John Lopez – Photo credit: WSOP Circuit
John Lopez won the World Series of Poker circuit main event on March 20 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Springfield, Missouri, resident took home the grand prize worth $145,876 along with his first gold ring. His career earnings now total $175,190.
“I play mostly cash games in the Springfield/Joplin area, and I usually play about three to four tournaments a year.” Lopez told the WSOP Circuit journalists after the victory. He continued when asked about his plans to play more tournaments with a bigger bankroll, “Yeah, maybe it is. It’s more a matter of time than anything else, but if I can find the time I definitely will”
The $1,700 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament had a prize pool of $721,140 thanks to two initial flights that attracted a total of 476 entrants. The top 58 players all cashed for at least $3,007 in prize money. All of those 58 players returned for Day 2, and the tournament whittled down to the bottom five after 12 hours of play.
Jeffrey Robinson (9th), Harold Kruger (8th), Ashley Frank (7th) and William Berry (6th) were the last four players to crash on Day 2, and the move to last night’s final table was short final day of the tournament. The winner was decided in just one hour of play.
Last woman standing Kasey Mills fell to fifth place to start the eliminations, and was followed to the rail by local poker pro Eric Bunch, who has a WSOP Circuit gold ring on his resume. The elimination of Brandon Elmore in third place set the stage for the final battle between Lopez and Richard Gebhart.
Only a few hands came between them as Lopez opened from the small blind and Gebhart raised to 480,000 from the big blind. Lopez raised to 1.3 million and Gebhart moved all over the top with KQ. Lopez called to cover with Ak in the hole. The advice was distributed A324j, and Gebhart was eliminated in second place, good for $90,158. The runner-up’s mark was the highest of his career and brought his total earnings to $145,024.
Some other notables who cashed in the event included Phil Mader (10th), Trey Bartlett (11th), Todd Bartlett (15th), Daniel Lowery (17th), Cedricc Trevino (25th), Sergio Ramirez ( 26th) and Curtis Connors (58th).
Here is a look at the winnings awarded at the final table:
|Place||Player||Earnings||POY extension Points|
The next WSOP Circuit The event is already taking place at the Turning Stone Resort and will run until March 27th. The $1,700 buy-in main event kicks off on Thursday, March 23. You can see the full tournament series schedule right here.