Bryne Wilson wins Main Event of Ante Up Poker Tour at Pearl River Resort



It was closing in on midnight, and Bryne Wilson had to be at work at 6 a.m. And Tuscaloosa was a two-hour drive away.

His boss will be happy to hear the franchise sales manager for Buffalo Rock Pepsi should be on time tomorrow, as he agreed to a generous even three-way deal even though he was far and away the chipleader to end the Main Event of the Pearl River Poker Open, an Ante Up Poker Tour series at Pearl River Resort in Choctaw, Miss.

“They agreed to chop even. I got the cover (of Ante Up) and the World Championship seat. That was a sweetener enough,” Wilson said of the deal that netted all three players $22,280 but will send Wilson to Thunder Valley Casino Resort in August and puts his photo on the cover of this issue “The other two players were very good and both had more experience than me, and it was going to be tough for me to win it straight up. Things can flip anytime.”

Wilson and the other two in the deal – Jeremy Gaubert and Russ Head – are all accomplished tournament players in The South, with a collection of major titles between them. After what was shaping up to be a lightning-quick final table, play slowed to a crawl when it got to three-handed. Players were trading chips between each other, until Head lost a decent hand to Wilson that ultimately laid the groundwork for a chop to even be considered.

“I hate to chop, but I was pretty short-stacked. And Bryne had to be at work early in the morning,” Head said. “It had to be even or I wouldn’t have chopped. I would have played until 5 in the morning.”

“I’m exhausted,” Gaubert said. “It was a decent deal. I was second in chips and was offered an even chop.”

While every player has his share of hand that could have gone anyway, Wilson was dangerously close to not even being in the conversation for a deal in the multi-flight event that attracted 200 entries and easily surpassed the $100,000 guarantee. Jonathan Wisbey came to the final table with 1,230,000 in chips, more than double Wilson, who was second. Early in the final table, the two chipleaders got it all in, with Wilson with A-K and Wisbey with K-K. But an ace came in the window.

“I didn’t like it,” Wilson said of seeing Wisbey’s pocket kings. “I knew I had one out. I was hoping the best he had was queens for a flip.”

Wilson was due for a good flop. From the time the tournament got down to two tables, he says he doubled up five players, each time having them dominated only to lose when the board ran out.

“I doubled up five people, and I still maintained a good chip lead and played well,” he said. “I got lucky in a few spots, but I also got unlucky in some spots. I had enough chips to sustain the damage.”

Wilson started the series with the title in Event #1, also a multi-flight event with a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool. The two wins vaulted Wilson to second place in the Ante Up Poker Tour Player of the Year race.

“I was the winner of the opener and the closer,” he said. “I played the best poker of my life.”

The nine-event Pearl River Poker Open, well-run by Paul Dutsch and his crew that’s well known in Mississippi and beyond, featured three multi-day events, including a seniors event, as well as a limit Omaha/8 event. Paul Herbert was a double winner (Events #4 and #5) and also cashed in Event #2, and 10 other players had two cashes each – Head, Ralph Reid, Thomas Ballard, William Brock, Jerol Drane, Randall Smith, James “Mousey” Davis, B.J. McBrayer, Cody Pack and Jerry Giroir.

The tournament played out in the Time Out Lounge at Golden Moon, one of two casino-resorts that make up Pearl River Resort. On weekends, Time Out Lounge is an upscale sports lounge, which made it a perfect place for football fans who entered the Pearl River Poker Open events. The room is largely closed off by glass from the casino, so players got the excitement of the casino without much of the noise, and with 11 large-screen TVs throughout the lounge, they never missed a touchdown. The lounge offered a full bar and tableside food service as well, giving players just about anything they could want in a poker tournament.

Just a short walk away from the tournament area was Pearl River’s poker room, where live play has hopping on weekends.

“The live action was great throughout the entire event,” said Denise Dahl, poker room manager. “We had plenty of action during the weekdays, but the room really came alive on the weekends with great mix of games, a including PLO and Big O. We also had several no-limit games, both $1-$3 and $2-$5 Blind, and several low-limit hold’em games. I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet so many great people. The event was a great success.”

Owned and operated by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Pearl River Resort features two hotel-casinos, Silver Star and Golden Moon, that together offer more than 1,000 hotel rooms, 2,400 slot machines, 59 table games and a 14-table poker room with a separate tournament room, as well as the Dancing Rabbit Golf Club, Geyser Falls Water Theme Park and numerous dining and entertainment options.

The Pearl River Poker Open was the third major tournament series held at Pearl River since the property underwent $70 million in renovations a little more than a year ago The next major series will be the Spring Poker Open from March 24-April 2. Visit for details.

“We are very pleased with the continual growth of players choosing to come to the Ante Up Tour events at Pearl River Resort,” said Neal Atkinson, director of table games. “We know they have a lot of choices and hope the experience they had will show that we are committed to great quality events. The No. 1 thing that am I proud of is the wonderful comments and appreciation of the players for what we have worked so hard to accomplish. We value the poker player at our resort and I think the way we ran this event from the structures to the state-of-the-art tournament room,and amenities prove that.”

