Alex Masek has extended his World Series of Poker Circuit record by winning his ninth gold ring, the result of topping a field 143 in the WSOP Circuit Bicycle Casino Event #7: $365 No-Limit Hold'em for $12,000.
“It definitely doesn’t get old,” Masek told WSOP officials after the win. “The last three or four times I got heads-up, I lost, so this one maybe actually means ore to me than any of my other ones just to be able to finally get back into this spot and win.”
The 30-year-old professional poker player hadn't won a ring since March 2014 at the Lumiere Place stop in St. Louis, his hometown. Now residing in California, Masek tends to stick to stops in San Diego and L.A.
“For me for the most part, it’s just about that I don’t like traveling that much for poker,” said Masek. “I just play everything in L.A. Whether that is a good $300 or $500 or $1,000 tournament here or the LAPC main, which I’ve played the last five years, or the Legends of Poker main here. For me, it’s just about everything that is good in L.A. I’m going to play and then Vegas in the summer"
Since winning the record eighth nearly two years ago, Masek flirted with number nine for awhile – finishing fourth twice, notching a third-place finish, and finishing second on four different occasions, including just missing out on his first bracelet, falling to Loni Harwood in last season’s National Championship at Cherokee. He also lost one to poker pro Bernard Lee last year.
“When we were heads-up, I was thinking to myself that I’m not going to be results oriented and if I get second I can’t be disappointed,” Masek continued. “But I have to be completely happy with my play and I have to make every right decision. So I got lucky on the last hand, but I need to make every right decision and I was actually very disappointed in myself for making the bad call there and that’s why I decided to walk around for a couple minutes.”
According to the WSOP, Masek defeated Erick Lee in heads-up play, and in the last hand he flopped top pair against Lee’s bottom two-pair. Masek bet, called a shove on the turn, and got lucky to find a third ace on the river.
“I needed to kind of forget about that and think about the fact that I won it. I wasn’t happy with myself. I don’t like making the wrong decision for all of the chips heads-up.”
In addition to the latest win, Masek was awarded 50 points on the Casino Championship leaderboard, which is behind Wendy Freedman's 75 points and Alan Myerson's 60 points. Masek moves into a tie for third with Nadim Shabou, Phillip Penn, Dave Banerjee, Dale Beaudoin and Stuart Pfeifer, who all won events at the stop.
“I don’t see myself traveling too much. I’m engaged now and we have a couple puppies, so I got enough on my hands at home,” Masek said when asked if he'd be traveling for more events.
Masek now has nine gold rings and $607,288 over 47 career Circuit cashes.
Here's a look at all of Masek's WSOP Circuit ring wins:
|2008/2009 Harrah’s Rincon||Event #12: $230 No-Limit Hold’em||$9,654|
|2009/2010 Caesars Atlantic City||Event #5: $340 No-Limit Hold’em||$39,372|
|2010/2011 Harrah’s Rincon||Event #2: $345 No-Limit Hold’em||$22,794|
|2011/2012 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe||Event #8: $345 No-Limit Hold’em||$15,236|
|2012/2013 Harrah’s Rincon||Event #1: No-Limit Hold’em||$15,989|
|2012/2013 Bicycle Casino||Event #9: $365 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo||$15,905|
|2013/2014 Harrah’s Rincon||Event #8: $365 No-Limit Hold’em||$12,231|
|2015/2016 Bicycle Casino||Event #7: $365 No-Limit Hold’em||$12,000|
*Lead photo and data courtesy of WSOP.