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2017/18 WSOP Circuit - HARRAH'S CHEROKEE (North Carolina)

Monday, November 27, 2017 to Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Event #5: $365 Pot-Limit Omaha

download official reportdownload official winner photo
  • Buy-in: $365
  • Prizepool: $83,700
  • Entries: 279
  • Remaining: 0


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Tuesday, November 28, 2017 9:37 PM Local Time

Yoon Kim

Georgia family man finds poker validation with a career-best result

Yoon Kim says he’s not very good at hold’em, but he didn’t need to be on Tuesday. Kim won the $365 Pot-Limit Omaha event at Harrah’s Cherokee, outlasting a field of 279 entries en route to the win. His performance earned him $20,089 and his first gold ring.

Kim, 49, is a small business owner from Dacula, Georgia. He was born in South Korea, where he first started playing cards as an adolescent. “I never knew about hold’em and PLO,” he said. “We played seven-card stud back then.” He learned the more mainstream games after arriving in the US.

As tends to happen in PLO, the tournament was a swingy one for Kim. He started Day 2 with 22 big blinds, and he had worked his way into third place by the time he reached the final table.

Things started to unravel a bit, though, and Kim’s stack took a few big hits as the table shrank. According to Kim, though, it turned around with a quickness. “All of the sudden, it just came back,” he said. “It all just kept coming. So fast!”

Kim was heads-up with Tyler Joyner in no time, but the two battled hard for the ring. The chips moved Kim’s way over time, though, and the last hand saw him flop top set of tens to end Joyner’s run.

Because of work and family obligations, poker is just a part-time pleasure for Kim. He’s married with two children, ages 5 and 14. “Poker is just one of my favorite hobbies,” he said. “Golf and poker, that’s it.”

This win seemed to provide Kim with some validation that his time on the felt has been well spent. “I’m just glad that I have this ring to show my wife,” he beamed. “I wanted to prove to her that I could do this.”

Final table results:

1st: Yoon Kim - $20,089
2nd: Tyler Joyner - $12,414
3rd: LaDarren Banks - $9,008
4th: Aaron Lasater - $6,646
5th: Sokchheka Pho - $4,984
6th: Terry Howard - $3,798
7th: Warren Sheaves - $2,940
8th: Brett Feder - $2,310
9th: Ricky Bennett - $1,843

Click here for the full results.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 3:22 PM Local Time

It took less than an hour of Day 2 action to bring the field down to the final table of nine. Here's the lineup:

Seat 1: Sokchheka Pho - 91,000 (9 bb)
Seat 2: Tyler Joyner - 105,000 (11 bb)
Seat 3: Neal Howard - 180,000 (18 bb)
Seat 4: Yoon Kim - 449,000 (45 bb)
Seat 5: LaDarren Banks - 880,000 (88 bb)
Seat 6: Ricky Bennett - 80,000 (8 bb)
Seat 7: Aaron Lasater - 380,000 (38 bb)
Seat 8: Brett Feder - 167,000 (17 bb)
Seat 9: Warren Sheaves - 482,000 (48 bb)

Blinds are 5,000/10,000 in the current level, so the average stack is 31 big blinds. Everyone left is guaranteed to earn at least $1,843 this afternoon, and play will continue until there's a winner.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 2:15 AM Local Time

The clock has run out on Day 1 of this PLO event, and 17 players are through to Day 2.

Warren Sheaves is at the top of the pack. Sheaves is a ring winner and a local pro from nearby Asheville, and he ended the day with 577,000 chips. That's good for more than 70 big blinds entering the final day. He and Benjie Durham (473,000) are currently way out in front of the rest of the field.

Here's the top of the overnight leaderboard:

1. Warren Sheaves - 577,000
2. Benjie Durham - 473,000
3. Diane Casino - 178,000
4. Tyler Joyner - 177,000
5. Yoon Kim - 175,000

Others who survived the day include Brett Feder (146,000), LaDarren Banks (120,000), John Courtney (118,000), and five-time ring winner Kurt Jewell (65,000).

Click here for the full list of chip counts.

Everyone left is guaranteed to earn just over a thousand bucks tomorrow, but that's the minimum. The eventual winner will collect the series' fifth gold ring and the top prize of $20,089. Blinds will be 4,000/8,000 when play resumes, so the average stack is around 20 big blinds.

Day 2 begins at 2 p.m.

Monday, November 27, 2017 9:23 PM Local Time

Level 9 is ticking off the clock, which means registration is closed for Event #5.

This $365 PLO event ended up with 279 entries, an increase of two over last year's turnout. That attendance creates a prize pool worth $83,700 to be shared by the final 30 players. A min-cash is worth $567.

The series' fifth gold ring and a top prize of $20,089 will go to the winner.

Play continues tonight until the end of Level 17.

Monday, November 27, 2017 1:23 AM Local Time

The second of two events on Monday's schedule is another popular one. It's also the only non-hold'em event on the list for this stop at Harrah's Cherokee.

The $365 Pot-Limit Omaha begins this afternoon, occupying its usual spot on the calendar at this venue.

Phong Nguyen is the defending champion of this event. Last year, Nguyen topped a field of 277 entries to win his first gold ring and the top prize of $19,945.

Given the attendance over the weekend, it'd be reasonable to expect a similar turnout this year, too. Even better, the guarantee has been doubled to $50,000 this time around.

Here are the details for this event:

  • This is a two-day event
  • Players begin with 10,000 chips
  • Levels 1-18 are 30 minutes apiece
  • Remaining levels are 45 minutes apiece
  • Late registration and unlimited re-entires are permitted until the start of Level 9
  • Day 1 ends after Level 17

Play begins at 4 p.m.

Jostens Fan Collection
Monday, November 27, 2017 1:13 AM Local Time
Event #5