Thomas Alcorn is a retiree from Winder, Georgia. Although he is no longer working, he’s been plenty busy pursuing his poker hobby in recent months. He has made eight cashes in World Series of Poker Circuit events since the start of August. Alcorn put an exclamation point on his impressive run by winning the 2019 WSOPC Horseshoe Southern Indiana $1,700 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event. Alcorn outlasted a field of 357 total entries to earn his first gold ring and the top prize of $117,322.
“Even though I know the new strategy is very good, I do way less bluffing than the new style of poker. Everyone is so used to people betting their bluffs that I can get called when I am betting my monsters.” Alcorn told WSOP reporters when asked about how he managed to secure this title. “The good players realize I am doing this, and they won’t bluff me, so I mess up their whole game.”
This was Alcorn’s second final-table finish of the year, having placed third in the WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event in September. Alcorn earned 600 Card Player Player of the Year points for his recent win. As a result of his two big scores, Alcorn has climbed into 274th place in the overall POY race standings, which are sponsored by Global Poker.
Alcorn entered the final day in third chip position behind chip leader Robert James and Nick Pupillo, who was at his 14th final table of the year. Brett Apter entered the day as the shortest stack, and he was the first to be eliminated when his A7 lost against Alcorn’s Q10 in a preflop all-in confrontation. Apter earned $10,103 for his 15th final-table showing of 2019.
WSOP bracelet winner Alan Percal’s run in this event came to an end when he got the last of his short stack in with J8 against two opponents. Percal made a full house on a A848A runout, but Robert James produced the A2 for a higher boat. Percal earned $16,370 for his seventh-place finish.
Pupillo scored a double knockout, calling to put two opponents at risk with K10 on a J98 flop. He was up against middle set in the 99 of Kenneth Ware and an underpair (33) for Jesse Carter. The turn brought the Q to give Pupillo the nut straight The 5 on the river kept him in the lead. Carter took home $21,358 for sixth place, while Ware was awarded $28,318.
Four-handed play continued for a while before the next elimination took place. Despite getting the double knockout, Pupillo was the next to fall. His stack had dwindled down to the bottom of the leaderboard by the time his final hand was dealt. He got his last chips in with 55 up against the J10 of Robert James. The board came down AK7410 and Pupillo was sent home in fourth place ($38,145).
John Gallaher shoved all-in with A2 on a J43 flop, only to get a quick call from the AA held by Robert James. The A on the turn and 6 on the river locked up the pot for James. Gallaher earned $52,190 as the third-place finisher.
Alcorn started heads-up play with 5,910,000 to James’ 4,800,000. The to battled it out for several hours, with James taking the lead and holding it for much of the early going. In the end Alcorn was able to regain control in time for the final hand of the event. James got his last 1,930,000 in with 55 and received a call from Alcorn, who held A4. The board came down AKQ8A and Alcorn made trip aces to secure the pot and the title. James hit the rail with $72,512 as the runner-up.
Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:
Photo provided by WSOP.