- WinStar Casino poker tournament schedule and information, including starting times, buy-ins, prize pool guarantees, and freerolls.
- Eric Bunch claimed victory at the 2019 WinStar Labor Day River Poker Series $1,500 Main Event, earning the title and accompanying trophy after a heads-up chop that landed him $260,000.
Table Of Contents
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Eric Bunch claimed victory at the 2019 WinStar Labor Day River Poker Series $1,500 Main Event, earning the title and accompanying trophy after a heads-up chop that landed him $260,000.
Bunch outlasted a field of 1,242 entries over nearly three full days of play en route to becoming champion. His journey didn’t come easy, however - his biggest competition throughout the day was Spencer Champlin, with whom he ended up chopping.
Champlin was the one in control for most of the day, and when the two got heads up, Bunch said he “just had to grind it out.”
Final Table Results
|1||Eric Bunch||United States||$260,000*|
|2||Spencer Champlin||United States||$234,887*|
|3||Eluterio Rodriguez||United States||$119,046|
|4||Jeremy Liu||United States||$97,000|
|5||Viet Vo||United States||$74,955|
|6||James Jewell||United States||$57,318|
|7||Kris Burchfield||United States||$44,091|
|8||Jim Harris||United States||$35,273|
|9||Katherine Offutt||United States||$29,982|
*denotes heads-up chop
Day 3 Action
The day started with 10 players returning with their eyes on the $300,005 up top. Chuck Barker (10th place - $24,338) became the first elimination of the day just a few hands after play began. He had entered the day with 125,000 after losing almost his entire stack on the last hand of Day 2 when he doubled up Katherine Offutt running ace-king into her pocket aces. A quick triple up graced his presence to start the day but then he lost a coin flip with pocket threes to Day 2 chip leader Bunch’s ten-nine when Bunch hit a queen-high straight on the turn.
The final table of nine was then reached and the players drew new seats. It wasn’t long after that before Offult became the ninth-place finisher after getting her stack in with Big Slick on an ace-high flop versus the ace-queen of Champlin, only to find it second-best after Champlin hit not just one queen, but two as the turn and river gave him a full house, the elimination, and the chip lead.
Jim Harris (8th place - $35,273) was next to go after spending his short-lived Day 3 on the short stack. It was then time for Champlin to pull away. Kris Burchfield (7th place - $44,691), James Jewell (6th place - $57,318), and Viet Vo (5th place - $74,995) all fell victim to Champlin’s prey over the next hour, leaving just four players in the tournament by the first break of the day.
Champlin picked up right where he left off when play resumed, picking off a bluff from Bunch, who was in second place through most of the day, to create even further separation in the counts between the two players. He then knocked out Jeremy Liu after Liu shoved ace-eight into his ace-queen, holding to surpass the 20 million-chip mark.
Three players remained and play continued for over an hour with Champlin, Bunch, and Eluterio Rodriguez trading chips back and forth with no significant fluctuation. The tournament came out of its second break of the day to Level 30, with blinds of 100,000/200,000/200,000. Bunch and Rodriguez both had about 5 million in front of them and Champlin held the other 21 million.
Shortly after the break, Rodriguez found his luck begin to run dry. He dropped down to around 2 million, which was only a 10-big blind stack, and shoved king-deuce into Champlin’s ace-ten suited. He hit two pair to double up but then ran pocket nines into Champlin’s pocket aces a few hands later to finish in third place.
Champlin took nearly a three-to-one chip lead into heads-up play and built even further from there. Then, the turning point came. Bunch made a few hands in a row and found his stack nearly back to where it started in the match. He then got all of his chips in with king-seven suited against Champlin’s ace-jack on a king-jack-eight flop to double and take the chip lead.
“I’m pretty happy, obviously. I’m glad it all worked out.”
Another 40 minutes went by and the two traded blows, watching stacks get to even momentarily. Champlin regained the lead shortly but re-surrendered it after Bunch hit a straight and got paid on a 5 million-chip river bet. The two then took what proved to be the final break of the night with Bunch having nearly a two-to-one chip lead. No further poker would be played as a deal was agreed upon once the two returned from break.
When asked about what he is going to do moving forward, Bunch said he is going to keep at it at the felt. Historically a cash-game player, Bunch got into tournament poker about three years ago and said that he is going to just continue to play the same tournaments.
“I’m pretty happy, obviously,” he said in an interview afterward. “I’m glad it all worked out.”
Winstar Poker Tournament Results 2020
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