Matt Kirby debated until the night before he left for the series whether he should make the trip – his traveling companions were planning to leave for an extended stay, at least 10-12 days. Kirby recently got married, bought a new home and has a young kid less than a year old, he prefers not to be away for long periods of time. But, Daddy’s gotta work too, there’s not a lot going on for a poker pro in Minnesota during the December/January timeframe.
Kirby navigated through Day 1A without much trouble. Of the 464 Day 1A entrants, Kirby ranked 14 of the 64 who advanced to Day 2.
From there, Kirby continued to roll. 15 of 1,140 survived Day 2, Kirby cleared 1 Million chips placing him 12 of 15 and guaranteed $20,332 entering Day 3 action. But it was clear he had his eye on the $312K first place prize.
As play progressed on Day 3, it was clear that Kirby was dominating action as the nation watched on ESPN3. He completely controlled the table and worked his way to chip leader. Kirby then took 3 consecutive HUGE blows causing his stack to crumble, one of them being AA < 54. He kept in it and battled back to a commanding chip lead once again.
Eventually he would face Jeff Fielder heads-up with a 2-1 chip lead. Unfortunately that’s where the run-good would end.
Chad Holloway of PokerNews.com writes the ending:
Jeff Fielder began the day with the largest stack, and now he’s finished it with all the chips.
In what would be the last hand of the 2012/2013 World Series of Poker Circuit Choctaw Durant Main Event, Matt Kirby opened for 280,000 and was met by a three-bet to 880,000 by Fielder. Kirby responded by four-betting 1.88 million, Fielder moved all in, and Kirby snap-called.
Like we’ve seen so many times throughout the tournament, it was a race; however, this time it was one for $120K in prize money. Everyone in the room was on their feet and surrounding the table as the dealer put down the flop. Kirby missed, but he did pick up counterfeit options.
The dealer burned and turned the , giving Kirby even more counterfeit outs, but the river was not one of them. Fielder had rivered a full house to eliminate Kirby in second place for $192,751, nearly four times his previous top score of $52,085.
*Learn more about Kirby in his recent interview with PokerNews.