Ray Clinkscales was in danger of becoming the unluckiest poker player on the WSOP circuit. Clinkscales of Las Vegas had made no less than 14 final tables in WSOP circuit events and at long last he is finally the proud owner of a WSOP circuit gold ring. He was a little relieved as you can imagine, saying, "This is unbelievable, I've run so bad, I'm just glad I don't have to hear it from people anymore about not having a ring." The ring finally came at the Main Event no less at the Harrah's Philadelphia event and Clinkscales had to work hard to beat a largest ever field for this tourney with 351 players having entered, however that did mean a very nice prize pool of $526,500. Day 1 passed without major incident and day 2 saw 36 players beat the bubble and into the money. Clinkscales played a solid game without ever pushing for the lead and in fact ended day 2 toward the bottom of the pile, although with only 14 players coming into day 3 there was still hope for everyone. Clinkscales held on well and made the final table by doubling up at crucial moments, staying towards the end of the pack but always managing to hang on when he needed to.
The Final Table
Things heated up when Assante lost his way and although looked strong most of the day he went out in 5th place taking home $30,516, and for all intents and purposes this was Silbersteins' game as he was holding over 70% of the chips at this point. Clinkscales had a monumental task of making up an 8 to 1 chip deficit, however that all changed in one crucial hand. Clinkscales pushed all in with around 680,000 chips and Silberstein called. Silberstein was holding A,3 against Clinkscales A,Q and the board held up for Clinkscales who doubled up nicely putting him right into contention. Things got worse for Silberstein who also lost a huge pot against Jukich before being eliminated in third place for $54,614. So we were down to heads up play between Clinkscales and Jukich with Jukich having a slight chip advantage. Clinkscales slowly but surely took away the chips of Jukich and without taking any huge pots he found himself in a great position and the final hand saw the 7's of Clinkscales give him the win, beating the K,J of Jukich. Clinkscales not only won the first prize of $121,095 but also a seat in the National Championships. It was a great win by a player who truly deserves it, so well done Ray and good luck for the Nationals.