Justin “J.C.” Tran wins the inaugural 2014 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder $3,500 no limit Hold’Em Main Event.
The player from Sacramento defeated Preston Harwell, winning his second WPT title and becoming the 20th player who won multiple WPT titles. He was recently put under N8 in the Global Poker Index Player of the Decade and the $302,750 first-place prize, which he just won, makes his total live tournament earnings at the moment just over $11 million.
Tran, who also has WSOP gold bracelets, won over 456 entrants at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort, situated close to Sacramento, which followed all US gambling laws. This event was his sixth WPT final table and second title.
He won again exactly 7 years ago in Reno, in 2007. This was also probably the most successful year in his career so far, as he managed to reach three final tables just for a couple of months.
Tran also managed to gain 1,080 Card Player “Player of the Year” points in addition to his prestigious title and generous prize.
J.C. Tran won the World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder Main Event
•He took home $302,750
•This was his second WPT title
•He is the 20th player who won multiple WPT titles
Before this success he also made it to another final table in the beginning of the year during the Heartland Poker Tour’s main event. Apparently, the Thunder Valley Casino Resort is a lucky location for the player, as this tournament also took place there.
He finished 8th at this event, therefore with the latest win he is currently occupying the 23rd place in the overall POY standings. He has a total of 1,220 points and $322,208 earnings from the beginning of the year.
After the win, Tran also earned a seat at the $15,400 World Championships at Borgata, after the triumph at the final table, which also included Preston Harwell, Quoc Pham, Mimi Luu, Benjamin Zamani and Ken Jorgensen.
The impressive final game
The champion began his play in the last day as the 2nd shortest stack with only 23 big blinds. Nevertheless, he managed to perform at his best and implemented all the skills and talent gained at numerous US online poker rooms.
He played smart and managed to impressively eliminate four opponents in a row before getting heads-up with Preston Harwell. It took Tran a total of 211 hands to win over the other five players.
Harwell started the heads-up with 5,535,000 chip lead, but Tran managed to turn that around with series of winning hands. The final battle took 62 hands and the lead changed multiple times before the end of it.
Eventually Tran achieved a big lead, and by the time when the final hand was playing, he already had a little over 11 times more chips than Harwell.
This is how Tran won his 2nd WPT title and added significant amount to the $476,890 he won last summer at the $100,000 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, and the total of $2,106,893 he won before that during the $10,000 World Series of Poker Main Event.
For his 2nd place, Harwell won $200,030 and 900 POY points. Additionally, Harwell finished 4th in the WSOP Circuit Choctaw Main Event, so these two scores allowed him to climb to 20th place in the overall standings with a total of 1,380 points.
Final scores’ table
The 2014 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder final table scores are:
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;