Jason Wheeler won his first World Series of Poker Circuit ring, taking down the $1,675 Main Event at Bally's in Las Vegas. He had to overcome a very tough final table to bank the $323,236 first-place prize, one with a slew of bracelet winners and top players. For Wheeler, it's the second-biggest live cash of his career, bested only by the $418,122 he won for a runner-up finish at the 2009 World Series of Poker.
Wheeler also won a $10,000 seat into the 2016 WSOP Global Casino Championship.
Official Final Table Results
|1||Jason Wheeler||Chicago, IL||$323,236|
|2||Lisa Hamilton||Las Vegas, NV||$200,310|
|3||Jamie Rosen||Las Vegas, NV||$147,009|
|4||Anthony Spinella||New York, NY||$111,081|
|5||Jeffrey Kim||Huntingdon Valley, PA||$84,768|
|6||Mike Leah||Toronto, Canada||$65,246|
|7||Michael Rocco||Tustin, CA||$50,806|
|8||Nipun Java||Northridge, CA||$40,026|
|9||Brandon Wittmeyer||Las Vegas, NV||$31,904|
The tournament drew a hefty 1,214 entries, with 135 places paid. Bryn Kenney (127th), Javier Zarco (101st), Marvin Rettenmaier (75th), Keven Stammen (73rd), Olivier Busquet (67th), Dennis Phillips (37th), and Pratyush Buddiga (32nd) were among the notables to fall on the way to the final table.
Wheeler entered Day 3 with an above average stack of 1.4 million with blinds at 15,000/30,000/5,000, according to the live updates. He doubled up early on courtesy of Ricky Prince, who shoved all in on a board of after check-calling the flop. Wheeler called it off with the and was leading against the . The river was a , improving neither player and leaving Wheeler best.
Wheeler found another double, this time through Mike Leah, early at the final table. The Canadian crusher shoved from the cutoff seat on a hand with a dead button with the , and Wheeler called it off with the and flopped an ace to double up. That gave him a stack of about 2.8 million as blinds moved to 40,000/80,000/10,000.
It was Anthony "holdplz" Spinella, fresh off a World Poker Tour final table, who took command early in the final table, sending Brandon Wittmeyer and Nipun Java packing in ninth and eighth, respectively, to shoot up past 100 big blinds.
Start-of-day leader Jeffrey Kim then ran kings into Michael Rocco's aces, only to flop kings full to send Rocco out seventh. Spinella then busted Leah in a flip to reaffirm his lead. Wheeler won a series of confrontations with Spinella, but first-ever online bracelet winner was able to regain his footing by eliminating Kim in fifth.
That left four players, with Spinella and Wheeler way in front of Jamie Rosen and 2009 bracelet winner Lisa Hamilton. Nonetheless, Spinella and Wheeler continued to clash, and it ended with Wheeler taking the last of Spinella's chips after Hamilton doubled through him to leave him short.
Wheeler had a commanding lead at that point, and after three-outing Rosen to bust him in third, he called a 16-big-blind shove from Hamilton with the and flopped a winning pair of kings against the .
"I feel really great right now," Wheeler told WSOP staff after the win. "I've been playing really well lately, and I've been waiting for a run to culminate in a victory, which is really satisfying."
*Image courtesy of WSOP.com