Baltimore, MD (7 May 2018) -- Twelve days of poker at the Horseshoe Baltimore have completed and with an impressive performance over the first half of the series, Timothy Bishop locks up the Casino Championship with 115 points. Bishop started strong with a final table right off the bat in Event #1: $365 No-Limit Hold’em (30-Minute Levels) where he came fifth for $3,408. He followed that up with deep runs in Event #2, Event #3, and Event #4, making four consecutive cashes.
Bishop stayed relatively quiet, playing but not cashing in a few events, until Event #8: $365 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo. There, he went all the way, beating Nitis Udornpim heads up to take down his first World Series of Poker Circuit ring, $14,351 and putting a stranglehold on the Casino Championship race. Interestingly enough, had Udornpim won Event #8 he may have been Casino Champion as he won Event #6: $365 Pot-Limit Omaha just a few days earlier.
Bishop was surrounded by a rail of friends from Ohio, fellow players, and his girlfriend, Stephanie, who he said doesn’t often make it out to his final tables.
“It was so nice to have her here,” Bishop said. “She knew that a couple of our friends from Ohio are here for the main, so it was pretty amazing to have her here and all those friends. A huge group of people left a 5/10 cash game to come down and sweat the final few hands. It’s just an amazing feeling.”
Bishop normally plays larger buy in tournaments, but once he put up a good first result, he decided to keep going for it. By the end of the series he was entering events just to lock up “security points.” Fortunately for him, Udornpim wasn’t able to put up anymore results over the course of the Series, so Bishop locked down the Casino Championship as well as a spot in the Global Casino Championship which takes place in August.
Bishop failed to cash in this series’ Main Event, but that left the door open for Mike Jukich to lock up his first Circuit ring. The 34-year-old father and poker player from Virginia bested a field of 513 players, taking down the $165,438 first place prize as well as his own seat in the Global Casino Championship. Jukich had a good friend and coach on his rail in the form of Alex Rocha, a circuit regular. While Rocha himself didn’t put up any results over the course of this series, his protégé did.
“The squire becomes the knight,” Rocha said after the Main Event, as he mock knighted Jukich with an invisible sword.
Several players this series locked up a second ring, including the likes of Nicholas Verderamo and Blake Whittington, both of whom won their first rings at this same stop. Verderamo bested 134 players in Event #3: $365 No-Limit Hold’em (30-Minute Levels) w/ Re-Entry for $11,254. Whittington on the other hand took down a smaller field of 37 in Event #11: $3,250 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller for $49,950.
Circuit regulars Ryan Phan, Eric Salazar, and Mike Azzaro took down their first rings this series, while locals such as Chirs Harris, Brad Yazici, Yevgeny Ganz, Nitis Udornpim and Vicki Mengel all locked up their first rings as well.
In total $1,768,000 in prizes were given out over the course of the week. The series saw a total of 3,491 entries and 377 total places paid out. Over $400,000 was given to first place finishers over the week. The next and final stop on this year’s Circuit tour is at Harrah’s New Orleans and runs from May 10 to May 21.