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pickett.jpgThe World Series of Poker Circuit event at Harrah’s Rincon Resort & Casino was capped by a fast-paced final table that took a little longer than six hours to complete. The final table was characterized by the swiftness of its eliminations, with several players eliminated in the space of a few hands.

Joe Eaton started the final table as the short stack holding only 75,000 in chips while his next closest competitor had nearly 100,000. Joe Eaton gained some hope for his final table appearance when he doubled up through Gavin Smith at the start of play, but his luck would not hold out. Joe Eaton moved all-in a second time, this time holding [As][Js], which was dominating the [Ks][Jd] of David Peters. Luck was not with Eaton, though, as the board of [5d][Qd][8d][10s][Ac] gave Peters a straight. Eaton would walk away with $14,136 for his ninth place finish.

Australian Damien Oborne would be eliminated shortly after Eaton. Oborne risked his tournament life on [Ah][5s] and David Peters called with his hand of [Kc][10h]. Peters made a pair of tens on the flop of [10c][3d][8s]. Oborne was in trouble, needing an ace, running fives, or a runner-runner straight. No help came for Oborne as his hand would not improve at all on the turn or river. Oborne finished in eighth place and was awarded $21,204 for his efforts.

The fast pace of eliminations continued as Lee Watkinson would quickly follow Oborne to the exit. Watkinson pushed all his chips into the middle while holding pocket fours, looking to win a race. However, instead of getting a race, Watkinson found himself dominated by the pocket tens of Gavin Smith. Watkinson’s fours did not improve and he left in seventh place, earning $28,272.

Mere moments after Watkinson took his leave of the table, Gavin Smith would be forced to do so as well. Smith moved all-in with [Qh][10d] and was called by Kenny Bedoya, who held [As][Jc]. The flop of [4c][Ks][Ah] gave Bedoya an even greater advantage as Gavin now needed either a jack for a straight or running cards. The turn was the [Kc], and the river card was also unhelpful, the [9h]. Gavin Smith left the table richer by $35,340, his prize for his sixth place finish.

Another swift elimination occurred after Smith’s exit. Cristian Avendano moved all-in with pocket sevens and was in bad shape when Kenny Bedoya revealed pocket eights. An eight came on the flop, giving bedoya a set and further minimizing Avendano’s chances. After a blank on the turn Avendano’s fate was sealed. Avendano left in fifth place with $42,408.

After Avendano’s exit the players got to take a breather as play slowed down and no eliminations were forthcoming.

Their break from eliminations ended when Kenny Bedoya reraised all-in with [Ah][Qc] on the turn after flopping a pair of queens on a board of [7d][6h][Qs][5h]. Unfortunately for Bedoya and his chip stack, Michael Pickett turned over [4d][8d], showing his turned straight. Bedoya finished in fourth place and earned $56,544.

Michael Pickett, David Peters, and Edward Sabat were now the only players left in the tournament. That would change when Sabat pushed all of his chips into the middle while holding [Ac][9s]. David Peters held pocket eights and made the call, creating a classic race situation. No help came for Sabat’s hand, and Sabat was sent to the rail in third place, having won $70,680.

Michael Pickett and David Peters now had to battle it out in heads-up play, with Pickett holding a 2:1 advantage in chips. Heads-up play would last for over an hour, and would end in the favor of Michael Pickett. On the final hand, David Peters held [Jh][9h] and Pickett held [10d][8s]. The flop was [Ad][9c][3s], giving Peters a pair of nines. Pickett bet out on the flop and Peters simply called. The turn was then [7d], and once again, Pickett bet out and Peters simply called. Peters raised all-in after Pickett bet out on the river, which was [Jc]. Unfortunately for Peters, Pickett had finally made a hand. After Picket called the all-in bet, Peters showed his two pair while Pickett revealed his winning hand, the rivered straight. David Peters would be compensated with$120,156 for his runner-up finish. Michael Pickett, the poker player from Little Canada, Minnesota, won $229,002 in his first major tournament victory.

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