The final stop of the 2012/2013 World Series of Poker Circuit kicked off at Harrah's New Orleans on Thursday, May 9. The city has been the last stop on the schedule every season dating to 2005, and it’s no surprise to see pros and amateurs turn out in full force to chase last-minute points toward the National Championship. That turnout was evidenced in stop’s first tournament, which drew 367 players and created a prize pool of $110,100.
Before we get to that, remember the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand to bring you all the live updates from the WSOP Circuit Harrah's New Orleans $1,675 Main Event beginning this Friday, May 17.
Caesars Atlantic City Champ Captures Second Ring of the Season
Event #1 $365 No-Limit Hold’em attracted some well-known players including two-time gold bracelet winner and gold ring winner Howard “Tahoe” Andrew, who cashed for the 18th time on the WSOP Circuit. Others who cashed in the event were Bossier City Casino Champion Quan Nguyen, two-time gold ring winner Tripp Kirk and gold ring winners Josh Pender and Joshua Evans.
Another ring winner in the event was 21-year-old poker pro Joseph McKeehen, of North Wales, Pennsylvania. You may recall McKeehen as the Caesars Atlantic City Main Event champion from back in March, a victory that earned him his first ring, $174,000 in prize money and a seat into the National Championship. On Friday, May 10, McKeehen won his second gold ring this season.
McKeehen, who recently graduated from Arcadia University near Philadelphia, Pa., made it to the final table as the chip leader and never looked back. One by one his opponents fell until he was heads-up again Randall Lefere of Houston, Texas. In what would be the final hand, the players got the chips in on the turn and both had a pair of aces. Lefere had the better kicked, but McKeehen got lucky and caught two pair on the river to clinch victory in less than three hours.
McKeehen claimed his second ring of the season and $24,219 in prize money.
WSOP Circuit Harrah’s New Orleans Ring Event #1 No-Limit Hold’em
|1||Joseph McKeehen||North Wales, PA||$24,219|
|2||Randall Lefevre||Houston, TX||$14,968|
|3||Richard Pope||Alvin, TX||$10,937|
|4||Justin Booth||Dallas, GA||$8,121|
|5||Thomas Lynch||Weldon Spring, MO||$6,124|
|6||Ryan Pinell||Chauvin, LA||$4,687|
|7||Jody Spears||Philadelphia, PA||$3,640|
|8||David Melius||New Orleans, LA||$2,867|
|9||Brandon Guillory||Opelousas, LA||$2,290|
Davis Denies Talley Fourth Ring in Event #2
Event #2 of the Harrah’s New Orleans stop, a two-day $580 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em tournament, attracted 296 players and created a prize pool of $148,000. While the Event #1 final table lasted just three hours, Event #2 was the complete opposite. The final table played down from nine to two relatively quickly, including the elimination of ring winner Josh “Big Daddy” Pender in fifth place for his 26th career WSOP Circuit cash, but then heads-up play between Troy Davis and Caufman Talley lasted a grueling five hours.
Talley, who hails from Lafayette, Lousiana, was looking for his fourth gold ring but was denied by Davis who was making his third final-table appearance at the WSOP Circuit Harrah’s New Orleans. He previously finished in second and sixth.
“This was as tough a match as I've ever played,” Davis said after winning the $35,523 first-place prize. “He wasn't giving me a thing. I sure was thrilled to get the win.”
WSOP Circuit Harrah’s New Orleans Ring Event #2 No-Limit Hold’em
|1||Troy Davis||Denham Springs, LA||$35,523|
|2||Caufman Talley||Lafayette, LA||$21,951|
|3||Richard Thomson||Baytown, TX||$15,928|
|4||Corey Mathews||Alexandria, LA||$11,751|
|5||Joshua Pender||Rockhill, SC||$8,813|
|6||Pejman Niyati||Plano, TX||$6,716|
|7||Rogelio Salinas||San Antonio, TX||$5,198|
|8||Vadim Balashov||New Orleans, LA||$4,085|
|9||Tom Christopher||Rocheport, MO||$3,259|
Henson Overcomes 15-1 Chip Deficit in Event #3 to Win Ring #3
Ray Henson is no stranger to poker success. The 35-year-old professional poker player from Houston, Texas, has 16 cashes at the World Series of Poker for $687,566, including a 12th-place finish in the 2007 WSOP Main Event for $476,926, and this season on the WSOP Circuit he has captured three gold rings.
