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

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 to Thursday, November 30, 2017

Event #7: $365 No-Limit Hold'em Monster Stack

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  • Buy-in: $365
  • Prizepool: $387,300
  • Entries: 1,291
  • Remaining: 0


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Thursday, November 30, 2017 11:52 PM Local Time

Janet Fitzgerald

Florida pro collects her third gold ring and nearly $70k in Cherokee

Janet Fitzgerald is the WSOP Circuit’s newest three-time winner. Fitzgerald outlasted a huge field of 1,291 entries in the Monster Stack event, winning her third ring and the top prize of $68,746. The result is her largest on record.

Fitzgerald is a former construction professional from West Palm Beach, Florida. It was there, upon her retirement, that she picked up the game of poker in a serious way.

“I just used to play at the track,” she said. “It wasn’t until three or four years ago that I started to think…,” she trailed off.

In 2015, Fitzgerald finished in fourth place in a ring event at the kennel club, and the five-figure payout was the first of her Circuit career.

She found a backer to help mitigate the expenses of a traveling tournament pro, and she’s gone on to make some good money for both her and her financial supporters. Two years later, she’s already approaching $200,000 in career tournament earnings, with nearly all of that coming on the WSOP Circuit.

This run was a slow burn that kept getting hotter as the event progressed. After a sluggish start, she rallied to end Day 1 in 28th place with 85 players remaining. By the time the field reached the final table, she was fifth of ten, still hovering near the middle of the pack.

The rest of the day belonged to Fitzgerald, though, outlasting a tough group that included five-time ring winner Cody Pack. The only lady at the final table was too much for the guys to handle, and she stormed her way to the title right around midnight local time.

Final table results:

1st: Janet Fitzgerald - $68,746
2nd: Allen Kerlin - $42,603
3rd: Jerry McCarter - $31,267
4th: Richard Vielhak - $23,625
5th: Jeffrey Whisnant - $18,029
6th: Cody Pack - $13,877
7th: Joseph Farinella - $10,806
8th: David Arenz - $8,513
9th: Andrew Rebhan - $6,785

Click here for the full results.

Thursday, November 30, 2017 9:25 PM Local Time

It took about eight hours of Day 2 action to shrink the field from 85 players down to a final table of 10. Here's the remaining lineup following the last redraw of the night:

Seat 1: Allen Kerlin - 5,385,000 (67 bb)
Seat 2: Richard Vielhak - 2,125,000 (27 bb)
Seat 3: Eric Sutton - 905,000 (11 bb)
Seat 4: Cody Pack - 4,495,000 (56 bb)
Seat 5: Andrew Rebhan - 1,065,000 (13 bb)
Seat 6: Jeff Whisnant - 3,910,000 (49 bb)
Seat 7: Jerry McCarter - 3,500,000 (44 bb)
Seat 8: Joe Farinella - 940,000 (12 bb)
Seat 9: David Arenz - 925,000 (12 bb)
Seat 10: Janet Fitzgerald - 3,385,000 (42 bb)

Both Eric Sutton and Andrew Rebhan are appearing at their second-consecutive final tables after deep runs in Event #6. Rebhan finished in seventh place, Sutton in fifth, and they'd both like to improve upon those results this evening.

Cody Pack is a five-time Circuit winner already, with three of the five coming right here at Harrah's Cherokee. Fitzgerald has two rings of her own, while the rest of the table is playing for what would be the first on their respective records.

Blinds are 40,000/80,000 with a 10,000 ante in the current level, so the average stack is about 33 big blinds. Everyone left is guaranteed to earn at least $5,469, but there's a big top prize of $68,742 up for grabs. The winner will also collect the series' seventh gold ring.

Thursday, November 30, 2017 1:27 AM Local Time
Cody Pack

Level 21 concludes, and that marks the end of Day 1 of this Monster Stack. From a huge starting field of 1,291 entries, just 85 players remain.

James Hammond bagged up the big stack, and he's way out in front of the pack at the moment. His count of 1,810,000 gives him a huge chip lead over his nearest challenger, Jesse Carter (1,089,000). Those two are the only two will will carry seven-figure stacks into Day 2.

Here's the top of the overnight leaderboard:

1: James Hammond - 1,810,000
2: Jesse Carter - 1,089,000
3: Donnie Phan - 765,000
4: Cody Pack - 759,000
5: DJ MacKinnon - 615,000

Pack (pictured) is already a five-time winner on the WSOP Circuit, and MacKinnon has one of his own. Both men will be looking to add to their total on Thursday.

Others who finished near the top include six-time winner Mark "Pegasus" Smith (532,000), bracelet winner Kevin Eyster (407,000), and defending champion Jason Maeroff (391,000). A bit further down the list lurk the likes of Janet Fitzgerald (330,000), David Gunas (207,000), John Bowman (186,000), and Cory Waaland (220,000), who's the current leader in the Casino Champion race at Harrah's Cherokee.

Day 2 chip counts  |  Day 2 seat draw

They and the rest of the remaining players will return to action on Thursday to settle the score. Blinds will be 6,000/12,000 with a 2,000 ante when play resumes, putting the average stack around 25 big blinds.

Everyone left is guaranteed to earn at least $806, but there's a lot more to play for than that. The ring and a big top prize of $68,742 are reserved for the winner.

Day 2 begins at 1 p.m.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 8:27 PM Local Time

Registration is closed for the Monster Stack, and the turnout held true to the moniker.

This $365 event drew a huge field of 1,291 entries, creating a prize pool worth $387,300. That money will be shared by the final 135 players, with a min-cash worth $577.

The winner will collect the series' seventh gold ring and the top prize of $68,742

Play continues tonight until the end of Level 21.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 2:53 PM Local Time

The field has not even reached the second break yet, and the room is already bursting at the seams. The number on the clock just ticked over 1,100 entries, and there are still almost four hours left for late registration and re-entry.

Jostens Fan Collection
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 4:36 AM Local Time

There's only one ring event on the schedule today at Harrah's Cherokee, but it's a good one. The popular $365 Monster Stack figures to draw one of the week's largest crowds.

Jason Maeroff is the king of this event. He finished as the runner-up two years ago in April, then did one better and took it down last season in August. Maeroff outlasted a field of 984 entries on his way to the 2016 title, collecting $56,106 for his efforts. He's been in the building this week and seems like a likely candidate to return in defense of his title, too.

Here are the vitals for the day:

  • This is a two-day event
  • Players begin with 20,000 chips
  • Levels 1-18 are 30 minutes apiece
  • Remaining levels are 45 minutes apiece
  • Late registration and single re-entry are available until the start of Level 13
  • Day 1 ends after Level 21

Cards go in the air at 11 a.m.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 2:47 AM Local Time
Event #7