James Crowley denies Daniel Weinman at WSOPC Cherokee Main Event

Paul Oresteen
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Posted on: December 4, 2023 8:48 pm EST

The World Series of Poker Circuit closed out its 2023 with its brightest star shining at the flagship Circuit property. Harrah’s Cherokee drew 1,470 entrants for its $1,700 Main Event and reigning Main Event champion Daniel Weinman battled Joe Crowley heads up for the ring, a seat to the Tournament of Champions and $348,785.

Weinman was in control for much of the final table, holding the chip lead and eliminating four players. But a mistimed, heads-up bluff from the champ turned the tide and Crowley won his first WSOPC ring.

Taking on the champ

Beating the champ for the title wasn’t lost on Crowley. “I had to go through the reigning Main Event champ heads up to win, so that was a little intimidating. But I got through it,” he said.

“It was a tough final table; there were a lot of great players there,” he added. “It’s a great feeling and it gives me a lot of confidence going into the upcoming tournaments at the Wynn.”

Weinman returned to Day 3 as chip leader and led the table in cancelled flights. He was scheduled to fly to the Bahamas for WSOP Paradise on Monday morning. “Yeah, I was supposed to fly out at 9:00 am but that’s all changed for a good reason,” he said.

Weinman has two runner-up finishes and a win in Main Events at Harrah’s Cherokee for $650,608. “It’s three hours from home and an easy trip up here,” he said. “This is my first tournament since the (summer’s) Main Event; this one is a fun one to play.”

Final table action

Day 3 had 12 players return to the felt and they were down to the official final table within the first level of the day. The final table was deep on experience with 30 WSOPC rings represented at the final table. Maurice Hawkins had half with 15, Chris Conrad (6), Jarod Minghini (5) and Tyler Phillips, Chris Churchwell, Dale Roesel and Weinman each have one – with Crowley winning his first at the conclusion.

Conrad was the first player eliminated from the final table. He moved in with pocket nines, Weinman called with A-2 and hit an ace on the flop. Thirty minutes later, Weinman eliminated Roesel when he paired an ace and Weinman made a flush.

Hawkins survived on a short stack for several levels. His final hand saw him shove with pocket jacks, Chad Varnas called with pocket queens and they held. Hawkins was out in seventh place and Varnas followed him to the payout window shortly after he shoved with T-9 against the A-J of Phillips.

Churchwell lost 75% of his stack to Weinman and a couple hands later he shoved with pocket eights. Phillips called with A-6 and spiked an ace on the flop to eliminate Churchwell.

Weinman found pocket aces to eliminated Phillips and then Manghini lost his stack to Crowely to set up two-handed play. Weinman and Crowley were only separated by a few big blinds with Weinman leading.

Crowley took the majority of Weinman’s stack in the early hands of heads-up play. Weinman opened on the button, Crowley raised to 2.4 million and Weinman called. They went to a flop of T-7-3, Weinman called 1.3 million and the turn came a queen. Crowley bet 3 million, Weinman called and the river came a ten. Crowley checked, Weinman bet 12 million and Crowley called with A-Q. Weinman held J-9 for a busted draw.

Weinman made his final stand with A-9 and Crowley called with T-9. The board ran Q-T-8-T-3, Crowley made trips and Weinman was eliminated.

Nuts and bolts

Preston McEwen (14th), Billy Kopp (17th), Toby Boas (21st), Chris Staats (23rd) and James Arruebarena (26th) all made deep runs in the event. Brock Wilson, Brant Jolly, Hamid Izadi, Corey Bierria and Cherish Andrews each cashed.

The WSOP finishes out the year at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas for WSOP Paradise. Then, the WSOP Circuit fires back up in January with stops in Choctaw, Thunder Valley and Tunica.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Joe Crowley – $348,785
  2. Daniel Weinman – $215,576
  3. Jarod Minghini – $162,276
  4. Tyler Phillips – $123,261
  5. Christopher Churchwell – $98,483
  6. Chad Varnas – $73,092
  7. Maurice Hawkins – $55,070
  8. Dale Roesel – $44,980
  9. Chris Conrad – $35,787