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Nathanael Kogel Wins 2019 WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant Main Event

30-Year-Old Poker Pro Tops Field of 983 Entries To Win $256,915 and His Third Ring


Nathanael Kogel has won the 2019 World Series of Poker Circuit Choctaw Durant $1,700 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event. The 30-year-old poker pro outlasted a field of 983 total entries to win his third WSOPC gold ring and the first-place prize of $256,915. This was Kogel’s first-ever six-figure score, and it brought his lifetime total earnings to $598,843. As it turns out, this win was literally a dream come true for Kogel.

“I actually had two dreams about this tournament… I had a dream that I got heads up with two-thirds of the chips in play and that I had to battle it out for the ring. I literally had the dream twice in a two-week span leading up to this,” Kogel told WSOP reporters. “It was pretty amazing actually. I didn’t want to start talking about it until it like actually happened, but I told my friends when I got to the final table that I kind of had that premonition.”

The final day of this event began with 17 players remaining from the nearly 1,000 that entered. Kogel held the chip lead when play resumed, with 2019 WSOPC Choctaw January champion Dave Alfa sitting in second chip position, while WSOP bracelet winner and two-time World Poker Tour champion Kevin Eyster was not far off for the top of the leaderboard. Eyster ultimately finished 12th for $20,749, but Kogel, Alfa, six-time WSOPC ring winner Maxwell Young and Lily Kiletto all made it to the final nine, with Kogel leading/

Kiletto’s deep run came to an end when her QDiamond SuitJHeart Suit failed to outrun Kogel’s ASpade Suit5Diamond Suit. Kogel’s ace high was enough by the river to secure the knockout, sending Kiletto to the rail in seventh place ($41,363). The cash brought Kiletto’s lifetime live earnings to $870,047. After that hand Koegel appeared to be running away with things, as he headed into six-handed play, sitting with more than three times as many chips as his nearest competitor.

Dave Alfa fell just short of winning his second WSOPC Choctaw main event of the year, having topped a field of 1,161 entries back in January to win $320,998. Alfa was sent to the rail in fifth place when his 4Spade Suit4Diamond Suit ran into the 6Spade Suit6Diamond Suit of Jesus Martinez. Neither player improved and Alfa had to settle for $68,829.

Kogel expanded his lead further by winning a flip with 3Heart Suit3Club Suit against the ASpade Suit7Heart Suit of Andrew Barfield. The threes held up and Barfield was sent home with $90,085.

Maxwell Young was also looking for his second WSOPC Choctaw main event title. The six-time ring winner had taken down the November 2018 running of this event, overcoming a field of 893 entries to earn $263,815. Young ended up getting his last chips in with 5Club Suit5Diamond Suit, only to find that Kogel had picked up 6Heart Suit6Diamond Suit. The QClub SuitJDiamond Suit9Diamond Suit3Club Suit10Heart Suit runout locked was no help to Young, and he was eliminated in third place ($119,038).

With that Kogel took more than a 3.5:1 chip lead into heads-up play against Jesus Martinez. It didn’t take long for all the chips to get into the middle. Martinez picked up ASpade Suit5Spade Suit on the button and moved all-in for 3,000,000 with the blinds at 80,000-160,000 with a 160,000 big blind ante. Kogel had been dealt QSpade SuitQClub Suit. He made a quick call and the board came down QHeart Suit10Club Suit6Club SuitJSpade SuitJHeart Suit and Kogel made queens full of jacks to lock up the pot and the title. Martinez earned $158,793 as the runner-up finisher.

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

Place Player Payout 912
1 Nathanael Kogel $256,915 760
2 Jesus Martinez $158,793 608
3 Maxwell Young $119,038 456
4 Andrew Barfield $90,085 380
5 Dave Alfa $68,829 304
6 Marquis Mccain $53,097 228
7 Lily Kiletto $41,363 152
8 Mason Vieth $32,540 76
9 Timothy Burden $25,854 28

Photo provided by WSOP.