Professor Harrison of Stillman College Wins WSOP 2013 Event 24
Every year, the World Series of Poker sees repeat winners from its crowd of professional poker players, as well as new up and coming poker pros who draw minimal expectations from the rails. This year is no different as Corey Harrison, a Professor from Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, outwitted a field of 1,731 to claim $432,411 and a gold bracelet for winning WSOP Event #24, $1,500 NL Holdem.
Some might say Harrison had an easy time of it, facing only one poker pro at the final table in Mohsin Charania. But the fact is, the professor whizzed his way through the entire tournament with no real difficulty. Lady Luck was ostensibly on his side as Harrison made smart decisions throughout, taking advantage of the right opportunities and coming out on top when needed.
The final table was made up of Americans and Brits. On the American front was Corey Harrison, Salvatore Dicarlo of Nevada, Paul Spitzberg of New Jersey, Gregory Josifovski of Michigan, Mohsin Charania of Illinois and Robert Brewer of Oregon. Waving the British flag was Daniel Cascado, Zimnan Ziyard and Gareth Teatum.
As the final table commenced, all eyes were on Charania for the simple fact that he was the most experienced and well-known player to grace the table’s felt. Charania has more than $2.7 million in major live tournament cashes under his belt, including a $1.9 million prize in the 2012 EPT Monaco Grand Final, earning him his first EPT title.
Brewer, Teatum and Ziyard were the first three eliminated from the final table, earning 9th ($31,711), 8th ($41,198) and 7th ($54,191) places respectively. Mohsin never did seem to get his feet underneath him. His stack continued to dwindle and he was eventually sent to join the railbirds in 6th ($72,708). Josifovski landed in 5th ($97,493), followed by Spitzberg in 4th ($133,364) and Dicarlo in 3rd ($184,914). That set the scene for final heads-up action between Daniel Cascado and Corey Harrison.
The heads-up match lasted for about two hours as Cascado and Harrison went back and forth, both playing cautiously. In the final hand, Cascado ran K-10 into Harrison’s suited A-7. The flop brought another Ace to give the professor top-pair, and that was all it took to bring an end to the event. Daniel Cascado walked away with a paycheck of $267,452 for the 2nd place finish, while Corey Harrison claimed the WSOP bracelet and $432,411 for the outright victory.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” said the 36 year old college professor, who has been playing small-time poker games for years. “It’s all still kind of surreal to me.” This was the first time Harrison had made the decision to play in a prestigious poker event; in this case, the most prestigious of all, the World Series of Poker.
“A lot of the guys on the circuit were trying to convince me to come out so I finally just built up a bankroll and decided to give it a shot,” said Harrison, although his family wasn’t nearly as enthusiastic about his trip to Las Vegas. “My wife is not a big fan of poker, to say the least,” chuckled the new bracelet holder. “She’s happy now though. They’re always happy when you put $400,000 in the bank account.”