The first was in January in Event #7 $1,125 No-Limit Hold’em at the Bicycle Casino stop, good for $42,390, and the second was two months later at the WSOP Circuit Lodge Casino in Blackhawk, Colorado, which came in Event #8 $365 No-Limit Hold’em for $16,128. On Saturday, May 11, Henson captured number three in the Harrah’s New Orleans Event #3 $365 Pot-Limit Omaha, which drew 163 players and created a $48,900 prize pool. All told, Henson has five WSOP Circuit cashes for $82,273.
Henson, who signed up for the tournament with just seconds left before registration closed, defeated William West, a local player from New Orleans, in heads-up play to take down the $13,203 first-place prize and earn enough points to qualify for this year’s National Championship. What’s more, Henson overcame a 15-1 chip deficit to do it!
So I won my 3rd ring of the year. Guess I'm gettin good in my old age? #DueThousand13 #rungoodallsummerFollow @Ray_Henson
In addition, a plethora of circuit regulars extended their career cashes including third-place finisher Shawn Daniels (12th WSOP Circuit cash); tenth-place finisher Kenny Milam (15th career cash); and gold ring winner Kat Bowen (23rd career cash).
WSOP Circuit Harrah’s New Orleans Ring Event #3 Pot-Limit Omaha
|1||Ray Henson||Houston, TX||$13,203|
|2||William West||Austin, TX||$8,159|
|3||Shawn Daniels||Wayne, PA||$5,873|
|4||Ronald Rost||Pearland, TX||$4,305|
|5||Cory Zbinden||Hinckley, IL||$3,211|
|6||Brennan Benglis||Lake Charles, LA||$2,437|
|7||Nicholas Langsford||Metairie, LA||$2,437|
|8||Thomas Premeaux||Houston, TX||$1,475|
|9||Tyler Kleypas||Lott, TX||$1,177|
Hobson Wins Massive Re-Entry Event for First Ring
Re-entry events tend to be big, and Event #4 $365 No-Limit Hold'em Re-entry at the Harrah’s New Orleans was no exception. The tournament, which was scheduled for two days but had to add a third because of the large field size, attracted 800 players and created a prize pool of $240,000. Of them, 117 survived to Day 2, and then five returned for the impromptu Day 3.
One of those players was 56-year-old Machining and Coding business owner David Hobson who entered the final table eighth in chips. The part-time poker player from Leeds, Alabama, managed to make quads in two hands within five minutes to put him back in contention, and he rode that momentum all the way to victory.
It marked Hobson’s first gold ring, with his only previous WSOP Circuit cash coming at last year’s IP Biloxi stop where he finished in 46th place. Needless to say, this performance and the accompanying $48,000 prize blew that out of the water.
Other notables who made the money included Paul Sokoloff, Phillip Hui, Joshua Evans, Joshua Pender, Aaron Massey, Ylon Schwartz, Adam Teasedale, Robert Panitch, Tripp Kirk and Quan Nguyen.
WSOP Circuit Harrah’s New Orleans Ring Event #4 No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry
|1||David Hobson||Leeds, AL||$48,000|
|2||Jeremy Dunn||Birmingham, AL||$29,592|
|3||Joey Wideman||Calera, AL||$21,816|
|4||Christopher Dupuy||Baton Rouge, LA||$16,260|
|5||Eric Weston||Saint Charles, MO||$12,281|
|6||Adam Laskey||Fargo, ND||$9,396|
|7||Barron Whipple||Houma, LA||$7,279|
|8||Andrew Moon||Vidalia, LA||$5,710|
|9||Vincent Fucillo||Merced, CA||$4,534|
Follow the Action from the WSOP Circuit Harrah's New Orleans
Don't forget, the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand to bring you all the live updates from the WSOP Circuit Harrah's New Orleans $1,675 Main Event beginning this Friday, May 17. Then starting on Wednesday, May 22, we'll be covering the prestigious National Championship!