WSOP CIRCUIT COCONUT CREEK

February 21, 2018 - 02:02:00 AM EST  | 

WSOP CIRCUIT COCONUT CREEK

The World Series of Poker Circuit series concluded on Monday night at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.

It was the traveling tour's first visit to the South Florida property, and it was a success by all accounts.

A couple million dollars in prize money were awarded, along with 12 gold rings and two seats to the WSOP Global Casino Championship (GCC).

Kammar Andries snagged one of each with an impressive win in the $1,675 Main Event. Andries topped the field of 827 entries and a tough final table to win his first ring and the top prize of $241,898. The result is the largest on the record of the 40-year-old pediatrician from Orlando.

A more in-depth account of Andries' victory is available here.

Andries was also in contention for the Casino Champion title, chasing Karthik Ramakrishnan atop the leaderboard. Ramakrishnan had made three final tables during the series, and he was among the final 15 players entering Day 3 of the Main Event, too. He fell in 14th place, though, opening the door just a crack.

Andries needed to finish in third or second place to steal the honors. When he eliminated Jason Hill in fourth place, he leapfrogged into the overall points lead ahead of Ramakrishnan.

That meant that Ramakrishnan could only become Casino Champion if Andries became the Main Event Champion and qualified via that route.

That's exactly what happened.

Andries secured his seat by defeating Mike Linster heads-up, and Ramakrishnan slid into the GCC by virtue of his 110-point total. He earned a total of $75,200 and the title of Casino Champion for Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.

Click here for the final leaderboard.

Martin Ryan was in and out of the points lead right up until the final table of the final event. Ryan is generating some of the biggest headlines on the tour right now despite playing a limited schedule. When he's not tending to his business at home in Trinidad, he's scooping up rings at a profound clip.

Ryan left a house full of guests to come to Coco, and he promptly took down the series' opening event. The victory was his fifth on the WSOP Circuit, with all five of those coming during the last 15 months.

That win also gave Ryan an early lead in the Casino Champion race, and he continued to add to his total. He made two more final tables thereafter, including a deep run in the $3,250 High Roller. He ended up with a pair of fourth-place finishes, giving him a total of 105 points. Although he made Day 2 of the Main Event, he failed to add any more, finishing in second place on the leaderboard.

Bryce McVay finished third in the Casino Champion race with three final table appearances of his own. McVay traded the lead with Ryan for the bulk of the series after finishing as the runner-up to him in Event #1. Subsequent fifth- and fourth-place finishes gave him a total of 90 points for the series, but he left South Florida without a ring. The good news is that he now has 162.5 points on the season-long leaderboard, which could be enough to earn him an at-large GCC bid.

Event #5 provided one of the series' most memorable victories. Surrounded by friends and family, Loni Harwood added a fourth Circuit ring to her impressive collection of WSOP jewelry. She's a two-time bracelet winner already, widely regarded as one of the most dangerous players in the game.

A couple days later, another WSOP winner won a Circuit ring, too. Greg Kolo holds a bracelet in Pot-Limit Hold'em, and he picked up the Pot-Limit Omaha ring at Coco. Kolo defeated fellow ring winner Matt Stout in the heads-up match.

Stout found himself heads-up for another ring about 36 hours later. The High Roller carried the biggest buy-in of the series and drew arguably the toughest field, and Stout outlasted most of the final table once again. Florida pro Dominique Mosley turned him away, though, winning his own first ring and more than $75,000.

The rest of the rings were mostly claimed by recreational players, although a young Swedish pro did swoop in and snag one of them. There was a forensic account in on a satellite, a real estate developer from Michigan, and a traveling poker dealer among those who walked away from Coco with a Circuit victory under their belts.

Read more about all 12 winners below.

