It took nearly ten hours of intense No Limit Texas Hold 'Em, but only four short hands of heads-up to make Jesse "jessejcapps" Capps our Black Chip Knockout champion!
This is a very special moment for Capps, who says this has been a long time coming for the Las Vegas poker pro and tennis coach.
"If you look at my HendonMob, my very first entry is a $350 Main Event for like 10k right here at the Peppermill in 2011," says Capps. "That was when I first started playing. I didn't know anything. I have a lot of final tables since, but no more wins. Everyone knows me as a mincasher, someone who can't close. And now, like 46 final tables later, more than five years of seconds and thirds, and I finally have another win."
Capps' most famous result for Warriors out there will certainly be his Run it Up runner-up finish last October in the Main Event at RIU Reno, which earned him $25,240. But this result feels more special to him specifically because of the trophy and the win.
"It's like a dream."
Heads-up play began with Capps holding a tenuous chiplead over Eric Renfro, which shrank on the very first hand when during the 40,000/80,000 blind levels Renfro made it 220,000 to try to set the tone for how the match would go. Eric successfully applied pressure to the competition throughout the final table, and tried to apply pressure to Jesse as he had to opponents all day, but he ran into a buzzsaw on Hand 4.
A limp-check and check-check of pre- and post-flop action didn't appear to have anything special brewing on a board of [2c6h4d7c] when Capps minbet 80,000. Eric decided he was having none of that, and he raised to 250,000 from the button. A three-bet from Capps made it 600,000 to go. Renfro thought for a moment before going all in, and as he did so Capps sprung from his seat to turn over [5d8d] for the nut straight to Eric's [Jc7d]. The river [As] was a moot point, and Jesse Capps is your event winner!
"The final hand was crazy. He was running over the table, playing really good. But I turned the nuts. And I was pretty sure he was going to fold when I made it 600K, but he reraised me. And then I thought there was still some time to go because I thought he had me chipped, but after they counted I was ahead. It was surreal."
Immediately after the dust settled, Jesse was visibly emotional, and everyone could tell just how much this win means to him.
"I've been thinking about this moment for five years, and I'm pretty happy about how it went down. It's a Run it Up dream."
Jesse's series is off to a blazing hot start: through just seven tournaments he has a win, a sixth, a seventh, and an eighth place finish.
But he also has a message for the poker community: "This is the start. It's only a little tournament, but this is just a beginning. I want to make poker more fun and entertaining.
I know a lot of these guys on the [WSOP] Circuit or the tournament grind just want to win, and that's cool, but I'm also trying to make it entertaining. I'm not playing this game for just me.
"Just look at all these happy faces," as Capps motions to the dozens of players who lined up just to congratulate him. "This feels great for me, but I hope someday maybe I can bring new blood into the game and giving them hope."
And he means it when he talks about fun: "Now I'm going to karaoke and share this with my friends!"