Paulius Plausinaitis took down a $10 million guaranteed WSOP Circuit Main Event on the GGPoker poker site — a $1,700 buy-in tournament — for $1,236,361. He beat a tough final table that included tournament crusher, Joseph Cheong.
Plausinaitis hails from Lithuania, home of the legendary Tony G, one of the most colorful and loudest poker players ever. The recent circuit ring winner outlasted a field of 6,395 players, making it the largest circuit event in history.
Cheong is no stranger to crushing massive field tournaments. In 2010, he finished third for $4,130,000 in the WSOP Main Event, a tournament with 7,319 unique players. And at the 2019 WSOP, he won his first and only bracelet in a 6,214-player field ($1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em for $687,782).
Cheong was after his second circuit ring, his first coming in 2018 at a Harrah’s Cherokee stop in North Carolina ($365 No-Limit Hold’em for $34,188).
The poker star didn’t earn a second ring on Saturday, but he did pick up yet another massive score — $692,276 for third place. Plausinaitis, on the other hand, took down the tournament, shipping the ring and more than $1.2 million in the process.
Blinds Get Big Quickly
When the final table began on Saturday, four players had more than 50 big blinds, and no one at the table had fewer than 11. But, the first blind level increase occurred quickly, and the small stacks found themselves in a crippling position.
Joni Jouhkimainen from Finland was able to chip up and extend his day, despite beginning play with just 17 big blinds. An Israeli player using the moniker “BetAddict,” was a quick ninth-place exit, taking home $123,106. Another unknown player, “DaiMing14139” playing in China, entered the day with the smallest stack and busted in eighth place for $164,165.
Alexandru Papazian of Romania took seventh place, good for $218,917. Artem “Amsterq” Prostak, who hails from Belarus, was the next player booted off the island in sixth place. He received a $291,931 payday.
Pay jumps at that point were becoming massive, and the five remaining players all had visions of winning more than $1.2 million. After Jouhkimainen was eliminated in fifth place ($389,294), “likeboy” from China busted in fourth place for $519,134. Cheong was the next out the virtual door after getting his money in with A-4 against the eventual champ’s pocket queens (board ran out K-8-2-Q-J).
That set up a heads-up match between Plausinaitis and “turkey1” from China. Plausinaitis entered heads-up play with nearly a 5-1 advantage. The small stack quickly doubled up by winning a race, and then took a 2-1 chip lead.
But Plausinaitis, with a queen-high flush against a jack-high flush, won a huge double up, and was back to having a 2-1 advantage. He never relinquished that lead and took down the tournament, winning his first circuit ring. The runner-up earned $928,165 as a consolation prize.