The World Series of Poker Circuit Choctaw Main Event drew a massive 1,451 entrants, which more than doubled the $1 million guaranteed prize pool. It was another landmark event in Oklahoma, drawing the largest field Main Event of the Circuit schedule, which took Grant Hinkle surviving a marathon final day to win for $375,427.
“It feels awesome, it’s a great event,” Hinkle said. “I’ve been staring at the banners of past winners and I have a friend up there who was looking down on the final table.”
Hinkle returned to Day 3 with 30 other players knowing he had a long day ahead. The field was loaded with Circuit regulars – Dejuante Alexander was the third shortest stack returning and ran it up to a fourth place finish.
Going into the final table Hinkle felt he was in trouble. “I had just taken a major hit jacks versus queens against John Patterson,” he said. “Then I got a desperation double up right before, so I knew I would need to get lucky with another double up and open up my options.”
“I was the most confident when Austin Peck was eliminated in 5th,” said Hinkle. “I played with him several years ago at SHRPO when he was first starting out and knew then that he would grow into a very skilled player.”
“I feel like I played well throughout but obviously you have to run well to finish first,” Hinkle added. “I also got advice to stop playing pocket jacks from my Uncle Ron. That helped my decision making a lot at the final table.”
Hinkle joins his brother Blair in the WSOP bracelet and Circuit ring club – Blair has three rings – all from the Council Bluffs Main Event.
Final Table Payouts
1. Grant Hinkle – $375,427
2. John Patterson – $232,866
3. Shino Fujiwara – $170,659
4. Dejuante Alexander – $129,741
5. Austin Peck – $98,770
6. Viet Van Vo – $76,069
7. Allan Hedin – $59,266
8. John Richards – $46,708
9. William Berry – $37,240