After three days of intense play, the 2012-13 World Series of Poker Circuit Horseshoe Council Bluffs ended Monday as the final 10 players of a 367-player field returned to battle to a winner. After seven levels of play, Blair Hinkle emerged victorious, capturing the title for the second time in three years, not to mention the $121,177 first-place prize and a seat in the season-ending National Championship.
Final Table Results
Action recommenced in Level 26 (10,000/20,000/3,000), and the first elimination occurred in less than a half an hour on a flop when Phil Mader checked from the big blind and Sean Small bet 102,000. Mader moved all in for right around 300,000, but Small couldn't call fast enough.
Small was ahead with pocket kings; Mader was drawing very much alive to an open-ended straight draw. The turn gave him even more outs, but the river was not one of them. Mader exited in 10th place for $9,275 and the official final table was set.
Less than 30 minutes later, Tim Hughes opened for 40,000 under the gun and Hinkle called from the hijack. The other players folded, so it was heads-up to the flop, which fell . Hughes bet 40,000, Hinkle called, and the turned. This time, Hughes checked and Blair bet 85,000. Hughes woke up with a check-raise to 185,000, Hinkle called, and the completed the board on the river.
Hughes returned to checking and Hinkle took the opportunity to bet 210,000. Hughes quickly check-raised all in for 468,000 and Hinkle seemed shocked. "Jesus," he said. "I guess I have to call." He did just that and was glad he did as his straight easily downed Hughes . Hughes, a 48-year-old business owner from Fort Pierre, South Dakota, was eliminated in ninth place for $11,457.
In Level 28 (15,000/30,000/5,000) when action folded to Mark Bonsack in the small blind, he raised to 80,000. Deeter then moved all in for 575,000, Bonsack snap-called, and their cards were turned up:
Bonsack's ace high was leading for the moment, and the flop left Deeter in need of either a king or eight. Unfortunately for him, he would not get lucky as the appeared on the turn followed by the on the river river. Deeter, a 29-year-old native of Longhorne, Pennsylvania, finished in sixth place for $23,448.
Later in the same level, Bonsack opened from the button only to have Cord Garcia shove his short stack of 425,000 all in from the big blind. Bonsack called with the and Garcia turned over the . Garcia, who was sporting a Run Good Gear hoodie, was in dire straits after the flop came down , giving Bonsack a set. Garcia needed runner-runner, and while the gave him a gut-shot draw, it didn’t come in as the came on the river. Garcia, a 23-year-old poker pro from Houston, TX, was eliminated in fifth place taking home $30,365.
During four-handed play, Hinkle opened under the gun for 90,000 and received calls from Brendan Waite and Small in the small and big blinds respectively. All three players checked the flop, and then Waite led out for 135,000 on the turn. Small called, Hinkle folded, and the completed the board on the river. Waite slowed down with a check and Small thought for about 25 seconds before betting 375,000. Waite responded with an all-in check-raise to 1.17 million and Small made a relatively quick call. Waite tabled the for a rivered full house, and Small slammed down his cards, the , in frustration. After the chips were pushed, Waite took over the chip lead while Small fell to the short stack.
On the first hand of Level 30 (25,000/50,000/5,000), Hinkle opened for 110,000 under the gun and Bonsack shoved for 580,000. The blinds folded and Hinkle made a quick call.
Bonsack was in big trouble and needed help. According to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, Hinkle was a 70.61% favorite, and Bonsack had just a 28.97% chance of surviving the hand. The flop dropped Bonsack's chances to 16.46%, but the turn gave him some hope by delivering him a flush draw and bumping it up to 25%. The dealer burned one last time and put out the .
There is no denying his poker prowess at the Horseshoe Council Bluffs. Last year he final-tabled the Main Event and ultimately finished in fifth place for $25,127, and not only did he make the final table again, he managed to win a ring in between. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to make it two, because he was sent off in fourth place with $40,627 and the consolation prize as Casino Champion, which locked him up a seat in the National Championship for the second year in a row.
By the middle that same level, Small had dwindled to 800,000 and moved all in under the gun. Hinkle folded the small blind, and then Waite squeezed out his cards in the big. "Call," he said as he rolled over the . Small's face dropped a bit as he tabled the inferior . Both players had a king, which meant Small's best chance of survival was a ten.
The flop was dry, though Small's supporters began calling for a diamond. "Three of diamonds," Small said. The dealer put out a three, but it was not a diamond. Instead, the turned. Small began to get up for his exit in third place after the blanked on the river. The hand gave Waite a 4.35-million to 2.95-million chip lead headed into heads-up play.
Hinkle managed to take the chip lead in a huge pot that took place early in the match, but Waite battled back. The two jockeyed back and forth until Hinkle pulled ahead once again and delivered the final blow.
It happened in Level 32 (40,000/80,000/10,000) when Waite limped from the big blind and Hinkle checked his option, bringing about a flop of . Two checks followed, the turned, and Hinkle led out for 125,000. Waite raised to 325,000, Hinkle called, and the completed the board on the river.
Hinkle checked, Waite bet 420,000, and Hinkle woke up with an all-in check-raise. Waite had about 1.3 million behind and thought long and hard before spiking in a call. It was the wrong choice. Hinkle tabled the for a straight, which bested the of Waite. The local pro was denied his second gold ring, but he had a $74,881 payday to help ease the pain.
Congratulations to Blair Hinkle on capturing his second WSOP Circuit gold ring and qualifying for the National Championship in New Orleans May 22-24, 2013.