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Ali Eslami Wins World Series of Poker Circuit Western Regional Championship

Eslami Takes Home the Top Prize Worth $282,242 and a Gold Ring for his First Major Tournament Victory


Ali Eslami WinsThe final table of the $10,000 World Series of Poker Circuit Western Regional Championship took place today at the Harrah’s Rincon near San Diego, California. The final nine had emerged from a field of 98 players and there were many big names who were still in the hunt. In the end though, only one big-name player would stand at the top of the field with the gold ring and $282,242 top prize.

That professional was Ali Eslami, who before this year concentrated primarily on cash games. In 2011 he switched his attention to tournaments, partially at the suggestion of Los Angeles Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss, and the decision has been paying dividends. Earlier this month Eslami took second place in the The Big Event bounty shootout tournament at the Bicycle Casino, which was good for $56,000.

That was the largest tournament cash of his career until tonight. Eslami claimed the first major title of his career when he beat Tim West in a lengthy heads-up final and his career tournament earnings now stand at $648,789. Eslami also cashed in the main event at The Big Event earlier this month and for his three cashes he earned $347,242.

West was awarded $174,443 as the runner-up in the tournament and he also recorded a very strong month of March at the felt. West won the Wynn Poker Classic main event to earn $318,738 earlier this week, and at the start of the month he cashed in the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic main event. West took home $536,981 in March.

The other big names at the final table did not fare as well. Steve Brecher cashed in fourth place, which was good for $90,223, and he took his career earning to more than $2.1 million. Dwyte Pilgrim missed out on winning his third gold ring when he exited the field in seventh place. Pilgrim was awarded $38,808 and he also grabbed a seat in the WSOP Circuit National Championship, which will take place at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas May 27-29. All nine finalists from today will join him at that event and you can read more about all of their fates at the final table below.

Here is a look at the seating chart with chip counts when the final table began:

1 Dwyte Pilgrim 408,000
2 Miller Dao 99,000
3 David Peters 437,000
4 Ali Eslami 395,000
5 D.J. Blanchard 271,000
6 Tim West 843,000
7 Dylan Wilkerson 89,000
8 Steve Brecher 246,000
9 Dana Kellstrom 147,000

Here is a look at the elimination hands from the final table as featured on Card Player’s live coverage from the final table:

Miller DaoMiller Dao Eliminated in Ninth Place ($24,235)

Miller Dao moved all in preflop from the hijack for a little less than 100,000 and Dylan Wilkerson made the call from the big blind. Their cards:

Wilkerson: JDiamond Suit JHeart Suit
Dao: AClub Suit 6Heart Suit

Board: 10Spade Suit 8Club Suit 5Heart Suit 3Spade Suit 10Heart Suit

Dao was eliminated on the hand in ninth place and he will take home $24,235 in prize money.

Dylan Wilkerson Eliminated in Eighth Place ($30,397)

Dylan Wilkerson put in a raise preflop only to be reraised all in by Dana Kellstrom. Wilkerson made the all-in call against him and they flipped over their cards:

Wilkerson: ASpade Suit KClub Suit
Kellstrom: QSpade Suit QClub Suit

Board: 8Heart Suit 4Diamond Suit 3Spade Suit 9Diamond Suit 2Diamond Suit

Wilkerson was eliminated in eighth place and he will take home $30,397 in prize money.

Dwyte PilgrimDwyte Pilgrim Eliminated in Seventh Place ($38,808)

Ali Eslami limped under the gun preflop and Dwyte Pilgrim made the call from the small blind. David Peters checked the big blind and the flop was dealt AClub Suit KDiamond Suit 2Heart Suit. Eslami opened the action with a 16,000 bet and Pilgrim made the call. Peters mucked and the turn fell 10Heart Suit. Pilgrim then got the last of his chips into the middle (120,000) and Eslami made the call. Their cards:

Pilgrim: AHeart Suit 3Heart Suit
Eslami: KSpade Suit 2Spade Suit

River: 7Spade Suit

Eslami won the hand to grow his stack to a million. Pilgrim was eliminated in seventh place and he took home $38,808 in prize money.

Dana KellstromDana Kellstrom Eliminated in Sixth Place ($50,455)

Dana Kellstrom put in a small raise preflop and Ali Eslami made the call. The flop was dealt 4Club Suit 4Diamond Suit 2Diamond Suit and Kellstrom bet 40,000.

Eslami made the call and the turn fell 3Club Suit. Kellstrom bet 60,000 and this time Eslami raised all in. Kellstrom made the all-in call and they flipped over their cards:

Kellstrom: ASpade Suit 5Club Suit
Eslami: 6Diamond Suit 5Diamond Suit

River: KHeart Suit

Kellstrom was eliminated in sixth place and he took home $50,455 in prize money.

David Peters Eliminated in Fifth Place ($66,834)

David Peters moved all in preflop for 145,000 and Ali Eslami made the call. Their cards:

Eslami: AHeart Suit 8Club Suit
Peters: AClub Suit 4Diamond Suit

Board: 8Spade Suit 6Diamond Suit 6Club Suit QSpade Suit 4Diamond Suit

Peters was eliminated on the hand in fifth place and he will take home $66,834 in prize money.

Steve BrecherSteve Brecher Eliminated in Fourth Place ($90,223)

Ali Eslami, Tim West, and Steve Brecher saw a limped and checked flop of KHeart Suit 9Diamond Suit 4Heart Suit. West then checked on the small blind and Brecher checked the big blind. Eslami bet 30,000 under the gun and West mucked. Brecher then check-raised all in for 155,000. Eslami made the call and they flipped over their cards:

Eslami: KClub Suit QDiamond Suit
Brecher: KSpade Suit 8Diamond Suit

Turn and River: 9Spade Suit and 2Club Suit

Brecher was eliminated in fourth place and he will take home $90,223 in prize money.

DJ BlanchardD.J. Blanchard Eliminated in Third Place ($124,204)

D.J. Blanchard raised preflop from the button and Tim West reraised all in from the small blind. Ali Eslami got out of the way and Blanchard made the all-in call. Their cards:

Blanchard: AHeart Suit JHeart Suit
West: 5Heart Suit 5Club Suit

Board: 9Diamond Suit 8Heart Suit 4Diamond Suit KSpade Suit KHeart Suit

Blanchard was eliminated in third place and he will take home $124,204 in prize money.

Ali Eslami Wins the WSOP Circuit Western Regional Championship ($282,242) — Tim West Eliminated in Second Place ($174,443)

Tim West raised to 62,000 on the button and Ali Eslami reraised to 138,000 preflop. West then reraised all in for a million. Eslami made the call to cover his opponent and they flipped over their cards:

Tim WestEslami: AHeart Suit ASpade Suit
West: AClub Suit QSpade Suit

Board: 8Spade Suit 6Club Suit 2Spade Suit JClub Suit 7Club Suit

Eslami won the hand and the tournament. He takes home the top prize worth $282,242 and a gold ring for the victory. West takes home $174,443 as the runner up.

Final-Table Results:

1: Ali Eslami — $282,242
2: Tim West — $174,443
3: D.J. Blanchard — $124,204
4: Steve Brecher — $90,223
5: David Peters — $66,834
6: Dana Kellstrom — $50,455
7: Dwyte Pilgrim — $38,808
8: Dylan Wilkerson — $30,397
9: Miller Dao — $24,235