Elizabeth, IN - We're rolling on the river again, the Ohio river. After a highly successful 2006-2007 WSOP Circuit event in October, action returned here at Caesars Indiana, the world's largest riverboat casino. Event #1, $300 no-limit hold'em, attracted an over-capacity crowd of 714 players generating a prize pool of $219,050.
Kosta "Gus" Sengos is 23, works in his father's Greek restaurant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and until tonight had won nothing more than some small local tournaments. He's always wanted to play at the Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs, and got his wish when he won his seat into the championship event here with a victory in a bar league called the Player Club Poker League. "I got here for free," he exulted.
Thomas Hoffman, a 45-year-old tool maker from Denton, Nebraska, had a fairly easy time of it as he built up a big lead and roared ahead to a win in the seventh event of the WSOP Circuit Tour at Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs, $300 limit hold'em. This was the only limit tournament in the line-up, and the final event before the start of the three-day, $5,000 buy-in championship that gets underway tomorrow.
This final table had everything. Draw-outs, double draw-outs, an excruciating length of well over six hours, an explosive first hand that gave Jeff Heiberg a huge lead, and a controversial ending which runner-up Jeff Siler blamed on an "f-bomb" penalty that he said rattled him and threw his play off, while Heiberg maintained that he won it by better play.
Take your choice.
"I'm friendly, like to talk to other players and love to have a great time playing," is how Justin Sellers describes himself. It's an apt description of the 26-year-old professional player from Bismarck, North Dakota, and tonight he really had a "great time" playing as he arrived at the final table second in chips, quickly took a huge lead and then coasted to an easy victory in just 2-1/2 hours.
"Youth must be served," goes the old saying, and it's certainly proving true at the WSOP Circuit tour here at the Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs. We've had three events thus far, and all of them have been served up to players ranging in age from 21 all the way to 22.
"Keep on truckin'." Is this a trend? We've had two WSOP Circuit events at Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs now and both were won by truck drivers! But while yesterday's winner, Rafal Boduch, is a mere 22, the victor in today's $500 no-limit event, William Drumm, is a ripe old 23. Drumm, a regional truck driver from Brillion, Wisconsin, took a week's vacation to play tournaments here. "Make that two weeks now," he said, as he pocketed his $42,059 cash-out.
When the championship event of the Harrah's WSOP Circuit tour at Harrah's Atlantic City got down to the final day, Alex Gomez owned 1,051,000 of the 2,370,000 chips in play and looked like a shoo-in. But after a 75-hand heads-up match that saw a number of chip-lead changes, Rick Rossetti, a 37-year-old roofing contractor, finally put his opponent away. Ironicaly, Rossetti took the lead for the first time when he tried a bluff, got called, and made an accidental inside straight on the river.
Pocket treys was the key hand tonight for Mohamed Elkerdawy in his victory in event seven of the Harrah's WSOP Circuit event at Harrah's Atlantic City, $1,000 no-limit hold'em. With four players left, Mikhail Gurevich bet 100,000 into a flop of 8-8-4. Elkerdawy raised 240,000 with his treys, Gurevich folded, showing an A7, and Elkerdawy took the chip lead which he never surrendered.
Mike Somma, trying his hand at short stories and screenplays, has yet to cash in by selling anything. But tonight he settled for a $48,980 poker cash when he finished first in the fifth event of the Harrah's WSOP Circuit tour at Harrah's Atlantic City, $500 no-limit hold'em. And he did it the hard way by overcoming a better than 3-1 deficit when he got heads-up with David "Gruzin" Natliashvili.