Day 3 of the World Series of Poker Circuit Caesars Atlantic City Main Event began with 22 remaining from the original 641 entrants. By the end of the day, Ryan Eriquezzo was champion, taking home the gold ring and $191,194 first-place prize.
Ryan Higgins began the day as chip leader with 1.477 million and remained one of the leaders heading into the final table despite dipping as low as 400,000. During one of the initial levels, Higgins called an all in from Jeremy Halaska holding , but was trailing Halaska’s on a board of . The completed the board, and Halaska doubled to more than a million chips
Halaska was also among the leaders heading into the final table, but the chip leader, Eugene Fouksman, won a massive hand against John Andress — who finished second in this event last year — when the two got all the chips in preflop. Fouksman’s pocket queens dominated Andress’ pocket jacks, and the board ran .
Here’s how the entire final table looked:
Tyler Kenney was the first to bow out when his pocket nines couldn’t hold against Higgins’ ace-queen, and then there were nine straight double-ups in all in situations. Four hours after Kenney’s elimination, Higgins was busted by Ryan Eriquezzo. Eriquezzo had skyrocketed to 3 million chips, and a few hands later he won the hand of the tournament.
Eriquezzo opened to 130,000 from the hijack seat, Roland Israel called on the button, and Garry Gates defended his big blind. The flop was , and Eriquezzo fired 175,000. Gates called, and then check-called 295,000 on the turn (), and 520,000 on the river (). Eriquezzo tabled for quads, which Gates couldn’t beat.
Halaska was the next player to go, and then Israel exited. Gates crippled then eliminated Israel in consecutive hands, and he was given a thundering round of applause when leaving the room. Israel made this final table last year, and won the event the year before.
Eriquezzo recorded a double knockout a few hands later, getting it in with two black jacks against Gates’ ace-king and Fouksman’s ace-seven. The jacks held on a board of , and Eriquezzo crossed the 5 million chip mark.
Troy Erickson busted in third place, leaving Eriquezzo and his good friend David Zeitlin to play heads up for the ring, the cash, and the glory. The two battled for the better part of two levels, but Eriquezzo’s chip lead was too large. On the final hand, Zeitlin four-bet jammed with , and Eriquezzo made the call with . The flop missed Eriquezzo, and the on the turn took away two of his outs, but he was still drawing live to two kings and two jacks.
“Should I do it to you?” he asked Zeitlin. “Nice hand.”
The reverse jinx did the trick, and the fell on the river. Eriquezzo took home $191,194 and the gold ring for the victory, and he’s qualified for the $1 million National Championship in July.
The WSOPC is headed to San Diego, California, this week for the Harrah’s Rincon stop. The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be there starting on Sunday, March 24, for the Main Event.