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Mukul Pahuja Wins WSOP Circuit Harrah's Atlantic City Main Event for $148,345

Mukul Pahuja

The 2014/2015 World Series of Poker Circuit recently completed its last $1,675 Main Event of 2014. The headline event at Harrah’s Atlantic City attracted 460 entries and created a prize pool of $690,000. After three days of play it was the red-hot Mukul Pahuja who captured the $148,345 first-place prize, the gold championship ring, and a seat into the season-ending National Championship.

Pahuja accrued 3,450 points in the World Poker Tour Season XII Player of the Year race — more than anyone else in history – and amassed $1,447,742 in winnings. His five cashes and three final tables were more than enough to earn him that POY title, but one thing escaped him – a title. On Monday night, Pahuja finally received his long-awaited win, albeit in a WSOP event.

“I’ve been feeling great about everything I’ve been doing lately,” Pahuja told WSOP officials after the win. “But a lot of things have to go well as you saw today. A lot of guys got it in really good today and it didn’t work out. There were a lot of good players at this final table, a lot of high-level play and there were some crazy swings.”

Final Table Results

1Mukul PahujaCoconut Creek, FL$148,345
2Jake TooleHoboken, NJ$91,722
3Gajan JeganathanMonmouth Jct, NJ$67,006
4Michael DentaleBrooklyn, NY$49,673
5James PetolicchioSewell, NJ$37,357
6Adam TeasdaleWilmington, NC$28,497
7Jesse CohenArdmore, PA$22,046
8Joseph LibertaBerlin, NJ$17,298
9David MatthewsWinchester, VA$13,766

According to WSOP updates, Mike Dentale began the third and final day as chip leader, while Pahuja was one of the shorter stacks. Meanwhile, Adam Teasdale, who won the WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Atlantic City Main Event back in 2012, sat sixth in chips.

The first elimination of the final table came in Level 26 (15,000/30,000/5,000) when Pahuja opened for 60,000 on the button and David Matthews shoved all in for approximately 200,000 from the big blind. Pahuja called and found himself in a dominating position.

Pahuja: {k-Diamonds}{q-Spades}
Matthews: {k-Clubs}{7-Spades}

Matthews had kicker problems, and they didn’t get resolved as the board ran out {q-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{3-Spades}{q-Diamonds}{q-Spades} to give Pahuja quads. Matthews exited in ninth place and earned $13,766 for his performance.

Mukul Pahuja Wins WSOP Circuit Harrah's Atlantic City Main Event for 8,345 101
Adam Teasdale

After Joseph Liberta and Jesse Cohen bowed out in eighth and seventh place respectively, Teasdale followed them out the door in sixth. It happened in Level 28 (25,000/50,000/5,000) when he opened for 110,000 from the cutoff and was met by a three-bet to 245,000 by Pahuja on the button. The blinds folded, Teasdale moved all in for 1.2 million, and Pahuja snap-called.

Pahuja: {a-Clubs}{k-Clubs}
Teasdale: {5-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}

It was a race, and Teasdale was just looking to hold. That proved easier said than done as the {a-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}{6-Clubs} flop hit Pahuja hard. The {J-Hearts} turn was no help to Teasdale, and the {Q-Clubs} river actually improved Pahuja to a flush. Teasdale was denied his second title in three years and had to settle for sixth place and $28,497 in prize money.

Jim Petolicchio was the next to go when his {a-Clubs}{k-Diamonds} fell to Jake Toole’s {a-Diamonds}{7-Clubs} and the board ran out {8-Hearts}{5-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}. From there, Dentale exited in fourth place after his {a-Clubs}{5-Diamonds} failed to hold against the {k-Hearts}{10-Spades} of Pahuja, who made a flush on the {q-Spades}{9-Spades}{4-Spades}{2-Spades}{10-Diamonds} board.

For more on Pahuja, check out Rich Ryan's PokerNews feature Mukul Pahuja's Big Gamble, Leaving Finance for Poker.

During three-handed play, Pahuja won a big flip holding the {j-Spades}{j-Hearts} against the {a-Spades}{k-Clubs} of Gajan Jeganathan, which allowed him to enter heads-up play with a 5-1 chip lead over Toole. He put those chips to good use too and finished the job within minutes.

It happened in Level 29 (30,000/60,000/10,000) when Pahuja raised to 120,000 on the button and then called when Toole shoved all in. Pahuja tabled the {5-Clubs}{5-Hearts}, which was racing against the {k-Clubs}{j-Diamonds} of Toole. Pahuja was looking to hold, and that’s just what he did after the board ran out a clean {q-Spades}{8-Hearts}{2-Hearts}{4-Diamonds}{8-Spades}. Toole took home $91,722 for his runner-up finish while Pahuja captured the title and secured a seat into the season-ending National Championship.

The 2014/2015 WSOP Circuit continues at Choctaw Durant from Jan. 8-19, 2015. PokerNews will have a recap of that Main Event upon its concludes.

*Photos and data courtesy of the WSOP.

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