California players clean up at the Bike Circuit series, including Casino Champ, Mike Eskandari (pictured), and biggest winner of all, Sean Yu.

March 14, 2019 (Bell Gardens, Calif.) -- The World Series of Poker recently concluded its second Circuit stop of the 2018/19 season at Bicycle Casino. During the Los Angeles-area Circuit there was a total of 13 gold rings awarded. Out of those 13 rings, an astounding 11 went to the hands of California-based players.

Grabbing the first piece of WSOP gold was Gladys Landegger, from Tarzana, Los Angeles, California, who won Event #2: $400 No-Limit Hold’em. The next ring handed out stemmed from the longest tournament of the series, Event #1.

Event #1: $400 No-Limit Holde’m Monster Stack featured four separate starting flights and the option to buy in at the start of Day 2 for $2,400. Paul Camby, from Guerneville, California, was ultimately the one to top the 1,292-entry field, earning a debut gold ring and $100,150.

Three for three, Emil Mactal, from Burbank, California, closed out Event #3: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Double stack. Mactal banked $17,565 and his first gold ring.

Following conclusion of Event #3, a slew of WSOP gold bracelet owners began to storm the winner’s circle. The first to do so was 2017 Global Casino Champion Sean Yu. Though scheduled as a two-day tourney, Yu ran through 143 entries in Event #5: $400 No-Limit Hold’em in just one.

It was far from the first time Yu has won on the WSOP Circuit tour and would not be his last. The triumph provided the Poker Pro from Los Angeles, California with a second gold ring from the Bike, third gold ring of the 2018/2019 season, and an impressive sixth gold ring of his career.

Next up on the bracelet-winner train was Kevin Eyster who took down Event #7: $1,125 No-Limit Hold’em. Eyster, who secured his gold bracelet in 2014, was also adding to his gold-ring collection. The 29-year-old topped a 146-entry field to claim $40,875 and his fourth Circuit title. Eyster, from Lafayette, Louisiana, was one of the two players not from California to win a ring.

Lastly, one-time gold bracelet winner Matthew Elsby would persevere to win what would be one of the crazier events of the series. Event #8 brought forth a lower-than-average buy-in, $250, and at the same time featured a $100,000 guaranteed prizepool. The combination attracted a turnout that no one predicted.

A mass of players showed up to late reg the morning ring event. Elsby himself had to wait in line for a over two hours total, nearly missing the deadline when registering his second bullet. In the end, Elsby seized his second gold ring around 5:30 a.m., outlasting 812 opponents.

One of the three bracelet winners to collect a ring would return to glory in a big way. Moving into the final third of the Circuit series, the Bike Main Event had finally arrived.

Event #10: $1,700 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event kicked off with two starting flights, which attracted a combined total of 678 entrants. The $1,027,710 allotted to the prizepool promised a cash to the top 72 finishers and $210,585 to first place.

Now, six-time gold ring winner Sean Yu made it through Flight B and moved to Day 2 with the fourth-largest stack in play. Yu then climbed to new heights on the second day, bagging the overall chip lead. There were only twelve players who survived to see Day 3.

Yu had already racked up 57.5 points before the Main Event began, 50 points coming from his win in Event #5 alone. Going into Day 3, Yu was primed to pocket even more points and chances were, he would lock up the Casino Championship.

However, Yu could not avoid his winning ways. The 43-year-old rode his chip lead to the heads-up arena where he faced off against Andrew Moreno. The matchup ended quickly after Yu flopped a set and Moreno flopped two pair.

Yu was crowned the Bike Main Event Champion. In winning, he did not earn any points, but instead secured an automatic seat in the 2019 Global Casino Championship via the victory. Yu will return to the GCC in August and attempt to win another gold bracelet.

Circuit Casino Champ races have a tendency to come down to the last day and the Bike points battle was no exception. Unfortunately for nine-time gold ring winner Ari Engel, he was on the wrong side of three separate narrow misses, including the Casino Championship.

Engel ran deep towards the start of the series in Event #4: $400 Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better. He made it all the way to heads-up action but fell one spot short of grabbing his tenth gold ring, making way for the comeback story of Denis Bilodeau, who began Day 2 as the severe short stack and bounced back to take home his first gold ring.

