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Max Young Wins 2018 WSOP Circuit Choctaw Main Event

33-Year-Old Poker Pro Tops Field of 893 Entries To Win $263,815


Max Young has won the 2018 World Series of Poker Circuit Choctaw $1,700 no-limit hold’em main event. The 33-year-old poker pro from Oregon defeated emerged victorious with his fifth WSOPC gold ring and the top prize of $263,815. This was the largest cash of Young’s tournament career, and it brought his lifetime live earnings to $1.1 million.

This win also made 2018 Young’s most successful on the felt, with five titles, 18 final-table finishes and $541,286 in year-to-date earnings. Young earned 912 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win in this event, enough to see him climb into 29th place in the overall POY race standings for 2018.

“I had set really high goals for myself this year and I’d gotten about halfway there,” Young told WSOP reporters after capturing the title. "I didn’t think I had a chance, but I’m always going to try and I just reached all of them… Every year I’ve played it’s been better than the one before. So that’s kind of always my goal.”

This main event featured a $1 million guarantee, which was easily surpassed when a total of 893 entries were made to bring the final prize pool of $1,352,895. The top 91 finishers made the money. The start of the final day of action saw just 12 players return, with Young sitting in fourth chip position.

Young didn’t score his first knockout until there were six players left. Nivedan Nasina got all-in with the KDiamond Suit10Diamond Suit preflop and was called by Young’s AClub SuitKHeart Suit. Nasina flopped a flush draw, but failed to improve any further and was sent to the rail with $51,884 for his sixth-place showing.

Young notched his second elimination after Jonathan Bloyen got all-in on a board of 9Heart Suit9Diamond Suit7Spade Suit3Heart Suit with the 8Heart Suit6Spade Suit for an open-ended straight draw. Young called to put him at risk with the JHeart Suit9Spade Suit for trip nines. The river was the 8Diamond Suit and Young secured the pot, sending Bloyen to the rail in third place ($120,083).

Young entered heads-up play holding 11,400,000 to Jared Hemingway’s 15,300,000. He quickly overtook the lead, flopping a straight and winning a big pot to surge ahead of Hemingway. In the end, the two players got involved in a coin flip to decide the title. With blinds of 80,000-160,000 and an ante of 20,000, Young raised to 400,000 on the button with the ADiamond Suit9Diamond Suit. Hemingway three-bet to 1,300,000 with the 2Heart Suit2Club Suit. Young shoved all-in, having Hemingway covered. Hemingway made the call and the board ran out 9Heart Suit9Club Suit4Spade SuitKSpade Suit8Spade Suit to give Young trip nines. With that he locked up the pot and the title, sending Hemingway home in second place ($163,024).

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

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Max Young $263,815 912
2 Jared Hemingway $163,024 760
3 Jonathan Bloyen $120,083 608
4 Rolando Lozano $89,616 456
5 Roberto Deleon $67,753 380
6 Nivedan Nasina $51,884 304
7 Terry Presley $40,235 228
8 Wayne Lovell $31,590 152
9 Charles Johnson $25,110 76

Winner photo provided by WSOP.