Adding a fourth day on the schedule sits just fine with Ronnie Day, as the veteran pro was the last player standing at the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas. Having won his ticket with a WSOPC ring, this is Day's first gold bracelet. On top of this, Day also took down $200,000 in cash and the title of Tournament of Champions winner at the 2023 World Series of Poker.
“It’s so surreal right now, it’s unbelievable, I don’t even know how to explain it,” Day told PokerNews after posing for photos with his newest piece of jewelry.
This unique invitation-only event provided a $1,000,000 guaranteed prize pool and was open to anyone who won a WSOP bracelet or WSOP circuit in the last year. Day won his way into the field by earning his first circuit ring in Elizabeth, Indiana, just last month.
Final Table Action
A total of 741 players entered the freeroll event out of 989 qualifiers. The final seven returned today for an added fourth day to battle for WSOP glory.
Barry Schultz won his way into the field by taking down the seniors event at Horseshoe Tunica in January. Schultz entered the day as the short stack and was the first to exit after seeing his pocket jacks cracked on the turn.
The lone Canadian at the final table, Justin Hotte-McKinnon, was the next to go in sixth place. Hotte-McKinnon earned his spot in the Tournament of Champions field by winning his ring on WSOP.ca in March.
Wissam Gahshan qualified with a win at The Bicycle Casino in December, was the chip leader at the beginning of the day , and collected a career-best score with a fifth-place finish.
As Day was vaulting his way up the leaderboard, the eliminations continued around him at the table.
Hunter McClelland was the next to go, earning a nice payday after taking down two ring events on WSOP PA. Patrick White followed in third place at the hands of Day, adding a nice score to his resume to go along with a win at the WSOP circuit stop at Turning Stone.
Final Table Results
|1||Ronnie Day||United States||$200,000|
|2||Brent Gregory||United States||$120,000|
|3||Patrick White||United States||$87,000|
|4||Hunter McClelland||United States||$63,000|
|5||Wissam Gahshan||United States||$46,000|
|7||Barry Schultz||United States||$26,000|
|8||Daniel Marx||United States||$20,000|
|9||Zachary Gruneberg||United States||$16,000|
Crowning a Champion
Heads-up play did not last long, as Brent Gregory had a significant chip disadvantage, providing a path to victory for Day. Gregory earned a career-best score with the runner-up finish after qualifying with a win at the WSOP Circuit event in Tulsa back in March.
As for our champion, Day said his next challenge is to find a third career cash at the WSOP Main Event. “I was sitting there thinking, this is very good practice for the Main instead of just jumping right into the fire,” Day said after reflecting on his experience this week.
The winning hand was jack-five offsuit, to which Day quipped, “Motown is back, right?”
This concludes the PokerNews coverage of the Tournament of Champions, but we’ll continue to provide live updates throughout the rest of the 2023 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.