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The World Poker Tour’s second stop of season 17 wrapped up on Tuesday as the final table of WPT Choctaw crowned a winner. Brady Holiman, a car salesman from Texas, brought the chip lead to the final table and stormed his way to his first WPT Championship and the $469,185 first place prize. The final table came together boasting a variety of experience. Three players, including chip leader Holiman, Timothy Domboski and Christopher Smith were all assured the largest cash of their career simply by making the final table. Viet Vo, had already earned over $1 million in career earnings and Tony Ruberto is not only a WSOP Circuit ring winner but a previous WPT Champion. However, it was Anthony Zinno that claimed the most experience as the former WPT Player of the Year sat down at the final table looking to win a record-tying fourth WPT title. The first elimination came roughly 30 minutes into play. Timothy Domboski, who entered the final table second in chips, ran into the aggression of the chip leader Holiman. Domboski put in a raise only to be three-bet by Holiman. After spending a time-extension chip, Domboski put his entire stack in the middle holding [poker card="kd"][poker card="kc"]. Holiman calls with [poker card="ah"][poker card="ks"] and the [poker card="ad"][poker card="4c"][poker card="6s"] flop puts Domboski looking for the one-outer. The turn and river are unable to provide Domboski his one time and the bad beat sent him to the rail in sixth place for $95,780 for what is far and away the largest cash of his career. Holiman’s chip lead surged to over 50% of the chips in play. A little less than an hour later, the three-time WPT Champ, Anthony Zinno would play his last hand of the tournament. With just over 10 big blinds he pushed all-in with [poker card="ad"][poker card="4h"]. Holiman, still with an abundance of chips, made the call out of the big blind with [poker card="qs"][poker card="ts"]. The flop [poker card="qc"][poker card="6c"][poker card="4s"] brought bottom pair for Zinno, but put Holiman in the lead with top pair. When the [poker card="ah"] appeared on the turn, Zinno looked to be in great shape to double up. The [poker card="qd"] on the river shut the door on Zinno’s aspirations to win his fourth title, as Holiman improved to trips to take the hand. Zinno exited in fifth place for $125,630. His impressive World Poker Tour resume increases to 24 total cashes for over $2.7 million. WPT Choctaw was Zinno’s fourth WPT final table and the only one where he didn’t walk away with the title. The very next hand saw the elimination of another WPT Champion. Tony Ruberto, also sitting on a short stack, made his final stand with [poker card="js"][poker card="7c"]. Once again it was Holiman who had to do the dirty work, making the call with two red queens. The board was rather uneventful, only providing Ruberto the hope of a gutshot on the turn. The Season 10 bestbet Jacksonville winner bowed out in fourth place and earned over $166,000 for his efforts in Oklahoma. The bustouts continued to come quickly as Christopher Smith found himself all-in from the small blind holding [poker card="kc"][poker card="td"]. He was called by the surging Viet Vo with [poker card="ah"][poker card="tc"]. Although Vo hadn’t been involved in any knockouts until this time, he had been climbing up the chip counts and was comfortably in second place. With the cards on their backs, the flop came [poker card="qs"][poker card="5c"][poker card="3h"], leaving much to be desired for Smith. The turn came the [poker card="8c"] which was no help and finally when the river was dealt the [poker card="6h"], Smith was eliminated. The Texas resident took home $223,370 for third place, the amount eclipsed his entire career total to date. Holiman held a 3:2 chips lead at the start of heads-up play. Vo briefly closed the gap, to bring the pair to even, Holiman continues to do what he had done for the entirety of the final table and keep his foot on the gas. On the 17th hand of heads-up play, the pair got their stacks in the center in the hand which determined the winner of WPT Choctaw. Vo opened the button and Holiman three-bet out of the big blind. Vo took a dip in the tank and came out four-betting. Holiman took some time of his own and shipped. Vo was covered and snap called, turning over [poker card="kd"][poker card="kh"]. Holiman needed help, showing down the [poker card="as"][poker card="js"]. Help arrived for Holiman in the form of a [poker card="jc"][poker card="jh"][poker card="6d"] flop. Vo was drawing to one of the two kings left in the deck. The turn and river didn’t change anything and Vo had to settle for second place and a massive $320,725 payday. Holiman finished the final table going wire-to-wire with the chip lead and joining the WPT Champions Club. He earned a career-making $469,185 for the win as well as entry into the season-ending Tournament of Champions. The World Poker Tour will now make their way to the East Coast for the WPT Borgata Poker Open which kicks off on September 16. WPT Choctaw Final Table Results 1. Brady Holiman - $469,185 2. Viet Vo - $320,725 3. Christopher Smith - $223,370 4. Tony Ruberto - $166,605 5. Anthony Zinno - $125,630 6. Timothy Domboski - $95,780
