The first stop on the 2011-2012 World Series of Poker Circuit was held Sept. 8 to 19, 2011. The Horseshoe Bossier City casino in Louisiana played host for the first time and proved to be quite a successful stop. Billed as “12 gold rings in 12 days,” the first series of the new season saw 3,545 entrants competing for a combined prize pool of $1,703,525. In addition, attendance was up by an average of more than 100 players from last year’s first stop, the WSOP Circuit Council Bluffs, whose Main Event drew a modest 251 players.
Speaking of the Main Event, the Horseshoe Bossier City $1,500 Championship surpassed expectations by drawing 475 entries and created a prize pool of $681,125. The top 54 players were paid, and some familiar names earned their first cash of the season: “Captain” Tom Franklin (35th - $3,200), La Sengphet (31st - $3,573), and Tyler Smith (16th - $7,533).
It took two days of intense action to reach the final table. Here's how the players stacked up at the beginning of the final table:
|Seat 1||Ai Duong||397,000|
|Seat 2||Russell Ivy||742,000|
|Seat 3||Matt Newcombe||2,000,000|
|Seat 4||Clay Henry||380,000|
|Seat 5||Chris Gamboa||652,000|
|Seat 6||Rob Dreyfuss||1,250,000|
|Seat 7||David Olson||1,222,000|
|Seat 8||Kenny Milam||1,310,000|
|Seat 9||David Nicholson||1,024,000|
|Seat 10||Jeffrey Frye||741,000|
On Monday evening, final-table play began at 7:30 p.m. and last six-and-a-half hours. It’s worth noting that Chris Gamboa earned the title of best all-around player at the Horseshoe Bossier City stop, earning an automatic seat into the WSOP Circuit National Championship. How? He placed third in the Main Event and ended up with three cashes, which were all good for 85 points.
Gamboa’s elimination left David Olson to do battle against David Nicholson, with the latter holding the chip lead at the start of heads-up play. The match lasted just 25 minutes, with the final hand coming after both players got all-in preflop. Nicholson’s dominated Olson's . The flop essentially sealed the deal, and after the and were put out on the turn and river, Olson was eliminated in second place, good for $91,971.
This was Nicholson’s first major tournament win, for which he collected the coveted gold ring and $148,590. Not only that, he also qualified for this season’s WSOP $1 Million Circuit National Championship. After the win, the 25-year-old, who has been playing poker professionally for about three years, said, “I’ve been out here grinding for a while. This really feels good to win. And to have my friends here with me really makes it special.”
2011/2012 World Series of Poker Circuit Event #11 Main Event
|1st||David Nicholson||Biloxi, MS||$148,590|
|2nd||David Olson||Dallas. TX||$91,871|
|3rd||Christopher Gamboa||Katy, TX||$67,115|
|4th||Matthew Newcombe||Ada, OK||$49,754|
|5th||Russell Ivy||Carrizo Springs, TX||$37,418|
|6th||Ai Duong||San Antonio, TX||$28,543|
|7th||Clay Henry||Many, LA||$22,081|
|8th||Robert Dreyfuss||Colleyville, TX||$17,327|
|9th||Jeffrey Frye||Palestine, TX||$13,788|
Here is a look at the other gold-ring winners from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana stop:
|Ring Event||Entrants||Prize Pool||Player||Hometown||Prize|
|Event #1 $345 No Limit Hold’em||418||$120,288||Jeffery Overton||Marshall, TX||$26,460|
|Event #2 $345 NLHE Re-Entry||616||$177,906||Stephen Hesse||Houston, TX||$37,351|
|Event #3 $345 H.O.R.S.E.||119||$34,629||Felicia Johnico||Durant, OK||$9,985|
|Event #4 $555 NLHE||205||$99,425||Robert Newman||Bossier City, LA||$25,498|
|Event #5 $345 NLHE||264||$76,824||Nghia Le||Suwanee, GA||$18,489|
|Event #6 $345 NLHE||343||$99,813||Wes Gauthier||Shreveport, LA||$22,643|
|Event #7 $345 NLHE 6-Handed||265||$77,115||David Chishko||Oklahoma City, OK||$18,563|
|Event #8 $555 NLHE||226||$109,610||Mark Burford||Shreveport, LA||$27,063|
|Event #9 $345 NLHE Turbo||234||$68,094||Gary Burks||Gladewater, TX||$16,687|
|Event #10 $1,080 NLHE||167||$161,990||Jordan Smith||College Station, TX||$43,740|
|Event #12 $345 NLHE||213||$61,983||Charlie Hooper||Dallas, TX||$15,494|
There next WSOP Circuit stop will be held at Horseshoe Southern Indiana. The 12-tournament series runs Sept. 29 through Oct. 10. To see the complete schedule of events, please visit WSOP.COM.
*Photo courtesy of WSOP.com