American Sam Barnhart has taken home $300,000 after winning the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC)’s National Championship $1 Million Freeroll at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
Barnhart – a software analyst from Arkansas – also collected the first WSOP gold bracelet of the year as the WSOPC’s 2010-2011 season came to a conclusion, just ahead of the World Series of Poker beginning today.
The 50-year-old saw off 99 other players, including James Anderson in their heads-up clash, to claim the top prize, with the latter collecting $200,000 for his runner-up spot.
The nine-strong final table was headed by Jonathan Poche, of Los Angeles, at the start of play on the last day, with La Sengphet, from Dallas, sitting in second spot.
However, neither of those two were involved in the day’s first elimination as small blind Matthew Lawrence, of Tulsa, went all-in after Anderson, of Massachusetts, had raised from the button.
Action came back round to Anderson and he called with Jd-Jh, to be faced with Lawrence’s As-9s. The board read Jc-7d-4h-10s-Ad to send Lawrence to the rail in ninth place with $30,000.
Next to go was Canadian Adam Hui about 15 minutes later. Hui went all-in on an As-Kc-Js flop against Poche. Hui’s Ks-Jc gave him bottom two pair, but was dominated by Poche’s Ah-Ac. The turn and river failed to improve either hand and Hui left with $35,000.
Drazen Ilich, of Lincoln in Nebraska, went out in seventh for $42,500 after losing out to Texan Charles ‘Woody’ Moore.
Ilich, in the big blind with 3d-3h, put his stack in for just over 90,000 and Moore called with Ah-Kc. The flop revealed Kd-10s-6c to give Moore a pair of kings and, with the turn and river producing 2s and 2d, Ilich was out for $42,500 – his second biggest live game cash.
But that was as good as it got for Moore. He went all-in pre-flop with Ah-Kd against Anderson’s Qc-Qh, but failed to win this race to leave in sixth with $55,000.
Chip leader Sengphet seemed in control and was dominating the table, but then came up against Barnhart, who was under the gun.
Barnhart, with Jd-Jc, raised four big blinds and, when Sengphet – from big blind – re-raised, Barnhart went all-in. Sengphet called with Ad-Kd. The board read 10h-7h-2d-5s-5h to give Barnhart a double up and the chip lead.
Poche was next to leave the table, though, when Barnhart knocked him out in fifth place. They saw a Ks-5d-3d flop, before all the money went in to show that Barnhart’s Kc-Qh had Poche’s Kd-10c dominated. The turn and river came 3s and Jh, so Poche left with $75,000.
Incredibly, after being demolished by Barnhart, Sengphet was in the last four. But that was where her tournament ended as WSOPC Midwest Regional champ Anderson finished her off.
Sengphet, with 8c-5s, check-raised all-in on a Qd-5c-4s flop while holding middle pair. Anderson called with his Kd-Qc to be way ahead. The Qh came on the turn to leave Sengphet dead. However, Sengphet picked up $100,000 for her first six-figure success after collecting two rings during this season.
Josh Evans, of Dallas, finished in third for a handy $135,000 after his As-2s failed to improve against Anderson’s queens to leave us with heads-up play.
There wasn’t a lot between Anderson and Barnhart as the battle began, with the former holding 1,021,000 to the latter’s 977,000.
However, Barnhart moved ahead before the final hand was played. On the button, he checked out Anderson’s chips, then went all-in. Anderson, for his part, looked at his cards, seemed happy with what he saw and nodded his agreement to make the call.
Barnhart showed Ks-Qc while Anderson held Ad-10d. The flop came Kc-Jh-7d to put Barnhart ahead on two kings, although Anderson wasn’t beaten yet as he still had outs – needing an ace for top pair or a queen for a straight.
But the turn and river produced nothing more than the 6c and the 7h to leave Anderson second with a healthy $200,000.
Final table positions and payouts of the WSOPC National Championship:
1. Sam Barnhart – $300,000
2. James Anderson – $200,000
3. Josh Evans – $135,000
4. La Sengphet – $100,000
5. Jonathan Poche – $75,000
6. Charles Moore – $55,000
7. Drazen Ilich – $42,500
8. Adam Hui – $35,000
9. Matthew Lawrence – $30,000