Missouri friends face off for Main Event title. Nick Burris comes out on top, winning second Circuit gold ring.
Council Bluffs, Iowa (April 8, 2019) -- Nick Burris reigned as the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Circuit Main Event on Monday, winning his second World Series of Poker gold ring. The 42-year-old from Missouri topped a field of 273 entries in Event #11: $1,7000 Main Event, which featured two separate starting flights and took four days to deem a champion.
Burris snuck into the Flight A chip lead, late in the night, bagging up 346,500.
“I was pretty card dead most of the day. Then, just kind of ran it up at the end; had some good bluffs that got through and some big pots that made it,” Burris recollected.
The start of Day 2 did not bode as well for Burris. He lost a large chunk of his stack early. Having a cushion to begin with worked out in Burris’ favor as he was able to run it back up.
Day 2 of the tournament was stacked with experienced players. Some players still in the mix when the two-table redraw hit were 11-time gold ring winner Maurice Hawkins, nine-time gold ring winner Ari Engel, and Blair Hinkle, owner of five rings and a WSOP bracelet.
The field continued to whittle down on Day 2, reaching a final table, and eventually finishing off with just six players remaining.
“Really, really tough, Blair [Hinkle], Ari [Engel], Greg Jennings… I mean, it was just a really tough table,” said Burris. “Everybody played really well. Means a lot that I could win one with all those guys on the table.
Littered with skilled players, the road to victory led Burris to a Day 3 finale, six players competing for big money, a WSOP gold ring, and automatic seat in the 2019 Global Casino Championship.
Considering much was on the line, the six finalists were lighthearted throughout. Reason being, all were friendly, and a handful knew each other well. Possibly the closest two players ended up facing off heads up.
Burris’ final opponent was the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Goliath, Blair Hinkle, also from Missouri. Hinkle is no strange to the position. The five-time ring winner, also from Missouri, lays claim to three Main Event titles, all coming at the Omaha-based Circuit. However, it was the first time playing against a friend he shares a home game with.
“We’re in the same Monday night poker league and we’ve become pretty good friends over the past couple years,” said Burris. “Hardest $40 home game in America.”
Being close friends, Burris and Hinkle even agreed on a small freeroll regarding the top two payouts. First place money stood at $99,267 when the prizepool was finalized. Burris and Hinkle decided whoever took home the crown should get a cool $100,000.
The two competitors battled for around three and a half hours. Burris ultimately pulled away and won the heads-up match, preventing Hinkle from seizing a fourth Main Event title at the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Circuit.
It was not Burris’ first time in the WSOP winner’s Circuit. Burris secured a debut gold ring back in 2014 at Harrah’s Tunica, along with $35,290.
“This one was a lot more skill-based. My first one was kind of early in poker and I just ran really good. This one, I feel like I played really, really well.
His recent six-figure prize marks Burris’ largest-ever cash with the WSOP. Burris does not play poker for a living.
“I play, probably, like 20 tournaments a year,” said Burris on his poker involvement. Burris owns an Insurance agency as a main occupation. He also keeps busy with a wife and two children at home. “Pretty much a family guy most of the time,” he added.
Full list of results