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Viet Vo, Ali Imsirovic Among Big Winners at WSOP Circuit Rio Las Vegas

Viet Vo
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  • Poker Master @aliImsirovic fires seven bullets before winning the WSOP-C @RioVegas High Roller.

  • Viet Vo tops a 952-entry field to win the WSOP-C @RioVegas $1,700 Main Event for $274,030 & 2nd ring.

The 2019 World Series of Poker Circuit Rio wrapped up earlier this week in Las Vegas, highlighted by the $1,700 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event that attracted 952 entrants and generated a $1,442,280 prize pool. Outlasting that field as well as the many big names who participated was Viet Vo who captured the $274,030 first-place prize, his second gold ring, and a seat into the 2019 Global Casino Championship.

''It feels good. I've been wanting this for a long time," Vo told WSOP officials after the win. "I got second in the Main Event in Chicago... [and] 11th last year in the Main Event at the Bicycle Casino. I bubbled the final table. To finally be able to close it out today, it feels good.''

Vo: "I got a wife and kids so I try to spend most of my time with them and travel to play whenever I can."

"I had a job three years ago. Every day I was going to play poker after work, and I was feeling like I was pretty good at it, so I quit my job to play full time," Vo continued.

"Four months down the line, I didn't win anything but then I went to Chicago, got second in the Main, and from there, everything started going uphill. Now I just pick and choose the stops. I got a wife and kids so I try to spend most of my time with them and travel to play whenever I can. I travel once a month basically. I just want to give a shout-out to my wife. She's home with four kids, taking care of the kids, and I just want to thank her."

Vo's first ring win came back in 2015 when he won the WSOP-C Horseshoe Baltimore Event #11: $580 NLH for $14,997. As he mentioned, he also finished second in the 2014 WSOP-C Horseshoe Hammond for $193,935.

WSOP-C Rio Main Event Final Table Results

PositionPlayerHometownPrize
1Viet VoPearland, TX$274,030
2Sohale KhaliliLos Angeles, CA$169,497
3Peter LockwoodArlington, TX$125,103
4Nick PupilloGilbert, AZ$93,604
5Cylus WatsonMadbury, NH$70,917
6Kent LundmarkVaxholm, Sweden$54,403
7Jared JaffeeBrooklyn, NY$42,244
8Terry FleischerLas Vegas, NV$33,216
9Barbara SargentFort Pierce, FL$26,423

The top 99 Main Event finishers made the money including Sherry Hammers (15th - $17,336), Kyle Cartwright (21st - $11,913), Andy Philachack (31st - $6,418), Aaron Massey (35th - $5,654), Layne Flack (46th - $4,529), Jesse Sylvia (67th - $3,793), Rich Alsup (75th - $3,490), Dan O'Brien (86th - $3,216), and Kevin Iacofano (99th - $2,957).

WSOP-C Rio Main Event Final Table Action

According to live updates from the event, recent HPT Golden Gates champ Nick Pupillo dominated early play at the final table.

First, Pupillo picked up ace-king to eliminate Terry Fleischer and his ace-queen, then he clashed with poker pro Jared Jaffee. On the turn with the board showing {4-Hearts}{3-Diamonds}{2-Hearts}{4-Spades}, Jaffee got the last of his chips in holding six-five for a flopped straight, but he was drawing dead against Pupillo who had turned quads with the other two fours.

Despite his early run, Pupillo's tournament came to an end in fourth place. It happened when he got his stack in with ace-eight and was behind Sohale Khalili's ace-nine. The flop contained an ace and the runout stayed low, meaning the kickers played. Pupillo took home $93,604 for his performance.

Vo: "I just wanted to play my game and do the best I can and it worked out."

After Peter Lockwood bowed out in third place — the result of losing a race with ace-jack against Khalili's pocket sixes — the heads-up match began between Khalili and Vo with the former holding a slight chip lead.

Even so, Vo whittled away at his opponent until Khalili called off his last 3.1 million preflop holding ace-ten. Vo was way behind with jack-ten, but a jack on the flop changed all that. Khalili failed to find an ace and had to settle for second place and $169,497 in prize money.

''The final table was tough. I was just my playing my hands," said Vo. "I didn't want to look at the players' stats because I didn't want to be intimidated. I just wanted to play my game and do the best I can and it worked out. I'm just glad I came out on top.''

Ali Imsirovic Wins High Roller

Ali Imsirovic
High roller champ Ali Imsirovic

In other WSOP-C Rio news, the final tournament of the series, Event #14: $2,200 High Roller, drew 179 runners and offered up a $358,000 prize pool. Seven of those entries came via 2018 Poker Masters champ and recent U.S. Poker Open winner Ali Imsirovic, who thanks to all those entries had to finish in sixth place or better to turn a profit.

Digging deep paid off for the 24-year-old, however, as Imsirovic wound up taking it down for his first gold ring and $96,659 in prize money.

"I fired six [bullets] yesterday, and then busted on the stone last hand," said Imsirovic. "Then, I fired one more today and this one worked out.... The heart of commitment, you know?"

"Generally, final tables are very serious," Imsirovic continued. "But most of the guys knew each other at the final table, so we were all having drinks, having a great time. Yeah, it was a lot of fun. Most of the time there was at least one or two short stacks, so everybody was kind of handcuffed. So, I got to just like raise a bunch and win a lot."

Here's a look at all those who won rings at the WSOP-C Rio stop.

WSOP-C Rio Ring Winners

EventWinnerEntriesPrize
Event #1: $250 NLHArlyn Malpezzi612$24,925
Event #2: $400 NLHNeil McFayden310$23,605
Event #3: $600 NLHHenry Mcardle316$162,740
Event #4: $250 SeniorsGerald Shebar298$14,306
Event #5: $400 NLH 6-MaxPeter Morris247$21,599
Event #6: $400 NLH TurboAshley Sleeth205$17,586
Event #7: $400 PLO 8-HandedMatt Silva174$15,504
Event #8: $600 NLH Black Chip BountyCameron Mitchell214$22,201
Event #9: $400 HORSESusan Genard156$14,413
Event #10: $400 NLH Double StackAustin Apicella413$29,985
Event #11: $400 Monster StackAnthony Michael790$52,141
Event #12: $1,700 Main EventViet Vo952$274,030
Event #13: $400 NLH TurboVirab Zakaryan242$19,567
Event #14: $2,200 High RollerAli Imsirovic179$96,659

The next WSOP-C stop is already underway at Horseshoe Hammond. PokerNews will bring you a recap of the stop's $1,700 Main Event upon its completion.

Photos courtesy of WSOP Circuit.

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