Earlier this week, the 2015/2016 World Series of Poker Circuit, which is in its 12th season, wrapped up its stop at Bicycle Casino and Hotel. The series culminated with the cornerstone $1,675 Main Event, which attracted 641 entries and created a prize pool of $961,500.
Just days after Alex Masek captured his record ninth WSOP Circuit gold ring, Valentin Vornicu closed the gap a but by capturing his seventh career ring, which came after he finished as the last man standing in the Main Event, a feat that also earned him a career-high $197,110 payday and a free entry into the 2016 Global Casino Championship (the fourth consecutive year he's qualified).
The win ties Vornicu with Ari Engel and Chris Reslock for second on the all-time rings list. Interestingly, two years back Masek defeated Vornicu heads-up to win a ring. Despite the competition, the two are actually good friends.
“I’m speechless,” Vornicu told WSOP officials after the win. “This is my first Main Event ring. I’ve been chasing the Main Event. It’s my second ring at the Bike. This is the first casino I’ve won two rings at.”
Final Table Results
|1||Valentin Vornicu||San Diego, CA||$197,110|
|2||Michael Zelman||Dallas, TX||$121,965|
|3||Salvatore DiCarlo||Las Vegas, NV||$121,965|
|4||Geffrey Klein||Houston, TX||$66,525|
|6||Shaw Busse||Massapequa, NY||$38,295|
|7||Josh Pollock||Las Vegas, NV||$29,635|
|8||Erhart Edquist||San Diego, CA||$23,230|
|9||Orlando Romero||Amarillo, TX||$18,440|
Notable Finishes: Roland Israelashvili (12th - $14,825), Craig Varnell (13th - $12,065), Ben Keeline (14th - $12,065), Jesse Yaginuma (25th - $5,970), Alex Masek (31st - $4,500), and Tuan Le (36th - $3,980)
According to updates from the event, 11 players returned for the final day with Vornicu sitting second in chips. Sitting in third was WSOP bracelet winner Josh Pollock, and eventually the two played a big pot.
It happened when Vornicu limped from the small blind and Pollock exercised his option in the big with a raise to 140,000. Vornicu limp-raised to 500,000 and then snap-called off when Pollock shoved all in with what turned out to be the . Vornicu was ahead with the and won the race after the board ran out . Pollack was crippled and eliminated on the very next hand.
“Josh was one of the players I was most afraid of,” Vornicu said. “It was a tough final table. Two bracelet winners (Pollock and Shawn Busse). Lots of good players.”
In other news, Wendy Freedman won the title of Casino Champion with 102.5 points., meaning she too was awarded a seat into the Global Casino Championship.
Here's a look at all those who won rings at the WSOP Circuit Bicycle Casino:
|Event||Winner||# of Entries||Prize|
|#1 $365 NLH Monster Stack||Dave Banerjee||368||$24,265|
|#2 $365 NLH Bounty||Alan Myerson||140||$7,830|
|#3 $365 NLH Re-Entry||Stuart Pfeifer||1,000||$55,110|
|#4 $365 NLH||Dale Beaudoing||153||$12,395|
|#5 $580 NLH||Nadim Shabou||115||$17,255|
|#6 $365 Omaha 8 or Better||Phillip Penn||124||$10,400|
|#7 $365 NLH||Alex Masek||143||$12,000|
|#8 $1,125 NLH||Erkut Yilmaz||81 players||$25,915|
|#9 $365 Turbo NLH||Steven Curran||120||$10,810|
|#10 $365 NLH Monster Stack||Mark Peckham||357||$24,625|
|#11 $1,675 NLH Main Event||Valentin Vornicu||641||$197,110|
|#12 $3,250 High Roller NLH||Craig Chait||38||$51,300|
The 2015/2016 WSOP Circuit season continues January 7-18 at Choctaw Durant.