Getting things rolling at the 2018 WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee series was the $400 buy-in NLHE re-entry tournament. With an easily-accessible buy-in and a huge $500,000 guarantee, it isn’t surprising that the event proved to be a popular one. It ultimately recorded 2,273 entries that blew away the guarantee and created a prize pool totaling $750,090. The competition was fierce, but the tournament was ultimately taken down by Elilton Gouveia of Georgia, who picked up $104,807 and his first WSOPC gold ring. Not a bad return on a $400 investment.
Prior to the event, Gouveia’s largest pot to date was $21,174, which he picked up after finishing 12th at the WSOPC Harrah’s Main Event last year. In total, he has now earned $182,503 in live-action poker.
In speaking with WSOP reporters following the event, the winner said, “It feels amazing. I mean, I’ve been dreaming about that. Last Friday was my birthday. I was telling my wife, ‘Okay, I just want to go and play. It’s going to be kind of a present.’”
As the final table action kicked off, Gouveia was sitting comfortably in second chip position with 4.5 million. He was down only to Irene Carey, who took second place at the $400 NLHE Double Stack event at the same venue this past August. Carey, who had 7.13 million chips going into the final table, and Gouveia would hang onto their positions throughout the action and faced off at the end.
Unfortunately, Carey would have to settle for second place again, as she ultimately lost to Gouveia in the final heads-up competition, earning $67,445 in the process. It was a difficult battle that saw Gouveia pick up a few key pots. He finally put his opponent away in Level 38, scoring the top prize and the ring.
In total, 160 players received some cash, with a min-cash of $1,015. The final table saw action by Casey Kelly, who finished in third for $50,504, and Louis Packman, the eventual fourth-place winner. Packman took home $39,352 for his performance.
In total, 16 tournaments will be held during this series, which is scheduled to wrap up on December 2. There are two Seniors events and one Ladies event, and well over $2 million is up for grabs across the series.