This is the central page for information about the ongoing WSOP Circuit series at Horseshoe Council Bluffs. Check back here daily for updated schedule and results. (wsop.com/n/8f5)

April 8, 2019 (Council Bluffs, Iowa) -- The World Series of Poker Circuit planted itself at Horseshoe Council Bluffs for two weeks, beginning Thursday, March 28th. In that time, 13 WSOP gold rings were handed out. Just over half went to first-time winners, and a good handful were earned by second-time winners, including the Main Event and Casino Champion.

Council Bluffs, Iowa is situated across the river from the largest city in Nebraska, Omaha, which provides a large faction of players for the Circuit stop. Omaha showed up big in the first three ring events of the series.

First off, was Corky Stott, from the greater Omaha area, snagging his first gold ring in Event #1: $250 No-Limit Hold’em. Directly following Stott, James Shearer collected a win and his first ring in the Bounty tournament, Event #2. Thirdly, and certainly not least, Omaha’s own Mo Nuwwarah outmatched 563 entries in Event #3: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Multi-Flight.

The 32-year-old Poker Reporter had always dreamed of winning the Main Event or Multi-Flight ring at his hometown Circuit stop. Not only did he fulfill his goal, claiming $39,006 and gold ring number two in the process, it was simply the start to what would turn into a series tear for Nuwwarah.

Nuwwarah was the first of many players to double up on gold rings. Next came Rick Fitzgerald, shipping Event #4: $400 No-Limit Hold’em (1 Day) for his second ring and $12,565. Fitzgerald’s victory was also the start to a spree of South Dakotan winners.

Event #5: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Double Stack drew a field of 217 entrants. When all was said and done, Justin Heilman, a Poker Dealer from Aberdeen, South Dakota, was the one grabbing his first gold ring and $17,900. The Six Max was scheduled to finish next and a prominent player, also from South Dakota, reached the winner’s circle yet again. Four-time gold ring winner Mark Fink topped the Six Max, winning his fifth-career Circuit title.

Moving to the only Omaha [Hi-Lo] ring event of the series, coincidentally, Omaha [Nebraska] was back on the map. Nuwwarah ran deep again, taking his starting stack all the way to heads up. However, this time around, he could not close it out, falling in second place to Sean Moore, an Omaha resident and Omaha expert.

Moore’s win was a successful title defense, as he won the same exact event a year prior. Therefore, Moore took home his second career gold ring. Finishing as the runner-up, Nuwwarah banked 37.5 Casino Championship points to go along with his 50 from Event #3. The sum catapulted him to the top of the leaderboard in the race for Casino Champion, where he would remain indefinitely.

To virtually lock up the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Casino Championship, Nuwwarah cruised to his third final table appearance of the series in Event #10: $1,125 No-Limit Hold’em Big Blind Ante. Nuwwarah ended up placing fifth in that, gaining 25 more points.

Although he already had a nearly-untouchable total of 112.5 points, Nuwwarah had enough stamina left for one more cash. His fourth in-the-money finish was a min-cash, but it came in the most prestigious tournament of the series.

Event #11: $1,700 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event attracted 273 entries, generating a prizepool of $413,595, which paid out the top 30 finishers. Nuwwarah squeaked into the money as 30th place, earning 5 more points. The addition brought him to a grand total of 117.5 points, good for the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Casino Champ honors and an automatic bid to the 2019 Global Casino Championship that goes along with it.

Also securing a seat to the 2019 GCC was the winner of the Main Event, Nick Burris. The Main Event came down to a battle of two friends with Burris going heads up against the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Goliath himself, Blair Hinkle. Hinkle lays claim to a WSOP gold bracelet, five Circuit gold rings, and is a three-time winner of the tournament in contention.

The two competitors battled for around three and a half hours. Burris ultimately conquered the matchup, preventing Hinkle from seizing a fourth Main Event title at the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Circuit, and claiming $99,267 as well as his second WSOP gold ring.
 


Completed Events

Event #1: $250 No-Limit Hold'em - Corky Stott defeats 134 entries to win $7,506.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #2: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Bounty - James Shearer defeats 98 entries to win $6,761.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #3: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Multi-Flight - Mo Nuwwarah defeats 563 entries to win $39,006.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #4: $400 No-Limit Hold'em (1 Day) - Rick Fitzgerald defeats 136 entries to win $12,565.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #5: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack - Justin Heilman defeats 217 entries to win $17,900.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #6: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Six Max - Mark Fink defeats 168 entries to win $15,525.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #7: $400 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better - Sean Moore defeats 89 entries to win $9,398.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #8: $400 NLHE Monster Stack - Bernard Morrow defeats 293 entries to win $23,198.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #9: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Big Blind Ante - Jason Corn defeats 66 entries to win $7,623.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #10: $1,125 NLHE Big Blind Ante - Lara Eisenberg defeats 94 entries to win $28,199.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #11: $1,700 NLHE Main Event - Nick Burris defeats 273 entries to win $99,267.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #12: $400 No-Limit Hold'em (1 Day) - Jose Mendoza defeats 84 entries to win $8,870.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #13: $400 NLHE Big Blind Ante (1 Day) - David Hengen defeats 123 entries to win $11,364.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

 


Casino Champion Update

Mo Nuwwarah reigns as the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Casino Champion with a total of117.5 points, stemming from four cashes, which include a first-place finish and three final table appearances.


