Redemption has been had, and the big, bad, live victory monkey is no longer on the back of Daniel Weinman. On Monday night, the professional poker pro earned the largest live score of his career by taking down the 2015 World Series of Poker Circuit Cherokee Main Event to the tune of $280,260.
|1||Daniel Weinman||Atlanta, GA||$280,260|
|2||Edward LeBlanc||Atlanta, GA||$173,286|
|3||Kelly Andrews||Florence, SC||$128,775|
|4||Fikret Kovac||Atlanta, GA||$96,809|
|5||Jerry Monroe||Columbus, GA||$73,614|
|6||David Hines||Vinemont, AL||$56,631|
|7||Bruce Webb||Oak Ridge, TN||$44,071|
|8||Virgil Beddingfield||Alpharetta, GA||$34,694|
|9||Hamid Izadi||Roswell, GA||$27,634|
For a man who entered the event with over $900,000 in career live tournament earnings, it might come of a surprise that Weinman had only landed a six-figure prize one prior time. Interestingly enough, that time was in this very same event back in 2013 when he finished runner-up to John Bowman for $154,772. That event had 856 entries, but now, two years later, Weinman topped an even larger field of 1,010 entries.
Two years ago in Cherokee wasn't the only time Weinman has come close to a WSOP Circuit main event title, either. Also taking place that year, he finished fourth in the WSOP Circuit New Orleans Main Event for $77,438. In poker, close calls can often haunt a player over an extended period of time, but that's something Weinman no longer has to worry about. A sign of just how happy he was to score the win, Weinman posed for his winner photo with a bright smile and a big, fat cigar in his hand.
"It's pretty awesome," Weinman told WSOP officials after the win. "I was in the same spot two years ago the first time they held this event here. I had the chip lead for a long time at that final table and couldn't really close it out."
Weinman entered the third and final day of the tournament second in chips amongst the final 20 players. He busted Susan Faber in 18th place and Paul Mattioda in 14th place en route to the final table, but then things got a bit harder. In the first few hands of the final 10, Weinman lost a good bit of chips before he started to chip back up in Level 29. Then, he took out Hamid Izadi in ninth place and moved to 4 million with the blinds at 30,000/60,000/10,000. Also in that same level, Weinman busted Virgil Beddingfield in eighth and climbed to 5.4 million in chips.
Bruce Webb fell in seventh place, David Hines was eliminated in sixth, Jerry Monroe hit the rail in fifth, and Fikret Kovac went out in fourth. That set up play for the final three between Weinman, Kelly Andrews, and Edward LeBlanc.
During three-handed play, Weinman found a double through Andrews in Level 35 with the blinds at 120,000/240,000/40,000. He then finished Andrews off shortly after when his pocket threes held up against the for his opponent.
Heads-up play started with Weinman and LeBlanc just about even in chips, but Weinman quickly hopped out to a nice lead when he took a chunk out of LeBlanc on the board. On the river, Weinman bet 2.3 million, and LeBlanc called. Weinman showed the , and LeBlanc mucked after flashing just a .
Not too long after Weinman pushed out in front, he sealed the deal with all of the money going in preflop.
LeBlanc moved all in from the button with the , but Weinman made the call with the dominating . The flop put LeBlanc in the lead, and the on the turn kept him there. Thinking that the ugly monkey on his back might be rearing its ugly head again, Weinman waited to see if he could nail one of his three outs on the river.
Lo and behold, the dealer slapped the on fifth street, vaulting Weinman back into the lead and giving him the victory. LeBlanc scored $173,286 for his runner-up finish, but the win, the $280,260 first-place prize, and all of the glory was shipped to Weinman.
Not only was the win the largest live score of Weinman's career, but it also moved him into the seven-figure club as he now boasts nearly $1.2 million in career live tournament earnings.
"I was actually really nervous" Weinman said to WSOP officials. "I haven't been deep in a big tournament in a long time, and I played 40 tournaments at the Series this summer. Something about the final day of the tournament — the pressure is real. I didn't sleep well, I couldn't eat this morning, and I still haven't eaten all day. This is fun. I forgot how fun it is making a final table."
It sure is fun to make a final table, but actually winning makes it that much sweeter.
*Image courtesy of WSOP.com.