Justin Carey outlasted a field of 468 entries to win the 2019 World Series of Poker Circuit Foxwoods $1,700 no-limit hold’em main event, securing his second WSOPC gold ring and the top prize of $143,293. The 22-year-old poker pro from Somerville, MA defeated all-time WSOP Circuit gold ring leader Maurice Hawkins heads-up to lock up the title, denying the 13-time winner on the tour his record-extending 14th title.
“It’s awesome. I feel like I played really, really well the entire tournament. On Day 2 I had a couple of bumps where I lost some really big pots. I just stayed focused and just played the best I could,” Carey told WSOP reporters.
When asked about his heads-up showdown with the WSOP Circuit’s leading title winner, Carey told reporters, “I just wanted to crush Maurice, really bad.”
The final day of this event began with Dan Chalifour in the lead and both Gregory Nerenberg and Hawkins hot on his tail. Carey started the final table in fifth chip position among the nine remaining players.
Hawkins got off to a strong start by winning a massive pot off eventual ninth-place finisher Sean Thomson ($13,079) with fours full of tens. He then knocked out Ralph Macri in eighth place when his AJ outflopped his opponent’s AQ in an all-in confrontation. Macri took home $16,449 for his deep run.
Carey scored his first elimination of the day when his A8 beat out the 108 of short-stacked Gregory Nerenberg (6th – $27,297).
Dan Chalifour lead for much of the final table, but his pocket kings were cracked by the pocket queens of Andrew Ostapchenko during five-handed play to see him fall to the bottom of the leaderboard. Ostapchenko finished the job, with his pocket fours winning a race against Chalifour’s KJ to send him to the rail with $35,947 as the fifth-place finisher.
Ostapchenko’s rise up the rankings was followed by an equally rapid fall. He doubled up both Carey and Hawkins to slide to the bottom of the leaderboard. He ended up getting all-in on a flop of J87 with 66, only to receive a call from the 99 of Hawkins. The 5 turn and 5 river kept Hawkins ahead and Ostapchenko was knocked out in fourth place ($47,859).
With a flop of 1096, David Plotkin bet 1,300,000. Carey shoved all-in and Plotkin called for 3,600,000 total with the AA. Carey had flopped top two pair with 109. The turn brought the Q and the river the J. Two pair remainined the best hand, and Plotkin was sent home in third place ($64,663).
Carey began heads-up play with more than a 2-to-1 lead over Hawkins. The 13-time WSOP Circuit winner was able to battle back and take the lead shortly after the dinner break. Hawkins stretched his own lead to 2-to-1 before the pendulum swung back in Carey’s direction. By the time the final hand was dealt, Carey held his largest lead of the night. Carey shoved all-in from the button holding A8. Hawkins quickly called from the big blind with AQ. The board ran out 84379 and Carey made a pair of eights to secure the pot and the title. Hawkins fell just short of his record-furthering 14th gold ring, earning $88,557 as the runner-up.
Carey earned 720 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion of this event. This was his second POY-qualified finish of the year. Hawkins was at his 11th final table of the year. The 600 points he earned were enough to move him into a tie with Vinicius Lima for 136th place in the overall 2019 POY race standings, which are sponsored by Global Poker.
Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:
Winner photo provided by WSOP.