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There wasn’t a plan in place for Mike Jukich (cover image) to attend the World Series of Poker (WSOPC) Circuit Horseshoe Baltimore Main Event but he managed to get some players to buy his action and the rest as they say is history. He came, he saw and he conquered his first WSOP Circuit ring along with the $165,438 top prize and a seat into the Global Casino Championship.
After a swingy tournament ride, the final table was mostly smooth sailing for Jukich. Jukich didn’t eliminate a single player until the final three, and only found himself all in and at risk once.
Post his win, the champion said, “They’ll think it’s kind of silly, but it did mean a lot to me to actually win one. I like that kind of stuff, like trophies. It’s really cool, even if it’s just the sentimental value. I just have to give a shout out to my fiancé, Ashley and my son, Ryker. That’s who I do this for.”
The $1,675 buy-in event was a smashing hit as it attracted a total of 513 entries, crushing the advertised $500,000 guarantee as the total prize pool amounted to $769,500. The top 54 places got paid.
Final Table Recap
The first two players to hit the rail were eliminated by James St. Hilaire who first railed Ari Eiblum with the former’s ace-queen against the latter’s ace-jack. Then he busted Paul Fisher with ace-king against ace-jack.
Next player to exit was Kyle Jensen, who shoved with ace-six and got called by Chris Caruso’s queen-eight. Caruso rivered an eight and that was it for Jensen
The eventual champion Jukich then took down a couple of pots from Caruso to put him in the danger and the latter eventually moved in with ace-five only to run into Hilaire’s ace-jack. No help on the board and the play was down to five handed.
Jeremey Stein eliminated Chris Conrad (5th place) and Kyle Adams (4th place) in quick succession. Then Jukich dropped to become the shortest stack only to rise up again and never looked back and won almost all major hands after that.
Jukich eliminated St. Hilaire in third place with ace-jack against nine-ten suited to set up the short heads-up match against Jeremy Stein and just a few hands later, he took down the title.
On the final hand of the event, Stein limped, Jukich raised and Stein 3-bet with and Jukich moved all in with . Stein called and the board ran out @12s and Jukich's pocket sixes won him the pot.
Zukich’s rail immediately came to congratulate him which included poker pro Alex Rocha. Zukich gave credit to Rocha too and said, “He helps [my game] a lot, man. A lot of credit to him too. He, Asher Coniff, Joe Liberta. They are like my main guys that I talk a lot of poker with. They’ve kind taken me under their wing and showed me a ton about poker. I look up to them.”
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Mike Jukich – $165,438
2. Jeremy Stein – $102,290
3. James St. Hilaire – $74,726
4. Kyle Adams – $55,396
5. Chris Conrad – $41,661
6. Chris Caruso – $31,780
7. Kyle Jensen – $24,586
8. Paul Fisher – $19,291
9. Ari Eiblum – 15,352