WSOP-C Main Event: Kurt Jewell, Kentucky Poker Pro Wins Largest WSOP Circuit Main Event in History

Event #8

Main Event Championship

No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-In:  1,500 (+100)

Total Entries:  872

Total Prize Pool:  $1,245,680

Hammond, IN – The record-shattering World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event in Chicago has finally ended.  After playing three consecutive 12-plus hour days, only one player remained seated at the final table, thus becoming Chicago’s 2010 World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event Champion.

The victor was Kurt Jewell, a professional poker player from Frankfort, KY.  He officially collected $242,909 in prize money.  Jewell also received his first-ever WSOP Circuit Gold Ring.  Jewell won two pre-paid seats – first into the $10,000 buy-in Regional Championship (which began the following day) as well as an automatic bid to the $1 million freeroll National Championship, which will take place in Las Vegas, next May.

Jewell is a 25-year-old graduate of Eastern Kentucky University.  He holds a degree in sports management.  Jewell eventually hopes to work in sports at some point when the "right opportunity comes along," he says.  But until then, Jewell is content with grinding out a living by playing poker professionally.  He says his ideal job would be to work for Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds, his favorite team.

Jewell's previous poker accomplishments include six WSOP Circuit cashes, including a runner up finish at Horseshoe Council Bluffs in July and a third-place finish earlier this month at Southern Indiana.  He is now among the leaders in points accumulated on this year's WSOP Circuit, which now includes the first three stops of the season.

Jewell put on a masterful performance.  Focused and determined from start to finish, he was the chip leader from the middle of Day Two until the late stages of the tournament.  Jewell lost the lead temporarily when a few of the shorter stacks managed to double up.  But he was able to regain his advantage and eventually won his first major poker title.

The runner up was Jared Kenworthy, from Independence, MO.  He was an assistant golf pro before turning to poker as a profession.  Kenworthy collected the handsome sum of $150,104 for second place.

The $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Championship was held at the Horseshoe Casino near Chicago and attracted the largest tournament field in WSOP Circuit history.   A whopping 872 players entered the three-day competition, which more than doubled the previous record set two years ago.  Given the huge field, it was expected the tournament will extend into the late hours.  The final hand was dealt at 4 am on Monday morning, 14 hours after the day began.

The top 90 finishers collected prize money.  To see all OFFICIAL RESULTS, including all finishers 1-90, visit:  WSOP.COM.

The tournament took place over three long days and nights.  Day One ended with James Kasputis, Jr. as the chip leader.  He ended up finishing in 27th place.  Day Two concluded with Kurt Jewell, who went on to win the tournament.  He was the chip leader going into the final table.  The nine finalists and their starting chip counts when final table play began were as follows:

SEAT 1:  Bryan Devonshire (Henderson, NV) – 520,000

SEAT 2:  Nick Jivkov (Des Plaines, IL) – 2,165,000

SEAT 3:  Williams Reynolds (Sioux City, IA) -- 2,400,000

SEAT 4:  Jared Kenworthy (Independence, MO) – 1,650,000

SEAT 5:  Kurt Jewell (Frankfort, KY) – 3,275,000

SEAT 6:  Daniel Cohen (Wilmette, IL) – 1,290,000

SEAT 7:  Will “the Monkey” Souther (Biloxi, MS) – 1,700,000

SEAT 8:  Edwin Choi (Bolingbrook, IL) – 2,400,000

SEAT 9:  Casey Hayes (Merrillville, IN) – 1,300,000


9th Place – The first player eliminated was Casey Hayes, from Merrillville, IN.  He is a 28-year-old professional poker player.  Prior to playing for a living, Hayes worked as a financial advisor.  He graduated from Purdue University.  Hayes arrived at the finale as one of the lower stacks.  He went bust after he moved all-in on what turned out to be his last hand with Ah Jh.  His raise was called by an opponent with Ad Ks.  Both players made a two pair to a Kc 9h 8c As Js board, with the A-J taking second to the better two.  Hayes earned a well-deserved $23,120.


8th Place – Daniel Cohen went out next, in eighth place.  The 61-year-old former executive for Major League Baseball’s Chicago White Sox (he worked for the legendary late owner Bill Veeck), struck out after becoming short-stacked.  His final hand turned out to be Ah Kh, which ran into the worst possible adversary -- bullets.  He was not able to overcome Ad As and went out with $29,087 in prize money.  Cohen entered this tournament by winning a poker room promotion at the Horseshoe Casino.


