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Alabama man wins WSOP bracelet, $454,424

9 June 2013

Jonathan Taylor should be an alchemist. Everything he touches turns to gold.

The 31-year-old professional poker player from Phil Campbell, Ala., won the latest $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event at the World Series of Poker at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Taylor collected $454,424 in prize money, plus his first WSOP gold bracelet. His win comes following a gold ring victory in the WSOP Circuit Main Event held at The Lodge in Colorado in March. Taylor also finished runner-up in the Main Event held at Southern Indiana last fall.

In fact, Taylor earned three gold rings this season on the circuit, which ties him for the most in a single year. He arrived at this year's WSOP with 10 circuit cashes on his resume. Given all his success, this year seemed like the right time for Taylor to make a move and put his poker skills to the ultimate test.

The most recent challenge began a few weeks ago when Taylor landed in Las Vegas to play in his first WSOP event. His initial run was rocky, going 0-for-7 in the first week of gold bracelet events that he entered.

“Coming into this event, all I pretty much wanted to do was to cash,” Taylor said after his victory. “I just wanted to say I had my first WSOP breakthrough.”

Taylor achieved that, and then some. He reigned triumphant in event #14, which drew 1,819 players.

It's one thing to dream and hope. It's quite another to actually experience the success of winning a gold bracelet.

Taylor is highly competitive, which is one reason why his success in poker comes as no surprise. He played college football as the University of North Alabama and was a starting defensive lineman. Taylor earned a Masters Degree in accounting. After graduating, he worked as an accountant for the next four years – and hated it.

“I was just playing poker on the side, and started to make money,” Taylor said. “Then I decided to focus on it and got to the point where I was traveling around and playing full time.”

Taylor wasn't alone in his moment of victory. His cheering section included many of the WSOP Circuit's top performers in recent years. They swarmed the stage in a massive celebration when Taylor won the final hand of the tournament against Blake Bohn, who finished as runner-up.

Bohn won $281,049 for second, while Hunter Frey collected $194,315 for third. Hiren Patel was fourth for $140,143, and Tuan Vu was fifth for $102,449. Patrick Kubat (sixth), Jed Hoffman (seventh), Dan Gannon (eighth) and Joseph Pergola (ninth) also made the final table.

Tournament summary modified from a report by WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla, reprinted by permission.

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