Charles Johnson, a part-time poker player from Norcross, Georgia, was crowned the victor of the WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event last night. Johnson remained the last man standing from a field of 957 entries.
The player collected his first-ever WSOP Circuit gold ring and his first six-figure payout from the series. Being the winner of the event, his share of the overall prize pool totaled $272,744.
In his post-victory interview, the player said that he almost skipped the Main Event, feeling disheartened by recent failures on the felt. However, he won a seat into the tournament via a satellite and decided to give it a go. And he obviously made the right decision.
By day, Johnson makes his living as a manager in a contact center. By night, he plays poker. He entered the world of poker four years ago and spent that time learning the game’s nuts and bolts and specifics.
The player has had some hard time on the felt over the past several weeks, including during the WSOP Circuit’s Harrah’s Cherokee stop. However, his losing streak eventually ended with the beginning of the Main Event. The player survived through a starting flight without having to re-enter and ended Day 1 of play with a solid stack of 159,000 in chips. By the end of Day 2 action, he had established himself as the chip leader. From that point on, the player followed his strategy to eventually beat what had remained of the original field on Day 3 and to scoop the title and the gold ring.
Final Day Action
As already mentioned, the tournament attracted a total of 957 entries. Its final day kicked off with just 16 players left. The remaining hopefuls were led namely by Johnson who had a stack of 2.38 million at the very beginning of action on Monday.
Play kicked off at noon local time at the host casino Harrah’s Cherokee. It took around three hours of play before the official final table of nine was set. Johnson was second in chips at that point with 3.725 million, trailing closely behind James Moon with 3.79 million.
It was namely Moon whom Johnson faced heads-up. The two-handed duel kicked off with Johnson as the chip leader, holding 10.585 million to his final opponent’s 8.56 million. With both players being deep into blinds, it looked as if it would take a while before the name of the Main Event champion became known.
The two players battled it out for 54 hands, during which chips went back and forth and the chip lead exchanged hands on several occasions. Hand #184 was the final one played last night. It saw Johnson move all in and Moon call. The latter tabled [9s][9h] to his opponent’s [Js][10d]. The board ran out [Qc][8s][5h][Ad][9d] to secure Johnson with a straight and the title. Being sent to the rail as the runner-up, Moon collected $168,700.