Billy Kopp wins WSOP Cherokee Main Event for $376,154

Terrance Reid
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Posted on: August 14, 2023 10:59 pm EDT

Billy Kopp continued an outstanding poker year with his latest victory at the WSOP-C stop in Cherokee, North Carolina at Harrah’s casino. This one is quite a hefty payday for the Ohio native.

Players turned out in droves the entire series, but the Main Event itself attracted numbers that would make any tournament player water at the mouth. A total of 1,623 entrants took part in the $1,700 event, building a prize pool of $2,458,845, obliterating the $1.5 million guarantee.

Billy Kopp Cherokee
Billy Kopp heads up for the title with the ring in sight

This marks Kopp’s third WSOP ring to go along with his one bracelet. That bracelet came earlier this summer when he took down Event #66: $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better for $259,549. It took less than 90 days to one-up that high score with a new one here in Cherokee.

1Billy Kopp$376,154
2Brian Jones$232,481
3Preston McEwen$175,713
4Lam Nguyen$133,953
5Jorge Arriola$103,007
6J.W. Wilder$79,906
7Omar Hafeez$62,535
8Ivan Starostin$49,378
9Robert Browning$39,341
10Shane Melert$31,629

Day 3 Action

When 19 players came back for today’s final day, it didn’t take long to work down to the final table. In fact, there was an elimination at all three tables on the very first hand off the deck at each one. Kopp won one of those when he made a flush in a three-way all in with AdKd that propelled him toward the final table.

Kopp continued running hot over the next few levels, eliminating both John Galleher (13th) and Cody Stanford (11th) to reach the final table. He was the overwhelming chip leader once those final 10 were set.

Soon thereafter, he flopped trips against fellow big-stack Lam Nguyen, who was the start-of-day chip leader. He got paid on all three streets to hold about one-third of the chips in play 10-handed. It looked as if nothing could stop him on his path to victory. That is, until three-handed play.

A key pot that nearly thwarted Kopp’s plans was when he faced Preston McEwen during three-handed play. Kopp correctly called a pot-sized, all-in semi-bluff from McEwen on the turn. Kopp had ace high and an open ender as backup, but McEwen had a combo draw. McEwen made a pair on the river, and suddenly all three stacks were even.

Preston McEwen Cherokee
Preston McEwen ran into the pocket aces of Kopp to end his run in third place

“I had to ease up a bit after that one,” said Kopp. “Pick my spots. Before that I was opening lots of hands, putting ICM pressure on.”

Still, though he had taken a blow, he composed himself and got back to work. However, for a while, it was Brian Jones who was winning all the pots, holding half of the chips in play before Preston McEwen’s final hand.

Brian Jones Cherokee
Brian Jones gave Kopp a run, but fell in second place

McEwen moved all in with pocket sixes but ran into the pocket aces of Kopp. That hand seemed to right the ship for Kopp who took a nearly-even chip stack into heads-up play and never looked back. Kopp won the first hand of heads up, took the chip lead, and never gave it up.

The final hand of the tournament came when Brian Jones moved all in for about 17 big blinds with Jd5d and Mcewen found pocket nines to make the call. Though Jones picked up a flush draw on the flop, the board ran out cleanly to ship all of the chips to Kopp.

The new high score brings Kopp up to over $1.7 million in career earnings according to Hendon Mob.

Congratulations to Billy Kopp on the victory and putting on a clinic at the final table! Enjoy your second WSOP Circuit ring, and we’ll see you at the next one.