We Care Commitment

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Jesse Yaginuma went wire-to-wire on the final day to best a field of 129 entries and win $108,345 in the $3,250 no-limit hold'em high roller.

Yaginuma registered late in the day yesterday after busting 19th in the $1,675 no-limit hold'em main event. He quickly amassed the biggest stack in the room and ended the day as the runaway chip leader.

When play resumed on Tuesday afternoon, it was more of the same for Yaginuma. He completely dominated the final table and was never short on chips. As the field was trimmed from 40 down to the final nine, Yaginuma's stack only kept growing and he started the final table with the chip lead.

He bested a final table that featured plenty of tough players. WSOP Bracelet winners Mike Leah and Barry Hutter were at the final table, as well as tough pros Ben Palmer, Michael Aron, and Joe Serock. Yaginuma navigated through the whole field and defeated Matthew Wantman heads-up to take home the title.

Yaginuma is a professional poker player from Maryland that now makes Los Angeles his home.

Here are the final table results:
1st: Jesse Yaginuma - $108,345
2nd: Matthew Wantman - $66,975
3rd: Mike Leah - $48,345
4th: Ben Palmer - $35,525
5th: Michael Aron - $26,555
6th: Qing Liu - $20,190
7th: Tom Braband - 15,610
8th: Barry Hutter - $12,260
9th: Joe Serock - $9,785



Local grinder Nikhil Gera came out on top of a stacked final table to emerge as the champion in the $1,675 no-limit hold'em main event.

Gera, a Psychiatrist by trade, is a poker enthusiast that is friends with some of the best players in the Southern California area. Gera had a rail that included Craig Chait, Peter Hengsakul, Nipun Java, and several other Los Angeles area grinders who were there to support there fellow local grinder.

He bested a field of 842 players to earn his first career Circuit ring and $246,295. He also earns a seat into next year's Global Casino Championship.

It wasn't an easy road to the title for Gera, who had to navigate through arguably one of the tougher final tables the WSOP Circuit has seen. Eddy Sabat, Ankush Mandavia, two-time WSOP Bracelet winner Tuan Le, and WPT Champion Harry Arutyunyan were all a part of this final table.

Those players hit the rail as the day moved on and the title came down to two local players: Gera and Paul Nguyen.

Nguyen had a massive chip lead throughout the final table, but Gera picked up steam and during the late stages of the final table and started heads-up play at only a slight chip disadvantage.

After a few hours of heads-up play, Gera took the chip lead and eventually picked off Nguyen's jack-high bluff with a full house to send Nguyen home in second place. It was all celebration for Gera and his rail after that. Nguyen takes home $152,190 for his second place finish.

Here is a look at the final table results:

Nikhil Gera

1st: Nikhil Gera - $246,295
2nd: Paul Nguyen - 152,190
3rd: Eddy Sabat - $112,105
4th: Alex Massman - $83,660
5th: Ankush Mandavia - $63,250
6th: Harry Arutyunyan - $48,435
7th: Mark Hamilton - $37,560
8th: Tuan Le - $29,490
9th: David Mendelson - $23,440


There are 16 players left in the $3,250 no-limit hold'em high roller event and they have redrawn for seats at the final two tables (this is an eight-handed event).

This is also the bubble and hand-for-hand play has begun and will last until one more player is eliminated.

Jesse Yaginuma, Joe Serock, and Michael Aron are all bunched together at the top of the pack. All three have over 500,000 in tournament chips. When one more player is eliminated, the final 15 players will be guaranteed $6,535.


The $1,675 no-limit hold'em main event is down to its final 10 players and they have redrawn for seats at the final table.

Harry Arutyunyan is atop the chip counts with 3,900,000 and he is followed closely by Paul Nguyen and Ankush Mandavia.

Here is a look at the chip counts for the final 10 players: Seat 1: Nikhil Gera - 1,250,000
Seat 2: Eddy Sabat - 925,000
Seat 3: Ankush Mandavia: 2,400,000
Seat 4: Harry Arutyunyan: 3,900,000
Seat 5: Timothy Miles: 620,000
Seat 6: Paul Nguyen: 3,400,000
Seat 7: Mark Hamilton: 1,300,000
Seat 8: Alex Massman: 1,400,000
Seat 9: David Mendelson: 675,000
Seat 10: Tuan Le: 660,000
The next player out will receive $18,855, but they are all within grasp of the $246,295 first place prize, the Circuit ring, and a seat into the Global Casino Championship.