Ryan Eriquezzo Wins Second WSOP Global Casino Championship

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Ryan Eriquezzo won his second WSOP Global Casino Championship on Thursday night. (WSOP photo)

The 2019 WSOP Global Casino Championship crowned its winner on Thursday as Ryan Eriquezzo bested the 128 player field of WSOP Circuit grinders to capture his historic second career national title, a World Series of Poker bracelet, and the $279,431 first-place prize.

Taking place at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina for the fifth year in a row, the $1M guaranteed WSOP Global Casino Championship (formerly known as the World Series of Poker National Championship) saw a final table packed with poker talent which included 2012 WSOP National, seven-time WSOP Circuit Ring winner Joshua Turner and the current king of the Circuit Ring, 13-time WSOPC champion, Maurice Hawkins.

France’s Adam Cedric started the final table with the shortest stack and after losing a big hand to Hawkins, he quickly found himself all in and at risk holding [as][8h] against Eric Salazar’s dominating [ad][jc]. The pair saw a flop of [ah][qs][qh] providing Cedric some chop opportunities, however, the [6s] turn and the [8s] river was of no help, ending Cedric’s run. Cedric finished in sixth place for $46,546, the second-best score of his career right behind his victory in the WSOP International Circuit, St. Maarten Main Event, the very tournament that qualified him for the GCC in the first place.

Paulius Vaitiekunas had a rollercoaster tournament prior to the start of the final table and Day 3 proved to be no different for the Lithuanian. Vaitiekunas started the day with a healthy chip lead, but after a few hours of play, he saw his stack dwindling. After finding himself on the losing end of a big flip, he was left with roughly ten big blinds. Eventually, he stuck his short stack in the middle holding [ac][8h] and was called by Hawkins’ [kh][kd]. The flop fell [9h][6c][tc] providing Vaitiekunas some gutshot outs in addition to his one overcard. However, when the turn came [ks], he was down to just four outs to the straight. A cruel [ah] hit the river and Vaitiekunas hit the rail in fifth place taking home $62,023, for a new career-high cash.

Minutes later another all in clash occurred when Joshua Turner put in a raise from the cutoff and was shoved on by Eriquezzo. Turner, covering Eriquezzo by a single big blind, made the call only to see his [ah][9d] out-pipped by Eriquezzo’s [as][ts]. The [8h][9c]9td] board gave both players a pair but the [js] turn and the [6c] river gave the hand to Eriquezzo. Left with his single big blind, Turner got it in on the very next hand and lost when the rest of the table limped and checked it down. Turner finished in fourth place for $84,961.

After a short break in the action, three-handed play began leading to the next elimination. After Salazar folded his button, Hawkins limped in the small blind with [ah][8h]. Eriquezzo put in a raise holding [as][jc] and Hawkins made the call. The flop came [ad][4h][2s] and the action checked through. The [9s] hit the turn and Hawkins put out a bet which Eriquezzo called. Hawkins then checked the [4s] river and Eriquezzo moved all-in. With fewer than 10 big blinds behind, Hawkins made the call for his tournament life only to see that he was outkicked and, consequently, out of the tournament. Hawkins headed to the cashier in third place for $119,555.

Holding a slight lead heading into heads-up play, Eriquezzo had his eye on making WSOP Circuit history as the first two-time champion. Salazar and Eriquezzo battled for the better part of two hours until Eriquezzo was able to close it out.

From the button, Eriquezzo put in a raise with the [kd][td] and Salazar defended his big blind with [ac][6d]. The [jd][7d][3d] gave Eriquezzo the flopped flush. Salazar check-called a bet from Eriquezzo. The turn was the [2h] and Salazar checked again. Eriquezzo pushed out another bet which prompted Salazar to make a move and check-raise all in drawing dead. Eriquezzo snap-called for the victory. Salazar finished as the runner-up, adding $172,431 to his bankroll.

Ryan Eriquezzo earned $279,431 for first place and added a second WSOP bracelet to his resume. It’s one of the largest scores of his prolific career, second only to the first WSOP Global Casino Championship he won back in 2012.

Final Table Payouts

1. Ryan Eriquezzo – $279,431
2. Eric Salazar – $172,431
3. Maurice Hawkins – $119,555
4. Joshua Turner – 62,023
5. Paulus Vaitiekunas – $62,023
6. Adam Cedric – $46,546

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