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The dust has settled on the first World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit stop with Hollis Holcomb (cover image) coming out on top in the WSOPC Choctaw Durant $1,700 buy-in Main Event.
The Oklahoma native had won his buy-in amount for the tournament after winning a home poker league hosted in Bartlesville. He entered the second of two starting flights in the event and outran 975 others on his way to the finish line.
The road to victory was not easy for Holcomb who came up against seven-time gold ring winner Vincent Moscati heads-up. However, he didn’t take long to deny the latter his eighth WSOPC title and just two hands into the heads-up play Holcomb won his career-first live title, while at the same time adding an impressive $255,535 to his bankroll.
“You know the money is good but it’s different. I’ve been thinking about this ring forever. I finished third in the Tulsa series a couple of seasons ago and that has been stinging ever since so it feels good to bring this one home,” said Holcomb who dedicated the victory to his late friend Chris Ghylin. “I’d really like to say, I had a really good friend who taught me not only a lot about poker but also life. He passed away two years ago and he would have loved this. I wouldn’t be here without Chris Ghylin, he was a great influence on me and this is for him.”
Day 1A of the tournament attracted 354 players, and another 622 runners joined the action on Day 1B. Only 167 (Day 1A – 59, Day 1B – 108) among them were left standing when Day 2 began.
The event paid out 148 places a share of the $1,478,640 prize pool with a min-cash good for $1,273.
Some notables who managed to book a profit included Aaron Massey (21 for $9,470), Jean “Prince” Gaspard (39th for $4,555), Brian Green (48th for $4,068), Dave Alfa (74th for $3,101), Allen Kessler (87th for $2,900), Craig Varnell (103rd for $2,628), and Daniel Lowery (108th for $2,628).
It took 14 hours of grueling play on Day 2 for the field to whittle down to the 10-handed unofficial final table.
Day 3 began with 10 players, and on the very first hand of the day, Joseph Skinner (10th for $20,602) hit the rail.
The nine-handed final table was officially set with Shomari Williams (5,015,000) leading the charge.
Final Table Chip Counts
Several hands into the final table, Scott Hall was eliminated in ninth place. Not long afterward, Shomari Williams and former WSOPC champion Steven Williams were shown the door in eighth and seventh place respectively.
Matt Russell was eliminated in sixth place after his pair of sevens was cracked by Holcomb’s pocket jacks.
A few hands later, Braxton Dunaway’s pocket sevens were pitted against Vincent Moscati’s ace-jack. Moscati flopped a jack sending Dunaway packing in fifth place.
Holcomb claimed his next victim in Tommy Nguyen who moved all-in preflop holding pocket kings. He was in good shape for a double-up before Holcomb’s ace-five flopped two-pair.
It wasn’t long before Jess Solano hit the rail in third place, his pocket fives coolered by Holcomb’s pocket sevens.
The heads-up play between Vincent Moscati and Holcomb lasted all of 10 minutes, and the final hand was a preflop all-in showdown with Moscati showing against Holcomb’s . It was off to the races with Moscati flopping a flush draw on the rundown flop ,but the turn and the river denied Moscati his eighth gold ring, even as Holcomb emerged the champion and claimed his very first WSOPC ring!
Final Table Results (USD)
Content & Images Courtesy: World Series of Poker