Nathanael Kogel is the latest Main Event champion of the 2019/2020 World Series of Poker Circuit season after he topped a field of 983 entries to walk away with the Choctaw Durant $1,700 Main Event title, a $256,915 top prize, and a seat into the 2020 Global Casino Championship.
The victory marked Kogel's third ring at Choctaw in just two years making him only the second player ever to have acquired three rings at the Durant stop. Kogel's first two rings came back-to-back in 2016 and then he turned in two more final table appearances in 2018, which turned out to be a tough lesson for Kogel.
"I learned a lot of things since the last time I was here," Kogel said after his win. "Last year I played in three tournaments, final tabled two of them and I went in with the chip lead both times only to come out with two sixth-place finishes."
Kogel continued, "Those last two final tables were eye-opening for me. I improved on the mistakes I made and played some of the best poker I have ever played before today."
Kogel came into the final day as the chip leader and continued through to the final table where he eliminated seven of eight opponents. The final table dominance secured Kogel's third ring, which was a very emotional moment for him. Taking down over a quarter-million dollars to go along with it was rewarding as well.
"I didn't want to think about the money I was playing for," Kogel stated. "I mean a lot of people don't even make that kind of money in five or six years so to be able to make that in a weekend is pretty surreal."
Kogel added, "It feels amazing actually. I've been wanting it so bad, I have a lot of friends that have had a lot of success and big scores so I'm just really grateful, extremely grateful I was able to seize this wonderful opportunity I was given."
Main Event Final Table Results
|1||Nate Kogel||San Antonio, Texas||$256,915|
|2||Jesus Martinez||San Antonio, Texas||$158,793|
|3||Maxwell Young||Seaside, Oregon||$119,038|
|4||Andrew Barfield||Mt. Sterling, Illinois||$90,085|
|5||Dave Alfa||Las Vegas, Nevada||$68,829|
|6||Marquis McCain||Tyler, Texas||$53,097|
|7||Lily Kiletto||Kew Gardens, New York||$41,363|
|8||Mason Vieth||Windthrost, Texas||$32,540|
|9||Tim Burden||Rochester, Kentucky||$25,854|
Final Day Action
The final day of the Main Event saw 17 players return from Day 2, each guaranteed at least a $13,799 payday. Play started with an early bust out after Ben Thompson flopped top-pair but ran into Kogel's overpair. Thompson turned a flush draw but couldn't connect on the river.
Two more eliminations would follow before the first level of the day was complete as Nick Olivares ran his pocket tens into Tim Burden's aces, followed by Damarjai Davenport missing an open-ended straight draw.
Players would continue to drop with Bill Burford (14th - $16,822), Eric Salazar (13th - $16,822), Kevin Eyster (12th - $20,749),Paul Richardson (11th - $20,749) and Robert Keeling (10th - $20,749) setting the stage for the final table.
Final Table Action
Once the final table was set, it took almost two full levels before the first body was dropped after Burden raised under the gun and Max Young jammed from middle position. Burden called holding a pair of jacks while Young held a suited ace-queen. It wasn't much of a sweat for Burden after Young flopped the nuts to send him home in ninth place.
The next elimination happened the first hand after players returned from break. Mason Vieth jammed for 3.3 million after Kogel opened under the gun. The call was made and Vieth held a pair of fishhooks. They were no good though as Kogel held cowboys to send him out in eighth place.
A few short hands later saw Lily Kiletto's exit after she jammed with queen-jack off and was called by Kogel holding an ace-five. Kiletto didn't receive any help from the runout and Kogel won with ace-high ending her tournament in seventh place.
Marquis McCain would be next after he called Young's shove with a pair while the latter held two overcards. It wasn't a good flop for McCain as Young flopped top pair. McCain picked up a straight draw on the turn, but unfortunately the river was no help and McCain as he was tripped up to bust in sixth place.
The next elimination happened a few hands after players returned from their dinner break. Dave Alfa jammed his pocket fours into Jesus Martinez, who held a pair of sixes. Alfa couldn't find another four and the former Choctaw Main Event Champion bowed out in fifth place for $68,829.
Following Alfa's exit was Andrew Barfield, who got his remaining stack in the middle holding ace-seven offsuit and was called by Kogel holding a made hand of threes. Barfield was unable to pair either of his overcards and was sent home in fourth place for $90,085.
A few hands later saw another former Choctaw Main Event Champion eliminated after Young three-bet jammed with pocket fives and was called by Kogel holding pocket sixes. Young couldn't find a third five and Kogel's final table dominance continued as Young took his exit in third place.
The heads-up battle began with Kogel holding over ninety percent of the chips in play and the first hand saw him add to that lead leaving Martinez very little room for error. It wasn't long before Martinez found himself all in holding ace-five and Kogel woke up with another made hand, this time holding a pair of queens. Kogel found another lady on the flop to give him a set leaving Martinez drawing to running cards. The turn brought some hope giving Martinez the flush draw, but the river was a blank sending him out in second place for $158,793.
Also finding success at the stop was Andrew Robinson, who finished as the Choctaw Casino Champion. The seven-time gold ring winner finished off the series with five cashes, three final table appearances, and 90 points to earn a seat into the 2020 Global Casino Championship.
WSOPC Choctaw Durant Ring Winners
|Event #1: $400 NLH Monster Stack||765||$252,450||Cory Coffman||$47,458|
|Event #2: $400 NLH Double Stack||278||$91,740||Andrew Robinson||$21,263|
|Event #3: $400 NLH||898||$296,340||Neil Volaski||$53,796|
|Event #4: $600 PLO||154||$79,310||Matthew Laessig||$20,773|
|Event #5: $400 NLH Bounty||261||$60,030||Brandon Wilson||$13,706|
|Event #6: $400 NLH Turbo||255||$84,150||Jeff Hood||$19,338|
|Event #7: $400 NHL Double Stack||353||$116,490||James Duke||$25,400|
|Event #8: $400 NLH 8-Handed||209||$68,970||Melisa Singh||$16,720|
|Event #9: $600 NLH||248||$127,720||Kyle Birdwell||$29,564|
|Event #10: $2,200 NLH High Roller||108||$216,000||Gediminas Uselis||$60,710|
|Event #11: $1,700 NLH Main Event||983||$1,489,245||Nathanael Kogel||$256,915|
|Event #12: $250 NLH||494||$100,000||Rodney Spriggs||$20,317|
|Event #13: $400 NLH Turbo||289||$95,370||Michael Brown||$21,832|
|$250 Ladies Event||103||$20,600||Katherine Offutt||$5,885|
|$250 Seniors Event #1||334||$66,800||Frank Wyville||$14,705|
|$250 Seniors Event #2||385||$77,000||Scott Buller||$16,395|
That wraps it up for the live coverage of the $1,700 Main Event at Choctaw Durant but stay tuned as the PokerNews live reporting team will be in Las Vegas WSOPC at Planet Hollywood bringing you all the updates from the $1,700 Main Event and $2,200 High Roller so keep it here.