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Nick Pupillo Wins WSOP Circuit Thunder Valley

Nick Pupillo
  • Nick Pupillo is on fire. Weeks after a $217K score, he won WSOPC Thunder Valley for $170,286.

A couple of weeks after Nick Pupillo almost nabbed a big win but had to settle for second in a huge Borgata event for $217K, the Chicago native won $170,286 in prize money in the inaugural WSOPC Thunder Valley Main Event.

Pupillo, profiled here on PokerNews, won his second gold ring and appears to be on quite a heater after now booking his two biggest career cashes in a span of about two weeks.

“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my career," he told tournament reporters. "I struggled with, like, money management and stuff like that, but things are turning around."

Official Final Table Results

1Nick PupilloAddison, IL$170,286
2Dann TurnerCleveland, OH$105,281
3Casey McCarrelWalnut Creek, CA$76,911
4Paul RichardsonVernon, NJ$57,016
5Jed HoffmanReno, NV$42,879
6Paul McCaffreySan Ramon, CA$32,710
7Glenn LarsonOlympia, WA$25,304
8Steven TabbNewton, MA$19,855
9Roque QuiambaoN/A$15,800

The first WSOPC stop in Thunder Valley drew a solid 528 entries, paying out 54 places. Sean Yu, who has been on fire of late, cashed, as did Stan Jablonski, Josh Prager, and Circuit legend Charles "Woody" Moore.

The latter finished 11th after a tough beat when, according to the live updates, he called it off with {a-Hearts}{j-Diamonds} for 17 big blinds against a small blind shove and couldn't beat {q-Spades}{9-Spades}.

Final Table Action

Two-time Circuit ring winner Jed Hoffman scored the first two knockouts of the final table, first with aces against the nines of Roque Quiambao and then with {a-Clubs}{k-Spades} against the {a-Spades}{q-Spades} of Steven Tabb.

Glenn Larson followed in short order when his {a-Spades}{3-Spades} didn't improve enough against the {a-Hearts}{k-Diamonds} of Casey McCarrel.

Start-of-day leader Dann Turner then reasserted himself with three quick eliminations. First, at 30,000/60,000/10,000, he three-bet to 375,000 with {8-Spades}{7-Spades} from the cutoff after Paul McCaffrey raised it to 150,000 early. Turner continuation-bet for 300,000 on the {k-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}{2-Spades} flop and stuck the rest in when he turned open-ended with the {9-Clubs}. McCaffrey looked him up with {k-Clubs}{q-Clubs} for his last 1.8 million and saw a brutal {5-Hearts} hit the river.

Turner then won with {a-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds} against the {k-Hearts}{9-Clubs} of Hoffman and {k-Hearts}{10-Hearts} against the {q-Clubs}{j-Clubs} of Paul Richardson, both all in preflop.

Pupillo slowed Turner's roll by winning a flip with fives against ace-queen to double. He won another flip against McCarrel when he raised and called for 19 big blinds holding {2-Hearts}{2-Clubs} and managed to beat {9-Diamonds}{8-Clubs} despite {6-Spades}{6-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{7-Spades} hitting the felt.

Pupillo and Turner were nearly even when heads-up play began. Turner pulled away early and hammered Pupillo down under 20 big blinds, but he doubled up on a lucky three-outer. Pupillo would then win a key pot on a board of {8-Spades}{7-Hearts}{3-Clubs}{a-Hearts}{7-Spades}. Turner put in a check-raise on the turn but didn't follow through on the river when he missed a draw with {10-}{9-}. Pupillo had missed his own draw with {j-Hearts}{2-Hearts} but took the hefty pot with jack-high to grab a lead of better than 2-1.

Turner tried to get back in it with his own three-outer after pairing his kicker with {a-}{5-} against {a-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}. However, the dealer brought forth a {6-Spades} on the river to ship the pot and the win to Pupillo.

Here's a look at all of the ring winners from the Thunder Valley stop:

$365 ReentryDarren Bortmas$72,754
$365 TurboJustin Clark$9,989
$365 BountyTracy Oto$11,906
$365 Eight-MaxBrett Murray$9,817
$365 PLORoger Bailey$9,360
$365 Monster StackDaniel Evans$21,782
$365 H.O.R.S.E.Dennis Morrison$7,140
$580 NLHEAl Sanchez$17,919
$365 Six-MaxSean Yu$11,970
$365 TurboFrancis Witek$11,005
$2,200 High RollerJC Tran$43,500

Photo courtesy of WSOP

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