John Eames became the star of the show at the recent WSOP Circuit Planet Hollywood Main Event in Las Vegas, taking home a gold and diamond ring for first place, and $289,706 in his first ever appearance on the WSOP Circuit. The veteran poker pro from England also won automatic entry into next year’s $10,000 WSOP National Championship.
Eames faced a star-studded field of 1,044 entrants in the 4-day tournament, which drew a number of poker’s top talent including 2001 WSOP Main Event champion Carlos Mortensen, 2013 WSOP Main Event champion Ryan Riess, and 2014 WSOP APAC champion Scott Davies, along with several past WSOP bracelet event winners. In addition to Riess, several November Niners were also on hand to mix it up, including Jake Balsiger, Phil Collins, Joseph Cheong, and recent WSOP Main Event 7th place finisher Dan Sindelar.
River of Dreams
Winning a large-field tourney involves some measure of luck, and John Eames welcomed his share of it in a hand at the final table that nearly sent him to the rail in 9th place. He had just lost half of his stack to Quang Ngo, and had only 220k left with a big blind of 50k. Upon checking his cards, he shoved all in pre and was called by Matt Berkey. Contender Michael Skomac elected to shove all in over the top, and Berkey called holding Ad5d.
Skomac was in the lead preflop with JhJc, while Eames started the hand dead last with only about a thirteen percent chance to win. As luck would have it however, he paired the flop and rivered a straight for the triple-up and a much needed boost. From there, he continued to spin it up on the way to heads up play, which began shortly after 11:30pm Monday.
Eames Vs Berkey
The heads up battle ran for nearly two hours with Eames starting slightly ahead. He steadily chipped away at Berkey to gain an advantage, but Matt fought back to recapture the chip lead he had impressively maintained throughout most of the tourney. It wasn’t long before the two were all in for nearly seventy-five percent of the chips however, but this time Eames prevailed and would never look back.
In the final hand, Eames raised to 325k preflop and Berkey called from the big blind. The flop came 8d7c7s and Berkey checked. Eames continued with a bet of 350k, and Berkey check-raised to 850k, prompting Eames to move all in. Berkey called with roughly 3 million behind and they flipped up the cards for the showdown.
Eames was an almost seventy percent favorite holding pocket queens, while Berkey held 9d6h for an open-ended straight draw. The 4d on the turn was close but no help for Matt, and the As on the river ended his spectacular run in second place for $179,119, handing John Eames his seventh recorded first place win, and $289,706 to push his career stats over the two million mark.
The next stop on the WSOP Circuit is Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina, for a tournament series that runs from November 27 through December 8.
WSOPC Planet Hollywood Main Event Final Table Results
1st: John Eames – $289,706
2nd: Matt Berkey – $179,119
3rd: Ping Liu – $ 133,110
4th: Dustin Johns – $100,067
5th: Brad Libson – $76,092
6th: Corey Emery – $58,537
7th: Jonathan Neckar – $45,555
8th: Quang Ngo – $35,861
9th: Michael Skomac – $28,564