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  1. [caption width="640"] Jay Lee had every reason to smile after winning almost 0,000 and his first live tournament at WPT Choctaw (Joe Giron/WPT photo)[/caption] Jay Lee had just over $10,000 in lifetime tournament earnings when he woke up on Tuesday morning. By the time he went to bed though, he'd added $593,173 to that total and added his name to the World Poker Tour Champions Cup after beating Jeb Hutton heads-up to win the WPT Choctaw Main Event. When the final table began, Josh Kay had the chip lead and Lee was third in chips. Kay showed no signs of letting up early on, taking down 14 of the first 48 hands before increasing his lead with the first elimination of the night. Eric Bunch moved all in from the button for 525,000, Michael Stashin called from the small blind and Kay defended his big blind. Stashin and Kay checked through the [poker card="jd"][poker card="8s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3s"][poker card="4h"] board. Bunch showed [poker card="kh"][poker card="6d"], Stashin showed [poker card="kc"][poker card="7h"] but Kay turned over [poker card="td"][poker card="3d"] for the only pair to eliminate Bunch in sixth place. An hour later Stashin got those chips back and more. Action folded to Paul Fisher in the small blind and he raised to 260,000 and Stashin called from the big blind. The flop came [poker card="kh"][poker card="js"][poker card="6s"] and Fisher bet 375,000. Stashin moved all in and Fisher called off the last of his 1,400,000 stack. Fisher showed [poker card="ks"][poker card="7d"] for top pair but Stashin had [poker card="jd"][poker card="6c"] for bottom two. The [poker card="th"] turn and [poker card="jc"] river were no help for Fisher and he was out in fifth place. Stashin's run only lasted another 90 minutes though as Lee began his run to the title in earnest. Jeb Hutton raised to 350,000 from the button, Lee re-raised to 875,000 from the small blind before Stashin moved all-in for 5,150,000 from the big. Hutton folded but Lee called and tabled [poker card="qc"][poker card="qs"]. Stashin showed [poker card="8d"][poker card="8s"]. The [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"][poker card="js"] flop was no help for Stashin and neither was the [poker card="tc"] turn or [poker card="4h"] river and he was eliminated in fourth place. The final three players played for an hour before a key hand put Lee ahead for good. Kay raised to 450,000 from the button, Hutton folded the small blind before Lee called from the big. The flop came [poker card="8s"][poker card="5s"][poker card="2d"] and Lee checked, Kay bet 525,000 and Lee raised to 1,400,000. Kay moved all in and Lee put all six of his 30-second time extension buttons forward. It took him only one minute to call all in and table [poker card="ks"][poker card="9s"] for a flush draw while Kay showed [poker card="js"][poker card="2s"] for bottom pair and a smaller flush draw. All the drama ended on the turn when the [poker card="ts"] hit to complete Lee's flush. The river was the [poker card="9h"]. After the hand Lee had 17,225,000 while Kay was left with 6,225,000. Just 30 minutes later Hutton doubled through Kay to set up the eventual elimination of the former chip leader. After 79 hands of three-handed play, Kay raised to 500,000 from the button and Lee moved all in from the big blind. Kay called, putting his 5,050,000 stack at risk, and flipped over [poker card="ad"][poker card="kc"] while Lee found himself behind with [poker card="as"][poker card="qc"]. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="8h"][poker card="6s"] flop changed everything though. The turn was the [poker card="2h"] and the river was the [poker card="js"], eliminating Kay in third place. When heads-up play began, Lee held a 3-2 lead over Hutton but it took just 10 hands for Lee to finish things off. Hutton opened to 550,000 and Lee called. Both players checked the [poker card="jd"][poker card="4d"][poker card="4c"] flop and the [poker card="7s"] turn. The river was the [poker card="9d"] and Lee bet 750,000. Hutton raised to 2,000,000 but Lee responded with an all-in raise. Hutton called and showed [poker card="qd"][poker card="2d"] for a rivered flush, but Lee happily tabled [poker card="jh"][poker card="4h"] for a flopped full house to win the first tournament of his career. Final Table Payouts Jay Lee - $593,173 Jeb Hutton - $366,895 Josh Kay - $270,801 Michael Stashin - $202,617 Paul Fisher - $153,508 Eric Bunch - $117,761