 


Ring Event Winners

 

Event #1: $365 No-Limit Hold'em
Winner: Martin Ryan - $22,416
Results | Official Report | Photo

Event #2: $365 No-Limit Hold'em Re-entry
Winner: Alfred Karlsson - $86,067
Results | Official Report | Photo

Event #3: $580 No-Limit Hold'em
Winner: Jose Reyes - $19,039
Results | Official Report | Photo

Event #4: $365 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo
Winner: Robert Tanner - $18,810
Results | Official Report | Photo

Event #5: $365 No-Limit Hold'em
Winner: Loni Harwood - $10,801
Results | Official Report | Photo

Event #6: $580 No-Limit Hold'em
Winner: Steve Hagar - $21,088
Results | Official Report | Photo

Event #7: $365 Monster Stack
Winner: Rodney Moret-Rojas - $34,704
Results | Official Report | Photo

Event #8: $365 Pot-Limit Omaha Rebuy
Winner: Greg Kolo - $13,860
Results | Official Report | Photo

Event #9: $3,250 High Roller
Winner: Dominique Mosley - $75,480
Results | Official Report | Photo

Event #10: $1,675 Main Event
Winner: Kammar Andries - $241,898
Results | Official Report | Photo

Event #11: $365 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo
Winner: Ian Pearson - $10,752
Results | Official Report | Photo

Event #13: $365 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo
Winner: Mike Russ - $9,542
Results | Official Report | Photo

 


Meet the Winners

 

Martin Ryan

Event #1: Martin Ryan ($22,416)

The elusive 55-year-old part-time player doesn't take on a full schedule of live events. He spends most of his time at home in Trinidad tending to his businesses, which include a bed and breakfast and a private card club. When he does take a seat, though, he’s something of a monster.

This win seems to confirm that a year-long heater is still intact. Ryan outlasted a field of 318 entries in this event to claim his fifth ring and the top prize of $22,416. The result brings his total Circuit earnings across the quarter-million-dollar mark, a remarkable run that now spans two seasons.

 

Alfred Karlsson

Event #2: Alfred Karlsson ($86,067)

Alfred Karlsson flew to Florida with his friends from Sweden, seeking some fun in the sun amid the Scandinavian winter. He’ll leave with a suitcase full of money and a WSOP Circuit ring.

Karlsson, 24, primarily plays the game online. “I don’t really like live poker,” he said. “It’s too slow.” He smiled and added, “Maybe now I’ll start liking it a bit more.”

 

Jose Reyes

Event #3: Jose Reyes ($19,039)

The 42-year-old Reyes is a store manager who drifts back and forth between South Florida and his native Dominican Republic. Poker mostly takes a backseat to his primary occupation, but that is starting to change.

Reyes attributes some of his success to a chance friendship with WPT winner Eric Afriat. The two met as seat neighbors on a long flight, and they hit it off. Reyes spent those three hours getting what was, essentially,a private lesson from Afriat

 

Robert Tanner

Event #4: Robert Tanner ($18,810)

Tanner is a 54-year-old forensic accountant from just up the road in Wellington. He’s married with seven children, five in college and two on the way there soon. His wife was on the rail for the duration of the final table, and the two explained that poker plays an important role in their relationship. They’re both avid recreational players.

The happy couple decided to spend some quality time together in the hours before this event began. Mrs. Tanner explained: “I was like, ‘Honey, we’re going to spend time together. We’re going to the casino, and we’re playing the satellite.’”

They jumped in the $65 satellite at 9 a.m., and Tanner won his seat into the ring event. The rest of the story is evident.

 

Loni Harwood

Event #5: Loni Harwood ($18,801)

The 28-year-old Harwood won her first of two WSOP bracelets on July 7, which happened to be the birthday of both her brother and sister-in-law. Seven-seven. She entered Day 2 of this event with 77,000 chips — good for seventh place with nine remaining.

As if she needed even more run-good in her corner, Harwood was surrounded by friends and family, including her brother and sister-in-law. And her boyfriend, poker pro Phil Hui, along with his brother, Chris.

The group gathered along the perimeter of the final table, with Hui pacing nervously around the area. Harwood was as poised as a statue, though. She handily picked her way through the eliminations, eventually finding herself heads-up for the ring against Stephen Hawley.

The battle was short, and it ended as Harwood predicted — with her posing for winner’s photos.


