WSOP CIRCUIT COCONUT CREEK

February 19, 2018 - 11:32:00 PM EST  | 

WSOP CIRCUIT COCONUT CREEK

The WSOP 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. Millions of dollars in prize money were awarded, along with 12 gold rings and two seats to the WSOP Global Casino Championship.

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.

Read more about Andries' victory in the winner's report.

Andries was also in contention for the Casino Champion title, chasing Karthik Ramakrishnan atop the leaderboard. Ramakrishnan had made three final table in 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 for Andries. He needed to finish third or second to steal the honors.

When Andries 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 is the Casino Champion for Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.

Click here for the final leaderboard (pending the Main Event results update).

A more in-depth recap of the 12-day series will be published on Monday.

 


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)

You wouldn't know it from his results, but Martin Ryan doesn't really play much tournament poker.

The elusive 55-year-old part-time player can’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.

He’s been playing the game since he was in his teens, and he has a hard time shaking the bug even today. The draw of poker is so strong that he left a house full of guests to come play in South Florida.

“Right now it’s Carnival in my country,” Ryan said. “I have a guest house, and it’s packed. And I ran away! My guests are from all over the world, and I just left all of them.”

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. This 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.

The Swede outlasted a field of 1,766 entries in the $365 multi-flight event, winning the top payout of $86,067. It’s his first victory in his first appearance on the traveling tour.

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.”

Live tournaments can be grueling, and that was certainly the case in this one. Although scheduled to finish on Sunday, that goal ended up being unattainable. Karlsson and Karthik Ramakrishnan battled heads-up for hours before calling it a night around 4:30 a.m.

The two finalists returned Monday for an unscheduled Day 3, and it took about 90 more minutes of play for Karlsson to secure the ring. It’s his first live tournament victory on any tour, let alone the WSOP Circuit.

“I wasn’t going to play any poker.” Karlsson said of his vacation plans. “But I ended up doing it… I don’t regret it.”

 

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.

“I decided I wanted to give tournaments more of a try,” Reyes said. He’s been playing cash games for several years but has recently allocated more of his resources to big events such as this.

This win doesn’t appear to be a fluke. Reyes has cashed for about $150,000 over the last year, including two scores larger than this one. He won a small $5k event at Foxwoods in April, then backed it up with a deep run in the WSOP Crazy Eights event. His 15th-place finish earned him a career-best score of around $35,000.

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. What did he tell Reyes?

“Those are his tips,” Reyes was reluctant to share. He did provide a little glimpse of the conversation, though. “He just told me to be patient. Take things seriously. Don’t rush. Everything is about knowing exactly what’s going to happen at the right time.”

 

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.

“In the last 10 years, we’ve had disagreements, but no arguments,” Tanner said. “We don’t fight because we’re very supportive [of each other].”

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)

Despite entering Day 2 near the bottom of the counts, Loni Harwood was already predicting a win. After all, she’d drawn Seat 7 at the final table, her lucky seat.

The number has always carried special weight for Harwood. She 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. If that’s not enough convincing, Harwood entered Day 2 of this event with 77,000 chips — good for seventh place with nine remaining.

And then there was the date, February 13. Exactly a year ago, Harwood won her third Circuit ring just down the road at the Palm Beach Kennel Club. Thirteen was also a lucky number for Harwood’s late mother, who’s still her primary source of inspiration.

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.

Hawley had the chip lead to begin, but it didn’t matter. 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.

“I’m a casual, recreational player,” Hagar describes himself. He does splash around in the tournaments in his home region, and he takes one week a year to travel to South Florida, too. This trip has been a profitable one so far.

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.

“Playing with Ari Engel for such a long time, I learned a lot about the game,” Hagar said. “I picked up a lot of tips just watching him play.”

Both Hagar and Engel were among the final five players who returned for Day 2, but Engel was the first man dismissed from the table. “After he got knocked out first, I liked my chances,” Hagar said.

A short while later, the eventual champ found himself heads-up against Gary Lucci, another man with a gold ring on his record. The two battled for about two hours before Hagar finally sealed the win.


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.

He recently won a pair of small tournaments at a local casino for around $3,000 apiece, and he had about $15,000 in total earnings enter this event.

Now, he’s a WSOP Circuit winner. This result is 10 times larger than his previous best, and it more than doubles his total previous earnings.

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.

“The best,” he said. “The best in the country, in my opinion.”

He continued on: “I like it better than Vegas, I like it better than AC… Especially for PLO, because that’s what I play. Everywhere else I go, there’s not as much action, not as many tables. There are a lot of poker rooms here offering PLO.”

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.

His previous results this season include a runner-up finish in the $580 PLO event at Horseshoe Hammond, an occasion about which he’s still a little miffed. It came up during his postgame interview after this win.

Kolo got his redemption early Thursday morning. There were just two players remaining when the scheduled end of day arrived, so the two battled on to try to settle the matter.

Ring winner Matt Stout was the man on the other side of the table, but Kolo began the duel with a chip lead he would not relinquish. Right around 3 a.m., he put Stout at risk with a pair and a flush draw and two cards to come. The turn brought the fifth heart Kolo needed, and Stout could not improve on the river. It was over, with Kolo clutching the ring.

The victory also earned him another 50 points, bringing him to 142.5 on the season. That’s going to be very close to the number needed to qualify for the Championship, with a few months left to pad his stats.

 

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.

The Coco High Roller ended up with 74 entries, a generous mix of world-class players, traveling grinders, and local part-timers. Day 1 ended with just nine of them remaining.

Around 6 p.m. the next day, Mosley found himself heads-up against Matt Stout for the title. The battle was short, and it ended in a preflop confrontation. Mosley’s ace-king held against ace-jack to seal the victory.

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

 


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