John Lopez – Photo Credit: WSOP Circuit
John Lopez won the World Series of Poker Circuit main event on Mar. 20 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The resident of Springfield, Missouri took home the top prize worth $145,876 along with his first gold ring. His career earnings now stand at $175,190.
“I mainly play cash games in the Springfield/Joplin area, and usually play about three-four tournaments per year.” said Lopez to the WSOP Circuit reporters after the victory. He continued when asked about his plans to play more tournaments with a bigger bankroll, “Yeah maybe so. It’s more of a time thing than anything, but if I can find the time I definitely will”
The $1,700 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament had a prize pool worth $721,140 thanks to two starting flights that attracted a total of 476 entries. The top 58 players all cashed for at least $3,007 in prize money. All of those 58 players returned for Day 2, and the tournament played down to the final five after 12 hours of play.
Jeffrey Robinson (9th), Harold Kruger (8th), Ashley Frank (7th), and William Berry (6th) were the last four players to fall on Day 2, and that progress into the final table from the night before made for a short final day of the tournament. The winner was decided in just one hour of play.
The last female standing Kasey Mills fell in fifth place to start the eliminations, and she was followed to the rail by local poker professional Eric Bunch, who has one WSOP Circuit gold ring on his resume. The elimination of Brandon Elmore in third place set the stage for the final battle between Lopez and Richard Gebhart.
Just a few hands took place between them when Lopez opened from the small blind, and Gebhart raised to 480,000 from the big blind. Lopez reraised to 1.3 million, and Gebhart reraised all in holding KQ. Lopez called to cover him with AK in the hole. The board was dealt A324J, and Gebhart was eliminated in second place, good for $90,158. The runner-up score was the largest of his career, and it took his total earnings up to $145,024.
A few other notables that cashed in the event included Phil Mader (10th), Trey Bartlett (11th), Todd Bartlett (15th), Daniel Lowery (17th), Cedricc Trevino (25th), Sergio Ramirez (26th), and Curtis Connors (58th).
Here is a look at the payouts awarded at the final table:
The next WSOP Circuit event is already taking place at Turning Stone Resort, and it runs until Mar. 27. The $1,700 buy-in main event begins on Thursday, Mar. 23. You can see the full schedule for the tournament series right here.