Wynn Classic $5K main goes to Baron

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By Todd Lamansky

Though a number of well-known professionals enjoyed great runs, the 2012 Wynn Classic helped make March the month of the up-and-comer.

Isaac Baron topped a field of 190 players, taking home top honors and $240,512 in the $5K main event, bringing his career total to more than $2.5 million. Heads-up, Baron defeated Wayne Boich, who received $161,263 for his second-place finish, the largest payday and best finish of his career (and his first cash since December 2010), bringing his lifetime earnings to $474,530.

Local pro Cary Katz, who won twice in Venetian’s latest Deep Stack Extravaganza, took home $32,253 for seventh, bringing his lifetime total to $602,857. Rodger Johnson, of Grand Forks, N.D., continued his recent run of good form with three cashes, including a 15th-place finish in the main event as well as runner-up in Event 13 ($1K NLHE) for a combined total of $49,137, bringing his lifetime total to $301,937. Johnson also won the Mid-States Poker Tour $1K main event at Running Aces Harness Park in Minnesota in February.

Two more up-and-comers had the pleasure of triple-cashing: Joseph Kuether of Elm Grove, Wis., and Patrick Atchinson from Ft. Worth, Texas. Kuether shipped two $500 NLHE events and finished seventh in another, then followed that performance by winning his first WSOPC ring in the main event at Harrah’s Rincon in San Diego three weeks later. Atchinson won Event 9 ($500 NLHE), the first championship of his career, and took home $17,628 from three events.

Canadian Chris Back of Vancouver, who cashed twice in the WSOPC at Caesars Palace in January and four times in February’s DSE, added two more at the Wynn Classic, and then followed that performance with three more at the WSOPC Rincon, bringing his lifetime earnings to $369,498.

The $18,144 Andreas Adolfsson earned for his third-place finish in Event 13 marked the largest score of his career. He also finished ninth in Event 9 ($500 NLHE). He added two more cashes at the Hoops and Hold’em Spring Classic, a series Caesars hosted to capitalize on the influx of Vegas visitors during March Madness.

WSOP bracelet-holder Daniel Kelly won Event 13 and finished 10th in Event 15 ($2K NLHE), while Internet sensation Annette Obrestad shipped Event 2 ($1K NLHE) and finished third in Event 8 ($1K NLHE). Several established pros had multiple cashes, including 1998 world champion Scotty Nguyen, Red Rock Challenge champion Benjamin Yu, mixed-game specialist Chip Jett, Justin Young and Andrew Lichtenberger, who was fourth in the main event.

Wynn Classic, Feb. 23-March 6

Event 1 • $550 NLHE
Entries: 560 • Pool: $271,600
Ting Ting Ho, $51,871
Event 2• $1,070 NLHE
Entries: 49 • Pool: $47,530
Annette Obrestad, $18,204
Event 3 • $550 O/8
Entries: 84 • Pool: $40,740
Martin Corpuz, $12,711
Event 4 • $550 NLHE
Entries: 117 • Pool:$56,745
Adam Taskinsoy, $16,260
Event 5 • $550 NLHE
Entries: 110 • Pool: $53,530
Paul Nguyen, $15,632
Event 6 • $550 PLO
Entries: 110 • Pool: $53,350
Ken Lennaard, $15,632
Event 7 • $550 NLHE
Entries: 167 • Pool: $80,995
Joseph Kuether, $21,139
Event 8 • $1,070 NLHE
Entries: 135 • Pool: $130,950
David Singer, $36,402
Event 9 • $550 NLHE
Entries: 109 • Pool: $52,865
Patrick Atchinson, $15,204
Event 10 • $550 Mixed
Entries: 109 • Pool: $52,865
David Funkhouser, $15,491
Event 11 •  $550 NLHE
Entries:153 • Pool: $74,205
Joseph Kuether, $19,367
$5K Main Event
Entries:190 • Pool: $921,500
Isaac Baron, $240,512