PNIA Main Event (Day 3): 1st Place – Johanssy Joseph ($210,737)

Level 41 (200,000/400,000/50,000)
Total PNIA Main Event Entries: 1,224
Total Players Remaining: 1
Chip Average: 24,480
,000

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Poker Night in America Main Event Champion – Johanssy Joseph

The Poker Night in America Main Event here at Choctaw drew players from across the country to play in this $1,000,000 guaranteed tournament. With so many professionals making it to Day 2 with big stacks in front of them, it seemed as though the winner would come from that group.

Johanssy Joseph brought a top tier stack with him to Day 2 and only built higher from there. Joseph hit the ground running and surged to the top midway through play when he held with aces against kings in the biggest pot of the tournament at that point. From there, Joseph meandered his way through the field and started today’s final table third in chips.

As he did throughout the course of the tournament, Joseph used tactical and aggressive play to chip up and eventually close the event out. Joseph notched a key elimination of Miguel Fernandez and finished off runner-up Adrian Buckley in short order afterward.

This win marks Joseph’s first Main Event victory after a few previous close calls. Joseph is now pushing close to the $1,000,000 mark in career earnings and will surely pass that checkpoint in the coming months.

Joseph is most well known on the East Coast but this win certainly does well in creating a stronger presence across the country. More than just winning,  Joseph will now be immortalized among the Choctaw Wall of Banners for generations to come.

This is Matt Clark signing off from the Choctaw poker blog. Thank you to all the players, dealers and tournament staff for putting on such a great event. We will be back again soon with more coverage of Choctaw poker.

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PNIA Main Event (Day 3): 2nd Place – Adrian Buckley ($130,601)

Level 41 (200,000/400,000/50,000)
Total PNIA Main Event Entries: 1,224
Total Players Remaining: 1
Chip Average: 24,480
,000

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2nd Place: Adrian Buckley ($130,601)

Once he was knocked down early in his heads up match against Johanssy Joseph, Adrian Buckley never fully got back up off the canvas. As the blinds increased, Buckley was forced to make a move and ended up getting his chips in as a favorite but was unable to hold against Joseph.

Joseph opened the button for 800,000 and Buckley shoved for exactly 8,000,000 from the big blind. It didn’t take long for Joseph to call with A8 to put Buckley at risk. Buckley would need his 22 to hold and did so through the K54♣ flop.

The J♠ turn changed nothing and Joseph elected to use his “one time” before the river. It turned out to be a good decision as the 8 hit to ship Joseph the pot and the championship.

Buckley will take home over $130,000 for his run in this event and we will certainly be seeing him again down the road. A winner’s recap will be posted shortly.

PNIA Main Event (Day 3): Johanssy Joseph Starting To Pull Away

Level 40 (150,000/300,000/50,000)
Total PNIA Main Event Entries: 1,224
Total Players Remaining: 2
Chip Average: 12,240
,000

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Adrian Buckley and his shrinking chip stack have some work to do to regain lost ground on Johanssy Joseph. 

Johanssy Joseph started his heads up match with Adrian Buckley as the slight chip leader but has since increased that advantage over the first level of play. Most of the pots have been small with both players trying to chip away at one another but Joseph is starting to near the 20,000,000 mark following a recent victory over Buckley.

Joseph raised to 600,000 from the button and Buckley defended his big blind to see a J♣83♠ flop. Buckley check-called a bet of 600,000 from Joseph and the two players checked the 5 turn. The river was the 5 and Buckley bet 1,400,000.

After taking a minute to think it over, Joseph called and Buckley conceded he was beaten as he turned over 10♠9♣ for a missed straight. Joseph turned over 86♠ for a pair to take the pot.

With the blinds set to go up momentarily, Buckley and his 6,000,000 will soon be forced to make a move.

PNIA Main Event (Day 2): Heads Up Play Underway

Level 40 (150,000/300,000/50,000)
Total PNIA Main Event Entries: 1,224
Total Players Remaining: 2
Chip Average: 12,240
,000

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Johanssy Joseph comes into heads up play with the chip lead looking to close out a great run through the Poker Night in America Main Event. 

It’s been an amazing three days of poker to get to this point and we are down to the final two players in the Poker Night in America Main Event. Johanssy Joseph and Adrian Buckley will square off with a lot on the line including the $210,737 first place prize, the Choctaw Championship Banner and the title of “Main Event Champion.”

