Tournament poker sees players rise and fall with regularity and one player clearly on the rise in the U.S. scene is Johanssy Joseph. Joseph, who honed his skills and built up his poker results in the Northeast, has banked more than $650,000 this year after adding a $210,737 score for besting a 1,224-player field at Poker Night in America Choctaw Main Event.
Official Final Table Results
The tournament carried a guarantee of $1 million on the $1,080 event, with 136 places paid. Matt Glantz, Esther Taylor-Brady, DJ Mackinnon, David "ODB" Baker, Craig Varnell and Justin Liberto were some of the players who cashed in the event but found themselves busted before the final table began.
The unofficial final table of nine began with Schuyler Thornton the first one out, according to the live updates.. He got top pair of kings in on a board but ran into ace-eight of Bob Beck. Neither player held a spade, so Beck scored the knockout after fading the two-outer. Beck didn't last much longer, choosing to jam from the small blind after three-betting tens and seeing an ace-high flop. Gints Galvins snapped him off with ace-king and that was that.
The players weren't too deep, with average stacks around 30 big blinds, so action continued to be fast-paced. Bart Bogard ran tens into Brady Thorpe's kings for his remaining few big blinds. Then, Thorpe, who held the chip lead with nine left, busted sixth. He also ran afoul of kings, this time with jacks.
A streamed final table was then set with Miguel Hernandez and one-time bracelet winner Adrian Buckley in the lead.
Buckley sent Galvins out first with the strong end of the queens versus ace-king race that saw both players brick out.
Jonathan Alfonso then shoved 14 big blinds over a button open from Joseph and got looked up. Joseph held to dominate Alfonso's . A chop would have been unsurprising as well, but a flop and running Broadway cards gave Joseph the pot.
Joseph had brought one of the bigger stacks into the final nine but let others get the knockouts. Finally, he defended his big blind with and saw a flop against Hernandez. Joseph check-raised and they got stacks in with Hernandez at risk for about 25 big blinds and no saving grace deuce arrived for Hernandez's ace-four.
Joseph and Buckley took to heads-up play with only about 80 big blinds in play and fairly even stacks. After picking off a bluff, Joseph moved into a solid lead and had Buckley down 20 big blinds. A big flip ended up being the decider, with Buckley showing down deuces and Joseph . A board of looked less than promising for Joseph, but a use of the "one time" was enough to bring forth an and send the tournament to Joseph.
Image courtesy of Choctaw Poker Blog