Michael Persky from Novato, California has won the Graton Casino & Resort’s World Series of Poker Circuit main event. With the event being decided on Monday, August 21, Persky’s win awarded him a substantial $175,595. With this victory, he inched closer to a total career earning of $250,000. Notably, he had a commendable performance during the series, even securing a second place in event no. 3.
When approached by journalists after his victory, Persky remarked, “I had a good series.” He shared the struggle of balancing his love for his family and his passion for poker. Playing major events requires him to be away from his loved ones. However, he recognized the Bay Area’s stature in poker and said, “The Bay Area is a Mecca for poker, there’s a lot of good places to play.”
A total of 616 players participated in the $1,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament. This impressive turnout pushed the prize pool to $933,240, surpassing the anticipated $500,000 guarantee. A commendable feat was that the top 93 contestants all pocketed at least $2,564.
Day 2 saw all the players who made it to the money return, with half the participants exiting during the first two levels of play. By 11 pm, the final table was established. The competition was intense with well-known poker personalities like Wendy Freedman, Brandon Zuidema, Darryll Fish, Josh Prager, Rayo Kniep, Matt Wantman, and Ian Steinman marking their presence.
Starting the final day at 1:00 PM local time, Persky was positioned sixth in terms of chips. He played it cool initially, observing the game and waiting for the right moment. This approach worked in his favor as one by one, competitors like Ben Ludlow, Avenes Rastomyan, Kurt Watkins, Zhengxiong Zouxu, and Paul Vlahos bowed out.
His game-changing moment was when he outplayed Ben Underwood. Persky’s A-J hand bested Underwood’s A-2. He then doubled up, thanks to five-time gold ring winner, Jasthi Kumar. An unfortunate hand for Kumar with Q-4 against Persky’s A-K led to his exit in third place.
Heads-up play was intense, with Persky and Danny Sarasin, from Petaluma, starting on an even footing. “I’ve known Danny a really long time so it was kind of crazy to be playing against him,” Persky commented on the tense final. But when Sarasin went all in with a K-9 against Persky’s A-Q, two aces on the flop gave Persky the advantage. With Sarasin coming in second and earning $100,528, it marked the highest cash win of his career.
Final Table Results
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