The 2012-13 World Series of Poker Circuit River Rock Main Event has officially come to an end. This historic tournament was not only the first WSOP Circuit event held in Canada, but it also ended up holding the distinction as the largest live cash buy-in tournament ever held on Canadian soil. After overcoming a field of 1,032 players and a grueling final table, John Crncic will forever be known as champion of this significant event. Not only will Crncic be revered in Canadian poker history, but he also earned a nice payday of $286,382, a gold WSOP-C ring, and a seat to the WSOP National Championship.
The tournament began with players choosing to play on one of three starting days. As this was a re-entry tournament, those who were eliminated on play from one of the starting days could come back and try their luck again with the option of firing three bullets overall. With that said, many notable faces came out to give this tournament a try. Over the course of the three starting days, players like Jason Koon, Doug Lee, Matt Affleck, David "Doc" Sands, Scott Clements, Gavin Smith, Huy Nguyen, Robert Cheung, Adrienne "talonchick" Rowsome, Adam Levy, Laurence Grondin, and Terrence Chan all took a shot firing either one, two, or three bullets into the tournament. Despite the best efforts of those players and many more, they were ultimately unable to survive a single Day 1 flight with chips.
Day 2 saw the return of 246 players with the fields from the three starting flights combining. The top 108 players in the field made the money, so each player had that immediate goal on their mind. Early exits came for players like Noah Vaillancourt, Matt Jarvis, Mark Bonsack, Alex Sutherland, and two-time WSOP bracelet winner Greg Mueller.
Once the money bubble was burst the players began dropping like flies. Among those to be eliminated in the money were Darren Kennedy (107th), Daniel Idema (103rd), Day 2 chip leader Jingjing Liu (79th), Scott Stanko (69th), Scott Stiglitz (67th), Kelly Kellner (54th), Joel Micka (42nd), and Isaac Baron (37th).
The final 30 players then returned for Day 3 for a relatively short day of poker where they played down to the final table. By the end of the day, Sonny Sekhon, the man who came into Day 3 as the chip leader, was taking the top stack into the final table.
Final Table Chip Counts
|4||Tyler St. Clair||1,960,000|
The first victim of the final table was Glenn Sullivan who made his exit roughly one hour into play on Day 4. Sullivan came into play as the shortest stack at the table and saw his final hand when he moved all in from the button. Mal Hagan called him from the big blind and showed . Sullivan tabled and was in need of some help. Sullivan struck gold on the flop, hitting his set of fours and jumping into the lead. The on the turn gave Hagan open ended straight outs but he managed to hit the on the river, making a bigger set and sending Sullivan to the rail as the first victim of this final table. Sullivan took home $28,236 in winnings for his ninth place finish.
It was at this point that the final table came to a screeching halt. Play tightened up and the final eight players dueled over the felt for a whopping four hours before finally seeing the next casualty. Michael Collins saw his stack get blinded down to almost nothing and when he finally moved all in it was for less than a minimum raise. Collins held against Crncic's . The board came and Collins officially became the eighth place finisher.
Tyler St. Clair finished in seventh place when he moved all in from the small blind holding only to have Sekhon wake up with in the big blind. A board of ensured that St. Clair was to take home $45,031 in prize money.
Perhaps the most agonizing elimination of the final table came just after the dinner break when Calvin Anderson moved all in from the cutoff for his last 1.6 million in chips. Ryan Biermann went into the tank for well over two minutes before finally announcing a call.
Anderson saw his dreams come true as he made a set of tens on the flop. The rolled off on the turn, giving Biermann a gutshot draw to make Broadway and win the hand.
"Just pair the board," said Anderson timidly.
Unfortunately for Anderson the dealer did not listen, as the struck fifth street and caused players in the room to explode with shock. A stunned Anderson took home $57,864 in winnings.
Sekhon was the chip leader to start the day and was sailing along nicely until he saw himself lose back to back hands that spelled the end of his tournament. Sekhon lost most of his chips when he ran into the pocket kings of Biermann, and then was essentially forced to move his last two blinds all in the very next hand with . The worst starting hand in hold'em did not hold up for Sekhon and he was eliminated in fifth place.
Hagan fell to the hands of Biermann when he moved all in with and was called by Biermann's superior . Hagan failed to improve and went home as the fourth place finisher. Not long after, Justin Ciolfitto was eliminated in third place when his could not outdraw the of Crncic.
Heads up play began with Biermann taking a severe lead over Crncic. That all changed, however, when Crncic scored a crucial double up by flopping top pair and having it hold. From there on out it was Crncic who dictated the action on the felt. The match finally came to a head when Crncic opened to 800,000 on the button only to have Biermann ship all in for about 6.8 million total. Crncic called and the hands were revealed:
Biermann's hopes of doubling up were dashed when the dealer fanned out , giving Crncic two pair and the best hand. The turn brought the , meaning that Biermann would have to catch one of the two remaining queens to stay alive. The hit the river and he was forced to settle for second place and a payday of $177,060.
Final Table Payouts
|7||Tyler St. Clair||$45,031|
Here at PokerNews we'd like to extend our congratulations to John Crncic for winning such a prestigious event. That does it for our coverage here from the River Rock Theatre in the River Rock Casino and Resort. Be sure to tune into our coverage on November 17th as the WSOPC Main Event at Harvey's in Lake Tahoe kicks off!