Day 3 Completed
|Blinds||30,000 / 60,000|
Day 3 Completed
It could well have been a long day of poker here at the WSOP-C Palm Beach Main Event if not for a dominating performance by Jim Harnden. The gregarious Canadian has just conquered the 778-player starting field here at the Kennel Club to collect his first gold ring, nearly a quarter-million dollars, and a seat in the National Championship this summer.
The final day began with 21 players vying for their seats at the final table, and it took less than four hours to shrink that down to the requisite nine. Harnden was well above the chip average by that point, and his day would only improve from there.
You might not guess it from your first peek at Harnden, but he is one aggressive, crafty player, and he really put the hurt on what was a talented final table. Early on, he took a big pot from Drazen Ilich in a four-bet pot that had Harnden leading the action. He fired again on a flop, then insta-shoved when the hit the turn. Ilich was forced to surrender, and Harnden moved across the three-million-chip mark.
Just a short while later, he was approaching five million after another four-bet pot. This time it was Matthew O'Brien doing the heavy lifting, but Harnden led out into him on the flop. O'Brien raised to 1.1 million, but Harnden shoved his right down O'Brien's throat, drawing a snap-muck and moving the eventual champion into the chip lead.
Harnden lost a big flip with to double Rob Williamson and his , but he rebounded very quickly. Jamil Wakil fell to him in fifth place in a whale of a pot that's certainly worth retelling. Wakil was the preflop raiser, and Harnden defended his big blind with . He led out again on the flop, then fired a second bullet on the turn. Wakil shoved on him in response, and Harnden made a fantastic call with his small pair to snap off the airball .
Harnden went on to KO Roman Valerstein in fourth place, then Matthew O'Brien in third place in the biggest pot of the tournament. O'Brien tried to run a big bluff with on a board. It's hard to bluff a man with a full house, though, and Harnden's earned him the knockout and a pot containing close to 80% of the total chips in play.
The heads-up duel was a quick, two-hand series that saw Rob Williamson dented and then eliminated. The short stack got his money in good with against Harnden's , but a timely queen on the flop was the card that slipped the ring onto Harnden's finger.
The 58-year-old contractor has thusly become the newest WSOPC Champion, and he was beaming with smiles as he fielded a few congratulatory phone calls and posed for the winners' shots. His first prize is worth $226,395, more than quadrupling his previous combined career cashes. The bragging rights are priceless, though, and Harnden will be the toast of the town tonight.
From our dynamic duo here in Palm Beach, we want to thank you for reading along with us, and we hope you'll join us in sending our congratulations to Jim Harnden, the champ!
Rob Williamson opened to 180,000 on the button and Jim Harnden re-raised all in from the big blind. An immediate all-in call from Williamson with put him in good shape to double against the of Harnden.
However, the flop came down and gave Harnden the lead with a pair of queens. The hit the turn, leaving Williamson just one card left to hit the seven outer to prolong his tournament life.
The short stack with six players left, Rob Williamson made a valiant effort. In the end he came up just short, finishing runner-up for $139,574.
Jim Harnden opened to 130,000 on the button and Rob Williamson re-raised to 375,000 from the big blind. Not done with the hand yet, Harnden four-bet to 800,000. A quick call from Williamson landed a flop to the board.
Williamson led out 500,000, but was instantly met with an all-in raise from Harnden. A quick fold from Williamson gave Harnden the first pot of heads-up play.
In a battle of the blinds, Jim Harnden opened to 125,000 from the small, and Matthew O'Brien reraised to 265,000 in the big. Harnden made the call to see the flop.
The dealer spread out , and Harnden checked to the raiser. When O'Brien bet 325,000, though, Harnden check-raised to 750,000. O'Brien made the call there, and he called another 500,000 behind the turn. The river came the , and Harnden wasn't slowing down now. He stacked up 1.1 million and slid it into the pot, but his bet drew an all-in shove from O'Brien. It was 4.485 million total, and Harnden snap-called.
"You're good," O'Brien lamented, and he was forced to show his . Harnden's had filled up on the river. When the stacks were counted down, Harnden had O'Brien covered by just 20,000 lonely chips.
In that monster pot, we've bid farewell to Matthew O'Brien in third place. He'll pocket six figures with a check for $102,898, and we're heads-up with a huge chip discrepancy.
Under the gun, Roman Valerstein shoved all in for what looked to be 1 million on the nose. Next door, Jim Harnden made the call, and the blinds ducked out to let the two go at it in a coin flip for Harnden's tournament life.
The flop was not at all good news for the at-risk player, and he suddenly had two outs or running cards as his only sources of salvation.
The turn opened up that straight possibility, but it would never come through. The river was the blank .
That's the end of the line Roman Valerstein, eliminated in fourth place. The start-of-day chip leader will cash a check for more than $75,000 as his consolation prize, by far the largest score of his live career.
In the small blind, Jim Harnden raised to 125,000, and Matthew O'Brien defended his big blind to go heads-up.
The flop came out , and it checked through to the turn. Harnden stared at the board for about thirty seconds, then flicked a blue T100,000 chip off his stack and into the pot. O'Brien quickly called. The river came the , and now Harnden slowed back down with a check. O'Brien checked it back instantly, and that was not what Harnden was hoping for.
"Jack-high," came the call from O'Brien as he prepared to muck, and Harnden let a smirk cross his face. He rolled over for the full house, and he'll add a few chips to his stack with that win.
The remaining players are on a half-hour dinner break.
Our final four have reached the dinner break. It was supposed to be a full hour, but they agreed that a half hour was more logical, and they'll be back around 8:25pm local time to finish it off.