Abraham Araya Wins WSOPC Choctaw For $270,380January 25, 2012 11:23 am
Abraham Araya has won the World Series of Poker Circuit Choctaw Main Event, after defeating a field of 978 players over three days to lift the title, and collect the $270,380 first place prize.
Abraham Araya moved to the US from East Africa around 20 years ago and worked as an airline flight mechanic until the company went bankrupt as a result of the weak economy. The family man was then struggling to support his wife and three children until a win in October 2011 at the $1,500 TJ Cloutier Choctaw Poker Challenge for $83,659, followed by his latest victory earned him the equivalent of five years salary. Abraham Araya said he now intends to use some of the money to take his wife to Hawaii for their ten year wedding anniversary, as well as taking his children to East Africa to visit their grandparents.
The $1,600 buy-in event managed to attract a vast number of competitors, which was 21% higher than last year. Included amongst the notable names who failed to cash in at the event were Gavin Smith, Tommy Vedes, Dennis Phillips, Chad Brown, Scotty Nguyen, and Todd Brunson.
By the end of Day 2, Abraham Araya held the chip lead but by the time the final table got underway he was lying in 7th out of nine places.
Nevertheless, Abraham Araya (10-10) then eliminated William Nguyen (A-K) in 7th ($41,679), followed by Derek Browning in 6th ($53,675), who with pocket aces called Araya’s (6h-7h) shove on a a Jh-5h-3d flop, only for another heart to fall on the river.
Soon after, Mark Burford with A-Q was dispatched in 5th ($69,968), a victim of Araya’s A-J with a jack falling on the flop, followed by Michael Sanders in 3rd ($123,430), whose pocket sevens were crushed after Araya’s pocket fours spiked a 4 on the flop.
Less than an hour later, Abraham Araya with pocket fives then eliminated his last heads-up opponent Daniel Lowery (A-8), who walked away richer by $167,230, while Abraham Araya was crowned the champion.