Semi-professional poker player bests 1,140-player field for his second gold ring.
Durant, Okla. (January 22, 2013) — Jeff Fielder won the third largest Main Event in the WSOP Circuit’s nine-year history Monday night at Choctaw Resort in Durant, Okla. Fielder was awarded $312,080, his second WSOP Circuit gold ring and an automatic berth into the WSOP National Championship Presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof.
“Now I have one with diamonds in it,” he told the WSOP’s Bernard Lee regarding his second ring.
The $1,675 championship event boasted a field of 1,140 entrants and a $1,710,000 prize pool.
“What makes it really special is my buddy Huy [Nguyen] has won this,” Fielder said of the Main Event. “[Drazen][Ilich] final tabled it here two years ago, also. A lot of my friends go deep here and it was good to join those names. They’re really good guys and super tough poker players.”
Fielder bested his close friend Ilich at the final table. Ilich finished sixth, matching his finish from two years ago and sending him home two spots shy of the fourth place necessary for him to take Casino Champion honors.
In hopes of softening the blow of his 10-hour drive home to Des Moines, Iowa Tuesday, Fielder said he plans to have a “low-key” night in the hours following his win, but don’t think for a minute he’s not going to do any celebrating.
“I have to get my passport and be ready for the Bahamas on Wednesday,” he said. “We’ve had a trip planned for a while now.”
“I’m probably going to do a little upgrading,” Fielder said following his six-figure score.
The Main Event surpassed the 2011-2012 Choctaw Resort Main Event which drew 978 entrants and it bested the 2012-2013 River Rock Casino Main Event’s field size of 1,032. It trails only the attendance monster Horseshoe Hammond in terms of turnout.
Despite continued success, Fielder says he prefers the guaranteed income of his job owning and operating a Des Moines-based construction and insulation company.
“I’m pretty content right now. I like what I do,” Fielder said. “It’d be pretty stressful to [play][tournament][poker] full time. I like the guaranteed income that gives me the cushion to go to some of these stops.”
The Main Event played out alongside Event 12, a tournament that held big implications in the Casino Champion’s race. Not only did the current points leader Andrew Robinson have to fade a fourth place finish or better by Ilich, he had to sweat Jonathan Hilton in Event 12. Hilton needed a win and a win only to best Robinson.
Fortunately for Robinson, Hilton finished seventh and he faded the two-outer, donning Casino Champion honors with 2nd, 4th and 13th place finishes.
Notable Main Event in-the-money finishers include six-time WSOP gold bracelet champions TJ Cloutier (60th) and Layne Flack (58th). Rex Clinkscales finished 27th and earned 20 points toward the National Championship bringing his total to 217.5 and all but guaranteeing him a spot as an at-large bid. Clinkscales became the third player in two years to surpass the 200-point mark.
WSOP gold bracelet champion Mitch Schock finished 20th.
The tournament’s runner up was Matt Kirby. Kirby began heads up play at an almost 2-to-1 chip advantage. He was the odds-on favorite to don gold until his ace queen was bested by Fielder’s ace 10 when all the money got in on a 10-high flop.
Kirby earned a $192,751 consolation prize.
The Main Event was the 11th of 12 gold ring events on the WSOP Circuit schedule at Choctaw Resort. Its conclusion marked the end of the series at Choctaw Resort, but Circuit action starts up again at Harrah’s Tunica January 24.
Final table results:
1st: Jeff Fielder – $312,080
2nd: Matt Kirby – $192,751
3rd: Dale Roesel – $143,230
4th: Bryan Campanello – $107,730
5th: Krissi McFarland – $82,092
6th: Drazen Ilich – $63,202
7th: Cliff Stewart – $49,265
8th: Paul Phillips – $38,834
9th: Doug Ashmore – $30,951
Full results available on WSOP.com.