Loni Harwood took home $341,599, her second gold bracelet, and a boatload of bragging rights when she beat Alexandru Masek to win the fifth annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) National Championship in North Carolina. Harwood beat 122 players to be crowned the winner, some of whom were $10,000 buy-in at-large qualifiers and others who qualified via the WSOP circuit.
Harwood started the final day of the tournament – which had a $1.2 million prize pool – with more than double the number of chips than her closest competitor. When it came down to the final two, Harwood was dealt 3♧, 3♡ to Masek’s A♧, 7♡. The 8♧, 7♧, 3♢ flop gave Harwood the set and the following 5♧ and 6♤ failed to give the second-place finisher the flush he was after.
Masek settled for the $211,599 second-place prize and Harwood earned the second-biggest payday of her career, following a $600,000 score at a 2,541-entrant, $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event in 2013. The win upped her lifetime earnings to $1,627,485, while Masek’s bridesmaid finish brought his own career total to $855,232 (to go along with eight circuit rings).
Harwood also became just the second woman to make three final tables in the same World Series. In total, she has made it to five final tables in her two years in the Series. (She skipped the Series in 2014 to tend to her sick mother.)
She summed up the win nicely on Twitter.
— Loni Harwood (@Luscious_Lon) August 1, 2015
(Photo credit: David Singleton, Creative Commons.)
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