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2011/12 WSOP Circuit - HARRAH'S RINCON (San Diego area)

Saturday, March 24, 2012 to Monday, March 26, 2012

Event #11A: No-Limit Hold'em Main Event Re-Entry

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  • Buy-in: $1,600
  • Prizepool: $0
  • Entries: 332
  • Remaining: 0


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Monday, March 26, 2012 7:35 PM Local Time

The action was jam packed here on Day 3 of the 2012 WSOP-C Rincon Main Event as we whittled our final 11 players down to one in under seven hours of clock time. The man left standing was Joe Kuether, who was playing just his second career Circuit Main Event. The last one he played was at Caesers in Las Vegas when he finished in 7th place. For conquering the field of 332 players, Kuether earned $111,104 and his very first WSOP-C ring.

Kuether's impressive appearances in these Circuit events are just the beginning of his already stellar 2012 poker resume. He is fresh off not one, but two victories, in the Wynn Classic series that just took place in Las Vegas in addition to four cashes, including one final table, at the L.A. Poker Classic.

Kuether was among the leaders since early in Day 2 through heads up play and was never at serious risk of being eliminated. Arguably his most important hand of the tournament came against none other than Freddy Deeb. Kuether held    on a     flop and was able to get paid on all three streets to vault himself into the chip lead mid-way through the final table.

Deeb, who finished fourth, might as well have charged the WSOP an entertainment fee for keeping everyone involved thoroughly amused. Not a hand went by without him joking around with either a player at the table, the dealer, the tournament staff or a PokerNews reporter. Unforunately, he became short stacked when play reached four handed and his    was unable to catch up to the    of Kuether.

Chris Cronin headed into heads up play with a lot of momentum. He eliminated our third place finisher, Ryan Gentry, after the two got it all in on a     board. Cronin held    against the    of Gentry but when the turn and river came the   and   respectively, Gentry was eliminated.

That created a fantastic heads up battle between Cronin, who with this result finished second in points during the Rincon circuit tour stop, and the 2012 poker all-star Kuether. The two players exchanged the chip lead multiple times before Kuether knocked him out.

With the blinds at 25,000/50,000, Kuether raised to 100,000 on his button as he had every single hand of heads up play. Cronin made the call to see a     flop. Both players checked and the turn was the  . Cronin let Kuether fire out 125,000 before check-raising to 300,000 chips. Kuether moved all in and Cronin, who had started the hand with about 2 million, made the call. Kuether held    and had to dodge the    of Cronin. The river was an emphatic   and Kuether became our champion.

Here are the full results of our final table.

1Joe Kuether$111,104
2Chris Cronin$68,686
3Ryan Gentry$50,108
4Freddy Deeb$37,167
5David Funkhauser$27,998
6Ty Spires$21,414
7Chris Bratene$16,617
8Stephen Plache$13,081
9Ryan Buckholtz$10,444
Monday, March 26, 2012 7:07 PM Local Time

Joe Kuether raised it up to 100,000, and Chris Cronin made the call. The flop came down    , and both players checked. The turn came the  , and Cronin check again. Kuether led out for 125,000, and Cronin came back with a raise to 300,000. Kuether announced all in, and Cronin took about 10 seconds before throwing a chip in, signifying a call. The cards were flipped, and Kuether was in great shape to take down the title.


Kuether was well out in front with his aces, and he would need to dodge a nine or king on the river to win the pot. The river came the  , giving Kuether an unnecessary set, and Cronin was eliminated. He took home $68,686 for his efforts.

Joe Kuether6,640,0002,260,000
Chris Cronin0-1,920,000
Monday, March 26, 2012 6:51 PM Local Time

Joe Kuether raised his button to 100,000 and Chris Cronin moved all in. Joe Kuether made the call and was potentially a few moments away from capturing the title.


The flop was     and Cronin was in fantastic shape to double up. The   turn officially ended the hand and just like that Cronin is back into it with a fighting chance.

Joe Kuether4,380,000-620,000
Chris Cronin1,920,000620,000
Monday, March 26, 2012 6:40 PM Local Time

Cronin raised to 100,000, and Kuether made the call. The dealer fanned out a flop of    , and Kuether checked to Cronin, who fired out 100,000. Kuether put in a check raise to 275,000, and Cronin came along to see the turn. That card was the  , and Kuether carefully assembled a bet of 500,000, and put it in the middle. Cronin tanked for about 30 seconds before releasing his hand, conceding the pot to Kuether. After the hand, Cronin is down to 1.3 million, and will need a double up soon.

