Main Event

Event Info

Prize Pool $941,385
Players 647

Level Info

Level 29
Blinds 25,000 / 50,000
Ante 5,000
Main Event
Day 3 Completed

Congratulations to Kurt Jewell, Winner of the WSOP Circuit Harrah's Tunica Main Event ($192,984)

Chad_Holloway • Level 29: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante
Kurt Jewell WSOPC Harrah's Tunica ME Champ
Kurt Jewell WSOPC Harrah's Tunica ME Champ

After three days of intense play, the World Series of Poker Circuit Harrah's Tunica Main Event has crowned a winner. What started with 647 players, up 167 from the year before, had been reduced to the final 16 on the start of Day 3 action. After nine hours, Kurt Jewell emerged victorious to capture his third gold ring, the $192,984 first-place prize and a seat in the National Championship.

Speaking of the National Championship, it was confirmed on Monday that Matthew Weber captured the Harrah's Tunica Casino Championship with 80 points. That meant Weber and the eventual winner of the Main Event would punch their ticket to a $1-million freeroll, a fact not lost on the final 16 players.

After a long night on Sunday, players returned “bright and early” at Noon on Monday to determine a winner. It didn’t take long for the first elimination of the day to occur as short-stacked Michael “Carwash” Schneider failed to make a comeback and was dispatched in 16th place. Over the course of the next couple of hours, he was followed out the door by Kyle Hamlin (15th-$11,814), Frank Mull (14th-$11,814), Doug “Rico” Carli (13th-$11,814), Jae Chang (12th-$14,516), and John Cecil (11th-$14,516).

At about the same time as Cecil’s elimination, a hand developed at the other table that saw Houston White call a raise of 52,000, only to have Jacob Bazeley three-bet to 175,000 from the small blind. The original raiser folded, Houston made the call, and the flop fell {2-}{2-}{4-}. Bazeley bet 150,000, Houston moved all in for around 650,000, and Bazeley called with {9-}{9-}. Houston tabled {7-}{7-} and couldn’t catch as both the turn and river blanked. Just like that, the final table was burst.

Here’s a look at how the official final table of nine stacked up:

Harrah’s Tunica Final Table

SeatPlayerChip Count
1Todd Chew514,000
2Jacob Bazeley2,200,000
3Dan Blakeman1,930,000
4Ray Weaver924,000
5Dustin Gardner1,129,000
6Michael “Great MJ” Cooper763,000
7Steve McClusky1,200,000
8Kurt Jewell1,275,000
9Chris Thompson3,400,000

It took less than a half hour for the first elimination to occur at the final table and happened when Steve McClusky opened the action with a raise to 80,000 and Ray Weaver called from the small blind. The flop came {A-Hearts} {7-Hearts} {J-Clubs} , Weaver checked and McClusky bet 200,000. Weaver called to see the {K-Clubs} turn and checked. McClusky moved all in and Weaver called.


McClusky{A-Clubs} {J-Spades}
Weaver{A-Diamonds} {Q-Clubs}

McClusky flopped two pair but Weaver was drawing live to a straight and a queen. Unfortunately for him, the {4-Spades} river was a blank and Weaver, who had finished as the chip leader on Day 1a, was eliminated in ninth place.

Todd Chew was the next to go after he ran top-two pair into the jack-high straight of Chris Thompson, and he was followed out the door by Michael "Great MJ" Cooper, who’s {K-Clubs}{K-Spades} was cracked by the {8-Hearts}{8-Clubs} of Bazeley when the board ran out {9-Hearts}{8-Spades}{3-Clubs}{Q-Clubs}{9-Spades}. A short time later, McClusky was sent to the payout desk in sixth place and left just five players, which is when one of the most interesting hands at the final table developed.

It happened after action folded around to Dustin Gardner in the small blind and he limped, inspiring Kurt Jewell, who was at the final table for the second year in a row, to exercise his option in the big with a raise to 115,000. Gardner looked at his opponent for a few moments before announcing all in for 1.44 million total.

Jewell seem interested but took his time and asked for a count. About 30 seconds later, he slid in a stack to represent a call.



Gardner clapped his hands together and was clearly excited he got it in good, but things grew serious on the {6-Clubs}{10-Spades}{J-Clubs} flop. Jewell had picked up an open-ended straight draw and a flush draw, so things were still very much up for grabs. The {7-Hearts} turn was of no consequence, but the {A-Hearts} river was. Jewell hit Broadway as he went to the rail to celebrate with his friends; meanwhile, a downtrodden Gardner shook hands with the table and made his exit in fifth place.

As if that hand wasn’t exciting enough, Bazeley and Jewell created a monster pot when the former got all in holding {A-Hearts}{9-Diamonds} on a {4-Hearts}{9-Spades}{4-Clubs} flop only to run into the {4-Spades}{4-Diamonds} of the latter. A shell-shocked Bazeley was eliminated in fourth place while Jewell vaulted into the chip lead.

The next to go was Dan Blakeman, who had started the day as the chip leader. He grew short stacked and was unable to make a comeback when his {A-Hearts}{6-Diamonds} failed to pull ahead of Jewell’s {J-Spades}{J-Clubs}. Blakeman’s elimination left Jewell taking 7,200,000 chips into heads-up play against Chris Thompson, who had 5,665,000.

