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The 2018 World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Thunder Valley $1,700 Main Event was a four-day long affair that drew in 464 entries resulting in a $702,960 prize pool. California resident Brett Murray (cover image) bested the large field to take home his third WSOPC gold ring and career-best live score of $151,145.
Posting his first score in 2011, Murray has since accumulated a total of 51 cashes at the WOSP, resulting in winnings of $429,015. Ranked 184th on the California, USA All Time Money List, Murray has total live earnings of $1,032,864.
Murray has won a Global Casino Championship seat at the World Series of Poker Circuit stop at Thunder Valley two years in a row now. Murray was the inaugural Casino Champion here at Thunder Valley’s first circuit stop and now he’s followed that up with his first Circuit Main Event title as well. His success at Thunder Valley has led to the casino staff dubbing him “The God of Thunder”.
In the post-event interview, Murray said “It felt amazing. I was on my fourth bullet with eight bigs and was feeling pretty shitty. But I went on a sick heater and started running good throughout the whole tournament.”
Talking about the final table, Murray stated “I just thought that they would all be wanting to get into the top nine and nobody would want to get tenth. I’ve played with most of them before and I knew that they would all be playing pretty tight and kind of let me abuse them unless they have a good hand.”
This was his fourth final table finish and second title of the year, which helped him progress to the 84th place on the overall POY race leaderboard.
The top 54 places were assured payouts and several notables were able to finish in the money including David Feinstein (11th for $11,311), Indian origin player Hemanth Kumar (15th for $9,251), Ryan Stoker (17th for $7,662), Toko Luu (19th for $6,432), Amir Lehavot (24th for $5,469), Amir Turkzadeh (26th for $4,710), Pedro Rodriguez (30th for $4,112), Jose Cervantes (32nd for $3,634), Christopher Fitzgerald (35th for $3,255), June Jenkins (43rd for $2,945) and Indian origin player Soumitra Nagar (46th for $2,669).
Sean Rogan (10th for $11,311) bubbled the final table.
Final Table Chip Counts
1. Brett Murray – 3,500,000
2. Viet Tran – 2,335,000
3. Stuart Tuvey – 2,280,000
4. Paul Richardson – 1,635,000
5. Eyyal Altar – 1,215,000
6. Adam Duong – 825,000
7. Jason Mayer – 720,000
8. Marlon Nonales – 710,000
9. Tommy Chen – 600,000
Final Table Recap
The first elimination on the nine-handed final table was Tommy Chen who had the shortest stack. He moved all-in with and Adam Duong re-shoved from small blind holding . The board ran and Duong rivered a king-high straight, leading to Chen’s ninth place elimination.
Soon thereafter, Eyyal Altar moved all-in from under-the-gun and Jason Mayer called.
The flop and turn missed both players, but the river gave Altar a higher pair of aces, thereby ending Mayer’s run in eighth place.
Less than 30 minutes later, Brett Murray opened with a raise and Marlon Nonales defended his big blind with a call. The flop brought and Nonales checked. Murray bet and Nonales shoved all-in for approximately 600,000. Murray snap-called and tabled as Nonales turned over . Nonales had the outs for a clubs flush and Murray had flopped a top pair of kings. The turn was inconsequential and the river gave Nonales a pair of seven but it wasn’t enough to keep him in the running and he was railed in seventh place.
After a 15-minute break, Duong opened with a raise from the small blind with 180,000. Eyyal Altar moved all-in from the big blind for 1,400,000 and Duong called.
The community cards fanned out . While Altar flopped a pair of aces, Duong picked up three-of-a-kind nines on the board to seal Altar fate, and he bounced off in sixth place.
A few hands later, Viet Tran opened from hijack with pocket kings and Stuart Tuvey moved all-in from the cutoff holding . Tran snap-called and the runout was dealt, but was of no help to Tuvey who had to exit in fifth place.
Finishing in fourth place was Paul Richardson when he moved all-in from under-the-gun and Murray called.
The board spread out and Murray found a pair of aces which sent Richardson to the rail.
During level 30, Adam Duong and Murray each put 250,000 in preflop, and then the flop fell . Murray checked from big blind and Duong bet 250,000 more from the button. Murray check-raised to 700,000. Duong tanked for a minute and then moved all-in. Murray promptly called.
On the turn , Murray picked up a pair of queens to take the lead. The river did not help Duong and he busted out in third place.
The heads-up play between Viet Tran (7,600,000) and Brett Murray (6,400,000) began with Tran in the lead. On the final hand of the event, with the flop open Murray bet 800,000. Tran immediately moved all-in and Murray snap-called.
Tran was looking for a nine on the remaining two streets for the inside straight or runner-runner help. Instead he found a on the turn and on the river, thus ending his deep run in the runner-up place, while Murray claimed the WSOPC gold ring and top prize of $151,145.
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Brett Murray – $151,145
2. Viet Tran – $93,444
3. Adam Duong – $68,264
4. Paul Richardson – $50,606
5. Stuart Tuvey – $38,058
6. Eyyal Altar – $29,032
7. Marlon Nonales – $22,460
8. Jason Mayer – $17,623
9. Tommy Chen – $14,024