The 2021 bestbet Jacksonville Trifecta Series $2,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event had 146 entrants at the starting gates, but in the end only one competitor crossed the finish line to claim the title: Kelly Joe Andrews. The Florence, South Carolina resident earned $64,067 for the win, the second-largest live poker tournament payday of his career behind the $128,775 he cashed for as the third-place finisher in the 2015 World Series of Poker Circuit Cherokee main event. Andrews now has $297,500 in career cashes to his name.
In addition to the trophy and the money, Andrews was also awarded 288 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion of this event. This was his first POY-qualified score of the year, and it saw him move into 376th place in the overall standings.
By the time the final table of eight was set, Rishi Srivastava had climbed into the lead with Andrews sitting on the next-largest stack. The two switched positions earlyt on when Andrews made the nut flush against the top pair, top kicker of Srivastava to win a healthy pot.
Srivastava knocked out short stack Rafael Adame (8th – $7,791) to regain some of the chips he lost, but Jeffrey Trudeau surpassed him on the leaderboard by eliminating Michael Scoma in seventh place ($9,726). Trudeau took a hit not long after that, though, as Andrews made another nut flush against his top pair to extend his lead.
Six-handed play continued for a while before Christopher Halkitis ran A-6 into the pocket jacks of Lunique Petiote and the K-Q suited of Andrews. The overpair held for Petiote and Halkitis settled for $12,455 as the sixth-place finisher.
Rishi Srivastava’s run in this event came to an end when he got all-in preflop with pocket sevens, only to receive a call from Andrews and his pocket aces. Neither player improved by the river and Srivastava was sent to the rail with $16,352.
Geoffrey Blum finished in fourth place as a result of a preflop race, with his pocket tens failing to hold up against the A-K of nine-time WSOP Circuit gold ring winner Jeffrey Trudeau. A king on the flop gave the latter the lead, which he retained through the river. Blum earned $21,996 as the fourth-place finisher.
Andrews and Trudeau began three-handed play essentially tied atop the leaderboard, with Petiote on the shortest stack. It didn’t take long for Petiotes’ chips to get in the middle, as he picked AQ in the small blind and raised to 65,000. Trudeau shoved with AQ and Petiote called all-in for 580,000 total. The board brought three hearts to give Trudeau the winning flush, and Petiote was knocked out in third place ($30,298).
Trudeau held roughly a 4:3 chip lead over Andrews when heads-up play began, but Andrews was able to battle his way into the lead by the time the final hand was dealt. With blinds of 15,000-30,000 and a big-blind ante of 30,000, Andrews raised to 70,000 from the button with J2. Trudeau three-bet to 225,000 with AJ from the big blind. Andrews called and the flop came down K92. Trudeau bet 175,000 and Andrews called with his bottom pair. The turn was an action card, the J, which gave Trudeau the nut flush draw to go along with his second pair while Andrews improved to jacks up. Trudeau checked and Andrews bet 275,000. Trudeau called and the river brought the 5. Trudeau checked again and Andrews moved all-in. Trudeau went into the tank but eventually called all-in for 795,000. Andrews secured the pot and the title with his two pair, while Trudeau finished as the runner-up for $42,711. The score increased his lifetime live tournament earnings to $1,776,551.
Here is a look at the payouts and POY awarded at the final table:
|1||Kelly Joe Andrews||$64,067||288|
Tournament poker fans won’t have to wait long for more exciting action at bestbet Jacksonville. The 2021 Card Player Poker Tour bestbet Jacksonville is coming up this summer, with 11 events set to run June 17-28. The centerpiece of the whole affair will be the $2,500 CPPT no-limit hold’em main event that will take place from June 25-28. Check out the CPPT website for more info.
Winner photo credit: bestbet Jacksonville Twitter account (@bestbet_jax).