Andy Philachack hung around the top of the leader board for two days, squeaking into the final table with one of the smallest stacks. But his patience was ultimately rewarded as he toppled two-day chip leader Josh Arieh to lay claim to the first place prize and the gold ring that goes to the winner of a World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event. Nine players returned to Harrah’s New Orleans for the World Series of Poker Circuit New Orleans Main Event, with chip stacks that looked like this -
1 Ted McCollom 252500
2 Philip Sparta, Jr. 85500
3 Lou Esposito 20500
4 Bruce F. MacGregor 123500
5 Nic Gellepis 65000
6 Andy Philachack 35000
7 Leonard Pruzansky 174000
8 David Fox 324000
9 Josh Arieh 510000
Chips flew fast and furious at the beginning of the final table, with three players busting out in the first 11 hands! The first all-in belonged to Andy Philachack, as he called Nic Gellepis’ all in with . Gellepis tabled and doubled up Philachack when he didn’t hit a queen or a flush.
2006 WSOP Circuit New Orleans champ Lou Esposito was less fortunate with his all in move, shoving from the button with and finding a caller in Nic Gellepis with on the very next hand. When the board ran out , Gellepis’ 10 kicker played and the defending champ Esposito was busted in 9th place ($15,300). The action continued fast and furious as Philip Sparta pushed all in over the top of Lenny Pruzansky’s preflop raise. Ted McCollom called the all in with pocket threes against Sparta’s . The board missed both players, and McCollom’s threes were good enough to send Sparta packing in 8th place ($22,950).
It was just five hands later that Ted McCollom found himself calling another all in with another small pocket pair, this time calling Bruce MacGregor’s all in with pocket sixes. MacGregor’s was a coin flip with McCollom, and the board brought all tails with . MacGregor was eliminated in 6th place for $30,600.
After the first three eliminations, it took quite some time for the next big hand to develop, but it was a doozy! After Lenny Pruzansky called Nic Gellepis’ all in, Josh Arieh thought about his options for a moment and then jumped right into the fray. Arieh’s was in trouble against Gellepis’ , and was a coin flip against Pruzansky’s . Arieh won the coin toss on the flop when the board came down , and the on the turn gave Arieh quads, leaving his opponents drawing dead. The on the river made no difference to Gellepis and Pruzansky, as they were both eliminated. When counting down the chip stacks, it came to light that Gellepis and Prizansky started the hand with identical chip stacks, so they split 5th and 6th-place money, coming to $42,075 each.
David Fox was next to bust when David Fox called off the last of his chips with pocket sixes against Andy Philachack’s . Since his last name wasn’t McCollom, he did not win his coin flip with a small pair against two over cards, and the on the river sent Fox to the rail in 4th place ($61,200).
After the dinner break, Josh Arieh and Ted McCollom both limped into a pot to see a flop of . After Arieh checked the flop, McCollom pushed all in with . Arieh called with , and picked up a full house when the river brought the . Arieh’s full house busted McCollom in 3rd place, good for $76,500.
After leading the field for most of the previous two days, Josh Arieh found himself at a 3-1 chip disadvantage going into heads-up play. It didn’t take long for a final confrontation to brew, especially not when both players hit the flop of . Philachack checked, Arieh bet, and Philachack check-raised. Arieh pushed all in, and Philachack quickly called, turning over for top and bottom pair. Arieh was drawing thin with for bottom two pair, and when the turn and river brought no help, Arieh was busted in second place ($130,050). Andy Philachack picked up a buy-in to the World Series of Poker Main Event, the gold WSOP Circuit Ring, and $247,860 for his first place finish!
Here are the final table finishes and payouts –
1 Andy Philachack $247,860
2 Josh Arieh $130,050
3 Ted McCollom $76,500
4 David Fox $61,200
5 Lenny Pruzansky $42,075
6 Nic Gellepis $42,075
7 Bruce MacGregor $30,600
8 Philip Sparta $22,950
9 Lou Esposito $15,300