The third time was the charm for Will Berry.
After twice making World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event final tables, both in Choctaw, Berry broke through to take down WSOP Circuit Tulsa Hard Rock Main Event, the first Circuit stop at the venue. He topped a field of 574 for a $180,806 first-place prize, the biggest yet for the talented young Oklahoman.
"I've played a lot of these tournaments and never managed to finish better than fourth place," Berry told WSOP staff after the event. "So, to finally win one feels great."
Official Final Table Results
|1||Will Berry||Norman, OK||$180,806|
|2||Dan Lowery||Peter Pender, AR||$111,835|
|3||Jose Anaya||San Antonio, TX||$81,778|
|4||Tony Lay||Moore, OK||$60,683|
|5||Collin Grubaugh||Orlando, FL||$45,659|
|6||David Brown||Edmond, OK||$34,827|
|7||Garry Simms||Shelbyville, KY||$26,932|
|8||Hank Sitton||Greenville, SC||$21,112|
|9||Phuong Phan||Carrollton, TX||$16,772|
The tournament paid out 63 places, with Justin Gardenhire, Ray Henson, Matt Affleck, Maurice Hawkins, Jason Strasser, Ari Engel, JT Turner, Sal DiCarlo and Michael Hahn among those walking away from the final day with fatter wallets.
According to the live updates, four-time ring winner Dan Lowery was the man to catch with over 70 big blinds when the final table started. He got off to a strong start by eliminating Phuong Phan when his combo draw got there against top pair of aces.
One of the Circuit's most recognizable regulars, South Carolina's Hank Sitton, went down in eighth. He lost a race with ace-king to the pocket tens of Jose Anaya. Despite over $300,000 in Circuit cashes, Sitton is still seeking his first ring.
Anaya followed that up by eliminating Gary Simms with against . Then, David Brown was unable to get away from top pair of queens on a board of when Tony Lay turned a flush with .
Berry had come in as one of the bigger stacks to the final table, and he scored a big elimination of Collin Grubaugh to start his victory march. After Grubaugh opened under the gun, Berry three-bet on the button with and then called when Grubaugh shoved all in with . The flop paired both players but left Berry in command. He had more cards to fade when an hit, but the river was a harmless .
Lowery, meanwhile, sank under 20 big blinds at one point during the 25,000/50,000/5,000 level but managed to climb back to over 2.5 million when he doubled with against the held by Lay.
Berry then finished Lay off after three players saw a flop. Berry, who had raised from the button, found himself facing a check-raise from Lay after firing a continuation-bet. Berry called to see a on the turn, and Lay put the rest of his stack in. That's exactly what Berry had been waiting for, as he flopped a straight with . Lay had merely top pair with and was drawing dead.
Shortly after that pot, Lowery and Berry held the vast majority of the chips. After Lowery finished off Anaya with kings against , the two went to heads-up play with Lowery stacking over 8 million at 40,000/80,000/10,000 and Berry around 3.4 million.
It was all Berry from there on out, though. First, he made trips against Lowery's top pair for a sizable pot. Then, he put big pressure on Lowery with all-in bets that forced the Arkansas native to fold strong hands a couple of times. All of a sudden, their positions were reversed, and Berry had the big lead. He put Lowery away for good with against all in preflop.
"I just always had it," Berry said of the match. "It almost wasn't fair."
Here's a look at the rest of the ring winners from the Tulsa stop.
|$365 Monster Stack||Jerry Rushing||$34,280|
|$365 Multi-Flight||Will Joyner||$90,112|
|$365 Single-Day||JT Turner||$20,374|
|$365 NLHE||Jeter Brock||$14,586|
|$365 Omaha Hi-Low||Matt Lansdon||$12,181|
|$365 NLHE||Mike Klatt||$18,229|
|$365 Six-Max||Kevin Rund||$23,550|
|$580 NLHE||Sal DiCarlo||$29,502|
|$365 PLO||Mike Cordell||$14,661|
|$365 Single-Day||Chris Staats||$16,201|
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