The $1,650 Main Event, which took place from 22nd to 25th September, attracted 528 entrants and generated a prize pool of $792,000, which was shared by the top 54 finishers. It was Nick Pupillo from Illinois who won this WSOP Circuit Thunder Valley Main Event for his career’s second gold ring and a payout $170,286. Pupillo who earlier finished 2nd in the WPT Borgata Open $600 DeepStack Kick-Off and scooped his largest-ever cash of $217,535 was just too good at the final table.
Nick Pupillo did not put much pressure during the first stages of the final table. It was Dann Turner who began the final table as the chip lead. And it was actually he who dominated early stages and extended his massive chip lead, which he managed to retain it till the heads-up play.
Pupillo’s game changed after Paul Richardson went out in the 4th place for $57,016.During three-handed play, Pupillo busted Casey McCarrel in 3rd place to chip up significantly and to enter heads-up against Turner with almost the same amount of chips as his final opponent.
The heads-up kiced off with Turner putting massive pressure on Pupillo and widening the chip stack gap between them. Pupillo’s stack was reduced to just 1.6 million to Turner’s 9 million at a stage. However, Pupillo quickly regained strength, turned around his game and eventually won the event.
Pupillo explored weaknesses in his opponent’s defense and exploited it well to his advantage. Chips were going his way and he was coming closer to Turner in chips. The final hand saw Turner moving all-in. Turner held Ax-5x against his opponent’s Ad-6d. The board ran Jd-5s-2h-8s-6s and Pupillo won with the two better pair. Turner eventually settled for $105,281 for making a runner-up finish. It was second WSOP Circuit gold ring for Pupillo. The 25-year-old player won his first gold ring in 2015.
Final Table Results:
1st place: Nick Pupillo – $170,286
2nd place: Dann Turner – $105,281
3rd place: Casey McCarrel – $76,911
4th place: Paul Richardson – $57,016
5th place: Jed Hoffman – $42,879
6th place: Paul McCaffrey – $32,710
7th place: Glenn Larson – $25,304
8th place: Steven Tabb – $19,855
9th place: Roque Quiambao – $15,800