Chalk up another victory for Joe Kuether, as the Wisconsin native took home $93,599 and his third gold ring by winning the World Series of Poker Circuit Planet Hollywood $3,250 High Roller.
With the win, Kuether climbed closer to $5 million in career live tournament earnings and will only need another $78,000 score to eclipse that mark. He also moved himself into the 20th spot on the 2015 money list, leapfrogging Jason Mercier. On the leaderboard for number of cashes in 2015, Kuether remained in second behind DJ MacKinnon. Kuether now has 39 cashes on the year to MacKinnon's 41.
The $3,250 High Roller started on Sunday, Nov. 22, and took place over two days. Registration remained open until the start of Day 2, and when it was closed, a field of 104 entries was tallied with $312,000 in the prize pool. The top 12 spots were set to pay, and 30 players kicked off Day 2 action thanks to the late registrations of Paul Mattioda, Darren Rabinowitz, and Jesse Chinni.
Kuether got his day started by doubling through Dan O'Brien with pockets eights over pocket fours. But right after that, Kuether gave some back when he doubled up Stan Jablonski. Then, in the same level according to the live reports, Kuether busted Vincent Moscati, and he wasn't done climbing.
In the following level, Jonathan Tamayo shoved with the , but Kuether picked up the behind him and that was that; Tamayo was out in 18th place.
With 16 players left, Kuether earned his biggest jolt yet when he doubled through Jean "Prince" Gaspard in a hand that Gaspard would likely want back.
With the blinds at 2,500/5,000/500 in Level 16, Kuether raised to 12,000 from the cutoff seat. Joey Weissman reraised to 29,000 on the button, and then Gaspard reraised to 70,000 from the small blind. Play moved back to Kuether, and he shoved for 139,000 total. Weissman folded, and Gaspard called with the . Kuether had the and held through the board.
After Brian Green busted in 14th place, the tournament was on the bubble. No one wanted to bust in 13th, but unfortunately someone had to go. That player was Thomas Kearney, the man known as "Butters" in the poker community and who was the chip leader of the 2015 WSOP Main Event heading into Day 7 with 27 players left. His run there ended in 15th place for $411,453, and this time his run ended up Kearney finishing as the "bubble boy."
With the blinds up to 4,000/8,000/1,000 in Level 18, Jablonski moved all in from first position. Kearney called for less with the , and Jablonski had the . The flop, turn, and river ran out , and Kearney took his leave.
Chinni was the first to go in the money in 12th place, Chad Wassmuth fell in 11th, and Daniel Park hit the rail in 10th. Jablonski busted in ninth place to set the official final table of eight, and then it was time for O'Brien to hit the rail.
Sorel Mizzi busted in seventh and Gaspard was doing much of the dirty work until Weissman busted to Hans Winzeler in sixth.
With five left, Kuether was sitting with a stack between 10-15 big blinds, but he found a double up during Level 22 (10,000/20,000/3,000), again through Gaspard, to get over 500,000 in chips. He then busted Jordan Cristos in fifth place before winning another pot from Gaspard shortly thereafter to get over 1 million.
Gaspard then took out Justin Schwartz in fourth and Winzeler in third to set up heads-up play, but in between the two eliminations Kuether scored another big pot from Gaspard. When the duel began, it was Kuether's 2.02 million ahead of Gaspard's 1.08 million.
Quickly into the heads-up match, Gaspard doubled through Kuether to take the lead, but Kuether doubled right back to get back in front, with both hands happening in Level 25 (20,000/40,000/5,000). Then, right after the level turned, it was all over.
On the final hand, the blinds were 25,000/50,000 with a 5,000 ante. Kuether limped in on the button, and Gaspard moved all in from the big blind for approximately 850,000. Kuether quickly called with the , and he was ahead of Gaspard's . Thanks to a clean board, Kuether was awarded the title. Gaspard scored $57,851 for his second-place finish.
*Photo and information courtesy of WSOP.com.