The 2015/2016 World Series of Poker Circuit Horseshoe Baltimore – the second stop of the tour's 12th season – attracted 458 entrants to the $1,675 Main Event, which created a prize pool of $687,000. That was distributed to the top 54 finishers, with a healthy $147,699 reserved for the winner.
That man ended up being local pro Ting Xiao, who rallied from a short stack at the final table to capture his first gold ring at his home casino and secure a seat in the 2016 WSOP Global Championship.
"I’ve always wanted a ring," Xiao said after the win. "I wanted a ring really badly. I play cash games for money and tournaments for the glory. That’s what the ring is about."
Prior to the win, Xiao had a little more than $30,000 in live tournament earnings, which included $5,387 for finishing 28th in the WSOP Circuit's last stop at the Horseshoe Baltimore and a 21st-place finish in a 2010 WSOP $1,500 event for $15,222.
Interestingly, defending champion Chris Csik finished in 10th place for $11,054, while Phil Hernz of Plantation, Florida earned the title of Casino Champion at Horseshoe Baltimore after winning Event #7 — the Circuit’s first-ever Big O event – and making two other final table to bank a grand total of $11,531. As a reward, Hernz received a coveted seat into the 2016 WSOP Global Casino Championship.
Final Table Results
|1||Ting Xiao||Frederick, MD||$147,699|
|2||Sandeep Patel||Parsippany, NJ||$91,323|
|3||Russ Head||Lindale, GA||$66,715|
|4||John Gorsuch||Woodbridge, VA||$49,457|
|5||DJ Mackinnon||East Amherst, NY||$37,194|
|6||Tommy Vu||Cary, NC||$28,373|
|7||Peter Lee||Reston, VA||$21,950|
|8||Brian Walters||Eldersburg, MD||$17,223|
|9||John Kostelac||New Cumberland||$13,706|
Notable Finishes: Chris Csik (10th - $11,054), Asher Conniff (26th - $4,603), Daniel Gilmer (32nd - $3,552), Jesse Cohen (35th - $3,181), Gordon Shackelford (45th - $2,879), and Clarence Senter (54th - $2,638)
The tournament featured two starting flights (Flight A drew 187 entries and advanced 56; Flight B drew 260 and advanced 84; and 11 players registered before the start of Day 2), but only 151 players advanced to Day 2. At that point, Xiao was among the leaders with 184,000 in chips, but by the time Day 2 came to an end, he was short; in fact, when the final table of nine began he was the third-shortest stack.
According to updates from the event, Xiao got things started on Hand #40 of the final table when Peter Lee opened for 100,000 under the gun and Xiao called. Brian Walters then three-bet all in for 375,000 from the button, both his opponents called, and the flop came down . Lee checked and ended up folding after Xiao shoved all in for 1.035 million.
Xiao flopped a set, but Walters was drawing live to a club flush. Unfortunately for him, the blanked on the turn followed by the on the river. Walters took home $17,223 for his eighth-place finish.
With five players remaining, Xiao scored another knock out in WSOP ring winner DJ MacKinnon, who got it in preflop holding the . Xiao was racing with the , and ended up with the best hand after the board ran out .
After Xiao sent Russ Head home in third place – the result of his besting after the board ran out – he began heads-up play against Sandeeb Patel, an IT salesman, holding a slight chip lead.
In what would ultimately be the final hand of the tournament, which happened on Hand #150 of the final table, Patel raised to 200,000 and called after Xiao three-bet to 575,000, which brought about a flop of . Xiao bet 675,000 and then snap-called after Patel moved all in for 2.4 million.
Both players had flopped top pair, but Xiao's kicker had him well out in front. The turn was no help to Patel, and neither was the river. Patel took home $91,323 for his runner-up finish, while Xiao became the WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Baltimore champ!
Here is the full list of gold ring winners from Horseshoe Baltimore:
|#1||$365 No-Limit Hold’em||239||Sara Hall||$17,925|
|#2||$365 NLHE Re-entry||1,649||Greg Himmelbrand||$82,864|
|#3||$365 No-Limit Hold’em||132||Scott Billups||$13,998|
|#4||$365 No-Limit Hold’em||130||Stephen Miller||$10,919|
|#5||$365 Pot-Limit Omaha||125||Sridhar Chebrolu||$10,500|
|#6||$365 NLHE Six-Handed||123||Brian Breen||$10,515|
|#7||$365 Big O||82||Phil Hernz||$7,873|
|#8||$365 NLHE Mega Stack||356||Eric Rivkin||$24,569|
|#9||$365 NLHE Turbo||112||John Ford||$10,079|
|#10||$1,675 Main Event||458||Ting Xiao||$147,699|
|#11||$580 No-Limit Hold’em||95||Viet Vo||$14,997|
|#12||$365 NLHE Turbo||102||Warren Wiggins||$9,180|
The WSOP Circuit continues September 16-30 at Casino De Campione in Italy andfrom September 17-28 at the Palm Beach Kennel Club in Florida.