A long and exhausting Day 3 came to an end in Event #37: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'Em with Thomas Reynolds breaking through for his first tournament title. Reynolds happily took home $292,880 and a gold bracelet after defeating James Hughes in a long heads-up battle.
Both players mentioned they were getting tired near the end of heads-up play which may have led to Reynolds making an all-in call with a straight and flush draw. The board was and Reynolds led out for 900,000. Hughes moved all-in for 2,780,000 and Reynolds called tabling vs Hughes' . The river landed the giving Reynolds his flush and the victory. The two players duked it out for 109 hands before a winner was crowned.
Reynolds had just over $11,000 in earnings before his big finish and booked his first World Series of Poker cash to go along with his first career win. "I love playing poker," he said after the win. "My wife's very understanding."
Reynolds thinks of himself as a family man, and is a fan of UNC athletics. When asked how he felt about this achievement he said, "It feels kinda unreal to tell you the truth, but you know, it's something I wanted to try to do. It's an amazing feeling."
He talked a bit about how he approached the field and that his wife says, "Be patient, Tom." He laughed and continued, "I'm glad I didn't know there were that many pros. It probably would've put more pressure on me."
The heads-up battle was a long one, but Reynolds explained that he felt good about it. "First I was a little nervous. I hadn't played that much heads-up like that. And the speed. I felt in control in the beginning, but it got tight at the end."
Reynolds now has over $303,000 in cashes, along with a coveted gold bracelet to bring home to his family who was following along with the updates all day. He plans on leaving Las Vegas for a short while to go on a holiday with his family but will be back for the Main Event now that he has paid his way. "I hope you get to interview me again," he laughed.
Event #37 gained a total of 2,020 entries on Day 1 with 303 players reaching the money and earning at least $1,502. There were many notables that finished in the money, including Anthony Spinella (23rd place - $9,209), defending champion Chase Bianchi (28th place - $7,492), Mark Seif (48th place - $5,131), Ryan Laplante (52nd place - $5,131), and Barry Greenstein (61st place - $4,319).
Event #37 Final Table Results
|1||Thomas Reynolds||United States||$292,880|
|2||James Hughes||United States||$180,919|
|4||Eric Blair||United States||$95,899|
|7||Chris Johnson||United States||$39,937|
|8||Chad Eveslage||United States||$30,448|
Final Table Summary
The official table got underway after the elimination of Daniel Deveau (10th place - $18,720) who ran his pocket kings into the pocket aces of Hampton. It only took three hands for the next elimination to come along as Joep Raemaekers (9th place - $23,460) was next to fall. He got all of his chips in the middle with top pair against his opponent's two over cards, straight draw, and a flush draw, and wasn't able to hold on. The next bust out came even faster, in the very next hand, as Chad Eveslage (8th place - $30,448) lost with his against Hughes' .
After three quick knockouts, it took another 118 hands until Chris Johnson (7th place -$39,937) hit the rail. Johnson lost a flip to Hughes, which started the next chain of bust outs. In the next hand, Vlad Darie (6th place - $52,932) was all-in with pocket sevens against the pocket jacks of Hughes. Darie couldn't hit a seven and was the next casualty. Michael Gathy (5th place - $70,884) put up a good fight on the final table, doubling up several times while being the short stack. Unfortunately, his time came to and end in fifth place as his string of luck ran out.
Eric Blair (4th place - $95,899) became the new short stack on the table and after a couple of limpers in front of him, Blair shoved all-in from the small blind. Reynolds push all-in over the top and his opponent in rough shape. Reynolds tabled against Blair's . Blair could not hit a jack and was sent to the rail. Players went on a break and when they returned, Reginald Hampton (3rd place - $131,061) was all-in with ace-king vs ace-jack of Reynolds. Reynolds hit a jack on the flop and Hampton was ousted in third place. That paved the way for the heads-up match between Reynolds and Hughes.