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Jason Strasser Wins 2018 World Series of Poker Circuit Choctaw Main Event

Former Poker Pro Returns To Top Field of 1,249 Entries and Win $332,539


Jason Strasser was on top of the tournament poker game in the early 2000’s. He was one of the new guard of the game, dominating both live and online and winning millions in the process. To the surprise of many, he left poker in 2007 to take a job on Wall Street, and has since gone on to start his own hedge fund. He still plays in poker tournaments on occasion, and recently proved that he still has what it takes to win by topping a massive field of 1,249 entries to secure the 2018 World Series of Poker Circuit Choctaw $1,675 no-limit hold’em main event title. For the win the 33-year-old earned $332,539 and his second WSOPC gold ring.

“It’s great. I mean, honestly, I don’t get to play much poker these days and the final table, the way it played out, we were three-handed for a long time and it was really, really fun because it wasn’t 20 big blind push/shove. It was actual, real poker," Strasser told WSOP reporters after the win. "I really enjoyed my opponents and getting into the flow of it. I had a great time.”

Strasser has apparently kept up with his poker game by watching training videos every so often in his spare time, a habit he picked up after feeling a bit rusty when he played the WSOP main event a few years ago.

“I got to like Day 4 and was like ‘Whatever I was doing before isn’t working and the game has passed me by.’ Whenever I had free time from work, I would fire up some poker videos," said Strasser. “I would watch Run it Once videos, talk to some players that were good and I kind of worked on my game for the first time in like six or seven years.”

Strasser came into the final day in 14th place with 18 players remaining. By the time the unofficial final table of 10 was set he had climbed into fourth place in the chip counts. Strasser survived to three-handed play against Viet Vo and Krzysztof Stybaniewicz. Those three players battled it out for 142 hands before Vo finally fell to Strasser, setting up a heads-up battle between him and Stybaniewicz. The two were relatively even in chips to start, and they played a further 41 hands before a winner was decided.

By the time the final hand arose Strasser had built roughly a 4-to-1 lead. Strasser limped in from the button and Stybaniewicz moved all in for 4,500,000. Strasser called with the 8Heart Suit8Club Suit and found himself up against the ASpade Suit9Spade Suit. The board ran out QClub Suit7Spade Suit4Diamond Suit2Club Suit4Club Suit and Strasser’s pocket eights held up to earn him the pot and the title. Stybaniewicz was awarded $206,085 for his runner-up showing.

In addition to the ring and the top prize Strasser also scored 960 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was enough to see him climb into seventh place on the overall POY leaderboard for the time being.

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Jason Strasser $332,539 960
2 Krzysztof Stybaniewicz $206,085 800
3 Viet Vo $151,248 640
4 Trung Pham $114,284 480
5 Gil George $87,211 400
6 Mark Van Keirsbilck $67,128 320
7 Casey Brown $52,271 240
8 William Berry $41,180 160
9 Jeffrey Trudeau $32,824 80