Main Event
Entries: 200
Prize Pool: $143,750
Bryne Wilson, Tuscaloosa, AL $22,280
Jeremy Gaubert, Thibodeaux, LA $22,280
Russ Head, Rome, GA $22,279
Jonathan Wisbey, New Orleans, LA $10,925
Robbie Matthews, Baton Rouge, LA $9,344
Ralph Reid, Meridian, MS $7,906
Lyle Walker, Baton Rouge, LA $6,469
B.J. McBrayer, Tuscaloosa, AL $5,031
Chip Ervin, Tuscaloosa, AL $3,594
James “Mousey” Davis, Jackson, TN $2,731
Charles Davis $2,731
12. Perry Brown, Brandon, MS $2,731
13. Chris Canan, New Orleans, LA $2,300
14. Jonathan Hart, Jackson, MS $2,300
15. Chris Davis, New Orleans, LA $2,300
16. Anne Champlain, Jonesville, LA $1,869
17. Barry Schultz, Arlington, TN $1,869
18. Curtis Miller, Houston, TX $1,869
19. Richard Jentzsch, Norris, TN $1,438
20. Dilsad Mergler, Baton Rouge, LA $1,438
21. Amanda Hayes, Jackson, MS $1,438
22. Brook Swink, Columbus, MS $1,438
23. Thuy Djedjos, Jackson, MS $1,438
24. Steve Bierman, New Orleans, LA $1,438
25. Cody Pack, Cartersville, GA $14,38
26. Jerry Giroir, Lafayette, LA $1,438
27. David Chochelos $1,438

Event #1 – No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-in: $340
Entries: 265
Prize Pool: $100,000
1. Bryne Wilson Tuscaloosa, AL $24,500
2. Susan Hazelgrove Cordova, TN $13,000
3. Corey Harrison Bessemer, AL $9,000
4. Randy Tackett AlaBaster, AL $7,600
5. Randall Hollis Helena, AL $6,500
6. Richard Tenhet Maben, MS $5,500
7. Dustin Stewart Diberville, MS $4,500
8. Lacey Coffey Biloxi, MS $3,500
9. Jeffery Mullins Hazel Green, AL $2,500
10. Samuel G Woodstock, GA $1,900
11. Randall Smith Silver Creek, GA $1,900
12. BJ McBrayer Tuscaloosa, AL $1,900
13. Chase Buxton Birmingham, AL $1,600
14. Robert Veazey Carencro, LA $1,600
15. Dexter Burns Pinson, AL $1,600
16. Freddie Gladney Oneida, AR $1,300
17. Bill Phillips New Orleans, LA $1,300
18. Tosha Mullins Huntsville, AL $1,300
19. William Brock Birmingham, AL $1,000
20. Rhonda Hart Cabot, AR $1,000
21. Jacob Cukla N/A $1,000
22. Riley Sims Woodstock, AL $1,000
23. Adam Cotant Tuscaloosa, AL $1,000
24. Jacob Lons Philadelphis, MS $1,000
25. Thomas Ballard Rockmart, GA $1,000
26. JW Smith Dalton, GA $1,000
27t Lee Craft Eckmart AL $1,000
27t JD Iresk Kosciusko, MS $1,000

Event #2 – No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-in: $160
Entries: 70
Prize Pool: $9,520
1. William Phillips New Orleans, LA $2,951
2. Rodney Jackson Chatanooga, TN $1,714
3. Christopher Harrison Cartersville, GA $1,142
4. Paul Hebert Pierre Part, LA $857
5. Christopher Nunnally Anniston, AL $762
6. Michael Cantrell Albertville, AL $666
7. Matthew Higgins Rossville, GA $571
8. Lewis Blakeney Millport, AL $476
9. Bradford Grant Jonesboro, GA $381

Event #3 – Seniors No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-in: $230
Entries: 72
Prize Pool: $13,968
1. Ralph Reid Meridian, MS $4,331
2. Dean Hoffman Algood, TN $2,514
3. James "Mousey" Davis Jackson, TN $1,676
4. Charles Kenny Warrenville, SC $1,257
5. William Brock Pelham, AL $1,117
6. Steve Humphries $978
7. Ronnie Pittman Calera, AL $838
8. Thomas Ballard Braswell, GA $698
9. David Cox Vaiden, MS $559
Event #4 – No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-in: $120
Entries: 35
Prize Pool: $3,395
1. Paul Hebert Pierre Part, LA $1,358
2. William Higginbotham Meridian, MS $815
3. Randal Smith Silver Creek, GA $577
4. Jerol Drane Atlanta, GA $407
5. Vernell Hokins Jackson, MS $238

Event #5 – No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-in: $120
Entries: 16
Prize Pool: $1,552
1. Paul Hebert Pierre Part, LA $776
2. Justin Sharpe Memphis, TN $466
3. Jerol Drane Atlanta, GA $310

Event #6 – Limit Omaha/8
Buy-in: $230
Entries: 21
Prize Pool: $4,074
1. Herman Shumaker Brandon, MS $2,037
2. Larry Lemming Rome, GA $1,222
3. Stephen Diprima Rome, GA $815

Event #7 – No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack
Buy-in: $230
Entries: 75
Prize Pool: $14,400
1. Douglas Goolsby Talladega, AL $4,464
2. Cody Pack Cartersville, GA $2,592
3. Kenneth Jones Pelham, AL $1,728
4. Russ Head Lindale, GA $1,296
5. Vernell Hoskins Jackson, MS $1,152
6. Delsad Meraler Baton Rouge, LA $1,008
7. Renee Willis Philadelphia, MS $864
8. Clinton Carney Philadelphia, MS $720
9. Joshua Huie Rome, GA $576

Event #9 – No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-in: $160
Entries: 49
Prize Pool: $6,664
1. Epheium Shelton, Ridgland, MS $1,510
2. Lemuel Nix, Sylycaugha, AL, $1,510
3. Tara Snow, Piedmont, AL, $1,509
4. Lee Breeland, Canton, MS $1,509
5. Christopher Torres, New Orleans, LA $426
6. Jerry Girioir, Lafayette, LA $200

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine