The WSOP Circuit Las Vegas $2,200 NLHE High-Roller tournament drew a modest field of 130 players looking to take a piece of the action. By the time it was over, New York native Loni Harwood outlasted everyone to take first place and a purse worth $72,802. She continues to fill her jewelry box with more bling, having now accumulated five WSOP Circuit rings and two WSOP gold bracelets. To date, Harwood has racked up over $2.6 million in live-cash winnings.
It was a difficult battle for the 29-year-old player. At the final table, with only three players remaining, she was down to less than ten big blinds before doubling up twice to get back into the game. Both of those hands were against Anjush Mandavia, the Atlanta, Georgia native who is second on Georgia’s All-Time Money list. Mandavia at this point was probably feeling a little frustrated and pushed all-in on a three-bet with A-8. Unfortunately for him, Harwood was holding A-10, and Mandavia couldn’t find a match, hitting the rails in third place with $32,089 to add to the $4.4 million he had already racked up in live action.
Now in heads-up action against Joseph Cheong, Harwood was a 9-7 chip underdog. Cheong would go on to extend his lead a little further after correctly reading a bluff attempt by Harwood. At this point, Harwood found the cards starting to line up in her favor and she was able to take a 2-1 chip lead before the pair duked it out on the final hand. A four-bet all-in jam by Cheong, who was holding A-9, was answered by Harwood with A-Q suited. A run out of the board didn’t produce any connectors for Cheong, who settled for second place and just under $45,000. To date, he has won over $12 million in live earnings.
Harwood and Cheong had some stiff competition going into the final table. Vincent Moscati, who took first place at the 2018 Card Player Poker Tour at Golden Gates in Colorado in January, was sent home in eighth place and a tiny stack worth $7,896. Seth Davies, with more than $1.8 million in live winnings and a tournament history dating back to 2010, made it a little further. He was eliminated in sixth place for $13,081.