The World Series of Poker Main Event is the biggest poker tournament of the year. It’s so big that the tournament takes a months-long break when the final table (a.k.a. the “November Nine”) is set. During the hiatus, most of the November Nine take some time off to regroup and determine a strategy. Not Gordon Vayo, however, who is still hitting the tournament circuit. The poker pro came away with a big win earlier this week in Oklahoma, taking down the $2,500 WinStar River Poker Series Main Event.
Vayo came out on top of a five-way chop to score his biggest live cash to date – $587,120.
It won’t be his biggest cash for long, though, as he’ll earn at least $1 million in November for making it to the Main Event final table.
In Oklahoma, Vayo came into the final table of nine in a good position; he had the chip lead and was the clear favorite thanks to his impressive performance in the WSOP Main Event. Despite his standing as the front-runner, Jeff Duval managed to quickly double through him, putting Vayo at risk.
Daniel Fuhs went home first when he got into a three-way battle against Dean Bobel and Grant Hinkle. An ace on the turn put Bobel ahead to stay and a small side pot wasn’t enough to keep Fuhs afloat; he was eliminated two hands later.
Not long after his epic double up on Vayo, Duvall found himself in jeopardy when he got into a standoff with Chino Rheem. Duvall’s 9, 8 started behind the A, K of Rheem and it stayed there after Rheem scored a pair. Duval won $40,893 for eighth-place.
Despite this small victory, Rheem went home next when he went toe-to-toe with Vayo. Long Duc Nguyen tried his luck against Vayo not long after and shoved his last six big blinds against the eventual winner. Vayo called with nines, which sent Nguyen and his 9, 8 home in sixth-place.
The final five played for about an hour before they decided to pause for a chop discussion, which agreed to cut the first place guarantee ($1 million) almost in half. Vayo – who was in the lead at the time – said he would be amenable to the independent chip model.
The deal-makers Hinkle ($207,669), Layne Flack ($225,190), Bobel ($225,048), and Ben Ector ($344,826) were eliminated in that order.
Final table results:
Featured photo credit: Bury Inc.
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