3 Minutes Read
The four-day long 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Thunder Valley Main Event has come to a close with Thomas Kornechuk (cover image) emerging as the champion. Besting a field of 608 entries which created a prize pool of $921,920, Kornechuk went on to capture his career-first WSOPC gold ring along with his best-live score of $193,439.
With about 18 cashes to his name, the Auburn, Washington resident currently has total live earnings of $263,817. He had come into the final tale with the third-largest stack and fought his way through to reach the heads-up confrontation against Brett Murray. Along the way he eliminated Paul Chai, Paul Camby and Chris Tham, that helped him take on a commanding stack to the heads-up showdown. The heads-up play did not last too long with Kornechuk eventually capturing the title with relative ease.
It was a breakthrough effort for Kornechuk, who had decided a couple of years back to dedicate himself to studying poker. “I think I have what it takes,” he said, and this result offers proof of his hard work. “I started a year ago dedicating one trip somewhere a month, if I can.”
Kornechuk continued, “I’ve followed a few different coaches. I’ve studied a lot of scenarios with them. I’ve read books about mental preparedness, specifically poker. And I’ve tried to apply that.”
“My game plan was to be conservative as much as possible and apply pressure when I saw openings to do so. I was looking for a couple of tells that I saw. I attacked those. I think that’s what changed for me,” the champion concluded.
Out of the 63 players who finished in the money, the notable names were Vito Distefano (11th for $14,443), Sue White (15th for $11,772), Indian-origin players Vijay Ramani (21st for $8,124) and Dilip Das (29th for $5,112), along with Randy Lew (50th for $3,270).
1. Brett Murray – 3,900,000
2. Tony Bracy – 2,645,000
3. Thomas Kornechuk – 2,405,000
4. Ryan Jaconetti – 2,100,000
5. Jeremy Joseph – 2,100,000
6. Paul Chai – 1,800,000
7. Christopher Than – 1,225,000
8. Paul Camby – 890,000
9. Yifu He – 680,000
10. Paul Richardson – 500,000
After losing several hands towards the end of level 28, Paul Chai jammed from late position for 960,000 with . Thomas Kornechuk called from small blind holding and the board ran , resulting in Chai’s tenth place exit.
In the next level, Kornechuk opened for 165,000 from the cutoff and Paul Camby moved all-in for 775,000 for the small blind. Kornechuk called and both players tabled their cards.
The rundown brought and Kornechuk flopped a pair aces, eliminating Camby in ninth place.
Less than 30 minutes later, the largest hand of the tournament brought about the double knockout of Paul Richardson and Ryan Jaconetti. When Richardson moved all-in from the cutoff with , Jaconetti joined him from the button with . Jeremy Joseph folded his small blind but Tony Bracy shoved all-in with . The dealer turned over on the board. Bracy raked in the pot, just as Richardson exited in eighth place alongside Jaconetti in seventh place.
Next in the line of eliminations was Chris Tham. His were cracked by Kornechuk’s . While both players picked up a pair of kings on the board , Kornechuk’s ace kicker sent Tham packing in sixth place.
Finishing in fifth place was Tony Bracy when his failed to defeat Joseph’s . The board ran and Joseph rivered a hearts flush to send Bracy packing.
Following Bracy to the rail was Yifu He. With in his hands, He pushed in the last of his chips in the pot and Brett Murray promptly called with . The board bricked but Murray’s pocket jacks won him the hand as He hit the rail in fourth place.
Down to the last three players, Murray led out from the small blind with and Jeremy Joseph called with to see the flop open . Murray bet and Joseph moved all-in for 3,335,000. Murray called and the and completed the board. Even though Joseph had flopped a pair, it wasn’t enough to beat Murray’s pocket tens resulting in the former’s third-place elimination.
The heads-up play between Brett Murray and Thomas Kornechuk lasted for a little more than two hours. On the final hand, Kornechuk moved all-in with and Murray called with . The community cards opened . Kornechuk hit two pairs of sevens and fours on the board to become the latest WSOP Circuit Main Event champion!
1. Thomas Kornechuk – $193,439
2. Brett Murray – $119,644
3. Jeremy Joseph – $87,488
4. Yifu He – $64,921
5. Tony Bracy – $48,847
6. Christopher Tham – $37,259
7. Ryan Jaconetti – $28,813
8. Paul Richardson – $22,586
9. Paul Camby – $17,943
10. Paul Chai – $14,443
Content and Images Courtesy: WSOP