Joe Kuether5,000,000300,000
Chris Cronin1,300,000-600,000
Monday, March 26, 2012 6:38 PM Local Time

Joe Kuether raised to 100,000 on his button, just as he has on every hand so far during heads up play. Chris Cronin made the call and the two saw the flop come    . Cronin checked and Kuether continued for 100,000. Cronin made the call.

The turn was the   and Cronin check-called again, this time 175,000 in chips. When the river was the  , Cronin paused to think and then stacked 400,000 over the betting line. Kuether quickly tossed in a couple of chips indicated his intent to call. Cronin could only show    while Kuether rivered broad way with   .

Joe Kuether4,700,000850,000
Chris Cronin1,900,000-850,000
Playtika - Jason Alexander
Monday, March 26, 2012 6:29 PM Local Time

Cronin raised to 100,000, and Kuether made a reraise to 250,000. Cronin called, and the flop came out    . Kuether led out with 300,000, and Cronin shot back with a raise to 750,000. Kuether thought for about 90 seconds, before looking at the dealer, and saying "1.2". This was a raise to 1.2 million, and it was back to Cronin, who took about 20 seconds before folding his hand. With that, Kuether had retaken the chip lead.

Joe Kuether3,850,000580,000
Chris Cronin2,750,000-580,000
Monday, March 26, 2012 6:19 PM Local Time

Chris Cronin limped his button and Joe Kuether checked. The flop was     and Kuether check-called a bet worth 75,000. The turn was the   and once again Kuether check-called, this time 150,000.

The river was the   and after Kuether checked for a third time, Cronin announced a bet of 300,000. Kuether mulled it over for a bit before making the call and mucked when Cronin turned over   .

Chris Cronin3,330,000730,000
Joe Kuether3,270,000-730,000
Monday, March 26, 2012 6:15 PM Local Time

Kuether raised to 100,000 preflop, and Cronin called. The flop came down    , and both players checked. The turn came the  , and Cronin fired out 100,000. Kuether assembled a bet of 250,000, and slid it into the middle. It was back to Cronin, who took about 20 seconds before he put in a reraise to 575,000 total. Kuether thought for about 45 seconds before making the call, swelling the pot up to over 1.2 million.

The river brought a scary  , and Cronin slowed down and checked. Kuether assembled a huge bet of 1.15 million, and slid it into the middle. Cronin looked pained as Kuether slid the bet in, and we went deep into the tank. After about two minutes, Cronin open folded    for flopped two pair, and Kuether raked in the massive pot.

Joe Kuether4,000,000750,000
Chris Cronin2,600,000-750,000
Monday, March 26, 2012 6:02 PM Local Time

It's not a big lead, but it's a lead none-the-less. Chris Cronin limped his button for the first time and Joe Kuether decided to test out this new strategy by raising to 150,000. Cronin called.

The flop was     and both players checked to see the   turn. This time Kuether led for 150,000 and was called by his opponent. The river was the   and both players reverted back to checking.

"Five," Kuether told Cronin. It was no good as Cronin held   .

Chris Cronin3,350,000350,000
Joe Kuether3,250,000-350,000
Monday, March 26, 2012 5:52 PM Local Time

Cronin raised to 125,000, and Kuether made the call. The dealer put out a flop of    , and Kuether check called a bet of 225,000. Both players checked the   on the turn, and the   on the river. Kuether opened up   , and Cronin mucked, sending the first big pot of heads up over to Kuether.

Joe Kuether3,600,000400,000
Chris Cronin3,000,000-300,000
Playtika - Jason Alexander
Monday, March 26, 2012 5:44 PM Local Time
Level: 29
Blinds: 25000/50000
Ante: 5000
Monday, March 26, 2012 5:44 PM Local Time

The two players are back in their seats, and we are underway again.

Monday, March 26, 2012 5:39 PM Local Time

The players are taking a quick break before heads up play resumes.

Monday, March 26, 2012 5:37 PM Local Time

Chris Cronin opened with a raise on the button to 90,000 and was called by both Joe Kuether in the small blind and Ryan Gentry in the big blind.