  2. With the successful season-opening WPT Gardens Poker Festival in their rearview mirror, the World Poker Tour rolls into Oklahoma for WPT Choctaw. Taking place from August 3-7 at the Choctaw Casino & Resort, it’s the fourth year in a row that the WPT has traveled to the Sooner State as a part of their main tour. The Main Event The 5-day Main Event is a $3500 + $200 buy-in, the same as it has been in years past. This year, it comes with a $1 million guaranteed prize pool, which happens to be the lowest guarantee on the Main Tour. But take note, unless something goes drastically wrong, that guarantee is merely a marketing tool. In the three previous years, WPT Choctaw has never had a prize pool less than $3 million. Every player to make ever make a WPT Choctaw six-handed final table have earned themselves a six-figure payday. Even though attendance for this event has been drifting slightly lower year-over-year, with 2017’s field dropping below 1,000 runners for the first time since they started holding it, they are still very likely to see a multi-million dollar prize pool. To get a piece of that prize pool players can choose from two starting flights. The first flight kicks off at 12:00 pm CT on Friday, August 3 and the second the next day at the same time. This tournament is unlimited re-entry and players can play both flights and fire away as many times as they need to. The catch is, this is not a best stack forward tournament so participants that bag at the end go Day 1A but would rather take a shot the next day would need to forfeit their stack. As players have come to expect from the WPT, the structure is deep. Players start with 40,000 in chips (400bb) and 60-minute levels. New To Choctaw While the buy-in and structure may be familiar to those who have played in the past there are a couple new wrinkles to enhance the Oklahoman experience. The wildly popular big blind ante format is in play. The big blind pays the antes for the entire table, helping speed up the rate of play and taking a little bit of the burden off the dealer. Additionally, once the tournament is one table out of the money a 30-second shot clock will be adopted. Players have 30 seconds to act on their hand, with four "time extension" chips that can be used for those tough spots. Once a player is out of time extension chips and the clock runs out, if the player has not declared an action they will be forced to check their hand, or, if facing a bet, fold. A Look Back Choctaw has been an early-season stop on the WPT since Season 14. In its first year, 1,175 runners helped create a prize pool of nearly $4 million. Jason Brin won it all and walked with $682,975 for a career-high cash. Brin’s final table featured some of poker’s top talent including Andy Hwang, WPT Garden's runner-up Jake Schindler, WSOP 2018 Final Tablist Alex Lynskey and 4-time WPT Champion Darren Elias. In Season 15, poker pro James Mackey took the Choctaw title for his first WPT victory. The $666,758 was second largest payday of his esteemed career helping him to $4.1 million in lifetime earnings. Then, just last year, it was the recreational player from Austin, Texas Jay Lee who won $593,173 for just his third career recorded cash. Are You Qualified? For those looking to take a shot at getting into the Main Event for the minimum, Choctaw offers plenty of opportunities to satellite into the Championship Event. Beginning on July 28, there are $100 Super Satellites into any of the $300 tournaments. Then on starting on Tuesday, July 31 the casino offers as many as 15 opportunities for players to win a seat into the $3500 + $200 Main Event. Most are of the Mega Sattliest are of the $300 variety, with a few $500 Megas to ensure that as many qualifiers as possible can grab a seat in the field. WPT Choctaw Main Event gets underway on August 3 with daily live updates provided by the World Poker Tour.
