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WSOP Circuit -- Chris Klodnicki Wins Harrah’s Atlantic City Championship

Klodnicki Tops a Field of 195 Players to Win $215,915

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Chris Klodnicki WinsAt the last World Series of Poker Circuit stop that took place in Atlantic City at Caesars Palace in March, Chris Klodnicki (pictured right) made the final table and finished in eighth place. This summer at the WSOP, Klodnicki finished in third place in event No. 42 ($2,500 mixed event), which came one year after his first WSOP final-table appearance, a second-place finish in a $1,500 seven-card razz event in 2008. Klodnicki is used to making final tables at WSOP events, but he had never captured a tournament title after coming so close multiple times.

All of that changed for the 24-year-old poker professional on Tuesday, Dec. 15, when he beat 194 opponents to win the WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Atlantic City $5,000 no-limit hold’em championship and took home $215,915.

“I feel great; I was having a pretty off year, and this ended the year on a great note. I was starting to lose my confidence, and this picked it up a lot,” said Klodnicki after the win. Read below for a summary of the final-table action in Atlantic City.

Final-Table Chip Counts:

Seat 1: Grayson Ramage — 1,552,000
Seat 2: Chris Klodnicki — 927,000
Seat 3: Farzad Rouhani — 1,776,000
Seat 4: Eugene Fouksman — 327,000
Seat 5: Mukul Pahuja — 652,000
Seat 6: Kyle Bowker — 240,000
Seat 7: Charles Furey — 570,000
Seat 8: Ryan Karp — 770,000
Seat 9: Wayne Lewis — 260,000

Eugene Fouksman was the first to leave the final table when his pocket jacks ran into the pocket queens of Ryan Karp preflop. The board delivered no help to Fouksman, and he exited in ninth place ($27,505). Gold-bracelet winner Farzad Rouhani was the next to fall in eighth place ($36,673). Rouhani moved all in on a K-6-5-2 board, and Grayson Ramage made the call. Rouhani held 6-3, and he was behind the K-9 of Ramage. The river bricked out, and Rouhani busted.

The next elimination required some help from the poker gods. Wayne Lewis and Kyle Bowker saw a 10-9-6 flop before they got all of their chips into the middle. Bowker held pocket sevens, but he was behind the J-10 of Lewis. The turn brought a deuce, and the river delivered a third 7 for Bowker, who won the hand. Lewis was eliminated in seventh place ($45,482). Next up on the hit list was Charles Furey, who ran pocket nines into the pocket aces of Klodnicki preflop. The board did not interfere, and Furey was eliminated in sixth place ($55,010).

Klodnicki scored another knockout punch just before the dinner break. Karp moved all in preflop on a short-stack with K-J in the hole. Klodnicki made the call with A-7, and he hit a second ace on the turn to send Karp home in fifth place ($64,178). The final four players then took a dinner break and this is how their chip stacks looked:

Grayson Ramage: 2.7 million
Chris Klodnicki: 1.5 million
Kyle Bowker: 1.2 million
Mukul Pahuja: 550,000

Mukul Pahuja moved his short-stack all in preflop shortly after the players returned, and Bowker made the call. Pahuja was behind with A-2, trailing the pocket sevens of Bowker, and the board bricked out to send Pahuja packing in fourth place ($73,347). The battle for third place took place in a huge pot contested between Ramage and Klodnicki. Ramage was all in preflop for just over a million in chips with ADiamond Suit 10Heart Suit, and Klodnicki made the call with pocket eights in the hole. The race played out on a board of KSpade Suit JHeart Suit 9Club Suit 5Heart Suit 9Spade Suit, and Ramage lost. He was awarded $100,852 for the third-place finish.

Klodnicki took an 8-1 chip lead into the final match with Bowker, and it didn’t take long for him to wrap things up and claim the victory. Bowker was all in preflop with 7-5 in the hole on the final hand, and he had the 7-4 of Klodnicki dominated. That was until the board hit the table and Klodnicki found a 4 on the flop and another one of the river for trips. Bowker was eliminated in second place, and he took home $128,357 in prize money. Klodnicki was awarded the top prize of $215,915, as well as a WSOP Circuit championship ring and a $10,000 seat in the 2010 WSOP main event. He can use that free seat to improve on his 12th-place finish in the 2008 WSOP main event.