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Damjam Radanov Wins WSOP Circuit Main Event at Harrah’s New Orleans for $147,514

Damjam Radanov

The World Series of Poker Circuit recently completed its latest stop at Harrah's New Orleans with the $1,675 Main Event, the cornerstone of the 12-ring stop, attracting 554 entries and creating a prize pool of $831,000. After four days of intense play, 33-year-old Damjan Radanov emerged as the last man standing to capture the $147,514 first-place prize, his first gold ring, and a seat into the season-ending National Championship.

"My best friend came to the States in 2004 and he said he had the best time of his life," said Radanov, who was born in Serbia but emigrated to the U.S. a decade ago. "Back then you couldn't get a student visa in your first or last year of school. I finished my third year of law school, so that was my very last shot. I just came to the States and I stayed. I followed my intuition all the way."

For the past six years, Radanov had been making his living by playing poker, and prior to his big WSOP Circuit win, his biggest score was $19,545 for winning Tunica's 2014 Southern Poker Challenge $700 Championship. He also placed third in April's Hollywood Poker Open St. Louis $1,115 Main Event for $19,030.

Final Table Results

1Damjan RadanovMemphis, TN$147,514
2David NicholsonPerkinston, MS$107,939
3Jared InglesDry Prong, LA$78,928
4Hugo PerezPlano, TX$58,569
5John LauveBaton Rouge, LA$44,068
6Anthony SanchezHouston, TX$33,614
7Tai CaoLafayette, LA$25,994
8Joseph AlesnaRichwood, TX$20,376
9John HolleyDestin, FL$16,188

The tournament attracted some familiar faces, including Chris Conrad (11th - $13,030), Terry Moore (19th - $7,329), Austin Buchanan (24th - $6,208), Loni Harwood (32nd - $4,055), Larry Wright (42nd - $3,241), and John Dolan (53rd - $2,950).

According to updates from the event, Radanov got off to a hot start when he eliminated John Holley on Hand #23 of the final table. It happened when Holley shoved all in from middle position and Radanov moved all in over the top to isolate.

Radanov: {9-Clubs}{9-Hearts}
Holley: {a-Spades}{q-Hearts}

It was a flip, but in this hand the proverbial coin came down in Radanov's favor after the board ran out a clean {j-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{5-Spades}{j-Clubs}{7-Clubs}. Holley, who was seeking his fourth gold ring, had to settle for ninth place and $16,188 in prize money.

Radanov's next victim came on Hand #54 when John Lauve three-bet jammed from the big blind for nearly 700,000 over Radanov's 85,000 button open. Radanov called with the {q-Clubs}{q-Hearts}, and held against Lauve's {a-Diamonds}{8-Hearts} after the board ran out {10-Spades}{4-Diamonds}{2-Spades}{j-Clubs}{3-Clubs}. Lauve finished in fifth place and took home $44,068 for his performance.

Eventually Hugo Perez and Jared Ingles bowed out in fourth and third place, respectively, and that left Radanov and four-time ring winner David Nicholson squaring off in heads-up play. The two battled for 22 hands, and then on Hand #229 of the final table, Nicholson limped the button before calling off for 2.175 million after Radanov moved all in.

Radanov: {q-Hearts}{j-Clubs}
Nicholson: {a-Spades}{9-Hearts}

Nicholson got it in good, but he fell behind on the {j-Spades}{6-Diamonds}{5-Hearts} flop. Neither the {8-Clubs} turn nor {4-Clubs} river helped Nicholson, and he had to settle for second place and $107,939. Interestingly, it was the first runner-up finish of Nicholson's career (he has six victories and five third-place finishes on his poker résumé).

Here's a look at some of those that captured gold rings at the WSOP Circuit Harrah's New Orleans:

EventWinner# of EntriesPrize
#1 $365 No-Limit Hold’emEddie Pepper298$21,455.
#2 $365 Pot-Limit OmahaJoe Castaneda91$8,192
#3 $365 No-Limit Hold’emYuval Bronshtein179$14,500
#4 $365 No-Limit Hold’em ReentryJosh Mancuso1,153$63,130
#5 $365 No-Limit Hold’emRyan Campbell192$14,976
#6 $365 No-Limit Hold’em Six-HandedCory Waaland215$17,415
#7 $365 No-Limit Hold’emMatthew Humphrey205$15,989
#8 $365 No-Limit Hold’em Monster StackChristopher Sheffield364$24,017
#9 $580 No-Limit Hold’emTravis Dorsey300$35,992
#10 $1,675 Main EventDamjan Radanov554$174,514
#11 $365 No-Limit Hold’em TurboVadim Balashov175$14,176
#12 $365 No-Limit Hold’emTravis Dorsey235$18,750

The 2014/2015 WSOP Circuit continues at Foxwoods Resort May 13-24. PokerNews will have a recap of that Main Event upon its conclusion.

*Photos and data courtesy of the WSOP.

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