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Brett Bader Wins WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee Main for $364K; Max Young Ships High Roller

Brett Bader

The 2022/2023 season of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit recently wrapped up a stop at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina. The series, which awarded 17 gold rings, marked the first of four visits the tour will play to the property this season.

Among those to capture rings were Shannon Hamblen, who topped a 2,726-entry field to win Event #2: $400 No-Limit Hold’em for $120,742; Michael Esquivel claiming his first-ever piece of WSOP gold besting a 443-entry field to win Event #10: $400 NLH for $29,108; and Eric Rivkin besting 423 runners to win the final tournament, Event #17: $400 NLH Double Stack, for $28,146 and his third career gold ring.

Here’s a look at the winners from the WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event and High Roller.

Brett Bader Wins Main Event for $364,104

This past weekend, the $1,700 Main Event attracted 1,558 entrants through two starting flights to create a $2,360,370 prize pool. It set a record for the largest WSOP Circuit Main Event at the venue to date.

The prize pool was paid out to the top 233 finishers including Michael Lech (11th - $30,618), Luke Blindert (13th - $24,842), Hamid Izadi (16th - $20,343), Shiva Dudani (27th - $11,817), Susan Murphy (31st - $8,629), Brett Apter (36th - $7,483), and Asher Conniff (38th - $6,553).

The final table was a stacked affair filled with accomplished poker players including MSPT champ Chris Meyers (9th - $38,083) and 10-time ring winner Jeff Trudeau (6th - $77,351), but it wound up being Brett Bader (pictured above) and Matthew Wantman battling it out for the title.

Bader, 31, wound up the victor to claim the $364,104 top prize, a seat into the 2023 Tournament of Champions, and his third career ring, the first since 2017.

"It hasn't really sunk in, to be honest," Bader told WSOP officials after his win. "I haven't been here in a few years, and the last time I was I finished runner-up to Leif Force in the $1k."

He added: “I'm just really grateful and glad I ran well,"

WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event Final Table Results

PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Brett BaderCoconut Creek, FL$364,104
2Matthew WantmanStoneham, MA$225,047
3Amir AtabakiAtlanta, GA$170,095
4Thong HoSummerville, SC$129,670
5David DowdyBall Ground, GA$99,714
6Jeff Trudeau Jr.Winter Garden, FL$77,351
7Bryan EmoryPlantation, FL$60,535
8David MosesAsheville, NC$47,799
9Chris MeyersKenmore, NY$38,083

Max Young Wins High Roller for 7th Career Ring

Max Young
Max Young

Meanwhile, Event #16: $2,200 NLH High Roller saw 205 runners create a $410,000 prize pool. That was offered up to the top 31 finishers, and some familiar names to cash but fall short of the final table were John Verdeaux (10th - $6,757), BJ McBrayer (15th - $5,672), Jesse Cohen (21st - $4,303), Ari Engel (25th - $3,618), and Jason White (31st - $3,391).

Coming out on top to claim $100,234 and his seventh career gold ring was Max Young, who marked his first victory in three years.

“It feels really, really good,” said the 37-year-old Young. “This is pulling me out of the worst downswing I’ve ever been in. It’s just been crazy.”

He added: “I’ve been studying with Chip Leader Coaching and Joe McKeehen’s my coach, he’s been helping me a lot, especially with sizing and stuff. Just getting some new perspective, so that’s been great.”

WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee High Roller Final Table Results

PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Max YoungNorth Palm Beach, FL$100,234
2Shankar PillaiEast Brunswich, NJ$61,949
3Thomas NewtonSmyrna, GA$43,581
4Marshall WhiteBoone, NC$31,292
5Matthew HigginsRossville, GA$22,943
6Angela JordisonBend, OR$17,184
7Anthony DorlanHendersonville, TN$13,153
8James AndersonPittsburgh, PA$10,295
9Bradley AndersonMissoula, MT$8,244

WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Cherokee Winners

TournamentEntriesPrize PoolWinnerHometownPrize
Event #1: $400 NLH Double Stack573$189,090Stuart MoodyCary, NC$25,241
Event #2: $400 NLH2,726$899,580Shannon HamblenSmyrna, TN$120,742
Event #3: $400 NLH691$228,030Christopher ReavesN/A$41,728
Event #4: $400 Seniors NLH925$305,250Richard FowlkesEnglewood, FL$51,755
Event #5: $600 NLH414$213,210Josh VanhooseHustonville, KY$43,181
Event #6: $400 NLH 6-Max786$259,380Brandon ZuidemaCorona, CA$47,422
Event #7: $400 Pot-Limit Omaha365$120,450Dominique MorrisonNeptune, NJ$25,290
Event #8: $400 NLH Monster Stack2,493$822,690Eric SnyderBrevard, NC$113,839
Event #9: $1,100 NLH415$404,625Matthew EmmelCharlotte, NC$84,297
Event #10: $400 NLH443$146,190Michael EsquivelClarendon Hills, IL$29,108
Event #11: $250 Ladies NLH198$39,600Donna PhillipsMebane, NC$9,550
Event #12: $1,700 Main Event1,558$2,360,370Brett BaderCoconut Creek, FL$364,104
Event #13: $400 NLH473$156,090Russell BrooksAtlanta, GA$30,623
Event #14: $400 NLH581$191,730Matthew StuffClarksville, TN$35,501
Event #15: $250 Seniors NLH914$182,800Richard TaylorCanton, GA$31,055
Event #16: $2,200 NLH High Roller205$410,000Max YoungNorth Palm Beach, FL$100,234
Event #17: $400 NLH Double Stack423$139,590Eric RivkinLaguna Woods, CA$28,146

The WSOP Circuit will now head to Hard Rock Tulsa from August 17-28 followed by Horseshoe Council Bluffs just outside Omaha from September 15-26. From there it will be stop at Aruba Hilton (September 22-October 2), Thunder Valley Casino (September 29-October 10), and Isle of Capri in Pompano Beach, Florida (October 13-24).

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Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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