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Four Players Chop 2014 Hard Rock Tulsa Main Event; Ross Bybee Wins

Ross Bybee

Ross Bybee, Brady Bullard, Vince Pironti, and Sam Panzica agreed to a four-way chop after a short negotiation to end the 2014 Hard Rock Tulsa Main Event, taking home slightly descending prize money in the order listed. Each player got at least $21,000 as part of the deal, while tour-sponsored pro Bybee claimed the first-place title, trophy, and prize watch. The four deal makers topped a field of 317.

Final Table Results

1Ross Bybee$26,440*
2Brady Bullard$24,460*
3Vince Pironti$23,760*
4Sam Panzica$21,000*
5Dan Martin$10,848
6Eric Bunch$9,352
7Gerald Kahl$8,603
8Clint Tolbert$7,855
9Noah Nodine$6,920

*Denotes a four-way deal.

Bybee also ran deep in the inaugural tournament this spring, when he finished second to Bernard Lee for $29,722. With this chop, the McKinney, Texas, native now counts just under $400,000 in lifetime live tournament cashes.

Fifty-two grinders made their way through the Day 1a and Day 1b fields on Friday and Saturday, but only 36 would walk away with money for their efforts. The bubble arrived just two hours after play began on Day 2, but it was quickly over when Rodney Spriggs flopped a set of twos and dragged a monster pot, busting John Newcombe in the process.

AP Phahurat, Day 1a leader Terry Presley, Ruth Hall, Brett Wells, Matt Bond, Ben Reason, and Spriggs were among those collecting payout tickets as the tournament was whittled down to the final table.

When Greg Jennings was crippled and then busted in two hands sandwiched around the dinner break, the final 10 runners took their seats at the last table in the room. Interestingly, the four eventual winners occupied the top four spots in the counts at that point, attesting to their consistency in the tournament.

Short-stacked Jerry Dixon was the first to go when jammed it in with the {4-Clubs}{4-Diamonds} and failed to improve against the {j-Spades}{j-Hearts} of Gerald Kahl. Noah Nodine went next, losing the majority of his stack when he tried to let Day 1b leader Eric Bunch barrel off on a board of {j-Spades}{8-Hearts}{k-Spades}{7-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}. Nodine called down with {k-Diamonds}{10-Spades} — top two on the river — but the {10-Diamonds} was the last card he wanted to see since it gave Bunch a Broadway straight with the {a-Spades}{q-Clubs}. Dan Martin finished Nodine off shortly thereafter.

Bybee looked like he might fall soon after, as he lost most of his stack when he bet-called the turn on a board of {j-Hearts}{3-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}{8-Spades} with the {q-Spades}{q-Diamonds}, only to see Pironti roll over a set of threes. He kept his composure, however, and after the elimination of Clint Tolbert in eighth, Bybee found another big pair, the {a-Clubs}{a-Spades}. This time, he held up all in preflop against the {10-Spades}{10-Clubs} of Kahl to send him packing in seventh and get back to big-stack status.

Possibly the most aggressive player at the final table, Bunch saw his tournament come to an end when he shoved all in during Level 21 (10,000/20,000/4,000) from the big blind for 243,000 over a button raise from Bybee, who made the call.

Bybee: {k-Spades}{10-Spades}
Bunch: {a-Hearts}{q-Diamonds}

The dealer spread a flop of {k-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}, giving Bybee top two. Bunch needed only a jack after the {7-Hearts} hit the turn, but the {q-Clubs} river wasn't enough for the former leader.

Dan "Wretchy" Martin was the final elimination in fifth. Martin grinded a short stack masterfully throughout Day 2, seeming to hover between below average and average the entire time. His final shove came during Level 22 (15,000/30,000/5,000), when he put in 385,000 or so under the gun and was called by Bybee, who flopped two pair with the {a-Diamonds}{8-Hearts} to all but end things for Martin's {j-Hearts}{9-Hearts}. Martin turned a pair of nines but found no further improvement on the {8-Spades}{a-Clubs}{2-Diamonds}{9-Spades}{q-Hearts} board, and the deal was done in short order after that.

The series will return October 1 at Downstream Casino in Quapaw, Oklahoma, just outside of Joplin, Missouri. PokerNews will be back on hand to provide live coverage, so don't forget to tune in then.

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