After four long days of poker, the 2011-2012 World Series of Poker Circuit Horseshoe Hammond Main Event has come to an end with Bob Chow claiming the gold ring and $393,584 first-place prize. The 1,615-player field was the largest in WSOP Circuit Main Event history, creating a $2,349,825 prize pool that was a fitting way to conclude a stop that began with Event #1 No-Limit Hold'em, the largest field in WSOP Circuit history with 3,001 players.
The final day of the Main Event saw 20 players return to action with consummate grinder Eric Crain leading the way. The action went quickly with seven players hitting the rail in the first two hours. One of those players, former online star Mark “P0ker H0” Kroon, was testing his skills in the live realm.
Unfortunately, Kroon didn't make it to the final table. In Kroon's elimination hand, Edward Pham raised to 85,000 under the gun and was soon met with a three-bet to 265,000 by Kroon in middle position. Action folded back around to Pham who thought a long while before sliding in a call. When the flop came down , Pham checked to Kroon who bet 320,000. Pham responded by moving all-in and Kroon snap-called off his last 415,000.
It was a bit of a cooler flop as Kroon had hit top pair with the second nut-flush draw and Pham flopped middle set. "Spade," Kroon called. The dealer burned and turned the . It wasn't the spade Kroon was looking for. In fact, it filled Pham up and made a spade useless. Kroon, who improved to two pair, now needed either a jack or king on the river to survive. With his rail there for support, Kroon waited anxiously as the dealer burned and revealed the . It was a blank, and suddenly, Kroon’s deep run in the Main Event came to an end in 16th place. Not too shabby for the man who re-entered on Day 1b after busting out on the third hand of Day 1a when his pocket aces were cracked by pocket kings.
Here is a look at the other eliminations leading up to the final table:
Pre-Final Table Payouts
|16th||Mark “P0ker H0” Kroon||$21,759|
By the time the final table rolled around, Bob Chow had seized the chip lead; however, it was still anyone’s game. The first elimination came shortly after the dinner break when Shawn Quinn’s big slick was run down by Crain's . He was followed out the door a short time later by another short stack, Dan Harrington, who finished eighth for $50,051. For those wondering, this was not the 1995 WSOP World Champion.
The next to go was Drazen Ilich in seventh place, whose pocket kings were cracked by the of Chow. The chips got all-in on a flop, and the turn brought the to fill Chow’s straight. A few hands later, Joe Hebda found himself all-in with against the of Steury. The board ran out an uneventful and Hebda headed to the payout desk in sixth place.
The next elimination was not only thrilling, but it happened in a hand that will likely go down in WSOP Circuit lore. It began when Crain opened for 265,000 and Dave Neff shoved all-in from the small blind. Crain popped his head up and asked the dealer for a count. Before the dealer could finish — which was somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.1 million — Crain announced "call."
The flop was not especially exciting, but the turn was a kick in the gut for Crain when it brought the . The young pro left the table and steam-walked around the stage. He had his hat pulled down low, knowing he needed one of the two remaining fours on the river. The dealer burned — . Crain exploded again, this time in excitement. He pulled a Tiger Woods-esque fist pump as he earned the improbable river knockout.
Unfortunately, Crain couldn’t maintain his momentum and was eliminated in fourth place after he played aggressively and ran into Steury's . He was followed out the door by a short-stacked Erik Roussakis, who got unlucky when his got unlucky against Steury’s .
The heads-up battle between Chow and Steury began with the latter holding almost a 2-1 lead (21 million to 11 million). Interestingly, Steury had faced off against another Chow this past summer at the WSOP when he won his first gold bracelet. In the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. event in Vegas, Steurry defeated Michael Chow to capture the gold and a $289,283 prize. Quite the coincidence, indeed.
Unfortunately for Steury, this time his battle with a Chow would go the other way. Bob Chow managed to overcome his chip deficit, eventually seizing the lead for himself. In the final hand, a short-stacked Steury was on the button and moved all-in preflop, which Chow called with his big stack.
The board ran out , giving Chow two pair and putting a dagger through Steury.
Final Table Payouts
|8th||Dan V. Harrington||$50,051|
National Championship Qualifiers
|David Nicholson||Horseshoe Bossier City Main Event Winner|
|Chris Gamboa||Horseshoe Bossier City Casino Champion|
|Robert Castoire||Horseshoe Southern Indiana Main Event Winner|
|Mark “Pegasus” Smith||Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino Champion|
|Bob Chow||Horseshoe Hammond Main Event Winner|
|Drazen Ilich||Horseshoe Hammond Casino Champion|