The 35-year-old Poker Pro surfaced later in the Bike High Roller, a $3,250 No-Limit Hold’em ring event. Engel, yet again, outlasted all other opponents but one. Erick But ended as the first-place finisher, grabbing his first gold ring and $84,595.

With Sean Yu out of the picture in the race for Casino Champion, Engel was in a great position to take it down, laying claim to the two second-place finishes for a total of 75 points. All he had to do was fade one more event.

Event #13: $250 No-Limit Hold’em (1 Day) ran the same day as the Main Event and High Roller finales but finished much later. When the unofficial final table was reached for Event #13, still in the mix sat Mike Eskandari, winner of Event #9 earlier in the week. Aside from his 50-point finish in the $600 No-Limit Hold’em, Eskandari took away 5 points from the multi-flight Monster Stack.

Therefore, Eskandari sat with 55 points to his name among the final 10 players of the final ring event. He had to finish in at least 6th place to pass Engel in points and did just that. Eskandari cashed out in 6th place exactly to earn 22.5 more points, which put him at 77.5 total, barely edging out Engel for the Bike Casino Championship, and earning him a spot in the 2019 GCC.
 


Completed Events

Event #1: $400/$2,400 NLHE Monster Stack - Paul Camby defeats 1,292 entries to win $100,150.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #2: $400 No-Limit Hold'em - Gladys Landegger defeats 94 entries to win $9,300.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #3: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack - Emil Mactal defeats 213 entries to win $17,565.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #4: $400 Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better - Denis Bilodeau defeats 115 entries to win $11,380.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #5: $400 No-Limit Hold'em - Sean Yu defeats 143 entries to win $13,225.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #6: $400 H.O.R.S.E. - Alan Myerson defeats 135 entries to win $12,475.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #7: $1,125 No-Limit Hold'em - Kevin Eyster defeats 146 entries to win $40,875.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #8: $250 No-Limit Hold'em (1 Day) - Matthew Elsby defeats 816 entries to win $31,795.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #9: $600 No-Limit Hold'em - Mike Eskandari defeats 224 entries to win $28,835.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #10: $1,700 NLHE Main Event - Sean Yu defeats 678 entries to win $210,585.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #11: $ No-Limit Hold'em - Mark Jeans defeats 78 entries to win $8,750.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #12: $ NLHE High Roller - Erick But defeats 94 entries to win $84,595.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #13: $ No-Limit Hold'em (1 Day) - Brian Snell defeats 452 entries to win $19,440.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

  


Casino Champion Update

Sean Yu wins the Bike Main Event, leaving him at 57.5 points instead of a boosted sum.

Ari Engel finished as the runner-up in Event #4 and the $3,250 High Roller for 75 points total.

Mike Eskandari, winner of Event #9, sat with 55 points going into the last ring event of the Circuit series. He had to finish in at least 6th place to pass Engel in points and did just that.

Eskandari cashed out in 6th exactly to earn 22.5 more points, which put him at 77.5 total, barely edging out Engel for the Bike Casino Championship.


 


 


About the Winners

Event #1 - Paul Camby

Paul Camby was standing tall at the end of Event #1 with a six-figure payday, his first gold ring, and a top hat to boot. Camby fired some $400 bullets in the early flights of the Monster Stack. However, the starting stack that got it done for him stemmed from a $2,400 bullet into Day 2.

The 46-year-old only recently began frequenting the world of tournament poker and fittingly enough made his official start at the earlier Bike Circuit in December.

“I started December 1st, here at the Bicycle. Before that, I probably played in five tournaments over a decade-long period,” said Camby. “I always thought ‘okay, maybe I can do poker because my skillset kind of fits that well,’” he continued.

“I decided to start playing poker, give it a 90-day period of trying it out, see how I do,” explained Camby. “I actually cashed for $70,000, or so, in January and February. So, it’s confirmed that I can make money doing this. And so, now I’m becoming a Professional Poker Player.”

