Some tournaments are just yours to win. It’s hard to explain, but for those fortunate to have experienced it, it feels like nothing can stop you in pursuit of the title.
That’s what happened to Bradley Ritschel at the World Series of Poker Circuit stop in Harvey’s Lake Tahoe in pursuit of his first Circuit ring. He dominated.
“It’s awesome,” Ritschel pronounced. “I’m just glad it was smooth sailing.”
WSOP Circuit Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Main Event Results
One by one they fell by his hand
The dominant performance was nearly over a day earlier than scheduled. In what could have easily concluded Sunday night, tournament staff offered the remaining six the choice. One player (not Ritschel) wanted to bag up, and so they did.
If that player thought the extra day to think about the spot would interrupt Ritschel’s flow, he couldn’t have been more incorrect.
Ritschel came into the final table with an overwhelming chip lead, one which he amassed well before ever getting there.
With five levels left to play on Day 1b, Ritschel had already accumulated more chips than the Day 1a chip leader.
“I’m thinking I have a real shot at making a run,” said Ritschel. “When you have a chip lead that big early, especially before the money bubble, you can really bully and fight for pots.”
Once players did return on the final day of action, all five opponents were eliminated by the force that was Ritschel.
“My stack never dropped below what I came into the day with,” he said.
Two key hands were repetitions of the same story, both involved Ristchel getting all in with ace-king against queens, and both times he was on the right side of said coinflips. The most important one came when he clashed with fellow big stack Shawn Daniels with eight remaining.
Daniels four-bet jammed nearly 2.5 million, which amounted to just over 40 big blinds at the time. Ritschel talked through his thought process in calling it off with ace-king there.
“I was pretty sure he would never jam so massive with aces,” he started. “One of the main reasons I called was that (Daniels) was one of the best players left at the table. So, I thought okay, if I call and bust him that’s really, really good for me and I also have a massive chip lead, so yeah, I decided to gamble and it worked out.”
A “dream come true,” and cracking kings
Despite thinking about making a deep run late in Day 1, reflecting after the win, Ritschel pulled back on that sentiment a bit.
“It’s awesome, it’s a dream come true,” he said. “I never would have imagined first.”
He didn’t really have time to think in the moment. On the final day, he ran over the table and eliminated everyone in the path to his first ring before the first break was reached.
The final hand went about how the rest of the tournament did for Ritschel.
Ritschel opened to 250,000 before facing a three-bet to 700,000 from runner-up James Chavanarojrit. Ritschel called in position.
The flop brought the Jd5d2s. Chavanarojrit continued for 700,000, which Ritschel called.
The turn came the Jh, which caused Chavanarojrit to slow down and checked. Ritschel jumped into action by betting 1,000,000. Chavanarojrit called.
The river fell the innocuous-looking 6s. Chavanarojrit checked. Ritschel fired the final wager of 2,900,000. Chavanarojrit tanked for quite a while before calling to see that Ritschel continued running as hot as ever.
Ritschel tabled the 4c3h for a rivered straight to crack the KcKs of Chavanarojrit.
Congratulations to Bradley Ritschel for winning his first WSOP Circuit ring, taking home $115,740, and securing his spot in the WSOP Tournament of Champions!
The WSOP Circuit continues with the Grand Victoria stop. Follow us there as well on Instant.Poker.org for Main Event coverage from Nov 16-20.