It was a good match as the two swapped the chip lead back and forth, but it was Jewell who was out in front when the final hand developed. It was also Jewell who was out in front when the hand ended. The victory was especially satisfying to Jewell who squandered a golden opportunity in this event last year when he held over half the chips in play with eight players left only to finish in eighth place. On Monday evening, Jewell was back at the final table and showed the world that he had more focus, more determination, and more importantly, the will to win.

Harrah’s Tunica Final Table Results

1stKurt Jewell$192,984
2ndChris Thompson$119,415
3rdDan Blakeman$87,586
4thJacob Bazeley$65,134
5thDustin Gardner$49,093
6thSteve McClusky$37,495
7thMichael “Great MJ” Cooper$29,013
8thTodd Chew$22,744
9thRay Weaver$18,056

Tags: Kurt Jewell

Chris Thompson Eliminated in 2nd Place ($119,415)

Paul_Oresteen • Level 29: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante
Chris Thompson 2nd Place.
Chris Thompson 2nd Place.

Chris Thompson opened on the button for 125,000 and Kurt Jewell made it 325,000 more to go. Thompson grabbed a handful chips and put in another raise to 550,000 more.

Jewell responded by announcing all in and Thompson sat still for a moment. Tension was high and then Thompson announced call.

Thompson: {10-Hearts} {10-Clubs}
Jewell: {Q-Spades} {J-Spades}

The flop came {K-Clubs} {7-Diamonds} {J-Hearts} and gave Jewell the lead. The turn produced the {10-Diamonds} and gave Thompson a set. Thompson fist pumped and shouted "Yes!"

But then he realized the card gave Jewell a straight draw. The river came....{9-Hearts} and filled Jewell's straight and handed him the title.

Tags: Kurt JewellChris Thompson



Chris Thompson opened for 150,000 only to have Kurt Jewel three-bet to 450,000. Thompson made the call and then led out for 450,000 after Jewell checked the {4-Hearts}{A-Hearts}{K-Diamonds} flop. Jewell made the call and then both players checked down the {A-Spades} turn and {8-Spades} river.

"Queens," Jewell said as he rolled over {Q-Spades}{Q-Hearts}. It was good.

Kurt Jewell us
Kurt Jewell
us 7,960,000 900,000
Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson
4,900,000 -900,000

Tags: Chris ThompsonKurt Jewell

Jewell Back in the Chip Lead


Kurt Jewell raised to 125,000 and was called by Chris Thompson, which brought about a flop of {5-Spades}{10-Diamonds}{K-Hearts}. Thompson checked, Jewell bet 150,000, Thompson check-raised to 400,000, and Jewell made the call. When the {8-Hearts} hit the turn, Thompson led out for 550,000 and Jewell moved all in for 2,065,000 more.

Thompson asked for a count, leaned back in his chair, thought about it, and then quietly announced a call.



"Yup, I need a nine," Thompson said in his southern drawl after seeing Jewell's cards. Neither player seemed the least bit surprised when it didn't come on the river, instead having the {4-Spades} hit the board. With that, Jewell is back in the chip lead.

Kurt Jewell us
Kurt Jewell
us 7,060,000 2,460,000
Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson
5,800,000 -2,460,000

Tags: Chris ThompsonKurt Jewell

Thompson Chipping Away

Paul_Oresteen • Level 29: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante

Kurt Jewell opened on the button for 125,000 and Chris Thompson added an additional 300,000. Jewell called and the flop came {Q-Spades} {3-Clubs} {Q-Clubs}. Both players checked and the turn came {J-Hearts}. Both players checked again and the {4-Clubs} fell on the river. Thompson bet out 400,000 and Jewell folded.

"We're about to play a big pot here in a minute, aren't we?" Thompson asked.

"For sure," Jewell said.

We're standing by for fireworks.

Tags: Chris ThompsonKurt Jewell

Small Ball Poker

Paul_Oresteen • Level 29: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante

Chris Thompson and Kurt Jewell have played pretty conservatively, neither wanting to make an early mistake. They are pretty deep stacked with relatively low blinds, so we could be here a while.

Another for Thompson


With 535,000 in the pot and a board reading {10-Hearts}{6-Spades}{J-Clubs}{8-Hearts}, Chris Thompson checked, Kurt Jewell bet 325,000, and Thompson check-min-raised to 650,000. Jewell made the call and then both players checked the {A-Spades} river. Thompson revealed {9-Diamonds}{7-Clubs} for a straight and took down the pot.

While Thompson one that pot, he basically reset back to the last chips counts we had reported as Jewell had managed to win a few pots prior.

Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson
Kurt Jewell us
Kurt Jewell
us 4,600,000

Tags: Chris ThompsonKurt Jewell

First Blood to Thompson


Chris Thompson was first to act and raised to 175,000, which Kurt Jewell called. When the flop fell {7-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{Q-Hearts}, Jewell check-called a bet of 300,000, and the {Q-Clubs} was put out on the turn. Again Jewell check-called a bet, this time 500,000, before the {10-Spades} was revealed on the river.

Jewell checked for a third time, and Thompson fired out a stack of baby blues, constituting a bet of 1 million. Jewell took about ten seconds before making the call, only to muck when Thompson rolled over {Q-Hearts}{8-Spades}.

Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson
8,260,000 2,600,000
Kurt Jewell us
Kurt Jewell
us 4,600,000 -2,600,000

Tags: Kurt JewellChris Thompson