Ryan Jones Wins WSOP Circuit Rio Main Event


Ryan Jones won the World Series of Poker Circuit Rio $1,675 Main Event for $269,327, beating a field of 945 entries and shipping his second gold ring in the process, both from Main Events. He also won the Main at WSOP Circuit Cherokee in 2015 for $235,804.

It’s the biggest cash for the North Carolina native and pushes his career total to over $840,000.

Official Final Table Results

Place Player Hometown Prize
1 Ryan Jones $269,327 Burlington, NC
2 Muruz Yohannes $166,585 Las Vegas, NV
3 Jeremy Joseph $122,954 Buffalo, NY
4 Nikolai Sears $91,996 Davisburg, MI
5 Anthony Utnage $69,698 Bloomington, IN
6 Martin Zamani $53,468 Boca Raton, FL
7 Jett Schencker $41,519 Atlanta, GA
8 Daniel Engels $32,645 Innsbruck, Austria
9 Cody Pack $25,969 Cartersville, GA

The tournament boasted a prize pool of a little under $1.5 million and paid out 99 places. Steve Gross, Ben Keeline, Robert Hankins, Nick Pupillo, Allen Kessler, Chris Johnson, Erick Lindgren, Randy Ohel, Dennis Phillips, Brett Shaffer and Ari Engel were some of the players in the stacked field who made it into the money but fell short of the final table.

Engel was seeking a record-tying ninth WSOP Circuit ring but had to settle for 14th place when he essentially shoved for about 17 big blinds over a button open from Daniel Engels and lost with {3-Diamonds} against {a-Spades}{8-Clubs} as the board rolled out {9-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{2-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{6-Spades}, according to the live updates.

Just before that, Jones called off the majority of his stack on a board of {5-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{2-Hearts}{7-Clubs} with a six in his hand, only to have Nikolai Sears show down {8-Spades}{6-Spades} for the nut straight. That left Jones with just four big blinds and chances of adding another ring to his trophy case seemed slim.

Jones was able to keep afloat by doubling back through Sears with ace-jack over ace-ten but went into the unofficial final table in ninth place. Then, three straight big hands vaulted Jones to an improbable position as chip leader. He doubled with ace-ten against the ace-king of Jett Schencker, hitting Broadway on the river.

He made a boat with aces and got paid off for a big river bet by Cody Pack. Finally, he hit an ace on the river to win a race with {a-Diamonds}{k-Hearts} against the {q-Clubs}{q-Hearts} of Engels.

After Pack went out ninth, Jones was dealt aces again and this time Engels shoved over his late-position raise. Engels flopped a queen but got no further improvement, giving Jones over 100 big blinds.

The hot streak finally ended for Jones when he got in a three-way all in that saw Schencker bust out with {a-Clubs} while Jones sent a double to Jeremy Joseph, whose {q-Clubs}{q-Hearts} held against Jones’ {a-Spades}{k-Spades}.

Muruz Yohannes scored the next two eliminations, winning a race against Martin Zamani and dominating Tony Utnage with ace-king against king-jack.

Then, Jones got lucky again against his old nemesis Sears. He opened the button for just over a min-raise and Sears shoved in for just over 16 big blinds. Jones called with {a-Clubs}{10-Diamonds} but needed help against {a-Diamonds}{j-Hearts}. Both an ace and a ten arrived on the flop and Jones took control of almost half of the chips in play.

Jones and Joseph then got in a massive flip for 11 million in chips at 80,000/160,000/20,000. It began with Jones raising to 375,000 and Joseph three-betting to 1 million in the small blind. Jones came back with an all-in shove and Joseph tanked for about five minutes before calling off his stack with eights. Jones had {a-Diamonds}{10-Clubs} and his lucky hand came through again as a ten flopped.

That gave Jones almost a 3-1 lead going heads up, one he extended with some initial success. However, Yohannes battled back, catching Jones bluffing three times to move into the lead.

“For a lot of hands I found myself on the river with the bottom of my range where I had to bluff,” Jones would later explain. “And he always had a hand to call. I’m not the type to just check if I don’t have anything.”

Jones was able to retake the lead though and Yohannes tried shoving with {8-Spades}{7-Spades} on a {j-Spades}{7-Clubs}{5-Clubs} flop. Jones called with pocket queens and turned a set to seal the deal.

“I knew I was a better player than him,” Jones told tournament reporters. “I knew I just had to grind him down.”

Here’s a look at all of the ring winners from the Rio stop.

Event Winner Prize
$365 Reentry Nate Bandy $75,364
$365 NLHE James Alexander $18,744
$365 NLHE/PLO Mordechai Kirschenbaum $15,124
$365 Turbo Adam Ross $21,595
$365 NLHE Kenny Nguyen $23,196
$365 PLO Seth Foster $12,231
$365 NLHE Christopher Leong $24,812
$365 HORSE Kyle Loman $16,617
$365 Monster Stack Eric Blair $46,803
$365 Turbo Daniel Pearlman $17,103
$2,200 High Roller Brandon Wittmeyer $77,840

Photo courtesy of WSOP

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