  3. 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
  4. On Monday morning, 31 players woke up with the chance to make the final table of the World Poker Tour Choctaw event knowing full well they'd have to wait 11 more days before playing down to a winner. Over the course of six hours of play, 25 players were sent to the rail with the final six needing to get themselves to Las Vegas by the end of the month. Will Berry made his way through those 25 eliminations and now holds the chip lead heading into the final table on May 31 in Sin City. Berry was responsible for five of the 25 players sent packing on Monday. He made quick work of the unofficial final table, eliminating Joe Elpayaa in eighth place with [as][ks] against Elpayaa's [qd][qh] and then was on the good side of a cooler when sent Denny Tran out in seventh with [ad][as] against [kc][kh]. Those two pots mean Berry returns to a stack of 7,575,000 (189 big blinds) when action resumes at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor. The most decorated player at the final table, Craig Varnell spent a good amount of time on Monday as the chip leader. He eliminated six players on his way to bagging up 6,230,000 (156 bb). Varnell finished fourth at the WPT Gardens Poker Festival last July weeks after winning his first World Series of Poker bracelet earlier that month. He also won the WPT500 event in Las Vegas in 2015. Nick Pupillo sits in third place with 3,135,000 (78 bb). Pupillo has two Heartland Poker Tour titles and two WSOP Circuit rings to his name. His previous best WPT finish came last September when he finished 13th in the Borgata Poker Open. He has six WPT Main Tour cashes for a little over $108,000 in winnings. Trung Pham and Austin Lewis make up the fourth and fifth spots with nearly identical stacks. Pham, who has three WSOP Circuit rings, has 2,600,000 while Lewis has 2,560,000. The short stack is Stacey Jones with 980,000 (25 bb). Jones has by far the least amount of previous tournament success of the remaining six players. He's won just $42,476 through 13 cashes and has no recorded live wins according to Hendon Mob. The sixth place payout of $76,980 - which all players received at the conclusion of Monday's action - nearly triples Jones' lifetime earnings. Arthur Morris began the day as the chip leader but was eliminated in 21st place by Austin Lewis. The $3,700 buy-in event drew 577 entries to create a total prize pool of $1,958,915 with the eventual champion earning $379,990, which includes entry into the Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions. WPT Choctaw is one of three final tables being filmed at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas to close out Season XVIII. The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown final table will play down to a winner the night before. The average stack at the start of the six-handed final table will be 3,850,000 and play will start with blinds of 20,000/40,000 (40,000 ante). Final Table Chip Counts Will Berry - 7,575,000 Craig Varnell - 6,230,000 Nick Pupillo - 3,135,000 Trung Pham - 2,600,000 Austin Lewis - 2,560,000 Stacey Jones - 980,000
  5. The World Poker Tour is back in Las Vegas to close out Season XVII, and the grand finale includes the final table of WPT Choctaw. Headed up by chip leader Will Berry, just six players remain from the 577 entries. What’s Up for Grabs? The winner of the Season XVII WPT Choctaw will receive $379,990, a seat into the season-ending Baccarat WPT Tournament of Champions, and a luxurious Hublot Big Bang watch. Each player in the final six has locked up at least $76,890 1st Place: $379,990 2nd Place: $243,330 3rd Place: $179,430 4th Place: $133,770 5th Place: $100,850 6th Place: $76,890 Click here to read about how the WPT Choctaw final table was reached. Of note, this is the second WPT Choctaw event of Season XVII. Back in August 2018, Brady Holiman topped a field of 755 entries to win $469,185. Also at that final table were WPT Champions Club members Tony Ruberto and Anthony Zinno. How To Watch the WPT Choctaw Final Table The final table for the Season XVII WPT Choctaw is May 31. If you’re in the area, you’re able to head over to the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to view the conclusion of the event in person, but of course not everyone is within reach of Sin City. For those looking to tune in as it’s happening, the final table can be viewed on PokerGO. If you don’t have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code “POCKET5S” for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan. You can also follow along with written coverage on WPT.com. The event is also being filmed for broadcast as part of the WPT’s televised schedule of events that you’ll be able to catch later on FOX Sports Regional Networks. [caption id="attachment_624461" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Nick