The 2014/2015 World Series of Poker Circuit completed its latest $1,675 Main Event at Choctaw Durant, a tournament that attracted 1,363 entries and created a prize pool of $2,044,500. After three days of play it was the Bronx's Jose Montes that captured the $352,669 first-place prize, the gold championship ring, and a seat into the season-ending National Championship.
"I can show my son one day," said the 29-year-old Montes, who has an 11-month-old son at home and another on the way. "Look at what dad won."
Montes went on to add: "Tournament poker is so tough. You get so close and it hurts when you lose. Still winning money and it still hurts. You want to win. I am a competitor; competitors want to win every time. I want to play every time and I never want to bust out. I want to win every time."
Montes, who plans to use some of the prize money to buy a home, notched his fourth ever WSOP cash after defeating a tough final table that included two-time ring winner Ben Reason, ring winner Ryan Tepen and circuit grinder Ben Keeline, who finished heads-up for $218,762.
Final Table Results
|1||Jose Montes||Bronx, NY||$352,669|
|2||Benjamin Keeline||Oswego, IL||$218,762|
|3||Douglas Fusella||Dallas, TX||$160,309|
|4||Nancy Nguyen||Denton, TX||$121,873|
|5||Marc Maxey||Prosper, TX||$92,779|
|6||Ben Reason||Whitehouse, TX||$71,455|
|7||Mohammad Abedi-Arani||Dallas, TX||$55,672|
|8||Alexander Greenblatt||Atherton, CA||$43,875|
|9||Ryan Tepen||Chesterfield, MO||$34,981|
According to WSOP updates, the first elimination of the final table came in Level 29 930,000/60,000/10,000) on Hand #8 when Tepen raised to 125,000 from early position and was met by a three-bet to 290,000 by Montes in the cutoff. The button and both blinds folded, Tepen four-bet to 650,000, and Montes five-bet jammed. Tepen called off for approximately 2 million and the cards were turned up.
The flop did not contain the ace Tepen was looking for, but it did give him a Broadway straight draw to a ten. Unfortunately for him, neither the turn nor river helped him and he was out in ninth place for $34,981.
After the eliminations of Alexander Greenblatt and Mohammad Abedi-Arani fell in eighth and seventh place respectively, Reason joined them on the rail in sixth. Reason, who won Event #5 $365 No-Limit Hold'em for $20,233 and his second ring earlier in the week, fell in Level 31 (50,000/100,000/10,000) on Hand #116 when he moved all in from the button for his last 1.8 million and Nancy Nguyen shoved over the top from the small blind. Keeline folded from the big and Reason discovered the bad news.
The flop provided little help to Reason, but the turn gave him chop outs to a queen. It wasn't meant to be though as the blanked on the river to send Reason home in sixth for $71,455. That finish, along with his earlier win, gave Reason enough points to win the WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant Casino Championship and a seat into the 2015 WSOP National Championship.
The WSOP Circuit Choctaw also held the largest event in the tours history. To read about Ray Henson's victory over 4,052 other players, including Poker Hall of Famer TJ Cloutier in heads-up play, click here.
From there, Marc Maxey exited in fifth after his failed to outdraw Keeline's , and then Nguyen met her maker 16 hands later when her pocket queens were cracked by a turned straight of Montes. On Hand #185, Doug Fusella exited in third place after running pocket jacks into Montes' queens, and that left Montes and Keeline to battle heads up for 44 hands.
On Hand #229 of the final table, Montes raised to 350,000 and then called when Keeline three-bet jammed for 4.1 million. Keeline tabled the , and he was ahead of Montes' . The flop didn't hit Montes directly, but it did give him a double gutshot straight draw. The turn was of no consequence, but the river was. Montes spiked his straight to send Keeline out the door in second place for $218,762.
Congratulations to Jose Montes on winning the WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant for $352,669, a gold ring, and a seat into the season-ending National Championship.
The 2014/2015 WSOP Circuit continues at Horseshoe Tunica from Jan. 22 through Feb. 2, 2015. PokerNews will have a recap of that Main Event upon its conclusion.
*Photos and data courtesy of the WSOP.