Back in May, Chris Reslock captured two gold rings at the World Series of Poker Circuit Harrah’s Philadelphia to surpass Alex Masek as the all-time leader with seven rings. On Thursday, Masek evened things up when he won his record-tying seventh gold ring by taking down Event #8: $365 No-Limit Hold’em at Harrah’s Rincon in Valley Center, California.
Masek’s topped a field of 151 players to capture the title, which came after he battled from a 2-1 chip deficit against Valentin Vornicu, who was seeking his third gold ring. The two had dominated the final table, with the latter starting with more than half the chips in play. Masek scored a pair of knockouts on the way to heads-up play, while Vornicu took care of the rest.
"At first, I let [Vornicu] run over the table," Masek explained. The duo played heads up for nearly three hours, and on the final hand, Vornicu moved all in for his last 21 big blinds with offsuit and Masek called with . Masek paired his six on the flop, and it held as both the turn and river blanked.
Masek, who recently graduated law school in San Diego, took home $12,231 in prize money, while Vornicu, who was the stop’s defending Casino Champion, had to settle for runner-up and $7,559.
"It feels great [to win] but I would have been happy for [Vornicu] if he had won... it would have been bitter-sweet... he's a great player, Masek told the WSOP after the win.
I did it!! Won a 7th WSOP circuit ring today in Rincon, after a really tough HU battle with my buddy @mblasterx #luckynumber7Follow @pujolsofpokr
WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Rincon Ring Event #8 No-Limit Hold’em
|1st||Alexandru Masek||San Diego, CA||$12,231|
|2nd||Valentin Vornicu||San Diego, CA||$7,559|
|3rd||Anthony Sansone||Berwyn, IL||$5,441|
|4th||Tavish Margers||Santee, CA||$3,988|
|5th||Mary Anne Madruga||San Diego, CA||$2,974|
|6th||Taylor Pollard||Concord, CA||$2,257|
|7th||Jody Cooper||San Diego, CA||$1,742|
|8th||Jon Towers||Pleasant Hill, CA||$1,367|
|9th||Richard Lanes||Lakeside, CA||$1,090|
Masek’s other WSOP Circuit wins are 2008/2009 Harrah’s Rincon Event #12: $230 No-Limit Hold’em for $9,654; 2009/2010 Caesars Atlantic City Event #5 $340: No-Limit Hold’em for $39,372; 2010/2011 Harrah’s Rincon Event #2 $345: No-Limit Hold’em for $22,794; 2011/2012 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Event #8 $345: No-Limit Hold’em for $15,236; 2012/2013 Harrah’s Rincon Event #1: No-Limit Hold’em for $15,989; and 2013/2013 Bicycle Casino Event #9 $365: No-Limit Hold’em Turbo for $15,905.
Masek, who did an in-depth interview with PokerNews earlier this year, is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, but now a resident of San Diego, California. "In 2008 I moved to San Diego for law school, and after graduating, I moved to Los Angeles late last year," Masek told PokerNews in the interview. "Though I liked both St. Louis and San Diego, neither city has great year-round poker tournament action. I knew that if I wanted to really concentrate on tournament poker I'd have to live in a city like L.A., where there seems to be a good series going on basically every week.”
Here’s a look at the WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Rincon winners thus far:
- Event #1: Drew Merrick defeated 221 players ($365 NLH) for $16,576
- Event #2: Mark Alag defeated 155 players ($365 NLH) for $12,555
- Event #3: Jorge Walker defeated 444 players ($365 NLH Re-Entry) for $29,302
- Event #4: Josh Reichard defeated 138 players ($365 NLH) for $11,589
- Event #5: Nyle Rock defeated 135 players ($365 NLH) for $11,341
- Event #6: Ted Woolridge defeated 141 players ($365 Six-Handed NLH) for $12,054
- EVENT #7: Mitch Schock defeated 74 players ($365 Pot Limit Omaha) for $7,548
- Event #8: Alex Masek defeated 151 players ($365 NLH) for $12,231