Thursday, May 30, 2024

Tournament Wrap-Up: Moneymaker, Hawkins, Watson, and Deutsch

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With a few weeks to go before the start of the 2024 World Series of Poker, there were multiple events on going scattered throughout the world in Montenegro, Atlantic City, and North Carolina. Top pros from different parts of the globe took part in the latest stop on the Triton High Roller series, including the legend himself… Chris Moneymaker. It was fitting that Moneymaker emerged victorious in the opening event in Montenegro.

The Maestral Resort & Casino in Montenegro hosted the latest high-roller stop for Triton Poker. The first event was the $25,000 GG Million$ Event, which attracted 163 runners and a prize pool worth $4,075,00.

The poker gods were shining their goodwill upon Moneymaker a mere 21 years after his Earth-shattering victory at the 2003 WSOP Main Event. Moneymaker hit a three-outer and six-outer on the way to becoming the last player standing. Among the final nine were Brian Kim, Igor Yaroshevskyy, Biao Ding, Danilo Velasevic, Adrian Mateos, Lewis Spencer, Morten Klein, and Isaac Haxton. Moneymaker banked $903,000 for his win.

Moneymaker secured the third-largest cash of his career and he passed $7 million in career earnings.

The $30,000 buy-in NL 8-Max in Montenegro attracted 154 runners and a prize pool wort $4.62 million. The final eight included Canadian pro Michael Watson, Kiat Lee, Biao Ding, David Yan, Morten Klein, Sirzat Hissou, Leon Sturm, and Daniel Rezaei. Stephen Chidwick busted in ninth place.

Watson banked $1,023,000 for the win, which was his fourth career victory on the Triton circuit. Other notables who went deep and cashed included Hossein Ensan, Patrik Antonius, Fedor Holz, Orpen Kisacikoglu, Adrian Mateos, Dylan Weisman, Seth Davies, and Justn Salbia.

Meanwhile in at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina, the WSOP Circuit finished off with the $1,700 Main Event Championship. The event attracted 981 runners and a prize pool worth $1.48 million. Only the top 145 places paid out with most of the cheesecake set aside to the top three places.

The final nine included Maurice Hawkins, Matthew Higgins, James Calderaro, Christopher George, Kristopher Duren, Derek Nold, Michael Lawrence, Mark Merritt, and Trace Henderson. Hawkins snagged $259,160 for first place and he saw his career earnings push north of $5.6 million. With ring #16, Hawkins holds steady as second overall. He’s still chasing Ari Engel who won 17 different WSOP Circuit events.

The Borgata Casino in Atlantic City is known for the seasonal events. The latest installment was the Spring Poker Open. In a rare occurrence, the 2024 SPO Main Event had an overlay. The Main Event had a $2 million guaranteed prize pool, but the $2,700 buy-in affair attracted only 706 entries. As a result, there was an overlay of nearly $250K! It was $249,120 to be precise.

The final nine included Joel Deutsch, Andrew Voor, George Cain, Justin Vaysman, Carlos Alvarado, Tony Sinishtaj, Max Hoffman, Tanupat Punjarojanakul, and Stanton Tentnowski. When the dust settled at the Borgata, Joel Deutsch was the last player standing. Deutsch banked $347,224 for his SPO Main Event victory.

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