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Nick Pupillo Wins Inaugural WSOP Circuit Thunder Valley Main Event

25-Year-Old Poker Pro Defeats Field of 528 To Win $170,286

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Nick Pupillo has won the 2017 World Series of Poker Circuit Thunder Valley $1,675 no-limit hold’em main event. The 25-year-old poker pro defeated a field of 528 entries to win his second WSOPC gold ring and the $170,286 first-place prize. This was the first time this tour has made its way to the Thunder Valley Casino Resort, which is located just outside of Sacramento, California.

Pupillo has had quite the September, notching the two largest scores of his career this month. Earlier on he finished as the runner-up in a $2 million guaranteed $600 buy-in no-limit hold’em event at the Borgata Poker Open, a deep run which earned his $217,535. His win at Thunder Valley was only his third six-figure live score, but it brought his lifetime earnings to just shy of $1.3 million.

Coming into the final day of this event Dann Turner held the chip lead with nearly 2.5 million. Pupillo entered the day in fourth place and was able to survive to short-handed play while Turner did the heavy lifting of winning all the big pots and eliminating a lot of the competition. Turner was running away with the event until Pupillo was able to double through him and then eliminate Casey McCarrel in third place to enter heads-up play with 5,000,000 in chips to Turner’s 5,600,000.

Turner was able to jump out to an early lead and stretch it to more than a 4-to-1 advantage before Pupillo began to mount a comeback. He closed the gap considerably with a few key pots before overtaking the lead by winning a preflop raising war, five-betting all-in preflop and taking down a big pot.

From there it was all Pupillo. He was able to keep thre pressure up and build more than a 10-to-1 lead of his own by the time the final hand arose. Turner moved all-in with ace-five and Pupillo called holding the ADiamond Suit6Diamond Suit. There was a decent chance that the two would chop, but Turner made a pair on a
JDiamond Suit5Spade Suit2Heart Suit flop. The 8Spade Suit kept Turner ahead, but the 6Spade Suit on the river secured the pot and the title for Pupillo. Turner earned $105,281 as the runner-up.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded in this event:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Nicholas Pupillo $170,286 840
2 Dann Turner $105,281 700
3 Casey McCarrel $76,911 560
4 Paul Richardson $57,016 420
5 Jed Hoffman $42,879 350
6 Paul McCaffrey $32,710 280
7 Glenn Larson $25,304 210
8 Steven Tabb $19,855 140
9 Roque Quiambao $15,800 70