Ryan Jones Wins First WSOP Circuit Main Event Since 2005 at Rio Las Vegas

Less than two years after winning the World Series of Poker Circuit Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event for $235,805, Ryan Jones topped the performance.

On Tuesday, the North Carolina native topped a field of 945 entrants to win the WSOP Circuit Rio Las Vegas for $269,327, a seat into the season-ending Global Casino Championship, and his second gold ring.

The win was the highlight of the WSOP Circuit’s first stop to Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino since 2005.

Ryan Jones stated he was better than his heads-up opponent, and he proved it by taking down the WSOP Circuit Rio Main Event for $269,327 (Image: WSOP)

Ryan Jones Holds Off Muruz Yohannes to Win

Aside from the two WSOP Circuit Main Event wins, Jones’ poker résumé includes $119,582 for finishing fourth in the 2015 Borgata Winter Open Event #1, 182nd in the 2013 WSOP Main Event for $42,990, and a win in a 2013 Wynn Summer Classic $440 event for $35,590.

In the final hand of the latest tournament, which took place in Level 36 (150,000/300,000/50,000), Muruz Yohannes limped the button and then called when Jones raised to 1 million. After the flop came down J♠7♣5♣, Jones led out and then snap-called when Yohannes moved all in.

Yohannes shoved with the 8♠7♠ for middle pair, and he was way behind the Q♠Q♥ of Jones. The Q♣ turn left Yohannes drawing dead, and he had to settle for second place and a $166,585 consolation prize as the meaningless K♣ was run out on the river.

“I knew I was a better player than him. I knew I just had to grind him down,” Jones told WSOP officials of his opponent after his win.

“For a lot of hands, I found myself on the river with the bottom of my range where I had to bluff. And he always had a hand to call. So, I missed a couple draws and had to bluff the river. I’m not the type to just check if I don’t have anything. He held over me for a little at the beginning. But I know I’m never out.”

Final Table Results

1 Ryan Jones (Burlington, NC) $269,327
2 Muruz Yohannes (Las Vegas, NV) $166,585
3 Jeremy Joseph (Buffalo, NY) $122,954
4 Nikolai Sears (Davisburg, MI) $91,996
5 Tony Utnage (Bloomington, IN) $69,698
6 Martin Zamani (Boca Raton, FL) $53,468
7 Jett Schencker (Atlanta, GA) $41,519
8 Daniel Engels (Innsbruck, Austria) $32,645
9 Cody Pack (Cartersville, GA) $25,969

Other notables to cash the WSOP Circuit Rio Main Event were World Poker Tour champ Dylan Wilkerson (11th for $20,908), 2016 Aussie Millions champ Ari Engel (14th for $17,038), and bracelet winner Ryan Laplante (20th for $11,709).

Poker Pros Find Success at Rio

In addition to the Main Event, there were 13 other official ring events at the WSOP Circuit Rio. Among the winners were a slew of recognizable names, many of who weren’t experiencing their first win.

For example, Nate Bandy, a retired football player, topped a field of 1,498 entries to win Event #1: $365 NLHE Re-Entry for $75,364 and his fourth gold ring of the season. Likewise, Kenny Nguyen took down Event #6: $365 NLHE to win $23,196 and his second ring, while Seth Foster won Event #7: $365 Pot-Limit Omaha for $12,231 and his second ring.

In Event #8 $365 NLHE, Chris Leong topped a field of 376 entrants to win $24,812 and his fourth ring, and two events later in the $365 Monster Stack, Eric Blair came out on top of a 780-player field to win $46,803 and his second ring.

Finally, 32-year-old bracelet winner Brandon Wittmeyer added a ring to his jewelry collection after topping a field 139 entries to win the $2,200 High Roller for $77,840.

The WSOP Circuit now heads to the Bicycle Hotel & Casino March 4-15.

Chad Holloway
Written by
Chad Holloway
Splitting his time between his native Wisconsin and Las Vegas, Chad Holloway gave up a potential law career to follow his passion and play and write about poker. His background includes a long stint as a senior writer for a major poker news site. Long well-known throughout the poker community for his incisive and in-depth commentary and reporting, we are proud to have Chad on board as part of our CardsChat writing team, where he will be covering everything from the World Series of Poker to interviews, features, and more.


Vilgeoforc wrote...

Ol-in with second pair is a strong move. ))

eberetta1 wrote...

I bet that second ring is sweet after such a long dry spell has gone by since the first ring.

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