The flop was     and the first two players checked to Cronin, allowing him to continue for 190,000. Kuether folded but Gentry put in a raise to 420,000. Almost immediately, Cronin announced, "All in" and Gentry had made the call.


The turn was the   which kept Gentry in the lead but the   river gave Cronin a better kicker on their two pair and sent Gentry to the cashier.

Monday, March 26, 2012 5:27 PM Local Time

Chris Cronin raised to 90,000 in the small blind, and Joe Kuether called in the big blind. The flop came down    , and both players checked. The turn brought the  , and Cronin fired out 110,000. Kuether called, and the river came the  . Cronin thought for about 10 seconds before betting out 160,000, and it was on Kuether. He thought for about a minute before sliding out a stack of the yellow T25,000 chips, a raise to 500,000 total. Cronin look confused by the bet, and eventually folded, flashing the   in the process. Kuether is up to over 3 million now, while Cronin drops to 2 million.

Joe Kuether3,200,000300,000
Chris Cronin2,050,000-350,000
Playtika - Jason Alexander
Monday, March 26, 2012 5:15 PM Local Time

Freddy Deeb was first to act and moved all in for his last 405,000. Joe Kuether was next and made the call. When Ryan Gentry folded his small blind, Chris Cronin thought for a bit and also decided to try and take a stab at eliminating the seasoned pro.

The flop was    , Cronin checked and Kuether bet 300,000. That was enough to force Cronin off his hand, claiming to have had pocket fives.


Deeb was a world of hurt but did pick up some outs to split with the   turn. That, of course, sent Cronin into a spin as he tried to figure out why he didn't peel a card when he was getting better than 5:1 odds to call the flop. Regardless, the   river officially eliminated Deeb and got us down to three-handed play.

"I almost checked the flop too," Kuether said to Cronin who was still contemplating his flop decision.

Joe Kuether2,900,0001,350,000
Chris Cronin2,400,000-500,000
Freddy Deeb0-600,000
Monday, March 26, 2012 4:58 PM Local Time

Freddy Deeb had been widdled all the way down to 250,000 when he open shoved under the gun. It folded around to Chris Cronin in the big blind, and he made the called. When the cards were flipped, Deeb was way out in front.


Any chance that Cronin had to get the suckout was virtually out the window when the flop came    . Cronin would need runner runner to get the knockout, but the   on the turn gave Deeb an unnecessary full house. The river came the  , and Deeb got the double up to get back to 600,000.

Chris Cronin2,900,000-200,000
Freddy Deeb600,000-25,000
Monday, March 26, 2012 4:53 PM Local Time

David Funkhuaser opened shoved all in on the button, and Chris Cronin was next to act in the small blind. Cronin peaked down at this cards, then called fairly quickly. Freddy Deeb folded, and the cards were tabled, with Cronin way out in front.

David Funkhauser:   
Chris Cronin:   

The flop brought no help for Funkhauser, coming    . Funkhauser was still looking for an eight, and while he didn't get it on the turn, he did pick up some more outs, as the   hit the turn. Funkhauser would get a chop if the board paired again, but it wouldn't happen, as the   the river. Funkhauser was eliminated, while Cronin secured the knockout. Cronin now has nearly half the chips in play.

Chris Cronin3,100,000650,000
David Funkhauser0-685,000
Monday, March 26, 2012 4:47 PM Local Time

Joe Kuether opened with a raise to 80,000 before David Funkhauser moved all in out of the small blind. Chris Cronin was waiting in the big blind and asked for a count of Funkhauser's chips, which stood at 470,000 total. Eventually, both Cronin and Kuether let Funkhauser rake in the pot.

The very next hand, Funkhauser moved all in, and once again did not find a caller.

Joe Kuether1,550,000-80,000
David Funkhauser685,000190,000
Monday, March 26, 2012 4:42 PM Local Time

Chris Cronin opened the action from middle position with a raise to 90,000 and was called only by Joe Kuether in the small blind. The flop came     and Kuether check-raised a bet worth 140,000 to 300,000 total. Without much hesitation, Cronin said, "Six-fifty" and placed 650,000 chips across the betting line. Kuether thought for a few minutes before letting go of his hand.

Chris Cronin2,450,000330,000
Joe Kuether1,630,000-370,000
Playtika - Jason Alexander