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WSOP Circuit Harrah's Tunica Main Event: Sam Barnhart Outlasts Wild Final Table to Win $148,612

Sam Barnhart

The World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event at Harrah's Tunica continued on Tuesday with the final nine players from a 480-player field. The remaining nine players were not only competing for the first-place prize of $148,612 and a WSOP-C gold ring, but also for a guaranteed spot in the WSOP-C National Championship $1 Million Freeroll in May at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. After seven hours of play, Sam Barnhart of Little Rock, Arkansas, emerged victorious as the WSOP-C Harrah's Tunica Main Event Champion.

Barnhart had his work cut out for him at the start of the day, considering that he had started sixth in chips.

Seat 1Mary Harden (Ooltewah, TN)1,281,000
Seat 2Kurt Jewell (Frankfurt, KY)1,851,000
Seat 3John Holley (Dustin, FL)586,000
Seat 4Sam Barnhart (Little Rock, AR)758,000
Seat 5John Nguyen (Fairview Heights, IL)2,300,000
Seat 6Jesse White (Billings, MT)923,000
Seat 7Preston Durden (Houston, TX)497,000
Seat 8Brian Burney (Branson, MO)901,000
Seat 9Marco Palacios (Austin, TX)440,000

The day's first elimination came when action folded to winner of the Circuit Main Event in Hammond, Kurt Jewell, who shoved from the small blind. From the big blind, John Holley called all-in for about 360,000 and tabled {4-Diamonds}{4-Spades}, while Jewell showed {A-Spades}{5-Spades}. The board ran out {J-Clubs}{J-Spades}{9-Spades}{2-Spades}{8-Hearts}, giving Jewell a flush, eliminating Holley in ninth place, earning $13,789 for his efforts.

Not long after, two players sitting behind big stacks tangled and created a monster pot. It happened when action folded to Jewell in the hijack and he raised to 68,000. Sam Barnhart made the call from the cutoff while John Nguyen decided to reraise to 250,000 from the button. After the blinds folded, Jewell played back at Nguyen with a raise to 468,000. Barnhart wisely got out of the way and Nguyen made the call, creating a pot worth nearly one million. The flop came down {Q-Diamonds}{4-Spades}{2-Diamonds}, Jewell immediately bet out 368,000, Nguyen called, and the dealer proceeded to burn and turn the {10-Clubs}. Jewell check-called a bet of 550,000 from Nguyen, and then both players checked the {4-Hearts} river. Jewell showed {A-Spades}{Q-Spades} for queens and fours with an ace kicker. Nguyen mucked, dropping all the way down to just 800,000, while Jewell took down the massive pot and chipped up to 4.7 million, nearly half the chips in play.

From there, an unbelievable turn of events transpired, one that could be considered the biggest downfall in WSOP-C history. Over the course of 90 minutes Jewell proceeded to double short stack after short stack. After being down to 2.3 million, in one hand, Mary Harden raised to 150,000 and Jewell called. It was heads up to the {10-Spades}{9-Hearts}{5-Spades} flop and Harden bet 350,000. Jewell called as the dealer burned and turned the {4-Spades}. This time Harden bet 325,000 and again Jewell called. When the {8-Hearts} peeled off on the river, Harden moved all in for 705,000. Jewell tanked before making the call and then mucked when Harden flipped {K-Spades}{K-Hearts}. Harden doubled to 3.1 million while Jewell was left with just 670,000. The very next hand, Jewell moved all-in holding {A-Spades}{6-Spades} and was called by Barnhart, who held {A-Diamonds}{K-Diamonds}. The board ran out {K-Hearts}{2-Clubs}{6-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{9-Diamonds} and Jewell's epic downfall was complete. He was eliminated from the tournament in eighth place.

Preston Derden, who had clung to a short stack for much of the day, was the next to go in seventh place. He was followed out the door by Nguyen, who could never recover from the aforementioned monster pot with Jewell, in sixth place. Marcos Palacios, Brian Burney, and Harden were the next to go respectively, leaving Sam Barnhart (6.03 million in chips) to do battle heads up with Jesse White (3.57 million).

Heads-up play didn't last long; in fact, the last hand came when Barnhart raised to 250,000 on the button and White reraised all-in for about 3,000,000. A snap call from Barnhart revealed {K-Hearts}{K-Diamonds}, leading White's {J-Clubs}{10-Clubs}.

The crowd gathered in excitement and watched as the flop came down {7-Spades}{5-Hearts}{4-Spades}. White found no help whatsoever and needed to catch either a jack or ten for a chance to win the pot. The turn brought the {7-Hearts} and White was drawing dead, making the {5-Clubs} river card meaningless and bringing the tournament to an end. Just like that, Barnhart became the WSOP-C Tunica Main Event Champion, claiming the $148,612 first-place prize and a spot in the National Championship

Here is a look at the WSOP-C Harrah's Tunica Final Table results.

1stSam BarnhartLittle Rock, AR$148,612
2ndJesse WhiteBillings, MT$91,881
3rdMary HardenOoltewah, TN$67,122
4thBrian BurneyBranson, MO$49,759
5thMarco PalaciosAustin, TX$37,422
6thJohn NguyenFairview Heights, IL$28,547
7thPreston DerdenHouston, TX$22,084
8thKurt JewellFrankfurt, KY$17,328
9thJohn HolleyDestin, FL$13,789

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