Pupillo (photo: WPT)[/caption] Seat 1: Nick Pupillo - 3,135,000 Making his first WPT Main Tour final table, Nick Pupillo has quickly made a name for himself on the poker scene. His first live tournament cash was recorded in 2013 and he’s had a fair amount of success since. In 2015, Pupillo won his first of two Heartland Poker Tour titles for $120,537, with the second coming in 2019 for $194,478. In 2017, he won a WSOP Circuit title for $170,286. He nearly won a Hollywood Poker Open title in 2015 but had to settle for second place, and his largest live tournament score was in 2017 for $217,535 from a second-place finish in a preliminary event at the Season XVI WPT Borgata Poker Open. All told, Pupillo currently has more than $2.5 million in live tournament earnings. A second-place finish or better in this event would give Pupillo the largest live tournament score of his career. [caption id="attachment_624464" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Will Bery (photo: WPT)[/caption] Seat 2: Will Berry - 7,575,000 The chip leader for the WPT Choctaw final table is Will Berry. Berry ran deep in the first WPT Choctaw tournament this season on the World Poker Tour, but ultimately finished in 38th for $11,995. This time, he’s found his way to the final table and could very well be on his way to the largest live tournament score of his career and first WPT title. Berry’s career-best live tournament score was a WSOP Circuit win in 2017 for $180,806. Berry also has a final table in the WSOP Circuit Choctaw Main Event back in 2016 to his credit. There, he took fourth for $136,812. On the WPT Main Tour, Berry now has three cashes. He had yet to make a final table, but Berry did take 15th in the Season XVII WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in December for a score of $85,542. [caption id="attachment_624462" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Stacey Jones (photo: WPT)[/caption] Seat 3: Stacey Jones - 980,000 With a big cowboy hat and an even bigger smile, Stacey Jones worked his way to the WPT Choctaw final table. He’ll be the short stack when play resumes on Friday, but what his stack may lack he’ll be making up for in entertainment value. Jones is one who always looks to be having fun at the poker table, which is a nice carryover from his business life where he’s a nightclub owner. Although he only has $119,366 in lie tournament earnings when you include the $76,890 he’s already earned in this event, Jones isn’t one you should sleep on. He’s been playing poker for decades, so there’s plenty of experience within his arsenal. [caption id="attachment_624460" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Craig Varnell (photo: WPT)[/caption] Seat 4: Craig Varnell - 6,230,000 Second in chips, Craig Varnell has been in this position before. In Season XV, Varnell reached the WPT Choctaw final table and finished third for a little more than $300,000. He’s back again and looking to end with an even better result that includes his first-ever WPT Main Tour title. Earlier this season, Varnell finished fourth in the WPT Gardens Poker Festival Main Event for north of $200,000. In 2015, Varnell won the huge WPT500 Las Vegas event for $330,000. In that tournament, he topped a field of 5,113 entries to take home the title. He won another large-field tournament in 2018 when he topped 2,419 entries in the $565 Pot-Limit Omaha event at the World Series of Poker. All told, Varnell has nearly $2 million in live tournament earnings. [caption id="attachment_624459" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Austin Lewis (photo: WPT)[/caption] Seat 5: Austin Lewis - 2,560,000 Austin Lewis’ first WPT Main Tour cash has turned out to be quite the impressive run, as it’s this one and turned into a final table appearance worth at least $76,890. Coming out of Texas, Lewis has had plenty of success on the Oklahoma tournament scene. Earlier in 2019, he took fifth in the WSOP Circuit Choctaw Main Event for $84,375. Another bit of poker success in Choctaw for Lewis came when he won the 2014 CardPlayer Poker Tour Choctaw Championship Event for $183,025. [caption id="attachment_624463" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Trung Pham (photo: WPT)[/caption] Seat 6: Trung Pham - 2,600,000 Rounding out the WPT Choctaw final table is Trung Pham. He’s another player from Texas making his first WPT final table. It’s the second WPT Main Tour cash for Pham. Pham’s best live tournament score came in 2018 when he won a $360 preliminary event at the Season XVII WPT Seminole Rock N Roll Poker Open. For that win, Pham scored $123,364. He also has three WSOP Circuit gold rings and a fourth-place finish in a WSOP Circuit main event in Choctaw. Pham’s only other WPT Main Tour cash came during the Season XVI WPT Borgata Poker Open, when he took 33rd from a field of 1,132 entries to win $14,132.
