Veteran poker commentator Lon McEachern made the most of his own turn at the tables on Thursday, taking down the $400 Seniors event at the ongoing World Series of Poker Circuit stop at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, near Sacramento. McEachern topped a 181-entry field in the 50-and-over event to win his first Circuit ring and a $15,008 payday.
The cash is the largest live payday of McEachern’s career, topping an $11,598 score he logged in another Circuit event at Lake Tahoe a decade ago. It also gives him temporary bragging rights over his friend and longtime broadcast partner, Norman Chad. McEachern and Chad are both occasional tournament players, and while Chad has splashed around in some larger and higher buy-in events at the WSOP, McEachern is more likely to play in Circuit events and small daily tourneys, most often near his home northeast of Sacramento.
“Norman Chad doesn’t have one of these. That’s all I need to say,” McEachern told Thunder Valley’s Director of Poker Operations, Ben Erwin, in a post-tourney interview. McEachern and Erwin are good friends and McEachern is a familiar face in the popular Lincoln, CA venue.
McEachern surged from the middle of the remaining pack when the final table of the Seniors event, the opening event at WSOP-C Thunder Valley, assembled. McEachern doubled up early in the final to move into the lead but later gave up a smaller double of his own, but survived into heads-up play against eventual runner-up Calvin Norman.
Norman held a 3:2 edge in chips when their duel began, but McEachern soon pulled ahead. With the blinds climbing, the final hand found Norman all in preflop with A-4 but in trouble against McEachern’s A-8, and McEachern’s eight played on a 9-5-J-2-K runout. Norman earned $9,276 for second place.
McEachern always enjoys his occasional time at the tables, particularly in Seniors events. “The tables were great. The senior event is such a great atmosphere,” he told Erwin. McEachern also earned a seat into next summer’s WSOP Tournament of Champions, where he’ll have a shot at a much larger payday as well.
Featured image source: Twitter/Thunder Valley Poker Room