 (117 bb)
Bill Watchman - Eliminated in 4th place, for $51,293
Monday, November 7, 2016 3:52 PM Local Time
Michael Pearson opens for 150,000 from middle position. Ted Lawson moves all in for around 300,00 from the blinds. Pearson calls and the two players are heads up.
Lawson shows . Pearson has him dominated with .
The board runs out , providing no help to Lawson who is eliminated in fifth place.
Michael Pearson - 6,200,000
Ted Lawson - Eliminated in 5th ($38,575)
Pearson further extends his already substantial chip lead.
Monday, November 7, 2016 3:41 PM Local Time
Wes Nally shoves all in from the cutoff for 105,000, and Michael Pearson raises to 200,000 in the small blind. Bill Watchman pauses before calling in the big blind.
The flop comes and both players check. They also both check the turn and the river.
"Nut no pair," Watchman says as he turns over , but Pearson turns over for a pair of sixes.
"I only looked at one," Nally says as he turns over the .
Pearson says, "Queen, eight or nine."
Nally repeats, "Queen, eight or nine," as he slowly swirls the card around on the table in front of him. He then snaps over the with a surprised look on his face. The rest of the table is also surprised to see the ace since he had only looked at one card prior to shoving.
There is applause on the rail and from his table mates as Nally stands up and shakes everyone's hands.
Michael Pearson - 4,755,000 (79 bb)
Wes Nally - Eliminated in 6th place, for $29,462
Monday, November 7, 2016 3:32 PM Local Time
Chris Moody raises to 150,000 in the hijack and Michael Pearman calls in the big blind.
Both players check the flop and the turn.
The river is the . Pearman bets 225,000, Moody confirms the total, and calls.
Pearman says, "Straight," as he turns over . But Moody turns over for a straight to the ace.
Chris Moody - 1,250,000 (20 bb)
Michael Pearman - 4,400,000 (73 bb)
Monday, November 7, 2016 3:29 PM Local Time
Monday, November 7, 2016 3:28 PM Local Time
Action folds to Wes Nally in the small blind who shoves all in for aorund 580,000. Michael McDonough checks his cards and quickly calls for less.
The board runs out . McDonough's eights hold, and he doubles up, while Nally is left with only two big blinds.
Michael McDonough - 930,000 (18 bb)
Wes Nally - 130,000 (2 bb)
Monday, November 7, 2016 3:24 PM Local Time
Chris Moody shoves all in from the small blind for 465,000, and Ted Lawson tanks in the big blind for two minutes before calling.
The board runs out awarding Moody a double up.
Chris Moody - 955,000 (19 bb)
Ted Lawson - 200,000 (4 bb)
Monday, November 7, 2016 3:18 PM Local Time
Michael Pearson raises to 100,000 on the button. Bill Watchman calls in the small blind, as does Chris Moody in the big blind.
There are three players to the flop, which brings . All three players check.
Th turn is the . Watchman and Moody both check, in that order. Pearson bets 125,000. Watchman folds and Moody calls.
The river brings the , pairing the board. Moody checks for a third time. Pearson pushes out a stack of about 700,000, more than enough chips to put Moody all in. Moody contemplates for a bit and then moves his hand toward the muck.
Michael Pearson - 4,400,000 (88 bb)
Chris Moody - 350,000 (7 bb)
Michael Pearson raises to 100,000 in the hijack. All remaining players fold to Wes Nally who cals.
The flop comes and both players check.
The turn is the . Nally checks. Pearson Bets 155,000. Nally calls.
The river is the . Nally checks again and Pearson bets 600,000. Nally folds.
Michael Pearson - 4,800,000 (96 bb)
Wes Nally - 600,000 (12 bb)
Monday, November 7, 2016 2:51 PM Local Time
Michael Pearman raises to 100,000 in the cutoff, and Chris Moody shoves all in from the big blind. Pearman asks for a count and upon hearing the 320,000 total, he hesitantly calls and slightly shrugs his shoulders.
The flop comes leaving Moody in the lead with his pair of tens, but giving Pearman a gutshot straight draw.
The turn does not change the hand, and the river gives Moody a pair of aces to double up.
Chris Moody - 695,000 (13 bb)
Michael Pearman - 3,375,000 (67 bb)
Monday, November 7, 2016 2:47 PM Local Time
Valerie Hanley shoves all in from middle position.
"How much?" Wes Nally asks in the cutoff?
Hanley responds with a smile. "Way too much," and the players at the table all giggle.
Upon hearing the 165,000 total, Nally thinks for a minute and a half before calling. Bill Watchman also calls in the big blind.
The flop comes , and Nally checks out of turn and genuinely apologizes. Watchman then checks, and Nally checks again.
The turn is the . Watchman checks, and Nally bets 100,000. Watchman folds, and Nally quickly turns over for a pair of aces.
Hanley turns over her cards and flops on the table while standing up.
The river does not improve Hanley's hand, and she is eliminated in 7th place.
Wes Nally - 1,200,000 (24 bb)
Valerie Hanley - Eliminated in 7th place, for $22,764
Monday, November 7, 2016 2:17 PM Local Time
Monday, November 7, 2016 2:06 PM Local Time
Players are on their first 15-minute break of Day 3.