WSOP-C Tunica, Final Table: Tichelman Surges to Title
After a day off on Monday, the final nine players in the WSOP Circuit Tunica Main Event gathered around the final table at Tunica's Grand Casino to duke it out for the Circuit ring, a ticket into the 2008 WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas, and the $428,210 first-place prize. John Devia took the chip lead into the day, as the starting stacks and seat assignments looked were as follows:
Seat 1: Tom Schneider (Scottsdale, AZ) - 422,000
Seat 2: Ben Sabrin (Atlanta, GA) - 417,000
Seat 3: John Devia (West Palm, FL) - 929,500
Seat 4: Giovanni Marcacci (Brooksville, FL) - 465,000
Seat 5: Jordan Rich (Portland, OR) - 147,000
Seat 6: Mark Garner (Little Rock, AR) - 213,500
Seat 7: Bart Tichelman (Atlanta, GA) - 164,000
Seat 8: Donald Nicholson (Oak Ridge, TN) - 325,000
Seat 9: Ryan Young (Torrance, CA) - 521,000
Play began cautiously, as the first 30 minutes went by without a single hand going to showdown. Eventually Jordan Rich picked a spot to make his move, and pushed all in from early position with . Donald Nicholson re-raised all in, and the rest of the table folded. Nicholson tabled , and Rich needed plenty of help; he got a bit on the flop when it came down , but the turn and river brought the and , and he was eliminated in ninth place ($25,952).
WSOP 2007 Player of the Year Tom Schneider was next to fall when he tangled with Ryan Young in a big hand. Young completed his small blind, and Schneider checked his option from the big blind. The flop came down , and both players checked. They checked again when the came on the turn. When the river brought the , Schneider led out, and Young thought for a minute before moving all in. Schneider went into the tank before making the call, and tabled for trips. Young revealed for the turned straight, and Schneider picked up $38,928 for his eighth-place finish.
Young was next to fall, in a hand where he moved all in preflop with and found one caller in Giovanni Marcacci, with . The board missed both players as it ran out , and Marcacci's ace-high was enough to eliminate Young in seventh place ($51,904). Day 1 chip leader Mark Garner went to the rail in sixth place ($64,880) when he ran into John Devia's pocket aces. No help came for Garner, and the Day 1 chip leader was eliminated.
Play held to a steady pace through the early rounds, with only four players eliminated before dinner. After the break, play picked up, as Ben Sabrin came back hungry for action. He moved all in from late position, and Marcacci re-raised all in to isolate. The other players folded, and Sabrin revealed , dominated by Marcacci's . The flop came down , and Sabrin needed running deuces to stay alive. The on the turn gave him hope, but the on the river provided no salvation, and Sabrin was eliminated in fifth place ($77,856).
Next, John Devia went all in over the top of Bart Tichelman's preflop raise, and Tichelman quickly called with pocket queens. Devia tabled and needed help. The was not exactly what he had in mind, but the on the turn gave him his flush draw. The on the river, though, was no help, and the Day 2 chip leader picked up $103,808 for his fourth-place finish.
Marcacci was the next to depart when he raised preflop from the button, then called Bart Tichelman's re-raise from the small blind. The flop came down , and Tichelman moved all in. Marcacci went deep into the tank before calling with . Tichelman was behind with a big draw, holding , but the turn gave him a straight and the lead. The river didn't help Marcacci, and he exited in third place ($129,760).
Tichelman took a big chip lead into heads-up play, and put away his last challenger only two hands later. Donald Nicholson re-raised all in preflop with , and Tichelman called with . The flop brought Tichelman a pair, coming down , and the on the turn sealed the win. The river on the river was just a formality, with Nicholson eliminated as the runner-up for $236,163. Bart Tichelman came from near the bottom of the board as the final table began to take the title, collecting $482,210, an entry into the '08 WSOP Main Event and the Circuit winner's ring.