For the second time in his poker career, Ryan Eriquezzo emerged victorious at the 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Global Casino Championship, taking home $279,431 and a new gold bracelet. The WSOP Global Casino Championship was the culmination of the WSOP Circuit stop at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort which took place on August 6-8.
Eriquezzo topped a 129-entry field and defeated hometown favourite Eric Salazar heads-up to secure the title. The 34-year-old also triumphed in the same event previously known as the WSOP National Championship back in 2012. However, his latest victory felt more special and fulfilling as he was the underdog in the final battle, coming into hostile territory against Salazar who was the crowd favourite.
Final Table Results
Six finalists returned on the final day of the WSOP Global Casino Championship to compete for the top prize. It was a very tough final battle, with all six players coming up short on sleep after an exhausting Day 2 which took around 14 hours to complete.
Things started to heat up when Adam Cedric who started with the shortest stack managed to work his way up in chips, only to be down again following a double up against Maurice Hawkins. Cedric eventually became the first casualty of the day, exiting in sixth place for $46,546. Despite entering the final day as the chipleader, Paulius Vaitiekunas failed to sustain his dominance and followed Cedric to the rail after running into the pocket kings of Hawkins. The Lithuanian pro earned $62,023 for his fifth-place finish.
Hawkins went on to eliminate Joshua Turner in fourth place for $84,961 after running out trip deuces. With three players remaining, both Eriquezzo and Salazar were alternately holding the chip lead, with Hawkins watching the action unfold. Subsequent action saw Hawkins losing a huge portion of his stack to Salazar, and eventually he busted in third place for $119,555.
Eriquezzo and Salazar engaged in a back and forth heads-up battle before the former finally grabbed the lead after winning four consecutive hands, including the last hand which sealed his victory. Salazar took home $ 172,431 for his second place finish.
The Toughest Poker Tournament
The WSOP Global Casino Championship is considered the toughest tournament on the Circuit as it takes place just once a year. The invitation-only event is attended only by Main Event winners on the Circuit during the current season, alongside the Casino Champions. Players occupying the top 50 spots on the WSOP Player of the Year race are also given a seat.
The field was pretty stacked, with some of the world’s best players on the Circuit taking part. Some of the players involved included Alex Lynskey, Joe Cada, Ari Engel, Jake Bazeley and Josh Reichard, all of whom failed to finish in the money.