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Jim Harnden Wins World Series of Poker Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club Main Event

Jim Harnden

Day 3 of the World Series of Poker Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club Main Event began with 21 players remaining from the starting field of 778. After about four hours, the final table of nine was reached. One of the notables who fell short of the final table was Brian "Stinger 88" Hastings. Having bypassed Day 1 entirely, he opted to buy in on Day 2 with a 20-big-blind stack, and made an excellent run, but came up just short in 11th place. Here's how the final table of nine stacked up:

1Jim Harnden2,259,000
2Jamil Wakil3,417,000
3David Stefanski934,000
4Matthew O'Brien2,676,000
5Drazen Ilich3,200,000
6Rob Williamson855,000
7Roman Valerstein1,458,000
8Sterling Savill246,000
9Chris Parsons500,000

It was a fast and furious start as pocket aces were aplenty. Chris Parsons was the first to fall when he ran {A-Diamonds}{10-Hearts} into Jamil Wakil's {A-Spades}{A-Clubs}. A {10-} on the flop was not enough to save Parsons, giving him the ninth-place finish.

On the following hand, Sterling Savill got his eight-big-blind stack into the middle with {K-Hearts}{J-Hearts}. Jim Harnden looked him up, but Matthew O'Brien picked up {A-Hearts}{A-Spades} in the small blind and isolated the pot. The board ran out {8-Diamonds}{5-Clubs}{2-Hearts}{J-Spades}{8-Clubs} and O'Brien's aces held to send Savill away in eighth place.

David Stefenski bid adieu in seventh place, getting his chips into the middle holding {K-Diamonds}{J-Diamonds}. Drazen Ilich had him at risk with {5-Spades}{5-Hearts}, but was not happy to see the flop come down {A-Diamonds}{J-Spades}{4-Clubs}. Stefanski took the lead, but lost it right back when the {5-Diamonds} smashed the turn to give Ilich the set. Stefanski still had outs to a flush on the river, and he made it happen when the {4-Diamonds} fell. However, that also filled up Ilich's boat to end Stefanki's run.

Six-handed play lasted for about two hours before Drazen Ilich met his end. A preflop raising war between Ilich and O'Brien culminated with Ilich all-in and at-risk holding {9-Clubs}{9-Hearts} to O'Brien's {A-Clubs}{K-Diamonds}. The {Q-Spades}{J-Hearts}{8-Spades} flop kept Ilich ahead, but the {A-Spades} turn vaulted O'Brien to the lead. Ilich wasn't saved on the river, and he was eliminate in sixth place — making five WSOPC Main Event final tables for him without the elusive first-place finish.

Jamil Wakil was the most aggressive player at the table and his aggression led to him building a sizable chip lead early on. However, two critical hands did Wakil in. First, on an {A-Spades}{Q-Hearts}{9-Spades} board, Wakil put Rob Williamson to the test following a three-bet shove. Williamson, with about 17 big blinds behind, called all-in with {K-Diamonds}{10-Spades} for a Broadway draw. Wakil was well ahead with {A-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds}, but the {J-Diamonds} nailed the turn. A stunned Wakil didn't catch up on the river, and his day was about to get worse.

Wakil was involved in another hand where his hijack raise was called by Jim Harnden in the big blind. Harnden then overbet the {K-Clubs}{K-Hearts}{3-Clubs} flop. Wakil called to see the {5-Hearts} turn, and after Harnden bet two-thirds of the pot, Wakil reraised all-in. He was stunned to see Harnden call and turn over {4-Spades}{4-Diamonds}, which happened to be well ahead of Wakil's {J-Spades}{7-Spades}. The {2-Diamonds} river ended Wakil's event in fifth place.

The final four players departed for a dinner break and when they returned a half hour later, the chips were flying. Roman Valerstein lost a race with {5-Hearts}{5-Spades} to Harnden's {A-Clubs}{K-Spades} when a king hit the flop. O'Brien followed him to the payout desk about 15 minutes later after a his river bluff with {K-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds} on a {J-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}{6-Hearts}{7-Clubs}{6-Clubs} board ran smack into Harnden's {10-Spades}{6-Spades}.

Heads-up play began with Harnden holding about a 3.5:1 chip lead and in two hands he had all of the chips. It ended when he three-bet shoved {K-Spades}{Q-Spades} into Rob Williamson's {A-Hearts}{K-Hearts}. The board ran out {Q-Clubs}{10-Spades}{7-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}{8-Clubs}, giving Harnden a pair of queens to earn the gold ring, as well as $226,395.

Final Table Payouts

1Jim Harnden$226,395
2Rob Williamson$139,574
3Matthew O'Brien$102,898
4Roman Valerstein$76,692
5Jamil Wakil$57,294
6Drazen Ilich$44,317
7David Stefanski$34,333
8Sterling Savill$26,930
9Chris Parsons$21,383

The World Series of Poker Circuit's next stop is at Caesars Atlantic City from March 1 through 12. For the remaining WSOPC schedule, and to find out when you can get in on the action, head over to

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