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Abraham Araya Wins 2011-2012 World Series of Poker Circuit Choctaw Durant

Abraham Araya

After three long days, the World Series of Poker Circuit Choctaw Durant Main Event has come to a close with Abraham Araya emerging victorious. For his win, he pockets $270,380 and a seat to the National Championship.

When action began three days ago, 978 players took to the felt to play for the title. The event saw a 21 percent increase from last year's field, giving the region a signature event that can draw players from across the country.

Play resumed with a staggering 30 players — a record number of returning players for a Day 3 this 2011-2012 WSOPC season. But that number was trimmed to 18 within the first three levels.

Another flurry of bust-outs within two levels brought the field to an official final table. The final table chip counts looked like this:

SeatNameChip Count
1Mark Burford2,575,000
2Daniel Lowery2,455,000
3Abraham Araya1,560,000
4Derek Browning3,700,000
5Justin Gardenhire1,000,000
6Dejuante Alexander1,350,000
7Will Nguyen3,860,000
8Jack Miller2,050,000
9Michael Sanders1,030,000

Dejuante Alexander was the first player to exit the final table. He moved all-in from the cutoff for 1.3 million and Derek Browning called. Alexander held pocket jacks but was up against {K-Clubs} {Q-Clubs}. A queen on the flop sealed Alexander’s fate he pocketed $26,069 for his efforts.

Justin Gardenhire three-bet Daniel Lowery preflop, only to see Lowery respond by shoving all-in. Gardenhire called holding {K-Diamonds} {J-Clubs} and Lowery had him covered and dominated with pocket aces. The flop came {K-Clubs} {Q-Spades} {10-Spades} to make things interesting, but Gardenhire never caught up when the board whiffed on the turn and river.

Will Nguyen returned from the dinner break with a fire in his belly and opened for 140,000. Araya shipped it all-in behind him and Nguyen said, “I was afraid of that.” He called anyway holding {A-Hearts} {K-Diamonds} and was racing against Araya’s pocket tens. The board ran {Q-Diamonds} {J-Diamonds} {2-Diamonds} {J-Clubs} {9-Hearts} and Nguyen was shown the door.

Derek Browning had a wild ride at the final table as his chipstack fluctuated from leader to the short stack. He made a huge call for his tournament life on a board reading {7-Spades} {5-Diamonds} {3-Spades} {10-Diamonds}. He held only pocket fours, but his instincts were right because his opponent only had two over cards.

Browning punted his chip lead by calling some big draws that never got there. On his final hand, he shoved on a {J-Hearts} {5-Hearts} {3-Diamonds} flop holding pocket aces and Araya called holding {7-Hearts} {6-Hearts}. A third heart fell on the river, eliminated Browning and giving an overwhelming chip lead to Araya — about 13 million.

Shortly thereafter, Mark Burford shoved on the button and Araya called from the big blind. Burford held {A-Spades} {Q-Diamonds} and Araya {A-Diamonds} {J-Hearts} was dominated. However, Araya’s steamroll run of cards saw him hit a jack on the flop and eliminate Burford from the final table.

Jack Miller’s elimination saw Lowery open on the button and Miller shoved. Lowery called holding {A-Hearts} {7-Diamonds} and was ahead of Miller’s {K-Hearts} {J-Clubs}. The board ran out {2-Diamonds} {6-Spades} {5-Clubs} {3-Clubs} {4-Spades} and Miller was eliminated by Lowery’s seven-high straight.

Michael Sanders had a painful elimination when he got all-in holding sevens and Araya called holding fours. The flop hit Araya when it fell {Q-Diamonds} {Q-Hearts} {4-Clubs} and Sanders was left hoping for a queen or seven. Alas, his outs did not come and Sanders was knocked out.

Heads-up play between Daniel Lowery and Araya didn't last long — less than an hour — and Lowery never got any traction. Lowery lost close to 2 million without any significant action. On the last hand, Araya held pocket fives and Lowery held {A-Hearts} {8-Clubs}. The board ran {9-Diamonds} {9-Spades} {4-Hearts} {J-Spades} {Q-Hearts} and Araya claimed the victory.

2011-2012 WSOPC Choctaw Durant Final Table Payouts

1Abraham Araya$270,380
2Daniel Lowery$167,230
3Michael Sanders$123,430
4Jack Miller$92,352
5Mark Burford$69,968
6Derek Browning$53,675
7Will Nguyen$41,679
8Justin Gardenhire$32,771
9Dejuante Alexander$26,069

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