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WSOP Circuit -- Dwyte Pilgrim Wins the Harrah's Rincon Championship

Pilgrim Takes Home the $125,775 Top Prize, Esther Taylor Finishes in Second Place


The final day of the World Series of Poker Circuit event at Harrah’s Rincon near San Diego, California, began with 16 players, after a field of 106 players was whittled down on day 1. Play began at two final tables to start the second day of play, and the final table was reached when 10 players remained. Here is a look at the chip counts when the final stretch of action began:

Matt HymanSeat 1: Dwyte Pilgrim -- 140,000
Seat 2: Josh Prager -- 185,000
Seat 3: Esther Taylor -- 300,000
Seat 4: Charles Williams -- 570,000
Seat 5: Matt Hyman -- 100,000
Seat 6: Thao Thiem -- 300,000
Seat 7: Chris Tryba -- 105,000
Seat 8: John Farrell -- 80,000
Seat 9: Pogos Simityan -- 150,000
Seat 10: Jonathan McGowan -- 100,000

Matt Hyman was the first player to fall at the final table, in 10th place. The payout structure deemed that only the final nine would receive prize money, but before the final table began, the remaining players voted to contribute $500 from the ninth through second place prize money and $1,150 from the first-place prize money so the bubble-boy would at least walk away with his buy-in back. Because of this, Hyman was awarded $5,150 in prize money for finishing in 10th place. The pocket kings of John Farrell were defeated by the trip tens held by Chris Tryba next, and Farrell was eliminated in ninth place ($20,124).

Jonathan McGowan moved all in just a short time later, and his A-Q lost in a coin flip against the pocket eights of Esther Taylor. McGowan was eliminated in eighth place ($25,155). Tryba then used tens once again to eliminate Pogos Simityan in seventh place ($30,186). Tryba held Q-10 and he was dominated by the A-Q of Simityan until the board fell K-5-2-7-10. Dwyte Pilgrim scored his first elimination at the final table when his pocket nines held up against the pocket sevens of Josh Prager, who was eliminated in sixth place ($35,217). Pilgrim then made it two knockouts in a row when he bounced Thao Thiem out of the tournament in fifth place ($40,248). Pilgrim turned a flush to defeat the Broadway straight of Thiem.

Dwyte Pilgrim WinsPilgrim continued his dominance by scoring the next two eliminations, as well, to make it four in a row for the comeback kid of the tournament. First, he made nines up to defeat the sixes up of Tryba and send him home in fourth place ($50,310). Second, his pocket eights held up against the A-6 of Charles Williams to send Williams home in third place ($75,465). Pilgrim now held a huge chip lead heading into battle against his final opponent, Taylor, who was attempting to become the first woman to win a WSOP Circuit championship.

In the end, Pilgrim’s chip advantage proved to be too strong, and the final hand of the tournament came soon. Taylor was forced to move all in on a short stack with 9 3 in the hole, and Pilgrim called her down with K 2. The board fell A Q 8 6 2, and Pilgrim won the tournament with a pair to take home $125,775 in prize money, a gold ring, and an entry in the 2009 WSOP main event. Taylor was eliminated in second place, and she took home $100,620 for the runner-up finish.

The next WSOP Circuit event will take place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The tournament series begins on Saturday, Apr. 11, and it will conclude with a $5,000 Circuit championship, which runs from Monday, Apr. 27 to Thursday, Apr. 30.