Numbers were up, and familiar faces continued to shine throughout the series.
October 8, 2018 (Elizabeth, Indiana) -- The World Series of Poker Circuit stop at Horseshoe Southern Indiana came to an end Monday evening with the completion of the Main Event. A total of 12 WSOP gold rings were handed out during the series, which saw a big boost in numbers compared to the year prior.
All in all, the total number of entries was up 25% from last season’s Circuit in Elizabeth, Indiana, and the total amount of prizepool money generated saw a 15% increase. Even with larger starting fields showing up at “The Boat,” there were some familiar faces that continued to make waves throughout the Circuit’s duration.
The 12-tournament series kicked off with a quick, turbo-style tournament. Corey Hodgeman, from the Nashville, Tennessee area, was the one to take down Event #1, winning his first gold ring and $15,873. The following event was a more extended endeavor.
Event #2: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry encompassed two separate starting flights and attracted a combined total of 763 entries. Topping the giant field when all was said and done was Jason Wheatley. The Kentucky native reeled in the first-place payout of $50,358 and a debut gold ring.
Another high-profile event that hit the Horseshoe Southern Indiana poker room was the Monster Stack. Event #8 generated a prizepool of $137,594 from 417 entrants. Going into Day 2 of the popular tournament, Carl Brewington had a massive chip lead. In the end, he defeated William Watson in a heated-heads up battle to win his first Circuit ring and $30,274.
Watson fell just one spot short of winning his second gold ring in less than a month, but he did return to the final stage. The 29-year-old went on to run fairly deep in the Main Event, cashing in 42nd place. Then, following his Main Event exit, Watson jumped in the final ring event of the series.
He, again, made it to heads-up play in Event #12: $250 No-Limit Hold’em. However, just as before, Watson dropped in 2nd place, to Drake Espenlaub. Although the Lexington, Kentucky resident did not seize another Circuit title, he has now accumulated a total of 170 points this season, placing him atop the National Leaderboard.
As for the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Venue Leaderboard, Dave Potter basked in the top spot for some time. Potter won Event #4 and placed 3rd in Event #7 for a total of 80 points. The sum simply could not hold against the always-present Michael Lech.
Lech made his first final table appearance of the series in Event #5. After finishing in 5th place in that, the four-time Circuit gold ring winner went on to take 5th again in Event #7. Then, just one tournament later, Lech was seen again, at the Monster Stack final table. A 9th-place finish there gave him a total of 65 points, 15 behind Potter. Then came the Main Event.
Event #10, the Main Event, attracted a total of 398 entrants between two starting flights. The field produced a prizepool of $589, 335 that paid out the top 45 finishers. Lech survived Flight A for a Day 2 berth. From there, he continued to climb and made it to his fourth final table of the series.
Another familiar face at the Main Event final table was Heather Alcorn. The WSOP dealer was already having a solid series, with an 8th-place finish in Event #7 and a 4th-place finish in Event #8, before her Main Event run.
There was a scenario where Alcorn could swipe the Casino Championship from Lech if he did not finish in the top six. Lech ended up busting out in 6th place, good for $25,088 and enough points (100 on the dot) to lock up the Casino Championship.
Lech earned himself an automatic bid to the 2019 Global Casino Championship. Even though Alcorn did not pass Lech in points, it did not matter in the end. Instead, Alcorn simply went on to win the entire tournament. Her Main-Event purse included $129,654 as well as her own automatic bid to the GCC.