As the WSOP in Las Vegas gets ready to roll, the WSOP Circuit season National Championship played out at Harrah's New Orleans and Jonathon Tilton who came so close to a bracelet in last years WSOP $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event put that out of his mind and roared to victory in this incredible event. This was the third annual World Series of Poker National Championships by beating an extremely tough final table that was full of winners from the seasons circuit events and included a bracelet winner, a main event final table maker and plenty of pros. The National Championship does in fact award a bracelet so finally Tilton gets his hands on one of those and a very nice first place prize of $355,399 meaning that his total WSOP career earnings now stand at a cool $800,000. This tourney really is for the players that have worked hard and put the hours in on the circuit and Tilton is no exception having cashed in no less than 8 tourneys and made 5 final tables. During the course of the WSOP circuit this year he also managed to pick up a circuit ring and this really did put the icing on the Cake.

How the National Championship Final Table Played Out

For a while it looked all but certain that the WSOP bracelet winner and pro player Max Steinberg would take the title, as during heads up play against Tilton he has a decent chip lead, but as we know that wasn't to be. This was the first time that this event had been held outside of Las Vegas and also the first time that all 100 players from the circuit who had won their seats could make the event as you have to be aware that many of the circuit players are part time poker players and full time employees somewhere. As well as the 100 winners there was a group of 27 who were allowed to buy in due to the fact that they were in the top 100 WSOP players of the year. This meant that 127 players hit the felt all looking at a prize pool of $1,270,000 of which 16 players would get a cut. The final table was a mix of those who had earned their seat and those that had bought it. AS play began it was Jeremy Ausmus the two time bracelet winner leading the pack however he left in 8th place and as play continued more notable players dropped out, including Joe Tehan in 6th place, Brock Parket in 4th and in no time we were left with a heads up battle between Tilton and Steinberg. Hilton overcame a sizable chip deficit to take the glory and the paycheck. Hilton is a 23 year old pro and wasn't even going to make the tourney due to his mother being ill, however she insisted he went, and he is pretty glad that he did. What a way to end the WSOP Circuit season and here's hoping that Jonathon Tilton can carry some form over to the big one in Vegas.