Retiree takes down WSOPC Event 6

J.L. Spain
J.L. Spain wins Event 6 of the WSOPC in Tunica.

After a full day of play, including two hours of heads-up action, the World Series of Poker Circuit Event 6 in Tunica came down to J.L. Spain from Huntsville, Ala.

Spain, 63, has been playing poker for years, though his game was Stud up until about 18 months ago when he tried out Texas Hold'em. In January 2006, he made three final tables at a WSOP circuit event in Tunica, and now he finally registered a win in the $500 No-Limit Hold'em event.

"I was pushing all the way," Spain said, describing his super-aggressive play. "The only time I called was when I wanted to trap someone."

It was that style that brought him to the final table with the chip lead, with over 30,000 more in chips than his nearest opponent.

The chip counts when the final table started were as follows:

  • Seat 1: Matthew Terrol, 54,000
  • Seat 2: J.L. Spain, 85,000
  • Seat 3: Robert Keating, 28,000
  • Seat 4: Ken Dickenson, 34,000
  • Seat 5: Matthew Kelly, 8,000
  • Seat 6: James Naifeh, 34,000
  • Seat 7: Jerry Dunning, 23,000
  • Seat 8: Darren Brandes, 23,000
  • Seat 9: Mike Budde, 47,000

The short stack at the table, Matthew Kelly, made some moves to double up a couple of times early in the game. Otherwise the action was pretty slow when the final table first started play.

The first to bust out was Darren Brandes, who had pocket eights wiped out by Jerry Dunning's A-9 when Dunning flopped another ace.

James Naifeh was the next to go when he went all-in with K-10 and ran into pocket aces. A few hands later, Ken Dickenson was in a hand with Spain and went all-in with A-7 after a flop of Q-8-6. Unfortunately for him, Spain was holding 8-7, and his pair of eights after the flop stayed good through the turn and the river.

Matthew Terrol, who was the player to take out Naifeh earlier, was out next after tangling with Mike Budde. "The Silent Assassin" mucked his cards when Budde revealed a flush on the hand, leaving Terrol with a $2,444 prize and a ticket to the rail.

Spain wasn't allowed to just keep running the table to victory, though. His stack took a hit when he tried to knock out two all-in players, losing both times.

The first instance, Rain decided to raise Robert Keating, who was sitting in the big blind, all-in. Rain's Q-5 wasn't enough to defeat Keating's A-2 when Keating flopped an ace.

Jerry Dunning made a move, raising all-in with A-K, a short time later and Spain decided to chase him with pocket fours. An ace on the flop again gave Spain the losing hand, and with that dent in his stack, he moved out of the chip lead as well.

Spain finally made a kill a short while later, taking out Keating with trip deuces. He took out another player three hands later, punishing Dunning this time after making two pair.

Budde went out next in third place, leaving Kelly and Spain to battle for the top spot. Two hours later, Kelly went all-in on the turn after flopping a straight - he was holding 10s-6s, and the flop came 9s-8d-7d.

Spain, however, was holding Qd-10s, and a 9d on the turn gave him a flush for the win.

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