Amateur poker player Neil Patel parlayed a $1,700 cash in a non-ring nightly event at World Series of Poker Circuit Tunica into $192,152 when he used that money to enter the $1,675 Main Event and ended up winning the tournament. He bested a field of 610 players for his first circuit ring and first cash of any kind for more than $6,000.
“I was prepared because I knew there were some World Series ring winners at the table,” Patel said to tournament staff. “It was fun to play with them and I think that was a good experience for me.”
Official Final Table Results
|1||Neil Patel||St. Louis, MO||$192,152|
|2||Cory Smith||Oklahoma City, OK||$118,149|
|3||Scott Stewart||Lakewood, CA||$86,907|
|4||Aaron Plaisted||Toccoa, GA||$64,489|
|5||Martin Ryan||Trinidad and Tobago||$48,522|
|6||Robert Hankins||Murfreesboro, TN||$37,012|
|7||Charlie Nguyen||Houston, TX||$28,621|
|8||Lytle Allen||Nashville, TN||$22,436|
|9||Christopher Davis||McCalla, AL||$17,824|
With 610 players in the event, 63 spots would be paid out. BJ McBrayer, Kyle Cartwright, Chris Conrad, Kane Lai and Josh Lowing were some of the players cashing but busting before the start of the final table.
Once there, according to the live updates, it was four-time ring winner Scott Stewart who held the lead and was looking for his first WSOP Circuit Main Event title. Patel was sitting in the middle of the pack.
After short stack Chris Davis and then Lytle Allen went down to kick off the final day, Patel scored his first big pot with . He overcalled after Stewart opened and Charlie Nguyen, and everyone, checked a flop. Patel turned the nuts when the hit and he called a bet from Nguyen before making a big river raise, getting paid off by Nguyen, who had a set of twos. Left with crumbs, Nguyen busted in seventh.
Six-time ring winner Robert Hankins was another of the ring winners Patel referenced and he was the first of the three at the final to go. He jammed over Patel’s open with , but Patel had aces and sent him packing in sixth to raise his own stack to almost 100 big blinds.
Martin Ryan, who has already claimed three rings in the current season of the Circuit, followed him shortly after he lost a big race to Aaron Plaisted. However, Plaisted’s success was short-lived. He saw a raise from Cory Smith and an all-in shove from Stewart and then looked down at kings, calling his own stack for less. Stewart held sixes and found a third six on the river.
Stewart then put on his triple-barrel bluffing hat after he defended his big blind from a Patel button open and saw flop. Stewart check-raised and then fired on the turn and river, only to be called down. He announced he was beaten and Patel flipped over to take the pot and reduce Stewart to 18 big blinds. His designs on adding a fifth ring to his collection ended shortly after that.
Patel had about a 2-1 lead heading to heads-up play but the two were very deep with Smith sitting with almost 90 big blinds. In the end, a cooler situation cropped up with Smith holding and Patel . The two got in a preflop raising war that ended with Smith shoving all in and Patel calling, and when no ace appeared, Patel shipped the ring and the first-place prize.
Here’s a look at all of the other ring winners at the Tunica stop.
|$365 Single Reentry||Jeoffrey Noblecourt||$16,350|
|$365 PLO Reentry||Juan Rodriguez||$10,709|
|$365 Reentry||Alex Burney||$66,723|
|$365 Turbo Reentry||David Knuckles||$17,997|
|$365 NLHE||Jeter Brock||$14,118|
|$365 Six-Max Single Reentry||Brian Peery||$19,793|
|$365 Reentry||John Holley||$15,056|
|$365 30-Minute Levels||Russell Sullivan||$20,018|
|$365 Monster Stack||Steve Dill||$37,290|
|$580 Single Reentry||David Collins||$33,118|
|$365 Turbo Reentry||Johnny Landreth||$16,877|
Photo courtesy of WSOP