Steven Ruighaver, a recreational poker player from South Carolina, claimed the first place in the WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Cherokee $365 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed tournament to collect his second gold ringand the amount of $36,346 in prize money. The player bulldozed his way through a 607-strong field and a star-studded final table that featured eight-time gold ring winner Robert Hankins, among several other WSOP Circuit gold piece holders.
The event attracted a record breaking field of 607 entries, who were reduced to just 17 hopefuls by the end of Day 1. The second and final day of play kicked off yesterday at the host venue. The 17 remaining players were led by Rick Drake, who had a total of 890,000 in chips at the time. Ruighaver was seventh in chips when cards were thrown in the air for Day 2 action.
The player quickly began his march to victory and built a solid chip stack to eventually take the lead. The eventual winner had already rocketed himself to the chip leader position when the remaining seven players were relocated to an unofficial final table. Ruighaver had accumulated a chip stack of 1.71 million by that time.
Final Table Action and the Winner’s Reaction to His Second WSOP Circuit Title
Although Ruighaver entered the final table with considerable advantage over his opponents, the final stage of the tournament promised to be packed with action and hurdles. The eventual winner had to face an eight-time WSOP Circuit gold ring winner who was vying for yet another title, among other seasoned players.
Despite the difficulties on his road to victory, Ruighaver survived through the day to claim the title. A three-way all-in confrontation eventually ended it all. Aside from Ruighaver, the final hand in play involved Hankins and two-time gold ring winner Cody Brinn. Hankins eventually ranked third in the tournament for $16,078 and Brinn finished second, good for $22,464.
Being the last man standing, Ruighaver captured his second WSOP Circuit gold piece. It is interesting to note that the player won his first gold ring in the same casino. Back in August, he bested the field of a $365 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo tournament for $33,792. The player told interviewers last night that Harrah’s Cherokee was the closest casino where he could play live poker and this was why he has been frequenting the venue over the years.
Last night’s victor also pointed out that he had had a good feeling about the event and had even told his family back in South Carolina that he would bring the money and the ring home. Of his performance, the part-time poker player said that he was running hot and he simply could not miss a hand. As it can be seen his hot streak of good hands helped him much in capturing two WSOP Circuit titles in three months.