In just a short period of time, Camby raked up a solid stat sheet, including two deep runs in Circuit Main Events, one at Thunder Valley and the other at the Rio Circuit. And now, a monumental win at the Bike more than validates his declaration to play poker for a living.

Since beginning his poker career, Camby vowed to implement a certain tradition, which has surfaced during his current hot streak and appeared again in Event #1.

“About three years ago, I did the Abraham Lincoln for Halloween and it was amazing how well it fit… so it just kind of became a thing,” clarified Camby. “Before actually coming in December, I made the decision: every final table I get to that has a $100,000 guarantee or better I’ll do the Abraham Lincoln, and this is now the third showing.”

When the unofficial table was forming, players were moving chips, moving seats, and filling out bio sheets, but Camby was nowhere in sight. Following the first pot of ten-handed (effectively nine-handed) play, Camby strolled back into the tournament area dressed as Honest Abe himself, top hat and all. From there, the rest was history.

Along with a debut gold ring, the Lincoln-esque poker player bagged $100,150, which equates to 20,030 five-dollar bills, and/or 10,015,000 pennies.

Event #2 - Gladys Landegger

Gladys Landegger emerged victorious on Tuesday at the World Series of Poker Circuit series at the Bike, her local casino. The Argentina native bested 93 opponents in Event #2: $400 No-Limit Hold’em to win $9,300 and her first WSOP gold ring.

The tournament was scheduled as a two-day affair, but Landegger took it down in one. Landegger was showered with congratulations from multiple players in the room and a round of applause even broke out for her.

“Absolutely,” Landegger responded when asked if all the support was enjoyable. “I support them also… I’m the local here.”

In a nearly-identical ring event during the December Bicycle Casino Circuit, Landegger ran deep, but fell in fourth. Three months later she returned to seize reclamation. The triumph came at an opportune time for Landegger. The Tarzana resident will be missing a lot of poker in the near future.

“My mom from Argentina is arriving in one week. She is staying one month with me and I don’t play poker,” Landegger explained. “I’m going to spend time with my mom the whole month that she’s here.”

Landegger will have a full household in the coming month. Along with her visiting mother and husband, the 57-year-old provides a home for seven furry friends. Landegger is a lover of felines and even advocates the adoption of cats as Gladys Adoptacat on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxzutSTq-CM&feature=youtu.be

Event #3 - Emil Mactal

Another novel World Series of Poker Circuit winner was crowned Thursday evening. It was Emil Mactal who came away with the gold ring and $17,56 after scooping up all the chips Event #3: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack. The tournament that took two days to complete at the Bicycle Casino.

“Feels great. This is my first ring,” Mactal said following his triumph.

Mactal is a recreational poker player. He occasionally hits the felt when he is not busy working as a Project Manager.

“I can only play whenever I’m free,” explained Mactal. “I had a pretty open schedule yesterday, so I decided to hop in [Event #3].”

Mactal is originally from the island nation of the Philippines but has been living in the southern California area since 2000. The victory marks his second cash with the WSOP. The 53-year-old is contemplating playing the Main Event, which is coming up on Sunday.

Event #4 - Denis Bilodeau

Denis Bilodeau completed a true comeback victory on the World Series of Poker Circuit stage at the Bike Circuit series. The 51-year-old closed out Event #4: $400 Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better to win $11,380 and his first gold ring after being severely short stacked.

“I only had 26,000 and I was the absolute short stack,” Bilodeau said. “I was just patient and I chipped up. I got hands and I chipped up. It’s amazing.

From last to first, Bilodeau implemented patience, made the money, then climbed all the way up the ranks to a chip-leading position. Eventually, the Traffic Engineer from Orange, California found himself head up against a Goliath of the game, Ari Engel.

In the end, Engel could not overcome Bilodeau's chip lead and the nine-time Circuit title holder narrowly missed out on defending his Omaha Hi/Lo title at the Bike and reaching double digits in the all-time gold ring count. Not only did Bilodeau pick up a debut gold ring for himself, it was first cash with the WSOP and a five-figure one at that.

