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James Carroll Wins His Second World Poker Tour Title For $715,175

Poker Pro Outlasts Field of 1,360 Entries In The 2019 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Main Event

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James Caroll has emerged victorious in the 2019 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $3,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event. The 32-year-old poker pro defeated a field of 1,360 entries in the event to secure the $715,175 top prize and his second career title on the WPT, having previously won the 2014 Bay 101 Shooting Star main event for more than $1.2 million.

“It feels fantastic. I’m very happy right now,” Carroll told WPT reporters after securing the title. When asked to compare his two wins on the tour, Carroll said, “This one is actually somewhat sweeter. “The first one felt good, but I’ve been through some super tough times for the past five years, so this feels good.”

In addition to the title and the money, Carroll was also awarded 1,440 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his third final-table finish of the year, having finished runner-up in a $1,600 event at the Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza I for $184,707 and 760 points and seventh in the WPT L.A. Poker Classic main event for another $155,900 and 525 points. With this latest victory, Carroll has been catapulted into 13th place in the POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker. He has already accumulated 2,725 points and $1,055,782 in year-to-date earnings.

This event started on April 12, 2019. After four full days of action at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, play was halted once the six-handed televised final table was reached. The final six reconvened at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas, where the WPT is set to film all of its televised final tables during the tour’s 17th season.

Maria HoCarroll entered the final table as the chip leader with 18,525,000, which was good for 124 big blinds when play resumed. He had plenty of tough competition to contend with, including Maria Ho, two-time WPT winner Eric Afriat, and 2016 World Series of Poker main event eighth-place finisher Jerry Wong.

Chad Eveslage was the first casualty of the final table. On the 69th hand of the day he got all-in with AClub SuitJDiamond Suit against the pocket tens of Maria Ho and failed to improve. He earned $148,380 as the sixth-place finisher.

Ami Alibay was the next to hit the rail. His elimination hand was a wild one. Jerry WOng had opened to 700,000 from the button with 8Heart Suit8Diamond Suit and Eric Afriat called out of the small blind with the JHeart SuitJClub Suit. Alibay moved all-in for 3,275,000 holding 9Diamond Suit9Club Suit. WOng then shoved over the top for 11.6 million. Afriat went into the tank, before folding his pocket jacks face up. Alibay was fortunate to get heads-up against the smaller pair, but less fortunate when the board brought four hearts to give Wong the winning flush. Alibay earned $194,610 for his deep run in this event.

On the 135th hand of the final table Wong got all-in for just under eight big blinds with ADiamond Suit9Heart Suit. He was called by the 4Diamond Suit4Club Suit of Afriat. Neither player improved and Wong was eliminated in fourth place, taking home $257,815.

Maria Ho had come into the day as the second largest stack, but lost several key pots to find herself short midway through the day. She managed to battle her way to the final three, and ultimately got her last 16 big blinds in as a favorite. She shoved from the button with AClub Suit5Diamond Suit and received a call from Carroll in the big blind, who held the KSpade SuitQClub Suit. The board came down ASpade SuitQHeart SuitJDiamond SuitKClub Suit4Spade Suit and Carroll made two pair to knock Ho out in third place ($344,960).

Heads-up play began with Eric Afriat holding just shy of a 2-to-1 advantage over Carroll. It took only eight hands for Carroll to turn the tables. On the 31st hand of heads-up action Afriat raised to 2,000,000 from the button and Carroll moved all-in holding the KSpade Suit8Heart Suit. Afriat called for his last 11.5 million total with 6Heart Suit6Diamond Suit. Carroll ended up making a full house on a KDiamond SuitKClub SuitQClub Suit3Heart SuitQSpade Suit runout, securing the pot and the title. Afriat took home $465,120 for his runner-up showing, falling just short of securing his third win on the WPT.

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

Place Player Winnings (USD) POY Points
1 James Carroll $715,175 1,440
2 Eric Afriat $465,120 1,200
3 Maria Ho $344,960 960
4 Jerry Wong $257,815 720
5 Ami Alibay $194,610 600
6 Chad Eveslage $148,380 480

Winner photo credit: Joe Giron / World Poker Tour.