Maxx Coleman has done it, winning the 2015 River Poker Series $2,500 Main Event! Following 70 hands of final table action, Coleman finished atop the remaining 10 competitors to earn a career best $775,000 first-place prize and the right to be called champion.
It was action-packed day of poker at WinStar World Casino, with the cards hitting the air at 12 p.m. local time. Just over three hours after the first shuffle, Coleman defeated Joseph Skinner in second place and excitedly etched his place in poker history. Coleman won the event following a three-way deal with Skinner (2nd - $344,934) and Jake Haller (3rd - $344,934), and he nearly tripled his largest live cash.
The fireworks didn't wait long before they exploded, with Patana Pradith falling in 10th place within the first few hands of action to set the official final table of nine. His elimination allowed severe short stack Numit Agrawal to ladder up one pay spot and earn an additional $15,000 in prize money before he went on on Hand #8 of the official final table.
From there, Douglas Claybrook went out eighth, and Jose Montes hit the rail in seventh. For Montes, the $79,049 in prize money he earned pushed him to the just about the $700,000 mark for yearly earnings and provided another big result in 2015 for the man from Bronx, New York.
Then, with six players remaining, it was time for Coleman to really take over. On Hand #48, he won a big hand against Lonny Hardcastle and moved to nearly a 2-1 chip lead over anyone else at the table. Hardcastle then busted in sixth place, and that allowed for the five remaining players to earn a six-figure payday. After that, Barry Hutter fell in fifth place, and then Andy Andrejevic got unlucky to hit the rail in fourth.
With three players remaining, and Coleman having a huge lead over Skinner and Haller, the three opted to strike a deal that gave the lion's share of the prize pool to Coleman. Skinner and Haller chopped up the remaining money for nearly $350,000 each, and that was well over what second place was originally planned to receive. Then, the three players accelerated the blinds to 250,000/500,000 with a 50,000 ante and played to a winner.
Just five hands after the deal, Haller was eliminated by Coleman in third when his couldn't win against . Three hands after that, Skinner lost with the to Coleman's on the final hand. With that, the victory was Coleman's and he wrapped the shiny gold bracelet around his wrist and smiled for the cameras.
A regular cash-game player, Coleman adds this victory to a short, but impressive résumé of tournament results and now boasts over $1.2 million in earnings. Prior to this score, his biggest cash was in 2013 when Coleman took 21st in the World Series of Poker Main Event for $285,408. This past summer, Coleman finished in the money in five WSOP events, with his best finish there being a 10th-place result in the $5,000 Six-Max No-Limit Hold’em event for $42,032.