  6. On his 36th birthday, Craig Varnell stormed back from 3.5 big blinds to score his first World Poker Tour title. The victory came in the 577-entry Season XVII WPT Choctaw Main Event and was worth a career-best $379,990. "It feels great," Varnell said about getting the victory on his birthday. "When I found out [the final table] was on my birthday, I said 'well that's good.' The day didn't start out too well, and I was down to three or four big blinds. Then, I didn't know what happened. I won a couple of all ins and all of a sudden I was back in it. It's crazy. I had a big support group here, people watching from everywhere, it's pretty crazy. Best birthday present you can ask for." On Hand #42 of the final table, Varnell flopped top and bottom pair on the [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Tc"][poker card="6h"] board in a hand against Nick Pupillo. After Varnell checked with the [poker card="Kc"][poker card="6d"] in his hand, Pupillo bet 180,000. Varnell check-raised to 530,000, and Pupillo made the call to see the [poker card="3d"] hit the turn. Varnell moved all in for 2.405 million, and Pupillo quickly called with the better [poker card="Ts"][poker card="Th"]. The river was the [poker card="Qs"] to give Pupillo the double up and knock Varnell all the way down to 210,000. At the time, that was only 3.5 big blinds. Varnell doubled up through Trung Pham on the next deal of the cards, then doubled again a few hands later. The second double came through Stacey Jones. Immediately after that, Varnell doubled again through Pham and all of a sudden he was back up to 3.12 million in chips. Varnell took that momentum and rode it to victory, ultimately defeating Will Berry in heads-up play. Final Table Payouts Craig Varnell - $379,990 Will Berry - $243,330 Nick Pupillo - $179,430 Trung Pham - $133,770 Stacey Jones - $100,850 Austin Lewis - $76,890 This wasn't the first time Varnell had made a WPT final table, and it wasn't the first time he made the WPT Choctaw final table. In Season XV, Varnell took third in WPT Choctaw for $306,346. Earlier this season, Season XVII, Varnell took fourth in the WPT Gardens Poker Festival for $201,615. Although he did win a WPT500 title back in 2015, Varnell was still looking for that redemption after coming ever so close in WPT Main Tour events before. [caption id="attachment_624493" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Craig Varnell all smiles after his first WPT title victory (photo: WPT)[/caption] "It feels really good," Varnell said of being able to close this WPT Main Tour final table out with a win. "I made a really bad call when I was three handed, and I was pretty upset with myself for a while, but after I got short and then doubled up I think I played really well." Varnell had a roller coaster ride at the final table, but he said everyone experienced the same thing, with the chip lead changing multiple times and different players being at the bottom at various times, as well. Varnell also made sure to point out that everyone else at the table player very well. Austin Lewis was eliminated first when his [poker card="Jd"][poker card="Jc"] couldn't hold up against the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Kd"] for Jones. Jones fell next when he ran pocket kings into the pocket aces of Pham. After that, it was Pham out in fourth and then Pupillo out i third to set up a Varnell-versus-Berry heads-up bout. Varnell entered heads-up play with almost a 2-1 chip lead. Berry quickly pulled back into the lead, but then Varnell stretched a lead back out. On the final hand, the two got all the money in with Varnell holding the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Td"] to Berry's [poker card="8s"][poker card="8c"]. Varnell flopped a ten and held from there to eliminate Berry in second place. "I try to follow my instincts, which a lot of players don't do anymore," Varnell said of the style and speed of his play. "It's all math and game theory. That's a part of the game a lot of people don't have. They're always on their phone on Twitter, they're always doing something. I look at people and I try to pick up on things and pay attention a lot, and that's why I have success. I don't study, I don't do all of this stuff. These kids have no lives. They're either on the computer or playing poker all the time. I don't want to live my life like that. I love playing poker, but I'm not going to just play all the time. I've got family, friends, a girlfriend. I can't just be studying all the time." Varnell can now add his WPT title to his trophy case that already includes a World Series of Poker gold bracelet, in addition to the aforementioned WPT500 crown. Varnell's WSOP bracelet came just last summer when he won the $565 Pot-Limit Omaha event for $181,790. "Never would I have thought I'd have a WPT title and a bracelet," Varnell said. "It's crazy to just think about all of that. Now I get to play with all of the best tomorrow [in the Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions] with all of the added money. I like being challenged." [caption id="attachment_624494" align="alignnone" width="1354"] Craig Varnell embraced by his girlfriend after the win (photo: WPT)[/caption] Next up for Varnell will be the season-ending Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions on Saturday, June 1, when he'll face off against only fellow WPT Champions Club members in the rake-free $15,000 buy-in event.

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