“I’m mainly a recreational player. Although, I always go out the first weekend of the WSOP because they’ve got the $1,500 O[maha] 8. The series in Vegas is such a rush,” Bilodeau mentioned. He continued to touch on his poker background with, “The mix games are my absolute favorite, so I always try to catch these.”

Event #5 Winner - Sean Yu

Sean Yu has broken through to the World Series of Poker Circuit winner's circle once again, seizing his second gold ring at the Bike, third gold ring of the 2018/2019 season, and an impressive sixth gold ring overall. The 43-year-old from Los Angeles, California conquered a 143-entry field in Event #5: $400 No-Limit Hold'em to his stat sheet.

Yu’s first victory on during the 2018/19 Circuit tour occurred last November at Planet Hollywood. Yu followed that achievement up with another first-place finish at the early Bike series in December. Coming into another series at his local Circuit, Yu did not start off too hot.

“Well, this series so far has been pretty brutal. I bricked everything and just came out fortunate to win this one,” said Yu.

During Event #5 action, Yu was actually double tabling, which turned out to be no need as he took down the No-Limit Hold’em tourney for $13,225 and, more importantly to him, 50 Casino Championship points.

“I was going back and forth today, hoping to capture some more points… to get back to the GCC,” explained Yu. “Hopefully I’ll lock it up by the Bally’s stop. It’s getting more competitive every year.”

Being his third Circuit title of the season, Yu now has a solid accumulation of Casino Championship points. The 50 points Yu gained from his recent triumph brings his overall total to 190 points and leaps his position to 21st on the National Leaderboard.

Yu is looking to get back to the Global Casino Championship where he captured his WSOP gold bracelet. The top-50 points leaders at the end of the Circuit season receive and automatic seat in the 2019 GCC. Yu is sitting pretty at the moment but did mention he would travel to more distant Circuit stops if his spot was in jeopardy.

Event #6 Winner - Alan Myerson

Alan Myerson secured a win in the mix game ring event at the Bike Circuit series, earning his second World Series of Poker gold ring and $12,475. The 70-year-old from Sherman Oaks, California defeated 135 entrants in Event #6: $400 H.O.R.S.E., a tournament that took two days to complete.

Day 1 ended with 15 players remaining, one spot into the money. Myerson sat as fifth in the counts. On Day 2, he chipped up to third in chips before reaching the unofficial final table, which was comprised of some skilled players.

Myerson had to get through final-table competition that included chip leader Brent Boyd, twelve-time gold ring winner Valentin Vornicu, and his eventually heads-up opponent, Sirous Baghchehsaraie.

“I really enjoyed this tournament because I spent most the time playing next to Sirous and I think he’s a fantastic guy, great player, a real gentleman. So, the heads-up battle was even more meaningful because I have so much respect for him,” said Myerson.

When play boiled down to two players remaining it was Myerson and Baghchehsaraie going toe-to-toe. Both competitors are veterans of the game and both were striving for their second Circuit title.

“The first ring I won was actually No-Limit [Hold’em],” Myerson mentioned “I taught myself mix games because I found them more interesting, and to be challenged with new games.”

Ultimately, Myerson was up for the challenge. Just under two hours into heads-up play, he scooped the fateful, final pot. The feat increases Myerson’s WSOP earnings to just over $180,000 and provided him with a second gold ring, first in a H.O.R.S.E. tourney.

Event #7 - Kevin Eyster

Kevin Eyster picked up another piece of World Series of Poker gold at the Bike Circuit series on Saturday. The Poker Pro from Louisiana topped a 146-entry field in Event #7: $1,125 No-Limit Hold'em to claim $40,875 and his fourth career gold ring to go along with his WSOP gold bracelet.

Day 2 of Event #7 began with a stacked group of 15 finalists, all being in the money. It took about five hours to boil down to heads-up action. The final battle pitted Eyster against Ira Friedman. The two competitors duked it out for nearly five hours, exactly how long it took to get to that stage. Eyster lost his initial chip lead for a bit, but captured the momentum back, and eventually ran away with the title.

Eyster did well for himself last season on the WSOP Circuit tour, cashing 11 times with five final table appearance, and bagging two gold rings. After his gold-ring victory at the Horseshoe Hammond Circuit, Eyster mentioned that his Circuit appearances were a transition from higher stakes poker.

