Vietnam Native Vanessa Truong Nails WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Cherokee for $318,646

The World Series of Poker Circuit Harrah’s Cherokee $1,675 Main Event drew 1,164 entries, which set a venue prize pool record by offering up nearly $1.75 million in prize money. After three days of play, Vanessa Truong, a 41-year-old nail technician from Raleigh, North Carolina who grew up in Vietnam, emerged victorious to capture a $318,646 first-place prize.

Vanessa Truong now has a shiny gold ring to impress her nail customers with after coming out on top of a 1,164-entry field to win the WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event for $318,646. (Image: WSOP)

Truong Shows Boys Who’s Boss

Truong, who immigrated to the United States in 1989, didn’t have an easy journey in the tournament, at least not at first. According to her, she was card dead most of Day 1, but managed to bag 90,000 chips anyway. On Day 2, she caught fire and finished with a top-five stack. On the third and final day, she went up and down, before making the final table and steamrolling the competition.

“I feel super excited that we have final table and I took out like six, seven guys,” Truong told WSOP officials after the win. “Literally, I took like six, seven guys out.”

Hey, who’s counting.

Truong notched her first knockout on Hand #15 of the final table, after she raised to 300,000 from the small blind and Corey Bierria called from the big to see a Q♥J♥6♦ flop. Truong checked and then called Bierria’s bet of 300,000, which led to the 4♦ turn. Truong checked and then tank-called after Bierria moved all in for 1.245 million.

Bierra tabled the 8♣6♣ for a pair of sixes, and he needed help, as Truong held a pair of jacks with the A♥J♦. The J♣ river improved Truong to trips, and Bierria was the first final table casualty.

She made it all the way to heads-up play against Daniel Pearlman, and the two engaged in an epic three-hour and 115-hand match. In what would be the final hand of the tournament, which took place in Level 38 (250,000/500,000/50,000) on Hand #248, Pearlman moved all in for around 5 million holding the 9♦8♦ and Truong called with the A♦10♥.

The 6♣6♦2♦ flop gave Pearlman a flush draw, but he missed as the Q♥ bricked on the turn followed by the Q♣ on the river. Pearlman had to settle for second place and a $196,809 consolation prize.

Others who cashed the tournament were Hunter Cichy (16th for $17,111), recent MSPT Potawatomi champ Ari Engel (36th for $6,670), Chance Kornuth (45th for $5,901), and Leif Force (55th for $4,767).

Final Table Results

1 Vanessa Truong (Raleigh, NC) $318,646
2 Daniel Pearlman (Hollywood, FL) $196,809
3 Josh Horton (Rainsville, AL) $146,245
4 Dustin Nelson (Tallahassee, FL) $109,998
5 Jason Gooch (Vidor, TX) $83,756
6 Jose Anaya (San Antonio, TX) $64,532
7 Billy Cashwell (Stedman, NC) $50,302
8 Michael Horchoff (River Ridge, LA) $39,652
9 Corey Bierria (Atlanta, GA) $31,603

Bryant and Pack Among Harrah’s Cherokee Winners

Truong, who secured her first-ever tournament cash and a seat into the season-ending Global Championship, wasn’t the only winner at the WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Cherokee stop. In fact, she was just one of a dozen ring winners.

Among the other players to capture a ring was Jessie Bryant, who topped a field of 595 entries to win Event #3: $580 No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry for $62,476. Bryant, who learned to play poker while deployed in Iraq, had been quiet since winning his third ring back in 2012, but his fortunes seemed to have turned around with his latest victpry.

To close out the stop, Cody Pack bested a field of 373 players to win Event #12: $365 No-Limit Hold’em for $24,622 and his fifth gold ring. It marked his third victory during a WSOP Circuit stop at Harrah’s Cherokee.

Just two stops remain in the current WSOP Circuit season. The next stop will run from April 27 through May 8 at Horseshoe Baltimore, and that will be followed by the season finale at Harrah’s New Orleans from May 11-22.

Here’s a look at all those who captured rings at the stop:

Bryan Carter defeated 3,196 players (Event 1 $365 NLHE Re-Entry) for $165,400
John Nelson defeated 612 players (Event 2 $365 Double Stack Turbo) for $38,560
Jessie Bryant defeated 595 players (Event 3 $580 NLHE Re-Entry) for $62,476
Robert Hankins defeated 594 players (Event 4 $365 NLHE Six Max) for $43,662
David Chapman defeated 334 players (Event 5 $365 PLO Re-Entry) for $23,051
Ron Germany defeated 635 players (Event 6 $365 NLHE 8 Max) for $41,914
Ricardo Eyzaguirre defeated 1,446 players (Event 7 $365 Monster Stack) for $74,853
David Aker defeated 301 players (Event 8 $1,125 NLHE) for $70,731
Chase Blanton defeated 402 players (Event 9 $365 NLHE Turbo) for $26,533
Vanessa Truong defeated 1,164 players ($1,675 NLHE Main Event) for $318,646
John Wilder defeated 528 players (Event 11 $365 NLHE Turbo) for $34,055
Cody Pack defeated 373 players (Event 12 $365 NLHE) for $24,622

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.

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