Steve Hagar

Event #6: Steve Hagar ($21,088)

Hagar is a 58-year-old real estate developer from White Lake, Michigan. He’s married with two teenage daughters, and those responsibilities limit his time to play poker.

Hagar’s path to victory was a difficult one, and he found himself dealing with eight-time Circuit winner Ari Engel down the stretch run. Engel is among the most talented players in the world, and Hagar saw it as an opportunity rather than a hurdle.


Rodney Moret-Rojas

Event #7: Rodney Moret-Rojas ($37,704)

Primarily a pot-limit Omaha cash game player, Moret-Rojas has only been splashing around in tournaments for a couple months. His early results are pretty enviable, though.

The champ is a 37-year-old business owner from the Dominican Republic. He’s been in the States for a while now, first in Michigan and now nearby in Boca Raton. In his postgame interview, he raved about the local poker scene.

Moret-Rojas and his wife have two young boys, and this weekend marks the 11th anniversary of their marriage.


Greg Kolo

Event #8: Greg Kolo ($13,860)

The 40-year-old champ from Ohio is no stranger to success in WSOP events. Kolo won a bracelet in Pot-Limit Hold’em in 2014, defeating 556 other players to snag a six-figure score. He has more than $200,000 in total WSOP earnings, plus more than $150,000 on the Circuit.

These days, though, Kolo has his eyes set on qualifying for the WSOP Global Casino Championship. That’s the season-ending, invitation-only event that awards a bracelet to one of the Circuit’s standout players. The season’s top 50 points earners get seats, and Kolo figures to be among them. He certainly plans to, at least.

 

Dominique Mosley

Event #9: Dominique Mosley ($75,480)

Mosley, 31, is a full-time poker player originally from the Piedmont of North Carolina. He now makes his home in nearby Plantation, where he takes full advantage of the thriving South Florida poker scene. He mostly plays PLO cash games; “Pot-limit Omaha specialist, I’d say.”

He knows his way around two-card games, too, though. Mosley’s career record now boasts more than $500,000 in tournament earnings, with the majority of that coming in hold’em.

This result is the second-largest on Mosley’s live tournament record.

 

Kammar Andries

Event #10: Kammar Andries ($241,898)

The 40-year-old physical therapist took a week away from his Orlando-area practice to “take a legit shot” at a ring, as he put it. “Usually I just come in for one tournament and leave.” This was his first poker tournament in eight months.

Andries has been married for 11 years, and he gave his wife much of the credit for his performance.

“She’s been supportive since I met her,” he said. “Playing and stuff… You know, you take off on weekends, or take off a week here and there to go play. And she’s always been supportive.”

Andries' interest in poker stems from his time in New York, a place his family called home after immigrating from Guyana. It was there that Andries took up the game, playing in some of the local card clubs familiar to those in the community. He’s been playing for about 15 years, and this is by far the largest result on his tournament record.

 

Ian Pearson

Event #11: Ian Pearson ($10,752)

Pearson, 27, was born and raised in Oveido, Florida — just outside of Orlando. He’s been playing the game since about 2014, and he’s accumulated some good results as a part-timer. He’s earned close to $80,000 as a tournament player, but this result is the largest on his record to date.

Early Saturday morning, Pearson found himself heads-up against local grinder Zoltan Czinkota for the ring. They dueled for a long while before Pearson delivered the final blow, sealing the victory to earn a round of congratulations from his peers in the tournament area.

And a photo shoot with his first gold ring.

 

Mike Russ

Event #13: Mike Russ ($9,542)

Russ is a 40-year-old business owner from Kerrville, Texas. He and his wife, Kim, run both a home automation company and window treatment business. They’ve been married for 13 years, and they have an infant daughter together. Baby Isabelle is the inspiration for Russ’ “IZZY” hat, which he’s worn for both of his wins.

Because of his real-life obligations, he only has time to play about six Circuit stops per season. Russ is making the most of limited opportunities this season, though, having won two rings in the span of less than five months.

Russ needed two bullets to find his way to the finish line in this one, re-entering short during the final level of late registration. A couple hours later, he was sitting alone at the table with his second Circuit ring.


 



 
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