Breaking Down the Action:
  • Another Popular WSOP Circuit Event
  • Climax Sees Paredes Parade the Ring
  • Other Results in Thunder Valley

4 Minute Read

Jerry Yang came fourth in the Thunder Valley WSOP Circuit Main Event, the former WSOP Main Event champ winning big again

The latest World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit event took place at the superbly named Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, California. While he was unable to make lightning strike twice with victory, the 2007 WSOP Main Event winner — who won over $8 million from a $225 satellite — came fourth for a finish worth $57,772.

Costing $1,700 to enter the Thunder Valley WSOP Circuit Main Event had a healthy 587 entries overall, with 12 events with buy-ins between $250 and $3,250 taking place in the tournament festival at the California venue.

The saw two Day 1 flights take place, with the $500,000 guaranteed prize pool smashed to see a pot of $889,305 up for grabs. Making the final table but busting first was Brian Foley, who hails from Washington and won $16,140. Dong Meng was next to bust, winning $20,324 for coming eighth, before local hero Vishnu Chada cashed for $25,912 in seventh.

It had been a fast start to the final table, but that was nothing compared to what was to come, and it was in tune with Jerry Yang’s run to becoming world champion back in 2007. All those years ago, Yang came into the WSOP Main Event final table ranked eighth of the nine players in terms of chips. That all changed after he went on a tear through the field, however. Things were about to play out in a similar fashion in Thunder Valley.

Climax Sees Paredes Parade the Ring

Ploughing through the field, Yang was among the frontrunners, seeing Salas Alam bust in sixth place for $33,445. He was followed from the felt by Lian Lu, who won $43,694 for coming fifth. Yang would have been looking towards the title, but unfortunately for him, he crashed out in fourth for $57,772 instead, a great result but some way behind the six-figure tallies for the top two places.

With three players remaining, two of the three came from California, but one of the local pair was eliminated in third place. Feiyue Wu crashed out for $77,294 after reaching the podium, finishing one place short of the heads-up battle that would decide the destination of the latest WSOP circuit ring, the prize awarded for taking down the WSOP-lite event.

Garrett Anaya took the $104,629 runner-up prize, but it was the California-based player Victor Paredes who took down his hometown tournament, earning his first-ever WSOP Circuit ring and a top prize of $169,294, in the process getting the monkey off his back for local wins.

“I have won a lot of tournaments but I have never won one here,” he said after winning the heads-up. “Vegas, Reno, everywhere, except here, which doesn’t make any sense because it’s only an hour and a half away. So, it’s been frustrating. But to finally get it done at the Main Event is a huge relief and excitement.”

Other Results in Thunder Valley

In what was a notable event series overall, Scott Stewart won an incredible sixth WSOP Circuit ring at Thunder Valley, while others, such as Bill Stephenson, claimed their first. The biggest field of the Thunder Valley Circuit was in the second event, The Opener, which had 1,338 entries.

Stewart’s sixth Circuit ring came in Event #9, the No-Limit Hold’em High Roller event, where the multiple WSOP Circuit ring winner took home the title and top prize of $65,733. Stewart reached 15th place in the Main Event itself, taking home a very respectable additional score of $10,572.

Other WSOP Circuit ring winners such as Kristi Nguyen and Damion Underwood joined previous winners of WSOP Circuit events in fine style. The series came ahead of the next series, which concludes this week in Mississippi as the Horseshoe Tunica is the familiar and topical casino name to hand out another of the most prestigious pieces of jewelry in poker.

WSOP Thunder Valley Circuit Main Event Final Table Results:

Place Player Prize
1st Victor Paredes $169,294
2nd Garrett Anaya $104,629
3rd Feiyue Wu $77,294
4th Jerry Yang $57,772
5th Lian Liu $43,694
6th Salas Alam $33,445
7th Vishnu Chada $25,912
8th Dong Meng $20,324
9th Brian Foley $16,140


Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller is a veteran casino writer with decades of experience writing online casino reviews and game guides. His betting strategy articles, and gambling news updates have been a fixture in the industry since 2004.

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