Los Angeles, CA (January 8, 20112) – The World Series of Poker Circuit continued today at The Bicycle Casino, located in the Bell Gardens section of Los Angeles.
The latest tournament champion is John Coon, from San Diego, CA. He is a 44-year-old senior executive. Coon is responsible for all of the U.S. Navy’s building and maintenance projects in Southern California, which is a huge job responsibility given the Navy’s size and scope in the San Diego area alone.
Coon is quite comfortable around ships and piers. But he looked even more at ease sitting at the poker table during the latest WSOP Circuit tournament, held in Los Angeles. Coon played what was indisputably the best tournament of his life, resulting in his first major victory. For his performance, Coon collected $34,340 in prize money for his win. He was also presented with the coveted WSOP Circuit gold ring, the top prize awarded to all Circuit event winners.
Coon’s tournament record now includes four WSOP Circuit cashes, plus an in-the-money finish at the WSOP in Las Vegas. Up to this point, his best previous showing has been a third-place finish last year at Harrah’s Rincon, near San Diego.
The runner up was “Dustin D” (short for Dobrilovic), who also goes by “Where’s Waldo?” He played an exceptional tournament, doing everything necessary to win, except get a break in the end. In fact, Dustin D. had his opponent in nearly a perfect situation on the final hand of the tournament. But as fate would have it, Coon caught a stunning flop and turned the odds in his favor. He ended up with the victory – leaving Dustin D. with the unfulfilled aspirations of a second-place finish garnished with a bad beat story.
With the conclusion of this tournament, the WSOP Circuit at The Bike has reached the midway point. Six of the 12 gold ring events have now finished.
Event #6 was a two-day $500 (+55) No-Limit Hold’em tournament, which attracted 289 entrants. Play began on Saturday at noon and concluded on Sunday night. The total prize pool came to $140,165. The top 27 finishers were paid. All players who cashed received WSOP Circuit National Championship ranking points – used to qualify for a seat in the season-ending championship, to be played in Las Vegas.
A full list of all players who cashed in Event #6 can be seen here.
The first day resulted in the elimination of 271 players. There were 18 survivors who resumed action on Day Two and then played down to the final table, which commenced play on inside The Bicycle Casino’s tournament room. The finale was broadcast over the Internet via “Live at the Bike.” The nine finalists and their chips counts were as follows:
SEAT 1: Drew Fanning (Madison, WI) – 158,000 in chips
SEAT 2: Michael Z. (Dallas, TX) – 263,000 in chips
SEAT 3: Makya McBee (Santa Monica, CA) – 286,000 in chips
SEAT 4: John Coon (San Diego, CA) – 673,000 in chips
SEAT 5: Andrew Barber (Sacramento, CA) – 269,000 in chips
SEAT 6: Dustin D. (Los Angeles, CA) – 266,000 in chips
SEAT 7: Harry Hong (Los Angeles, CA) – 311,000 in chips
SEAT 8: Michael Hurey (Los Angeles, CA) – 972,000 in chips
SEAT 9: Monte Littlefield (Tucson, AZ) – 269,000 in chips
For the first time in six events at The Bike, the final table featured no former gold ring winners – guaranteeing a first-time champion. All eyes were on Michael Hurey, who had more than a third of the total chips in play.
Final table play began at 2 pm local time. Play finished at 10 pm making the total duration about eight hours. The official order of finish was as follows:
9th Place – Michael Z, from Dallas, came in with one of the shorter stacks. He was eliminated about 90 minutes into play.
8th Place – Drew Fanning, a 26-year-old poker pro from Madison, WI exited in eighth place. He finished second in his only other WSOP Circuit event, which occurred last year at the Imperial Palace (Biloxi, MS). Hence, Fanning can take great pride in make two final table appearances in the only two gold ring event he has entered.
7th Place – Harry Hong, a 26-year-old sales manager from Los Angeles, finished in seventh place. This marked his first time to cash in a WSOP-related tournament.
6th Place – Makya McBee, a writer from Santa Monica, CA ended up in sixth place. He cashed seven times in major tournaments last year and now has 24 major cashes on his tournament resume. McBee earned a well-deserved $6,440 in prize money.
5th Place – Monte Littlefield, playing in his first WSOP Circuit event ever, made a deep run and ended up in fifth place. In fact, this marked his first time to cash in a major tournament. Littlefield is a 53-year-old part-time poker player from Tucson, AZ. He collected $8,450 in prize money.
4th Place – Michael Hurey, a 49-year-old attorney from Los Angeles, had his motion to stay at the final table overruled by a bad run of cards. He arrived as chip leader, but endured a tough final hour en route to a fourth-place finish. Hurey earned $11,280 for two days of poker playing.
3rd Place – Andrew Barber, a 28-year-old student from Sacramento, CA came in third. He was low on chips late in the finale and lasted all the way until the fifth hour. Barber earned a nice payout, nonetheless – totaling $15,330. Barber has amassed three major victories and 26 cashes on his tournament record. Two of his wins were two years ago at the World Poker Challenge, in Reno.
2nd Place – “Where’s Waldo” (Dustin D.) was the class of the field, according to many observers who watched the coverage on “Live at the Bike.” Virtually every decision he made during the entire finale was the right one, including the final hand brought unspeakable pain and disappointment.
He had his final opponent completely dominated with A-K versus K-T. Even though Dustin D. was at a slight chip advantage – 1.1 million to his opponent’s 1.4 million – had he won the monster hand, it’s likely he would have gone on to win his first gold ring. But the poker Gods had other ideas, dishing out the worst beat of the finale, as follows:
Dustin D. was all in pre-flop. But two tens on the flop gave Coon a big edge. Dustin D. did have some outs with an inside straight draw. But two blanks hit, ending the tournament.
Dustin Dobrilovic is a 26-year-old poker pro originally from Ravenna, OH. He now lives in Los Angeles. This was his first time to cash in a WSOP-related event – which paid $21,222.
1st Place – John Coon finished in first place and won his first career WSOP Circuit gold ring. He collected $34,340 in prize money.
With his victory, Coon joins five previous tournament winners as the leaders in this WSOP Circuit’s “Best All-Around Player” standings. The player who accumulates the most overall points in The Bike’s twelve combined gold ring tournaments receives a pre-paid entry into the $1 million 2011-2012 WSOP Circuit National Championship -- to be held in Las Vegas at the end of this season. At least two players from this tournament series will qualify for the WSOP Circuit National Championship, which is classified as a WSOP gold bracelet event. The other automatic qualifier will be the winner of The Bicycle Casino’s Main Event championship.
Here are the five winners from The Bike’s WSOP Circuit gold ring events, so far:
Event #1 – Huy Quach defeated 748 players ($345 NLHE) and won $44,663
Event #2 – Stephen Graner defeated 191 players ($550 NLHE) and won $25,020
Event #3 – Adam Bishop defeated 313 players ($345 NLHE) and won $20,958
Event #4 – Michael Rosenbach defeated 171 players ($345 Six-NLHE) and won $22,035
Event #5 – La Sengphet defeated 377 players ($345 NLHE) and won $25,242
Event #6 – John Coon defeated 298 players ($555 NLHE) and won $34,340