It was an incredible four days at Harrah's Cherokee where the first-ever World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event concluded with North Carolina's John Bowman topping a field of 856 entrants to win the title and $250,380 first prize. The Hickory, N.C., native also won a seat in the WSOP National Championship as well as a 2013 WSOP Main Event seat (a special prize for the winner here at Harrah's Cherokee).
Final Table Payouts
Only 11 players made it through that huge field to Monday's final day of play, led by Hugh Henderson who brought a hefty chip lead to Day 3.
After a slow-moving end to play late on Day 2, Monday began with rapid action as two of the short stacks — Mark Handy and Todd Osborne — got their chips in on the second hands of the day on their respective tables, with both being eliminated. Handy took 11th after James Kinney knocked him out, while Osborne took 10th following a hand against Kory Kilpatrick. Both hands, coincidentally, saw the short stacks all-in with small aces versus opponents' pocket tens, with the tens holding up both times.
Players then reassembled around the final nine-handed table, with start-of-day chip leader Henderson still in front. Before long, Jerry Monroe was forced to commit his short stack with the against Kinney's . With the board bringing no improvement for his hand, Monroe was eliminated in ninth.
The next couple of hours saw Raymond Weaver take over, winning pot after pot to move up over 6 million by the first break at a time when no one else had half that much. Then Jonathan Moseley was the next short stack to fall in eighth after his failed to catch up to Weaver's .
Henderson's Monday was a struggle pretty much from the start of the final table, and after steadily sliding throughout the afternoon, he finally was knocked out in seventh after getting his short stack in with ace-six versus Daniel Weinman's queens and not being able to catch up.
During those first few hours, Kinney pushed up the counts and was even challenging for the chip lead but lost a big preflop all-in pot with the versus Weinman's when four spades came on board. Then a short while thereafter, he was knocked out in sixth by Kilpatrick.
By then, both George Zinaty and Kilpatrick had become the short stacks with five left, and soon it was Weaver knocking out both in preflop battles. First, Weaver flopped a full house to knock out Zinaty in fifth, then the 69-year-old took out Kilpatrick in fourth by flopping the nut flush.
Weaver enjoyed a big chip lead at the start of three-handed play while Bowman found himself the short stack. But Bowman would double up once through Weaver, then soon chipped up to take the lead. Finally, Weaver found himself ground down to short-stacked status, then ended up calling a river shove from Bowman with second pair when Bowman had an ace-high flush, ending Weaver's run in third.
Bowman began heads-up play with more than 13 million in chips to Weinman's stack of about 4 million, and immediately began chipping away at his opponent. Finally, Weinman got his last chips in with the versus Bowman's , the latter flopped two pair, and two cards later Weinman was the runner-up and Bowman the champ.
It was a terrific time in Cherokee where the WSOP Circuit's North Carolina debut has been met with great enthusiasm. Next stop, Council Bluffs, Iowa, and you can find the remainder of the WSOP Circuit schedule on WSOP.com.
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