Idris Gencoglu’s first Circuit final table didn’t work out quite as perfectly as he hoped. While the Vancouver native did manage to outlast a host of notables at an absolutely stacked $1,125 buy-in No Limit Hold’em final table, when it game to grabbing that gold ring, he came up just short.
While Tim West earned his first career Circuit victory, Gencoglu has to settle for second. The $28,533 payday was a nice one, as were the bragging rights that he bested the likes of two-time bracelet winner Scott Clements, Adam Junglen, and Kenna James at the final table. While there was certainly validation in the result, he still had no ring and no first place finish.
Fast forward just a few days and the 34-year-old Gencoglu not only had a second chance at a ring, he had a shot at a seat in the 2013 WSOP National Championship presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof. The Casino Champion race at this year’s Caesars Palace Las Vegas Circuit event was a wide open one all the way to the final hours of the final day of the stop. With several notables winning rings, the points were so spread out that virtually any player with a top two finish or 30 points to their credit had a shot at the title.
In fact, another player at the Event 11 final table alongside Gencoglu seemed like the player to beat. Joe Kuether won his second career ring in Event 3 and had the points advantage over Gencoglu going into the final table. When Kuether exited in fourth place though, the door was open for Gencoglu t pass him. It wasn’t an easy feat though, as the only way Gencoglu could pass Kuether in points was with a win.
Winning was exactly what Gencoglu did. He topped a field of 198 players in the $580 No Limit Hold’em Event 11 to pocket $25,740, win a ring, and earn his National Championship seat.
“This is indescribable,” Gencoglu said following his victory.
Born in Turkey and currently residing in Vancouver, Gencoglu has seen what the rough side of poker looks like. “I’ve struggled in this game for many years, I had doubts so many times, but I never gave up,” he explained.
His dedication to improve his approach to the game paid off in Vegas this past week. At a series with the most star-studded cast of Ring winners we’ve seen in the Circuit’s nine-year history, Gencoglu prevailed over all of them to win the Casino Champion honor.
Gencoglu also joins three other Canadians on the list of National Championship qualifiers. Hammond Casino Champ Mike Leah, River Rock Casino Champ Sandra Wong, River Rock Main Event winner John Crnic, and now Gencoglu make for a record number of Canadians in the predominantly American bracelet event. The quartet breaks the record for non-American National Championship qualifiers set by a trio of Candians last season.
If our latest winner Gencoglu, who speaks nine different languages, is any indication, this year’s National Championship is actually going to end up being quite the international affair.