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The 2018 World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Harveys Lake Tahoe $1,700 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Main Event was a three-day long extravaganza which culminated in a prize pool of $669,630 through 442 entries. Outlasting them all, 30-year-old San Jose resident Scott Sanders (cover image) emerged as the champion and claimed his second WSOPC gold ring at the series, while also posting his best live score of $147,314.
Sanders first-ever score came in the $565 No Limit Hold’em The Colossus at the 2015 WSOP. Since then he has accumulated over 20 cashes in various events and has total live earnings of $327,401. He won his maiden WSOPC ring at the $400 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack this series for $25,201.
Indian-origin Jasthi Kumar, who had previously won the $600 Big Blind Ante No-Limit Hold’em where he bested a 181-strong entry field to win $24,238 (₹17.67 Lakhs), was also seen in action at this event. He finished 40th for $3,027 (₹2.18 Lakhs).
45 places were assured payouts which included WSOP Circuit regulars like Anthony Ajlouny (11th for $11,277), Joseph Bartholdi (14th for $9,254), Francis Nguyen (17th for $7,701), Justo Avalos (20th for $6,489), Khoa Tran (23rd for $5,538), James Garst (26th for $4,788), Adam Owen (28th for $4,192), Steve Foutty (33rd for $3,716), Jesse Kertland (35th for $3,335), Virginia Neely (39th for $3,027) and Robert Gibson (42nd for $3,027).
1. Ian Steinman – 2,318,000
2. Brett Murray – 2,300,000
3. Scott Sanders – 1,670,000
4. Robert Georato – 1,524,000
5. Nick Pupillo – 1,404,000
6. Dann Turner – 1,100,000
7. David Valdez – 1,065,000
8. Stephen Song – 804,000
9. Ryan Stoker – 397,000
10. Michael Hubbard – 370,000
Right at the start of level 26, Scott Sanders opened from the middle position with a raise of 100,000 and David Valdez 3-bet to 265,000. Sanders moved all-in with and Sanders Valdez called with . The board ran out and Sanders rivered a full house to crack Valdez’s pocket aces that could only improve to two pairs on the rundown. Valdez missed the final table by a whisker and ended his run in 10th place for $11,277.
Early into the nine-handed final table, Brett Murray fired a bet of 90,000 from the cutoff holding and Robert Georato shoved all-in from the big blind with . The board ran and Murray hit two pairs of aces and jacks on the turn to eliminate Georato in ninth place.
Following Georato to the rail was another short-stacked player Michael Hubbard. When Stephen Song limped in from the hijack and Hubbard moved all-in from the button for about 305,000. Ian Steinman called from the small blind, prompting Song to fold. While Steinman held , Hubbard was at risk with . The dealer dealt out and Steinman improved his hand to three-of-a-kind kings, leading to Hubbard’s eighth place exit.
Next to go was Ian Steinman who pitted his against Sanders’ . With the runout revealing , both players picked up two pairs but Sanders’ higher pairs won him the pot, as Steinman was eliminated in seventh place.
Finishing in sixth places was Dann Turner, when Nick Pupillo opened to 125,000 from the cutoff with and Turner jammed from small blind holding . Pupillo called and the community cards fanned out . Pupillo rivered a spades flush and Turner was knocked out of the competition.
The final elimination of the day was Ryan Stoker, who shoved from the cutoff for his last 480,000 and Murray called from the button with . Stoker tabled and the rundown showed . Murray picked up a pair of queens on the river eliminating Stoker in fifth place.
1. Stephen Song – 3,880,000
2. Brett Murray – 3,800,000
3. Scott Sanders – 3,525,000
4. Nick Pupillo – 2,105,000
The final day began with Stephen Song in the chip lead. However, he was unable to hold on to the lead for long and exited the event in Level 29. After Murray folded from the cutoff, Song shoved from the button and Sanders moved all-in, Pupillo also folded.
The rundown missed both players, but Sanders pocket eights held strong as Song bowed out in fourth place.
Down to three-handed play, Brett Murray moved all-in from small blind with and Sanders called from big blind with . The community cards brought a pair for both players, but Sanders’ stronger pair of kings was good enough to eliminate Murray’s pair of eights in third place.
Scott Sanders (11,900,000) began the heads-up play with a big lead over Nick Pupillo (1,600,000). Pupillo managed to double up twice and took the chip lead away from Sanders, but in the end, it was the latter who emerged as the ultimate champion.
On the final hand of the event, Pupillo opened to 300,000 on the button and Sanders 3-bet to 1,025,000. Pupillo snap-called to see the flop open . Sanders checked holding and Pupillo bet 800,000 with . Sanders check-raised all-in and Pupillo promptly called for 2,900,000 in total. The turn completed Sanders`s straight draw though a gutshot straight draw opened up for Pupillo. The river was of no help to Pupillo as Sanders took home his second WSOPC gold ring of the series, along with a six-figure payday of $147,314.
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Scott Sanders – $147,314
2. Nicholas Pupillo – $91,036
3. Brett Murray – $66,521
4. Stephen Song – $49,392
5. Ryan Stoker – $37,245
6. Dann Turner – $28,506
7. Ian Steinman – $22,138
8. Michael Hubbard – $17,437
9. Robert Georato – $13,928