“Yeah, still in the minors,” said Eyster when asked if his mid-stakes situation was still the case. “I didn’t even have full action on this one, but I’ll take it, you know… First $1k win.”

Although the 29-year-old is grinding lower stakes, he is picking up big payouts and moving in the right direction to return to “the big leagues.” In fact, at the early Horseshoe Hammond stop this season, Eyster finished as the runner-up for $20k in an identical ring event to Event #7.

Now, with his recent $40k payout, Eyster is ready to jump in the Bike Main Event tomorrow in hopes of another significant score. The grueling heads-up match that went late will likely push Eyster’s registration back a bit though.

Event #8 - Matthew Elsby

Another World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner has taken control of the limelight at Bicycle Casino. It was Matthew Elsby capturing his second gold ring at the Los-Angeles area Circuit stop. The 42-year-old Poker Pro conquered an overly packed field of 816 entrants in Event #8: $250 No-Limit Hold'em (1 Day), finally scooping the final pot around 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

Event #8 brought forth a lower-than-average buy-in at the Circuit and at the same time featured a $100,000 guaranteed prizepool. The combination attracted a turnout that no one predicted. A mass of players showed up to late reg the morning ring event, which started at 10:00 a.m. Saturday.

“It was annoying,” Elsby said regarding the crowded Circuit floor. "I waited in line for over two hours.”

With lines out the door and down the hallway, Elsby’s initial wait time lasted about one and half hours. Then, to his dismay, he went bust in the first five hands. The tournament allowed unlimited re-entry, but there was more of a price to pay than the $250 alone. Elsby got back in line and had to wait another 45 minutes.

“I thought I might not get in,” Elsby mentioned.

Fortunately, Elsby made it back into the field because his second bullet was something to cherish. The WSOP regular, who secured his bracelet back in the summer of 2015, never looked back, riding his second starting stack all they way to the wee-hour winner’s circle.

The triumph granted Elsby a nice payday of $31,795 along with his second gold ring. Elsby won his debut gold ring exactly a year ago, to the day, also occurring at the Bike Circuit stop, which is a local tournament destination for the Long Beach resident.

Event #9 - Mike Eskandari

Mike Eskandari picked up $28,835 and his first World Series of Poker gold ring by taking down Event #9: $600 No-Limit Hold'em at the Bicycle Casino Circuit series. The tournament, which brought in 224 entries, took two days to complete.

The Business Owner from California was not necessarily focused on winning a ring, rather, he was on cashing in on the payout and moving on.

“Honestly, no,” said Eskandari on whether the ring was a significant piece for him. “Not that it doesn’t mean anything because it’s still an accomplishment. But, bracelet is the name of the game. The rest is all about money for me,” he continued. “But I’m very happy about it. So, it’s not like I don’t care, I do.”

With the $28k top prize, Eskandari increases his WSOP earnings to nearly $200,000. However, his career, live tournament earnings stand much taller, over $2.2 million.

Eskandari frequents the annual WSOP in Las Vegas every summer, still striving for that gold bracelet. In the meantime, the 58-year-old, originally from Iran, plans on hoping in the Bike Main Event tomorrow in search of another big score.

Event #10 - Sean Yu

Sean Yu capped off another incredible run with the World Series of Poker on Wednesday at the Bicycle Casino stop. The gold bracelet winner conquered a 678-entry field in Event #10: $1,700 Main Event, earning his second gold ring of the series, third victory at the Bike, fourth Circuit title of the 2018/2019 season, and seventh gold ring overall.

Needless to say, Yu has been nothing short of impressive on WSOP Circuit stage. But, a more specific significance to him, Yu has recently cemented himself as a crusher at the Bike, his hometown casino.

“I’ve been playing tournaments at the Bike since 2014, so like five years, and up till last year I had zero wins. I mean, I ran really bad here,” Yu mentioned. “I was like, ‘I got to try to break this.’ So, last December, at the Circuit stop, I won the H.O.R.S.E.”

