Chris Bell ended a career year in style in Atlantic City.
Chris Klodnicki walked into the final table of the WSOP Circuit East Regional Championship with the chip lead, and he eliminated three players from contention to find himself heads-up for a major tournament title in Atlantic City for the second year running. But in the end he had to settle for second place as one of the year’s great comeback stories continued for Chris Bell.
Bell entered the day just behind Klodnicki in chips and played a tight game for most of the final table, as evidenced by his knockouts of two different players while holding pocket queens. The key knockout was that of third-place finisher Ketan Pandya ($159,851), putting Bell slightly behind Klodnicki heading into the final matchup. After nearly an hour of back-and-forth over small pots, the two finally clashed on a 6-5-3 flop, with Klodnicki leading out with 6-4 for top pair and an open-ended straight draw and Bell moving all-in with 3-3 for a flopped set. Klodnicki eventually called, and the board failed to produce any of his outs, sending him home in second place ($221,452).
It’s been quite a year for Chris Bell, whose win in A.C. moves him over the $1 million mark in earnings for the year, a first in his eight-year poker career. He also moved over the $1 million mark for earnings in WSOP-related events with the win, as well as the $2.5 million mark for career earnings – not bad for a guy who admitted after his first bracelet win this summer that he nearly went broke from a bad run before this year began.
The WSOP Circuit Regional Championship final table was filmed and will air on the VERSUS network sometime in mid-2011.