Joseph will start with the chip lead but one pot can change anything given the size of the blinds. With only about 80 big blinds in play, anything is capable of happening. Regardless of who takes the title, will have been a well-earned victory and the Choctaw blog will be here to take you to the end. Below is a look at the heads up chip counts and the remaining payouts.

  1. Adrian Buckley – 10,550,000 (35 bb)
  2. Johanssy Joseph – 13,900,000 (46 bb)
  1. $210,737
  2. $130,601

PNIA Main Event (Day 3): 3rd Place – Miguel Fernandez ($95,849)

Level 39 (120,000/240,000/40,000)
Total PNIA Main Event Entries: 1,224
Total Players Remaining: 2
Chip Average: 12,240
,000

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3rd Place: Miguel Fernandez ($95,849)

Three-handed play was a tactical affair for the most part with small pots being traded left and right among the trio of finalists. Miguel Fernandez was inactive for the early part of the final table but began to spring into action as shorthanded play generally demands for. Adrian Buckley and Johanssy Joseph gradually started to pull away from Fernandez once they started play and the final blow was dealt but Joseph himself.

Fernandez opened from the button for 500,000 and Joseph defended his big blind to see a 55♣3♠ flop. Joseph checked to Fernandez, who bet 650,000. Wasting little time Joseph put in a check-raise to 1,425,000. Fernandez then pushed all-in for 6,055,000 and Joseph called to create a pot worth nearly half the chip in play.

Joseph flipped over A5 for flopped trips that had Fernandez and his A4♠ in rough shape. Needing a two for the wheel, Fernandez missed on the ensuing K turn and 9♣ river. Joseph had Fernandez covered by a few hundred thousand and will come into heads up play with the chip lead against Buckley.

For his run, Fernandez will take home $95,849 to cap off three great days of poker. Buckley and Joseph are on a short break and will begin their match shortly.

PNIA Main Event (Day 3): 4th Place – Jonathan Alfonso ($72,424)

Level 38 (100,000/200,000/30,000)
Total PNIA Main Event Entries: 1,224
Total Players Remaining: 3
Chip Average: 8,16
0,000

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4th Place: Jonathan Alfonso ($72,424)

With Gints Galvins one the rail, all eyes were Jonathan Alfonso, who was the short stack coming into play and did little to improve that standing. Shortly after Galvins was eliminated, Alfonso was at risk for his tournament life against Johanssy Joseph.

Joseph raised to 400,000 from the button and Alfonso three-bet all-in for 1,500,000 total from the small blind. Miguel Fernandez folded his big blind and Joseph called to put Alfonso at risk.

Alfonso would need help as he showed A4 against the A♣7♣ of Joseph. The 7♠52 flop gave Joseph a pair and Alfonso outs to a straight. The turn was the Q♠ which changed nothing and the J would be the last card Alfonso would see in this event.

Joseph chipped up to about 6,250,000 with the bustout and will be the short stack as three-handed play gets started. With the blinds set to go up, it will be interesting to see the battle that takes place among the final three.

PNIA Main Event (Day 3): 5th Place – Gints Galvins ($55,268)

Level 38 (100,000/200,000/30,000)
Total PNIA Main Event Entries: 1,224
Total Players Remaining: 4
Chip Average: 6,120,000

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5th Place: Gints Galvins ($55,268)

First blood has officially been drawn at this final table as Gints Galvins has hit the rail in fifth place. Both Galvins and Jonathan Alfonso came into the final table as the short stacks and with a $17,000 pay jump between fifth and fourth place, it would be interesting to see how both played given that dynamic.

The two players both had their chips but with little peril to show for it until Galvins got involved with Adrian Buckley in a classic flip. Buckley raised from the cutoff to 425,000 and Galvins moved all-in for 2,700,000 on the button. Action folded back to Buckley, who snap-called with Q♣Q♠ and would need to hold against the AK♠ of Galvins.

The 65♣2 flop did little to generate a sweat for Galvins. A 9♠ turn kept the status quo and the 9♣ river would send Galvins to the payout desk.

With the pot, Buckley is the new chip leader with 10,550,000. Alfonso can breathe a little easier now with his 2,100,000 having completed one step of the climb up the payout ladder.