The 2016 WSOP has started…CJ Sand wins Event #1

Yes, it’s that time of year again as the biggest Series in poker gets into full swing.

Event #1, $565 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em was won by CJ Sand, who dedicated the win to his late mother who taught him the game when he was just 13:

“I’m blessed and I’m lucky,” he said. “It feels great. Her blood goes through my veins, and it worked out today.”

For the first time, this years tournament included 1 re-entry as opposed to a freezeout, and a quicker blind structure at the start meant the money was reached on day 1 with just 23 remaining for the 2nd day.

Sand was chip leader going onto the final table before losing a lot of chips after Brian Mikesh doubled through him with {a-Hearts}{q-Spades} by making a straight against Sands’ {a-Clubs}{k-Hearts}.

However, he doubled up twice in 2 hands with {k-}{j-} against {a-Hearts}{9-Hearts} and sixes against {a-Diamonds}{q-Diamonds}, and then came the bit of luck he was looking for as he held {9-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}on a {j-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds} flop, his straight flush taking out Brian Mikesh who had {k-Diamonds}{q-Diamonds}.

Sand had a huge stack after that and never looked back, taking home the 1st bracelet of this years WSOP.

“That bracelet’s for my mom up in heaven watching over me,” he said. “Phil Hellmuth calls it white magic, but I had some magic from somewhere and I know where it came from.”

The final table results were:

Place Player Hometown Prize
1 CJ Sand La Habra, CA $75,157
2 Kerryjane Craigie Sevenoaks, U.K. $46,420
3 Michael Coombs Bremerton, WA $32,259
4 Spencer Bennett Sacramento, CA $22,753
5 Brian Mikesh Little Canada, MN $16,308
6 Tom Ratanakul Las Vegas, NV $11,877
7 Nicholas Sliwinski Las Vegas, NV $8,792
8 Tiankang Xing San Gabriel, CA $6,616
9 Robert Ostler San Diego, CA $5,063

Many congratulations to Sand and all those that cashed from everyone at LateReg!