US residents are still waiting on the legislators to pass favorable poker laws but for the time being playing over the Internet is still illegal. Three states make the exception to the rule, with Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey allowing local residents to compete online. Elsewhere, players have no choice but to settle for live tournaments hosted by brick-and-mortar casinos, such as the Palm Beach Kennel Club in Florida.
This was the place where a total of 303 players bought in for $1675 each, hoping to win the first prize in the main event. The winner was expected to take home a six digit amount but also the coveted WSOP rings, which explains why so many poker professionals decided to attend this event. Among those who paid the buy-in out-of-pocket were several of those who anticipated in the World Series of Poker earlier this year and all of them are loyal fans of the circle.
Unfortunately for them, the competition proved to be extremely difficult and all of them were eliminated before making the final table. Among those who made it this far, Tristan Wade was by far the most successful, with a significant advantage over the pack. One by one, his competitors were eliminated, starting with Chance Kornuth who had won the main event in the past and participated in all previous editions. The fact that he was sent to the rail relatively early was not exactly a surprise, since he was struggling with a short stack that and had to commit all his chips with a mediocre hand.
Only 10% of the total field of players made the money and the reward for reaching the final table consisted of $9800, more than a consolation prize. Mike Dentale and Nathan Bjerno were two of those who brought loads of experience at the tables but none of them made a deep run and finished just outside the paid places. Among the favorites to win the tournament were Zo Karim and David Diaz, but only the latter survived long enough in the final table as to make the heads-up phase.
It was obvious that he was going to fight an uphill battle as Tristan had significantly more chips, but they did put up quite a fight. He had no choice but to take a leap of faith with a coin flip that didn’t go as planned, leaving him in second with $66,000 to his name. The winner worn 40,000 more, a significant difference and he also receive the WSOP circuit ring. Check out the final standings below:
|1||Tristan Wade||Boynton Beach, FL||$106,806|
|2||David Diaz||Memphis, TN||$66,039|
|3||Thomas Midena||Brooklyn, MI||$47,963|
|4||Kristopher Bradshaw||Scottville, MI||$35,428|
|5||Zo Karim||Orlando, FL||$26,597|
|6||Will Souther||Biloxi, MS||$20,284|
|7||Chance Kornuth||Las Vegas, NV||$15,712|
|8||Benjamin Zetina||West Palm Beach, FL||$12,353|
|9||Philip Consolo||Miami Shores, FL||$9,858|