"It feels so great when you run super hot!" Shiva Dudani said after taking down the World Series of Poker Circuit Horseshoe Hammond $1,700 Main Event, a tournament that drew 989 entries. Dudani took home $258,078, his second WSOP Circuit ring, and a seat in the 2020 WSOP Circuit Global Championship for his efforts.
"I'm so excited, it's so nice to win a tournament, especially as big as this one, and in Chicago, it means a lot to me," added Dudani, who has resided in Chicago for the last eight years. Dudani, who described himself as a pot-limit Omaha specialist to WSOP officials, spoke about the difference between playing PLO and tournaments. "It's more adjusting to the table here. I had aggressive players to start on my left, so I thought I should play tight to start. Then I had a big chip lead, and I wanted to play as aggressively as I could. In tournaments, the momentum keeps changing, things keep changing."
Dudani had to contend with the dangerous Casey Carroll in heads-up play, and the stacks were deep and nearly even at the start.
"I thought it would take a long time. He's a good player. I thought it was going to be a very long match, so I thought, 'Let's get comfortable,' and try to give myself the best shot to win." Dudani stuck to his game plan, and though it was a grind, he eventually wore down the talented Michigan native Carroll to notch the victory.
Dudani kept it simple and effective when asked about his plans for the prize money, which pushes his career earnings to just under a million dollars on Hendon Mob: "Spending money is easy, I'll find a way!"
Final Table Results
|1||Shiva Dudani||Chicago, Illinois||$258,078|
|2||Casey Carroll||Grand Rapids, Michigan||$159,494|
|3||Bryan Skreens||Winfield, Illinois||$119,606|
|4||Patrick Steele||Chelsea, Michigan||$90,543|
|5||Sachin Bhargava||San Jose, California||$69,197|
|6||Evan Bethyo||Buffalo Grove, Illinois||$53,394|
|7||Firas Sadou||Detroit, Michigan||$41,602|
|8||Hussain Sajwani||Chicago, Illinois||$32,732|
|9||Nicola Ditrapani||Streamwood, Illinois||$26,010|
|10||Voytek Glab||Des Plaines, Illinois||$20,876|
Day 3 Action
Seventeen players returned to the felt for Day 3, and both of the Day 1 chip leaders found themselves out of the tournament immediately, as Day 1a chip leader David Jackson (17th - $13,862) and Day 1b chip leader Giedrius Bagdonas (16th - $13,862) were both unable to rally short stacks at the start of the day. William Webb (15th - $16,925), Jake Bazeley (14th - $16,925) and Josh Reichard (13th - $16,925) all busted in quick succession shortly afterward.
Gregory Wilson (12th - $20,876) was coolered by Firas Sadou to bust next, then a short-stacked Tom Bouziden (11th - $20,876) was unable to win a flip against Day 2 chip leader Evan Bethyo to fall one spot shy of the final table.
Final Table Action
Voytek Glab started the final table as the short stack and found no traction as his jacks were cracked by the ace-nine of Hussain Sajwani to fall in tenth. Nicola Ditrapani would follow Glab out the door a few minutes later in ninth, then two hours would pass before the next elimination. Sajwani had dwindled down to fifteen big blinds when he ripped it in with eights, only to run into Dudani and his kings to bust.
Firas Sadou would exit in seventh when his pair of threes couldn't overcome the pocket sevens of MSPT Hall of Famer Pat Steele. Next to exit was the start of Day 2 chip leader Evan Bethyo. Bethyo lost a massive pot with top pair against the flopped set of Bryan Skreens to get short, and despite a few double-ups, he succumbed in sixth after he lost with king-jack to the ace-ten of Dudani. Sachin Bhargava, who never seemed to get any real traction at the final table, did manage to find a few ladders before falling in fifth place.
Steele already had an excellent start to his year, taking down the MSPT Cleveland Main Event in January for $124,461. He nearly added a WSOP Circuit Main Event ring to his coffers, holding the chip lead at various times at the final table, but ultimately fell in fourth after his ace-jack couldn't overcome Dudani's ace-queen in a battle of the blinds.
In October's WSOP Circuit Hammond Main Event, Skreens was able to earn a ninth-place finish, and his second consecutive appearance at the Main Event final table went significantly further in this iteration, but he ultimately fell in third when his last fifteen big blinds went in the middle with ace-eight. Carroll called with king-queen, and both a king and a queen on the flop to stop Skreens two spots shy of his first WSOP Circuit ring.
Marathon Heads-Up Match
Dudani started heads-up play with a slight chip lead over Carroll, but the duo would trade that lead several times over the next few hours. Dudani would spike a set on Carroll to jump to a 2:1 lead, then Carroll would take a few pots down uncontested. Dudani reclaimed his 2:1 lead when he got paid off with a flush, then Carroll clawed his way back to nearly even again. The blinds began to catch up with the pair, however, and in Level 35 (150,000/300,000/300,000), the two found themselves locked in the last hand of the tournament.
Dudani called a raise from Carroll on the button with jack-ten, and found trip jacks on the flop. Carroll, who held ace-queen, also hit the flop with a queen. All the money went in on the turn, and Carroll was unable to find another queen on the river. Carroll, who finished third in this tournament last year, was down to just four big blinds at one point with seven players left. He was able to nearly complete a legendary comeback story but ultimately had to settle for second place and a $159,494 payday.
Guillermo Vargas Wins Casino Championship
Also doing well at the WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond stop was Guillermo Vargas, who claimed the Casino Championship title with 82.5 points. That meant he too earned a seat into the 2020 Global Casino Championship.
Vargas got off to a good start by finishing seventh out of 2,169 entrants in Event #1: $400 NLH Multi-Flight, good for $16,972. He then notched two more smaller cashes before besting a 179-entry field to win Event #11: $1,125 NLH for $45,048 and his first gold ring.
"I feel pretty good,” Vargas said after his win, “This was my first Circuit series I decided to grind, and it was really a good learning experience.”
WSOPC Horseshoe Hammond Ring Winners
|Event #1: $400 NLH Multi-Flight||2,169||$715,770||Sudheer Some||$103,923|
|Event #2: $250 NLH Double Stack||541||$108,200||Xueying Zhao||$21,031|
|Event #3: $400 Seniors||275||$90,750||Simon Philip||$21,034|
|Event #4: $400 NLH Bounty||223||$53,590||Brad LaPayne||$12,685|
|Event #5: $600 Pot-Limit Omaha||167||$86,005||Emanuel Manioudakis||$22,053|
|Event #6: $400 Monster Stack||540||$178,200||Lukson Matthew||$34,748|
|Event #7: $400 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better||104||$34,320||Dragan Culafic||$9,806|
|Event #8: $250 Multi-Bag Bonus||1,039||$250,000||Andy Rogowski||$40,166|
|Event #9: $400 HORSE||86||$28,380||Brandon Nicholson||$8,593|
|Event #10: $600 NLH 6-Handed||190||$97,850||David Hengen||$24,364|
|Event #11: $1,125 NLH||179||$179,000||Guillermo Vargas||$45,048|
|Event #12: $1,700 Main Event||989||$1,498,335||Shiva Dudani||$258,078|
|Event #13: $400 Seniors||171||$56,430||Ken Baime||$14,467|
|Event #14: $2,200 High Roller||80||$160,000||Sergey Sergeev||$49,518|
|Event #15: $400 NLH||174||$57,420||Artem Zverkhovskyy||$14,566|
That concludes the WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond series, but PokerNews will be at Ameristar St. Charles next week for coverage of the $1,700 Main Event that begins on Friday, March 6th.