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San Jose In-N-Out Worker Scott Sanders Wins Two WSOP Circuit Titles In One Week

30-Year-Old Defeats Field of 442 Entries To Win $147,314 and His Second Gold Ring


The 2018 World Series of Poker Circuit Harveys Lake Tahoe $1,700 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event drew a total of 442 entries, building a final prize pool of $669,630. In the end, the lion’s share of that money was awarded to 30-year-old San Jose resident Scott Sanders. For the win, he earned the $147,314 first-place payout and his second WSOPC gold ring, having won the first just four days earlier by taking down the $400 ‘Monster Stack’ no-limit hold’em event at the series.

It was a big week for Sanders, as the amateur poker player who works at an In-N-Out Burger banked nearly $175,000 for his two huge scores. Despite the incredible run, Sanders doesn’t harbor any plans to go pro.

“I definitely want to continue to play and help grow the game, for sure. I got into poker from breaking my hip and being disabled," Sanders told WSOP reporters after the win. "It really changed my life and my outlook on everything. It stimulated my brain and gave me something to fight for when I couldn’t walk for a few months.”

In addition to the rings and the money, Sanders also scored 912 total Card Player Player of the Year points for the two wins in Tahoe. With four final-table finishes this year, Sanders has accumulated 1,252 points. As a result, he currently sits in 262nd place in the overall POY race standings for 2018.

Sanders came into the final day of this event in third chip position with just four players remaining. In the end he got heads-up with Nicholas Pupillo, who was fresh off of a runner-up showing in the WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond main event. Sanders eliminated both Stephen Song (4th – $49,392) and Brett Murray (3rd – $66,521) to take nearly an 8-to-1 chip lead into heads-up action.

Pupillo was able to mount a comeback, at one point taking over the lead. Sanders was able to regain the advantage by the time the final hand arose. Pupillo raised to 300,000 from the button with the 10Diamond Suit9Heart Suit and Sanders three-bet to 1,025,000 holding the 4Heart Suit3Spade Suit. Pupillo called and the flop brought the 9Spade Suit6Diamond Suit5Heart Suit. Sanders checked, Pupillo bet 800,000 and Sanders check-raised all in. Pupillo called for his last 2,900,000 with his top pair and was ahead for the moment, but Sanders had outs with his straight draw. The 7Heart Suit on the turn gave Sanders the straight, but Pupillo had a redraw to a higher straight heading into the river. The final card was the 6Club Suit, securing the pot and the title for Sanders. Pupillo took home $91,036 for his second runner-up showing in a WSOPC main event in the past two weeks.

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

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Scott Sanders $147,314 720
2 Nicholas Pupillo $91,036 600
3 Brett Murray $66,521 480
4 Stephen Song $49,392 360
5 Ryan Stoker $37,245 300
6 Dann Turner $28,506 240
7 Ian Steinman $22,138 180
8 Michael Hubbard $17,437 120
9 Robert Georato $13,928 60

Winner photo provided by the WSOP.