Poker's Mid-Major circuits are home to some of poker's brightest up-and-coming stars. Each month, PocketFives breaks down the big winners from the WSOP Circuit, WPT DeepStacks, Heartland Poker Tour, and Mid-States Poker. Viet Vo Conquers Rio Las Vegas WSOP Circuit Main Event The Las Vegas WSOP Circuit events are usually the biggest and arguably the toughest fields of the season. Viet Vo beat out 951 other players to win the first Circuit ring of his career. "It feels good. I’ve been wanting this for a long time. I got second in the Main Event in Chicago three years and a half ago. I got 11th last year in the Main Event at the Bicycle Casino. I bubbled the final table. To finally be able to close it out today, it feels good," Vo said after his win. The victory earned him $274,030 and pushed his career earnings to just shy of $1.7 million. The final table included Jared Jaffee, Cylus Watson, Nick Pupillo and eventual runner-up Sohale Khalili. Ali Imsirovic picked up the first WSOP Circuit ring of his career in the $2,200 High Roller event by beating a final table that included Asher Conniff, Upeshka De Silva, Barry Hutter, and Aaron Massey. Zachary Donovan Wins Second Career WSOPC Ring at Coconut Creek Nearly six years after winning a $365 buy-in WSOP Circuit event at Foxwoods, Zachary Donovan won the $1,700 Main Event at Coconut Creek in Florida to win his second ring and $243,916. Donovan started the final table with the chip lead and started heads up play with the lead over runner up Sokchheka Pho. Jason Young finished third for $110,859. Mike Hudson Wins WSOPC Potawatomi Main Event WSOP Circuit stops are usually full of players who grind their way through all 12 events before moving on to the next stop. Mike Hudson is apparently the exception to the rule. Hudson beat out 666 other players to win the Main Event at Potawatomi after not playing any other events at that stop. The final table included Eric Wasylenko, Brett Apter, former #1 PocketFiver Kevin Saul, and second place finisher Joshua Turner. The win was the first time Hudson cashed in a WSOP Circuit Main Event and his first live cash since April 2015. Nick Pupillo Takes Heartland Poker Tour Title in Black Hawk Just a week before finishing fourth at the WSOP Circuit event at the Rio, Nick Pupillo beat out 587 other players to win the Heartland Poker Tour event in Black Hawk, Colorado for $194,478. The win moved Pupillo into a tie with Nick Davidson for HPT Season XV Player of the Year. Brian Wilson Tops Star-Studded MSPT Poker Bowl III Final Table Canadian Brian Wilson arrived in Las Vegas for Super Bowl weekend and left with $143,929 and the title of Mid-States Poker Tour Poker Bowl III champion. Wilson, runner-up Pedro Mendes and third place finisher Eli Ross agreed to a three-way deal to wrap things up. Mendes and Ross each left with just a touch over $119,000. The final table also included Vegas locals Eddy Sabat, Shannon Shorr, and Eric Baldwin. Martin Gaudreault Wins WPT DeepStacks Montreal Martin Gaudreault worked his way through an all-Canadian final table at the WPT DeepStacks Montreal Main Event to pick up the first live win of his career and $ 139,311. Gaudreault's only other live cash came in a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event at the 2011 World Series of Poker. “It’s awesome obviously, I have no words, it’s just incredible. I don’t play too many tournaments, and just going out and binking one of the biggest ones I play is awesome,” said Gaudreault. The $1,650 CDN ($1,110 US) buy-in event drew out 686 players to push the total prize pool to $760,712. Mike Leah finished 36th for $3,670. Mohamed Abdou Takes Down WPT DeepStacks Brussels The Grand Casino in Brussels played host to the WPT DeepStacks €1,200 Main Event and 584 players. Mohamed Abdou outlasted all of them on his way to the first live win of his career and $ 136,217. All of Abdou's previous eight cashes came in his native France and his biggest score was $17,171. Michael Mizrachi finished 27th for $4,143 while Triple Crown holder Davidi Kitai picked up $2,724 for finishing 56th. Matt Kirby Wins MSPT Canterbury Park for Third MSPT Win Matt Kirby became the third three-time Mid-States Poker Tour champion after beating 478 other players to win the $1,100 buy-in MSPT Canterbury Park Main Event. Kirby, who picked up $99,573 for the win, had previously won MSPT Walker and MSPT Onamia in 2012. The only other players with three MSPT titles are Blake Bohn and Carl Carodenuto.