More than a million dollars was on the line at Poker Night in America, which is now in its fourth season. One wise player was able to navigate the field and claim the biggest portion of the prize. Johanssy Joseph won the main event, which took place at Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma, outlasting the field to take home the grand prize.
A total of 1,224 players made up the Poker Night in America Choctaw Main Event. With a buy-in of $1,080, they were able to guarantee at least a million dollars for the purse. In all, 136 places paid out.
The final table began with five players to focus on but it didn't take long to determine who the top dog was. Coming in fifth was Gints Galvins, who eliminated Bob Beck just to get to the final five. However, he wouldn't get much further as he lost to Adrian Buckley but still wound up taking home $55,268 for fifth place. In fourth was Jonathan Alfonso, who won $72,424 after he was knocked out by Joseph.
Joseph went up against Miguel Hernandez and Buckley, and his first prey was Hernandez. Hernandez' stack was whittling down when Joseph defended his big blind of ace-five. Two more fives came on the flop and that was all she wrote for Hernandez, who bowed out while earning $95,849. With him out of the way, it was a heads-up game against Buckley.
Joseph and Buckley were actually pretty even in terms of their stacks going into heads-up play (about 80 blinds each), but Joseph quickly moved ahead of Buckley and wound up taking him out on the river of a hand when he connected a pair of eights (along with an ace). Buckley, who has won a World Series of Poker bracelet before, was only holding a pair of deuces. He took home $130,601 to finish in second place, leaving Joseph to claim first place along with the $210,737 prize.
Joseph is making his way up the ranks in the poker game as this win was his second of the year. He also won an event on the World Poker Tour at the Borgata Poker Open in September, a $350 + $50 No Limit Hold 'Em Deepstack Black Chip Bounty event which netted the Mansfield, Connecticut native a payday of $40,295. Joseph also took home his biggest payday this year as he won $239,382 for finishing third at a $1,500 + 150 No Limit Hold 'Em - Goliath Main Event at the Goliath Phamous Poker Series in Las Vegas in July.
Overall in 2016, Joseph has now won over $650,000 after winning at Choctaw and he has moved into the top 10 in terms of the money list for players that come from Connecticut. With five Top 10 finishes since July - including his pair of wins - Joseph seems to be a name that poker fans should keep an eye on as the year comes to a close. He'll hope to carry this momentum into 2017 and raise his platform even more on the world poker scene.