The 2022 World Series of Poker International Circuit Caribbean on Sint Maarten has crowned a new first-time winner of the elusive gold ring. Veronique Croes came out on top of a 43-entry strong field to claim the top prize of $4,000 and earn her entry into the $1 million guaranteed Tournament of Champions during the 2022 WSOP in Las Vegas.
Croes resides on the nearby island of Aruba, where she already came close to earning the coveted gold ring. During the WSOPC Aruba in December 2021, Croes cashed four times and reached three final tables within one week but the victory escaped with several close calls. One of them was a third place in a $300 NLHE Event, in which Jerrie Oconnor triumphed. Both bonded during the series and traveled together to the friendly island for the ongoing stop in pursuit of more glory.
By default, Croes is a cash game player and started dabbling in tournaments only recently. She entered the final day of the Ladies Event as one of the bigger stacks but all eyes were on five-time ring winner La Sengphet, who topped topped the 11 survivors. Former WSOP dealer of the year Heather Alcorn was also in contention and eventually had to settle for the runner-up spot, missing out on her second WSOPC ring and cashing for $2,500.
The final day recommenced with two short-handed tables and it was Croes who was responsible for the first two eliminations of the day. Brenda Eskridge was the first to fall followed by the WSOPC ring winner Sonia Jimenez when the latter topped top pair with queen-jack but Croes’s king-ten for the second pair improved thanks to a king on the river.
Down to the final nine players, Sanaz Fattahi was unable to spin up her short stack and a suited ace failed to connect with the board. Myriam Mehnana stuck around and was on the verge of elimination several times before her fate was sealed two spots away from the money. In the meanwhile, Alcorn leaped into the top spot with aggressive post flop play and the money bubble was then a clash between the two big stacks.
Alcorn’s pocket kings were up against the ace-queen of Sengphet, who missed the board to let the bubble burst. However, there was no reason for Sengphet to be upset as she jumped right into the next WSOPC ring event and reached yet another final table thereafter.
Once in the money, Nathalie Debs and Wendy Dickerson were the first to fall. It was Alcorn who knocked out Debs to take a commanding lead and Rebecca Thompson then won a flip with jack-nine suited against the pocket sixes of Dickerson. The lead of Alcorn grew even bigger when she cracked the aces of Jane Jack with pocket eights to cement her bid for a second WSOPC gold ring.
After coming up short during the stop on Aruba where she was unable to capitalise on the chip lead and didn’t put enough pressure on her opponents, Croes quite clearly had a different plan in mind this time. The short-handed play was dominated by her aggressive approach and it didn’t take long to set up the heads-up duel with Alcorn once Thompson got short.
The battle for the title was short-lived as Alcorn. Having moved all-in preflop several times without being called, Alcorn then got it in with ace-queen and Croes snap-called with the dominating ace-king. There was no help on the board and a stunned Croes was overcome with emotions before the realisation finally kicked in. She will be moving up to the top five of Aruba’s all-time money list and has a shot at more glory in the Tournament of Champions at the Paris and Horseshoe Hotel in Las Vegas in July 2022.
Final Result $300 Ladies Event
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (in USD)|
|2||Heather Alcorn||United States||$2,500|
|3||Rebecca Thompson||United States||$1,600|
|5||Wendy Dickerson||United States||$880|
|43 Entries||Prize Pool||$10,750|