The World Series of Poker Circuit Foxwoods $1,675 Main Event, the last of the 2014/2015 season, attracted 376 entries to Foxwood's Resort in Connecticut. That created a prize pool of $565,315, and after three days of intense play, David Kluchman emerged victorious to capture the $124,370 first-place prize, the largest of his career.
"I didn’t mind spending two bullets," Kluchman told WSOP officials after his win. "Things went badly in the first one, and I flamed out pretty early, but I jumped back into Day 1a in the third or fourth level."
Kluchman, who captured his first gold ring, went on to add: "The key hand came on Day 2 when I rivered the full house against a flush, but I had some luck too. I was all in and covered while behind twice during the tournament. Ran queens into aces, and I knew he had them from how he acted, but I had already committed myself and had to call. I told him ‘I know you have aces, but I’m calling, I just can’t fold… but I’m hitting the queen of hearts anyway."
Final Table Results
|1||David Kluchman||Lexington, MA||$124,370|
|2||Michael Thibeau||Whitman, MA||$76,883|
|3||Yasin "Blackjack" Ahmady||Portland, ME||$46,531|
|4||Spencer Champlin||Scarborough, ME||$41,777|
|5||Greg Himmelbrand||Queens, NY||$31,431|
|6||Seunghwan Lee||Albertson, NY||$24,026|
|7||David Grandieri||Danbury, CT||$18,656|
|8||John Lyons||Wilton, CT||$14,698|
|9||Aaron Smith||New Bedford, MA||$11,775|
|10||Will Failla||Smithtown, NY||$9,497|
According to updates from the event, boisterous poker pro Will "The Thrill" Failla was the first to exit the final table. It happened when Greg Himmelbrand opened for 50,000 and Failla three-bet all in to 183,000. Himmelbrand made the call and discovered he was way behind.
The flop was safe for Failla, but the turn wasn't. Himmelbrand spiked his nine, and then won the pot after the completed the board on the river. Failla took home $9,497 for his 10th-place finish.
After a slew of eliminations, Himmelbrand joined Failla on the rail in fifth place. It happened when he open-shoved for approximately 200,000 from the button and Kluchman, who was the chip leader, called from the small blind. Himmelbrand tabled the – clarifying he had shoved after looking at just the queen – and needed help against the of Kluchman. The flop gave Himmelbrand a flush draw, and the turn added a straight draw. Unfortunately for Himmelbrand, the river was a blank and he had to settle for $31,431.
"Too many outs syndrome," Himmelbrand joked. "Good game everyone, good luck."
After Spencer Champlin and Yasin "Blackjack" Ahmady were eliminated in fourth and third place respectively, both at the hands of Kluchman, Michael Thibeau found himself in heads-up play, albeit at a severe chip disadvantage. In the last hand of the tournament, Kluchman open-shoved and Thibeau called off his last 950,000 or so.
It was a flip, and while the flop didn't hit Thibeau directly, it gave him counterfeit and straight outs to go with his overs. The turn added more counterfeit outs, but the river missed Thibeau completely. Thibeau had to settle for runner up and a $76,883 consolation prize, while Kluchman clinched a spot in the 2015 National Championship.
It was a welcomed win for Kluchman, who often attends Vegas' popular annual BARGE meeting and plans to attend the WSOP this summer.
"I grew up playing seven-card stud and five-card draw for pennies really," said Kluchman. "Played a little bit online in the early 2000’s, but not much. Then I joined a home game and learned from some really excellent people. Can’t disclose any names, but they were members of the MIT blackjack team, so very mathematical types."
It seems those mathematical skills rubbed off.
The WSOP Circuit will conclude with the National Championship at Harrah's Cherokee from July 23 through August 2.
*Photos and data courtesy of the WSOP.