Poker Coverage:

Brady Holiman Wins 2018 World Poker Tour Choctaw Main Event

37-Year-Old Auto Sales Manager From Athens, Texas Defeats Field of 755 Entries To Win $469,185


Brady Holiman is a sales manager at a car dealership in Athens, Texas. The 37-year-old plays poker as a hobby and had seven prior live tournament cashes for just under $40,000 in earnings before entering the 2018 World Poker Tour Choctaw $3,700 no-limit hold’em main event. The tournament attracted a field of 755 entries this year, blowing away the $1,000,000 guarantee to create a final prize pool of $2,548,225. After four days of action, the last player standing was Holiman. He took home $469,185 and his first live tournament title as the champion.

Holiman was also awarded 1,368 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win, enough to move him into 146th place in the overall standings for the 2018 POY race.

The final day of this event began with Holiman as the chip leader with six remaining, sitting with more than twice as many chips as his nearest opponent in Timothy Domboski. The two leaders tangled early on at the final table, with all of the chips getting in preflop with Holiman holding the AHeart SuitKSpade Suit against Domboski’s KDiamond SuitKClub Suit. The ADiamond Suit6Spade Suit4Club Suit2Heart Suit3Spade Suit runout paired Holiman’s ace, earning him the pot and sending Domboski to the rail in sixth place ($95,780).

Holiman continued to run away with it from there, knocking out three-time WPT main event winner Anthony Zinno in fifth place ($125,630) and 2011 WPT bestbet Jacksonville winner Anthony Ruberto in fourth place ($166,605). Zinno was awarded 570 POY points for his eighth final-table finish of the year. As a result, the 2018 Card Player Poker Tour Venetian main event champion moved into 11th place on in the POY rankings.

Viet Vo eliminated Christopher Smith in third place ($223,370) to close the gap somewhat, but Holiman still held a 3-to-2 lead going into heads-up play. He was able to expand his lead to roughly a 2-to-1 advantage by the time the final hand arose. With blinds of 100,000-200,000 and a big-blidn ante of 200,000, Vo raised to 450,000 from the button with the KHeart SuitKDiamond Suit. Holiman three-bet to 1,200,000 from the big blind holding the ASpade SuitJSpade Suit. Vo four-bet to 2,700,000. Holiman moved all-in and Vo quickly called for his total stack of around 9.9 million. Holiman was behind, but the tables quickly turned when the board ran out JHeart SuitJClub Suit6Diamond Suit3Heart Suit7Diamond Suit. Holiman’s flopped trips held on from there, sending Vo to the rail in second place with $320,725.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Brady Holiman $469,185 1368
2 Viet Vo $320,725 1140
3 Christopher Smith $223,370 912
4 Tony Ruberto $166,605 684
5 Anthony Zinno $125,630 570
6 Timothy Domboski $95,780 456
7 Jacob Haller $73,845 342
8 Casey Diener $57,580 228
9 Andrew Crookston $45,410 114

Photo credit: WPT / Joe Giron.