“It came with the ring and that was really special to me because it was a mix game and a win at the Bike… I’m like, ‘okay, I can win here. The monkey off the back,” he continued.

Little did Yu know, his win in the H.O.R.S.E. ring event last December would just be the start. Fast forward a few months and the WSOPC returned to the Bike for the current Circuit series. Yu cruised to a victory in Event #5: $400 No-Limit Hold’em, picking up his second win at the Bike and sixth career gold ring.

It took less than 15 hands for Yu to defeat Andrew Moreno in the Main Event. Moreno finished as the runner-up for $130,295 and Yu took home the grand purse of $210,585, a Circuit Main Event ring, and automatic seat in the Global Casino Championship, the same Championship Yu earned his WSOP gold bracelet in back in 2017.

Event #11 Winner - Mark Jeans

Mark Jeans cruised to a World Series of Poker Circuit tile on Monday at the Bicycle Casino series. The 40-year-old from Redondo Beach, California closed out Event #11: $400 No-Limit Hold'em in expedient fashion, ultimately defeating 77 opponents to claim $8,750 and his first gold ring.

The tournament was scheduled as a two-day competition. However, an extremely small field size rendered Event #11 susceptible to a one-day conclusion, as well as kept the prizepool numbers a bit lower than expected.

“Obviously, if you run good for a tournament for a day it’s better value if the tournament is bigger,” Jeans expressed after his win. “But it just worked out. I ran good and ended up finishing it quickly.”

Another factor that aided in the fast finish was Jeans aggressive play late. The unofficial final table was reached midway through Level 14 with Jeans as the chip leader among the final 10 competitors.

“I was playing super aggressive at the end because I wanted to buy in the Main [Event], which I’m just going to sneak into by 10 minutes,” said Jeans.

Jeans scooped the final pot right before the last 10 minutes of registration for Flight B of the Bike Main Event. The sales professional made his way to the registration desk, tossed his hat in the Main Event ring, and ended up finding a bag in Flight B.

Event #12 Winner - Erick But

Erick But is the latest high roller winner on the World Series of Poker Circuit. He won the $3,250 High Roller Event at the Bicycle Casino, earning his first WSOP Circuit ring and $84,595.

“I feel good,” he said after the tournament. “I feel like a lot of hard work paid off.”

It was a tough road to victory for But. He faced a tough field on the final day, including WSOP bracelet winners Mohsin Charania, Ben Yu, Ben Keeline, and Ankush Mandavia. At the final table But eventually ended up heads up against nine-time WSOP ring winner Arie Engel. Engel already had a runner-up finish earlier in this Circuit series, and But forced him to settle for second yet again.

“I just tried to play every hand my best,” he said. “And all my studying and work paid off.”

Event #13 Winner - Brian Snell

Brian Snell snagged his second World Series of Poker title and $19,440 in the final ring event of the Bike Circuit series. The Hawaii native topped a field of 452 entries in Event #13: $250 No-Limit Hold'em (1 Day), began at noon on Wednesday and finished around 3:30 a.m., leaving Snell as the last man standing.

When asked how he kept his focus during the many hours of play, Snell admitted to the use of a somewhat unintentional shortcut.

 “Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I was registration player number 452… So, I had a much shorter day than most of the guys and I really think it mattered,” said Snell. “It’s funny because I almost went into the High Roller. I took a nap instead and almost missed the registration here, but I caught it at the very, very last minute.”

With mere minutes to spare, Snell hopped in Event #13. From there, he ran his short starting stack all the way to the end. The accomplishment was not Snell’s first on the WSOPC stage. In fact, the California resident won his debut gold ring three months ago at the Bike stop in December.

“I think that this one had about five times more players… I think this one rings a little bit better, maybe. But I got to say that I’m just super happy and proud of both and it makes feel like I should be playing with these guys.

Snell is semi-retired, coming from the gold industry, and has been dipping into the live tournament scene in recent times. Although he does not identify as a Pro Poker Player, Snell has now locked up two solid wins, proving his credibility on the felt.

“I really look forward to the tournaments. I wouldn’t pretend to say ‘professional’ but two rings is pretty solid. You can’t take those away, right?” Snell said with a smile.