January 18, 2018 - 08:00:00 AM EST  | 


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Neil Scott seeks 2nd Circuit ring with a chip lead over final 3 in Event #8; Ron Brown hunts 2nd Circuit ring this week after taking down Event #4

January 18, 2018 (Sacramento, CA) - The Monster Stack came back for Day 2 on Wednesday with 22 runners and finished in just 8 hours with Michael Scott taking the title. The final table consisted of some tough opponents including the likes of Jed Hoffman and Woody Moore, who locked up his 100th Circuit cash.

Scott remained steady near the top of the counts for the entire final table and felt like he was destined to win. He explained how he got aces and kings a combined 17 times and once he arrived at the final table, he had a feeling this was his tournament.The newly crowned champion pocketed $24,812 and a shiny Circuit ring. This was also notably his first ever Circuit cash and first live tournament win.

Event #8 was the $580 No-Limit Hold'em ring event with $50,000 guaranteed and it began at 11:00 a.m. as well. A total of 128 entries were collected by the close of registration to form a prize pool worth $64,000. After all was said and done, 15 players made the money and now just three remain going into Day 2 on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. Valentin Vornicu came in to the final table with a shot at his 11th Circuit ring but fell first in 10th place. Sharon Sanchez was unable to keep the title within the family, as her husband Al Sanchez won this event in September, and was eliminated in 7th place. 

Ron Brown, Event #4 winner, had a dominating chip lead when three-handed play began but Neil Scott found a couple of timely doubles to slide into the lead with just three remaining. Joe Guio is in second and Brown is in third with a decent shot at his second ring this week.

The Pot Limit Omaha event finished early on Thursday morning, with Jarod Minghini taking down the title for his first ever Circuit ring. The pro snowboarder turned to poker after retiring last year, and defeated Charles Rosenblatt heads-up in a lengthy battle. Minghini locked up $9,180 for his biggest cash and first tournament win. An official report will be posted on Thursday afternoon.

On deck for Thursday is the one-day $365 No-Limit Hold'em six-handed ring event at 11:00 a.m with $30,000 guaranteed. Players will get 10,000 chips to work with in this event and will play 30-minute blind levels until a winner is crowned. Players are permitted one re-entry until the close of registration at ~3:30 p.m. This is the last preliminary event before the Main Event begins on Friday.

There will be one last $365 ring event on Sunday, January 21 at 11:00 a.m. followed by the $2,100 High Roller at 4:00 p.m.

Satellites continue to run throughout the series with shots at all $365 ring events as well as the Main Event and the High Roller.

The beautiful property at Thunder Valley features a wide selection of dining options to enjoy. For hotel rates during the series, use promo code 180110WSOP.

Thursday's Ring Events

11:00 AM - Day 2 Restart Event #8: $580 No-Limit Hold'em $50K (2-day)

  • 3 players remain
  • 1st place pays $17,919
  • Neil Scott leads (583K), Joe Guio (562K) and Ron Brown (391K) are all in contention

11:00 AM - Event #10: $365 No-Limit Hold'em $30K (1-day)

  • 10,000 starting stack
  • 30-minute blind levels
  • Registration closes at ~3:30 p.m. before the start of Level 9
  • One re-entry per player
  • Play concludes once a winner is crowned


9:00 AM - $65 No-Limit Hold'em into any $365 ring event
6:00 PM - $250 No-Limit Hold'em into the Main Event (5 Seats GTD)

Casino Championship

Kindah Sakkal currently leads the way with 52.5 points after making back-to-back final tables early in the week. Close behind her with 50 points are the players who have won rings so far, including Devin Jackson, Ron Brown and Bob Mather.

The winner of the Casino Champion race will receive a free entry into the Global Championship. All official ring events will distribute points at the completion of the event. Check back here for updates as events complete. Points are tallied overnight.

Casino Championship Leaderboard

National Leaderboard

Completed Events

Event 1: $365 No-Limit Hold'em $300K - Devin Jackson tops 1,511 entries to win $78,199
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event 2: $250 Senior Event - Andrew McKenzie tops 213 entries to win $10,650
Winner's Photo | Results

Event 3: $365 No-Limit Hold'em Knockout - Bob Mather tops 299 entries to win $14,355
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event 4: $365 No-Limit Hold'em $25K - Ron Brown tops 160 entries to win $12,958
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event 5: $365 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better - Brendon Thomson tops 137 entries to win $11,506
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event 6: $365 Monster Stack - Michael Scott tops 376 entries to win $24,812
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event 7: $365 H.O.R.S.E. - Steve Lustig tops 63 entries to win $6,515
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event 8: $580 No-Limit Hold'em $50K - In Progress
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event 9: $365 Pot Limit Omaha - Jarod Minghini tops 102 entries to win $9,180
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

About the Winners

Event 1: Devin Jackson
Devin Jackson has taken down the opening event at Thunder Valley in the second ever Circuit stop. The Californian won his first ring in 2010 in the H.O.R.S.E. event and finally locked up another, taking home $78,199 for his biggest live cash.

“It feels great. I've worked so hard for this, there's been so much trials and tribulations. It feels so great to take it down without a chop" said an emotional Jackson. The 29-year-old San Francisco State student is studying finance, but still makes time for poker. “I don’t play as much, but I still travel to tournaments often.” Jackson explained that he came up in the game playing online back in the day and has put a lot of work into his game. He learned by talking with friends and from experience.

Event 3: Bob Mather
Bob Mather is a familiar face among the many players that pass through the poker room at Thunder Valley, clearly a fan favorite. He managed to win himself a ring and $14,355 for his biggest tournament win to date, bringing his overall earnings over $400,000. His biggest overall cash totals $28,000.

"It feels great. It is truly off the bucket list to get a ring. Bracelet's next, which would be a dream come true. And it's extra special in literally my favorite casino in North America with just the best staff” said a proud Mather.

When asked about his profession as a CEO and Private Investigator and applying his skills to poker he said, “This is a hobby. Everything helps, but it's hours on the table. I spend a lot of hours playing and then it comes down to 20 percent, 30 percent luck.” Mather explained that he got into poker during the “online craze” and has put a lot of work into his game. He is clearly relieved to book this win and move on to the next item on his poker bucket list.

Event 4: Ron Brown
Ron Brown traveled to Thunder Valley for the first time to chase a ring with his friend Patrick and his dream was realized in Event 4. Brown defeated his opponent quickly heads-up and locked up $12,958 along with his first ever Circuit ring.

When asked about how he got into poker Brown said, “I’ve been playing poker my whole life. When I retired I took it up as a hobby and I decided if I wanted to play, I have to get good enough so I don’t have to put in lots of money. So, there we go!” Brown said he plays a lot and has read a lot of books. “I’ve read maybe 20 poker books, and I play the World Series all the time.” Brown was going to leave town on Thursday, but has decided to stay to chase the Casino Champion race now that he has won an event.

Event 5: Brendon Thomson
After a long day, Brendon Thomson came out victorious in the first ever Omaha Hi-Lo ring event at Thunder Valley. The California native locked up his biggest score worth $11,506 along with his first ever Circuit ring.

The father of two is no stranger to mixed games though, as this is his fifth win overall and they all include a combination of Chinese Poker, Omaha Hi-Lo and H.O.R.S.E. titles. In fact, all of his live recorded cashes come from a range of mixed games.

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