7th Place – Bryan Devonshire was arguably the best-known tournament player at the final table.  He won the 2009 WSOP Circuit Main Event Championship, the counterpart to this tournament held at Harrah’s Rincon, near San Diego.  Devonshire was shooting for what would have been his second Gold Ring victory.  But instead, he had to settle for seventh place.  Devonshiire took a brutal beat on his last hand.  He lost holding Ks Kd to 8c 2c (to be fair, Devonshire was short, and a big stack was on the blind).  The final board showed 8d 4h 2d qs Td, making two pair for the 8-2.  Devonshire shook his head and walked away with a disappointing finish – seventh place.  The Las Vegas collected $37,047.


6th Place – Will “the Monkey” Souther is one of the South’s most colorful personalities.  He is unlike most poker pros, as he is constantly showing his emotions and chattering away while playing, his face pretty much a barometer of how he’s faring and how he’s feeling at the poker table.  Souther was all smiles during the tournament’s first two days.  But he had a big frown on his face after misplaying pocket aces on one key hand, and then busting out a short time later.  Souther was left short stacked after taking a big hit when he flopped top pair and lost to pocket kings.  He managed to survive on life support for a few rounds and watched as Bryan Devonshire walked the plank in his place (given his low stack).  But he finally succumbed to the odds against him and ended up collecting $47,772 in prize money.  Souther won his way into this event via a $250 buy-in mega-satellite.


5th Place – Nick Jivkov, a 32-year-old part-time poker pro who also owns a transportation company, drove away in fifth place.  He previously took 11th place in the 2008 WSOP Circuit Main Event Championship, in Chicago.  He also finished 10th in the 2010 Chicago Poker Classic, which took place earlier this year.  Jivkov pulled off a sort of trifecta, with yet another impressive performance.  He finally went out holding Qc 8c against pocket aces.  He flopped top pair and his remaining stack went into the pot.  The final board was Qd 7d 5c Kd Jc – which meant the aces held up.  Fifth place paid $62,384.


4th Place – Edwin Choi was one of the players who dominated the final table, at least until play became four handed.  The 24-year-old dental student from Bolingbrook, IL was playing in his first WSOP Circuit event.  He earned his way into the tournament by winning a promotion at the Horseshoe Poker Room.  Choi managed to turn his freeroll into $82,514 in prize money.     


3rd Place – William Reynolds, a 21-year-old up-and-coming poker prodigy from Sioux City, IA was the third-place finisher.  He is well-known as one of the top online poker players.  Reynolds was playing in his first WSOP Circuit tournament, and proved to be a name and face to watch as the season continues.  Reynolds had the chip lead when play was at three-handed.  But he took a beat late in the tournament and went out a short time later.  His last hand was Ac 4d losing to Kurt Jewell’s As 6c.  Neither player made a pair, but Jewell’s higher kicker played to take what remained of Reynolds’ stack.  Third place paid $110,567.


2nd Place – Jared Kenworthy, a 29-year-old former assistant gold pro-turned poker player, was the runner up.  He is from Independence, MO.  This was his first time to cash in a WSOP-related poker tournament.  Earning more than six figures turned out to be quite an accomplishment, as Kenworthy received $150,104 in prize money, but no Gold Ring.


1st Place – Kurt Jewell won his first major poker championship, plus a WSOP Circuit gold ring.  On the final hand of the tournament, Jewell was dealt Qs Jd.  He was a big dog to Jared Kenworthy’s Ac Qd but had enough chips to play an all-in situation against a short-stacked opponent.  The final board showed Td 5d 4s 2s Jc, giving Jewell a pair of jacks.  Reacting to the victory, Jewell allowed himself to smile for the first time during the tournament, after three long days of putting on his best poker face.  Jewell had reason to be happy, since he received $242,909 in prize money – which more than doubled his total career live tournament earnings up to this point.

This was the eighth of 11 Gold Ring events which took place this year at the Horsehose Casino and is the third year Hammond has hosted a WSOP Circuit stop.  All tournament events took place inside the special events arena called “The Venue.”  Horseshoe Hammond is conveniently located just a short distance from the Illinois-Indiana border, and is about 20 minutes away from Downtown Chicago. 

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