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Christian Pham Wins World Series of Poker Circuit Caesars Palace for $214,332

Christian Pham

The 15th stop on the 2013/2014 World Series of Poker Circuit schedule wrapped up its $1,675 Main Event on Monday at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

The tournament attracted 697 entries to create a prize pool of $1,045,000. After three days of play, Christian Pham, who qualified for the tournament via a $200 satellite, walked away with the $214,322 first-place prize and a seat into the 2014 National Championship.

Final Table Results

1stChristian PhamSt. Paul, MN$214,332
2ndJonathan GaviaoGainesville, TX$132,622
3rdYu Sheng LinN/A$97,273
4thMichael MaLondon, ON, Canada$72,338
5thAndrew SapiroAlamo, CA$54,523
6thNancy BirnbaumLas Vegas, NV$41,642
7thOfer AkermanLos Angeles, CA$32,222
8thJesse WilkeKenmore, WA$25,259
9thChris LindhLas Vegas, NV$20,053

Notable finishes: Brandon Cantu (18th - $10,810), Arkadiy Tsinis (24th - $7,601), Brent Hanks (32nd - $4,893), Cody Slaubaugh (33rd - $4,893), Charles “Woody” Moore (34th - $4,328), Bryan Moon (70th - $2,927)

According to the WSOP Live Blog, Day 3 action resumed in Level 26 (15,000/30,000/5,000) with 14 players still in contention. That meant five players needed to go before the final table was set, and they ended up being William Chao (14th - $13,121), Philip Woerner (13th - $13,121), Ben Keeline (12th - $16,122), Chris Bonita (11th - $16,122), and Joseph Elia (10th - $16,122).

The first elimination of the final table came in Level 27 (20,000/40,000/5,000) when Chris Lindh raised from the cutoff only to have Jesse Wilke three-bet all in from the small blind. The big blind folded, Lindh called off his remaining 900,000, and the cards were turned up.

Lindh: {9-Spades}{9-Hearts}
Wilke: {a-Hearts}{a-Diamonds}

It was a bad spot for Lindh, and he failed to get lucky as the board ran out a dry {q-Hearts}{10-Clubs}{2-Hearts}{2-Clubs}{8-Spades}. Lindh, who finished Day 1a as a massive chip leader, was eliminated in ninth place for $20,053.

Nancy Birnbaum
Nancy Birnbaum

Despite scoring that knock out, Wilke was the next to go in eighth place for $25,259, and Ofer Akerman followed him out the door in seventh for $32,222. In Level 29 (30,000/60,000/10,000), Jonathan Gaviao, who won the WSOP Circuit Tunica Main Event, opened for 120,000 from the button only to have Nancy Birnbaum, the last woman standing, three-bet all in from the small blind. Gaviao snap-called and Birnbaum discovered the bad news.

Gaviao: {a-Spades}{10-Hearts}
Birnbaum: {a-Hearts}{5-Spades}

Birnbaum had some major kicker problems, and she’d receive no reprieve as the board ran out {q-Clubs}{9-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{7-Clubs}{7-Hearts}. Birnbaum not only took home $41,642 for her sixth-place finish, she was in the lead for the Casino Championship, which of course comes with a seat into the National Championship.

Nancy BirnbaumThanks for all the love and support took 6th place and a shot at casino.

After Andrew Sapiro and Michael Ma were eliminated in fifth and fourth place respectively, a lengthy three-handed battle played out. Eventually things came to a head in Level 31 (50,000/100,000/10,000) when a short-stacked Allen Lin opened for 250,000 on the button and Pham called from the big blind, which brought about a flop of {10-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}{7-Clubs}. Pham checked, Lin bet 300,000, and Pham woke up with a check-raise to 600,000. Lin responded by moving all in and Pham called.

Allen Lin
Allen Lin

Lin: {a-Spades}{a-Clubs}
Pham: {7-Spades}{5-Hearts}

Lin held the granddaddy of all hands, but Pham had gotten lucky and flopped trips. Neither the {K-Clubs} turn nor {10-Spades} river changed a thing, and Lin hit the rail in third place for $97,273.

Heads-up play lasted just a few hands, and in the final one Gaviao raised to 200,000 from the button, Pham called, and the flop fell {k-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{3-Clubs}. Pham checked, Gaviao bet 200,000, and Pham check-raised to 600,000. Gaviao then moved all in and Pham called.

Pham: {k-Diamonds}{2-Spades}
Gaviao: {a-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}

Pham was ahead with top pair, but Gaviao was drawing live to the nut flush and an over card. The {8-Spades} turn was of no consequence, and neither was the {5-Hearts} river. Pham’s hand held up, and Gaviao had to settle for second place and a $132,622 consolation prize.

Congratulations to Christian Pham, winner of the WSOP Circuit Caesars Palace Main Event for $214,332, a gold ring, and a seat into the 2014 National Championship.

The 2013/2014 WSOP Circuit continues at Bicycle Casino from March 6-17. Of course, you will be able to find a recap from that Main Event upon its completion right here on

*Photos and data courtesy of the WSOP.

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