One of the biggest World Series of Poker Circuit events of the year concluded very early on Tuesday when Vanessa Truong topped a 1,164-player field for a $318,646 payoff at WSOP Circuit Cherokee Main Event.
Truong, a Vietnam native who now calls nearby Raleigh, North Carolina, home, works as a nail salon tech. It's her first recorded live cash.
"Can't explain it, kind of like a dream," she told WSOP reporters after the win.
Official Final Table Results
|1||Vanessa Truong||Raleigh, NC||$318,646|
|2||Daniel Pearlman||Hollywood, FL||$196,809|
|3||Joshua Horton||Rainsville, AL||$146,245|
|4||Dustin Nelson||Tallahassee, FL||$109,998|
|5||Jason Gooch||Vidor, TX||$83,756|
|6||Jose Anaya||San Antonio, TX||$64,532|
|7||Billy Cashwell||Stedman, NC||$50,302|
|8||Mike Horchoff||River Ridge, LA||$39,652|
|9||Corey Bierria||Atlanta, GA||$31,603|
The 1,164 entries created a massive prize pool of $1,746,000. Players finishing among the 118 paid positions included 2015 WSOP Circuit Cherokee champ Ryan Jones, David Bach, Leif Force, Chance Kornuth, Ari Engel, Marshall White and Hunter Cichy.
According to the live updates, Truong had one of the shortest stacks when the unofficial final table began, toting just 19 big blinds. That changed early on when she got aces in on a queen-high flop in a three-bet pot, doubling through Mark Petersen, who held queen-jack. He bubbled the official final table shortly thereafter.
With nine players left, Corey Bierria defended his big blind from a Truong open in the small, and the two saw a flop. Truong checked and called a bet and then checked a turn. Bierria shoved all in for the size of the pot, and Truong decided to call with . She was good against Bierria's and held when a hit the river.
After Mike Horchoff busted, Truong scored another elimination when her ace-queen counterfeited the pocket deuces of Billy Cashwell as two pair hit the felt.
Jose Anaya came into the event with two third-place finishes in big WSOP Circuit Main Events already this year, but he was stopped in sixth this time. He called for his stack when chip leader Daniel Pearlman put him all in blind versus blind. Pearlman had just but that was enough against when a four hit the board on the river. Anaya didn't improve.
Truong got lucky, busting Jason Gooch in fifth when he shoved in 10 big blinds with . She looked him up with . A king flopped to send Gooch to the rail.
Truong then continued to run hot, winning flips against Dusty Nelson and Josh Horton to take a slight lead heads up against Pearlman.
The match would end up lasting nearly four hours, with Truong leading most of the way but seemingly unable to deal a finishing blow to Pearlman. After being reduced to just about seven big blinds, Pearlman found one double but could not get a second when he ran into Truong's . A flop gave him outs, but running offsuit queens gave Truong the win.
Here's a look at all of the other players who collected gold rings at the Cherokee stop:
|$365 Reentry||Bryan Carter||$165,400|
|$365 Double Stack Turbo||John Nelson||$38,560|
|$580 Reentry||Jessie Bryant||$62,476|
|$365 Six-Max||Robert Hankins||$43,662|
|$365 PLO Reentry||David Chapman||$23,051|
|$365 Eight-Max Turbo||Ron Germany||$41,914|
|$365 Monster Stack||Ricardo Eyzaguirre||$74,853|
|$1,125 NLHE||David Aker||$70,731|
|$365 Turbo||Chase Blanton||$26,533|
|$365 Turbo||John Wilder||$34,055|
|$365 NLHE||Cody Pack||$24,622|
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