Ben Craig Wins Bally's Main Event Mania $1,500 Main Event

Ben Craig shipped the Bally's Main.

Ben Craig went from short stack to victor to take down the 57-entry Bally's Main Event Mania $1,500 Main Event for $25,834. He start the eight-handed final table with less chips than all of his opponents, several of whom had more than 100 big blinds, but it just proved to be a generous head start that Craig made up over the course of the next several hours.

With the win, the 32-year-old software engineer from Chicago added to $118K in career cashes, all coming since 2017.

"I've tried a couple of times going pro," he said. "I love coming to Vegas for tournaments."

Official Final Table Results

1Ben Craig$25,834
2Pete Dailey$15,964
3Lewis Robledo$10,467
4Viny Lima$7,195
5Terry Fleischer$5,196
6Mike Shin$3,954
7Daniel Sepiol$3,178
8Ryan Lenaghan$2,708

Craig hung around with a short stack as a fast pace was set by the other players to get down to the final table — and the money — over the first few hours of the day. Plenty of late-registering players helped boost the prize pool, with the likes of Mike Shin and Pat Lyons among those showing up to fire.

Pete Dailey, Lewis Robledo and Viny Lima had heaps going in, and indeed those three wound up four-handed with Craig while experienced players like Shin and Terry Fleischer went bust.

It looked like Craig would be headed to payouts in fourth when he got it in dominated with queen-jack suited against Lima's jacks, but a queen on the turn saved Craig and he then busted Lima in a flip.

Robledo and Dailey seemed determined to play huge pots, something Craig was all too happy to do as he caught fire, showing down some huge holdings such as full houses and aces up when he was committing large portions of his stack. A massive flip for more than 60 big blinds went his way to bust Robledo, and he suddenly had a large lead against Dailey heads up.

They played a big one on an ace-high board that Craig didn't mean to make large, but he misclicked in a min-raise when he meant to call a turn bet and faced a big three-bet from Dailey. Holding an ace and a weak kicker, Craig stayed sticky.

"I just thought he was spazzing versus the misclick," Craig said. "I thought about jamming. He was frustrated. I was making a lot of big hands.

"But, I figured if he river wasn't a diamond [to make a three-flush] and he bluffed, I could get the rest."

It was a diamond, but Dailey gave up, and Craig had him on the ropes. He then gambled with a flush draw and an overcard and got there versus top pair to seal it.

Craig said he plays most of his volume online, but he's been increasing his play as the live scene slowly kicks back up. He said he's on his third trip to Vegas since the summer, and he's $25K richer for his next shot, whenever that comes.

Bally's Main Event Mania Winners

Andrew Donadedian
Andrew Donadedian

In other news, Andrew Donadedian was the Player of the Series after cashing 11 times for 320 points and $31,863 in winnings. As a result, he's won a $10,000 seat into the 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event.

DateTournamentBuy-inEntriesPrize PoolWinnerPrize
12/13/20Event 1: No-Limit Hold'em$1,00064$56,640Tim Mercer$18,461
12/14/20Event 2: No-Limit Hold'em$80089$63,457Brent Hart$18,836
12/15/20Event 3: No-Limit hold'em$60060$31,200Mike Shin$10,476
12/15/20Event 4: Pot-Limit Omaha$40074$24,790Michael Hahn$7,677
12/16/20Event 5: $400 No-Limit Hold'em$40024$8,040Andrew Donabedian$3,430
12/16/20Event #6: $1,000 HORSE$1,00063$55,755Gary Kosakowski$18,181
12/17/20Event #7: $600 Pot-Limit Omaha$60056$29,120Jerod Smith$9,780
12/17/20Event #8: $250 No-Limit Hold'em$25051$10,710Luis Rosa$3,728
12/18/20Event #9: $600 No-Limit Hold'em$60052$27,040Dan Gannon$9,406
12/18/20Event #10: $400 Omaha Hi-Lo$40062$20,770Steven Jones$6,776
12/19/20Event #11: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em$1,00030$26,550Shohei Miyazaki$10,600
12/20/20Event #13: $400 No-Limit Hold'em$40037$12,395James Poper$4,678
12/20/20Event #14: $1,000 9-Game Mix$1,00026$23,010Sean Yu$9,813
12/21/20Event #15: $250 Triple Stud$25045$9,450James Scott$3,415
12/22/20Event #16: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha$1,00024$21,240Stephen Foutty$9,058
12/23/20Event #17: $400 No-Limit Hold'em$40026$8,710Ryan Tosoc$3,715
12/23/20Event #18: $250 Big O$25067$14,070James Poper$4,472
12/26/20Event #19: $800 No-Limit Hold'em$80025$17,825Matthew Faust$7,602
12/27/20Event #21: $600 No-Limit Hold'em$60025$13,000Greg Giannokostas$5,545
12/27/20Event #22: $400 HORSE$40077$25,795Gary Bolden$7,987
12/28/20Event #23: $400 No-Limit Hold'em$40054$18,090Ben Moschel$6,077
12/28/20Event #24: $600 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw$60041$21,320Denis Nesterenko$7,702
12/29/20Event #25: $600 No-Limit Hold'em$6008$4,160Paul Eidem$2,571
12/30/20Event #27: $400 No-Limit Hold'em$40078$26,130Gunner Patterson$8,091
12/30/20Event #28: $2,200 High Roller$2,20039$78,000Gina Stagnitto$29,424
1/2/21Event #29: $1,500 Main Event$1,50057$76,950Benjamin Craig$25,834
1/2/21Event #30: $400 Omaha Hi-Lo$40063$21,105Kassab Ama$6,885
1/3/21Event #31: $400 No-Limit Hold'em$40025$8,375Aurele Harroche$3,572
1/3/21Event #32: $400 Pot-Limit Omaha$40042$14,070William Wallace$5,083
  • The Vegas regs and traveling pros couldn't stop Ben Craig in the Bally's $1,500 Main Event.

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