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Kevin Johnson & Ben Thomas Lock Up Global Casino Championship Seats at WSOPC IP Biloxi

Kevin Johnson

The World Series of Poker Circuit wrapped up its latest stop at Mississippi’s IP Biloxi with the conclusion of the $1,700 Main Event, a tournament that drew 382 entries and created a $578,730 prize pool.

After three days of action, 27-year old Kevin Johnson prevailed to win $127,319, his first gold ring, and a seat into the season-ending Global Casino Championship.

“I felt pretty good coming into the final table,” Johnson told WSOP officials. “It was already the most I've ever won, so it was all a freeroll.”

Johnson also explained that before 2018, he had taken a nearly five-year break from the game.

''I've been traveling the Circuit most of this year,” he said. “I was playing in college in the early 2000's, and then I got a job and took a break. But I got back into it about a year ago. $10,000 of my win will go to the Main Event in Vegas.''

WSOPC IP Biloxi Final Table Results

1Kevin JohnsonBartlett, TN$127,319
2Luke GrahamPort St. Lucie, FL$78,678
3Matthew HigginsGulfport, MS$57,491
4Benjamin ThomasBaton Rouge, LA$42,687
5Timothy ConrowFredericksburg, VA$32,189
6Johnny LandrethLanett, AL$24,637
7Dave AlfaLas Vegas, NV$19,133
8Chris MattersLusby, MD$15,070
9BJ McBrayerTuscaloosa, AL$12,038

Others who cashed the Main Event were recent LFG Podcast guest Kao Saechao (10th - $9,746), Michael Lech (18th - $6,655), Blake Purvis (33rd - $3,212), Chris Conrad (41st - $2,626), and Dennis Brand (45th - $2,616).

Final Table Action

Another player at the final table was Ben Thomas, who had won a ring earlier in the series (more on that below). According to updates from the event, with four players left Johnson limped the small blind holding ace-ten and called when Thomas raised all in from the big holding king-three suited. Johnson flopped two pair and Thomas hit the rail in fourth place for $42,687.

Matt Higgins then bowed out in third place after his ace-eight failed to hold against Johnson’s queen-jack all in preflop. That set up a heads-up match between Johnson and Luke Graham with the former holding a more than 2:1 chip lead.

In the final hand of the tournament, Graham raised to 260,000 from the small blind and Johnson called to see a {5-Clubs}{4-Hearts}{7-Hearts} flop. Johnson checked and Graham bet 325,000. Johnson check-raised all in and Graham snap-called off for 2.8 million.

Graham showed the {6-Hearts}{5-Hearts} for middle pair with an open-ended straight flush draw, while Johnson was out in front with the {10-Hearts}{7-Clubs} for top pair. Neither the {9-Spades} turn nor {k-Spades} river helped Graham and he had to settle for second place and a $78,678 consolation prize.

Other IP Biloxi Ring Winners

Ben Thomas won the WSOPC IP Biloxi Casino Championship
Ben Thomas won the WSOPC IP Biloxi Casino Championship

Speaking of Thomas, he won the WSOPC IP Biloxi Casino Championship thanks to four cashes. First, he took down Event #4: $400 NLH for $12,659 and his first ring. Two days later, he placed third in Event #7: $400 NLH One-Day for $6,025, and the day after that took 13th in Event #8: $400 Monster Stack for $1,651. Toss in his fourth-place finish and it was more than enough to earn a seat into the Global Casino Championship.

Another big story coming out of the stop was Robert Matthews winning not one but two Seniors events. First, he topped a field of 135 entries to win the $250 Seniors I for $9,620 and his first gold ring. A week later, he was at it again when he bested a 136-entry field to win the $250 Seniors II for $7,615 and a second ring.

While they weren’t official gold ring events, meaning they didn’t count toward the Casino Championship leaderboard, Matthews going back-to-back was certainly newsworthy. Below is a look at all those who won tournaments at the WSOPC IP Biloxi:

WSOP Circuit IP Biloxi Ring Winners

Event #1: $250 No-Limit Hold'em Double StackSamuel Bowles266$13,035
Event #2: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Multi-flightDebra Irvine729$44,264
Event #3: $400 No-Limit Hold'em (1 Day)Paul Sokoloff109$10,791
$250 SENIORS IRobert Matthews135$9,620
Event #4: $400 No-Limit Hold'emBenjamin Thomas137$12,659
Event #5: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Six-MaxSley Sanchez146$13,731
Event #6: $400 Pot-Limit OmahaMatthew Silva75$8,416
Event #7: $400 No-Limit Hold'em (1 Day)Russell Sullivan152$13,539
Event #8: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Monster StackGavin Munroe352$26,278
Event #9: $600 No-Limit Hold'em Big-Blind AnteScott Brewster150$21,629
Event #10: $1,700 MAIN EVENTKevin Johnson382$127,319
Event #11: $400 No-Limit Hold'em (1 Day)David Valone133$12,287
Event #12: $400 No-Limit Hold'em (1 Day)Christopher Carey109$10,791
$250 Seniors IIRobert Matthews136$7,615
Event #13: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Double StackEric Salazar153$3,632

The WSOP Circuit continues January 2-14 at Choctaw Durant followed by stops at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, Horseshoe Tunica, and Milwaukee’s Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.

Images courtesy of WSOP

  • Kevin Johnson topped a 382-entry field to win the WSOPC @IPBiloxiPoker Main Event for $127,319.

  • Robert Matthews won two WSOP Circuit @IPBiloxiPoker events but did not win the Casino Championship.

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