 



About the Winners

Event #1 - Corky Stott

Corky Stott came away with his first World Series of Poker gold ring on Friday after taking down the first event of the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Circuit series. Event #1: $250 No-Limit Hold'em drew a field of 134 entries and took two days to reach a conclusion.

Along with a piece of WSOP gold, Stott banked $7,506, and 50 Casino Championship points. It was a solid score for the 50-year-old who is fairly knew to the game of poker.

“I didn’t start playing poker until probably six years ago,” mentioned Stott.

The Nebraska native’s background consists of a four-year stint as an Assistant Golf Professional with The Pines Country Club. He now works as a Senior Sales Executive and is married with children.

“Work, home, and church, and then a little poker every once in a while,” Stott said, touching on his routine. “I’m lucky to come over here to Council Bluffs twice a month, but when the WSOP comes in, Circuit events, I try and get at least one of those.”

Stott made it count when it came to his recent Circuit opportunity. He plans to return next weekend for some more tournament poker action.

Event #2 - James Shearer

James Shearer claimed his first World Series of Poker title after collecting the final bounty of Event #2 at Horseshoe Council Bluffs. The 31-year-old Lab Technician ultimately outmatched 97 opponents in the $400 buy-in, No-Limit Hold'em Bounty tournament, winning $6,761 and a debut gold ring.

At the end of Day 1, Shearer bagged a healthy stack, finishing as third in chips with around 150,000. He successfully doubled that amount on Day 2 and entered the unofficial final table as chip leader.

“I took a couple hits early on, so I was just kind of biding my time, but the guy I was heads up with took out five people within one limit,” Shearer explained. “All of a sudden, it was four… three… and we’re just sitting there, and he has all the chips and it was just kind of crazy to even attempt to dent his stack.”

Shearer stood his ground as one of the big stacks for a while. However, the real catalyst of the table was Jose Mendoza. In true Bounty-Hunter fashion, Mendoza began picking up knockouts left and right, eventually leaving just him and Shearer heads up for the ring.

“We kind of went back and forth,” said Shearer. “But, the last three hands, either Jose or myself had pocket fours. We showed twice when we didn’t get to showdown, and then, I had pocket fours when he went all in so it seemed almost fitting.”

The final hand pitted Shearer’s pocket fours against Mendoza’s ace-jack. Holding strong, the small pocket pair secured the title for Shearer and the celebration was on for the Omaha, Nebraska native.

Event #3 - Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah seized his second World Series of Poker Circuit gold ring on Sunday at his local Circuit stop, Horseshoe Council Bluffs. The 32-year-old, who holds a career in the world of Poker Media, conquered a field of 563 entrants in Event #3, a $400 No-Limit Hold’em competition that featured four separate starting flights and unlimited re-entry.

Early on during the current, 2018/19 Circuit season, Nuwwarah picked up his fisrt gold ring by winning the H.O.R.S.E. ring event at Horseshoe Hammond. The gravity of a debut gold ring is tough to beat. However, Nuwwarah’s recent gold-ring achievement held a special significance, being won at his backyard Circuit stop.

“I mean, I’ve always wanted to win the re-entry or the Main here,” Nuwwarah stated, following his victory, “It just means a lot here with everybody I know playing in the tournament and all these people I know that can come sweat me, it’s great.”

The Omaha native has successfully fulfilled one of his poker dreams and in dominant fashion. When the unofficial final table formed, Nuwwarah sat with over three million in chips, which was far and beyond most of his remaining opponents. He rode his massive chip lead all the way to the winner’s circle, claiming the top prize of $39,006 as well as 50 Casino Championship points.

“I told myself if I did get like 50 points here, I would probably have to go for it, so I think we have to go for it pretty hard now,” Nuwwarah revealed.

Adding 50 more points to his overall total, Nuwwarah now sits with 150 on the National Leaderboard. He is still outside of the at-large bids to the 2019 Global Casino Championship but will look to make a late push in an attempt to crack the top 50 before the end of the WSOP Circuit season.

Event #4 - Rick Fitzgerald

With skill, patience, and some necessary luck, Rick Fitzgerald pushed all the way to a second World Series of Poker gold ring in the wee hours of Monday morning at the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Circuit. The 47-year-old from Sioux Falls, South Dakota topped the 136-entry field in Event #4: $400 No-Limit Hold'em (1 Day).

Fitzgerald defeated a tough opponent in Kenneth Reed-Bouley during heads-up action. Seizing another victory with the WSOPC, Fitzgerald exuded the same amount of emotion as the first, with a burst of excitement when the final pot was deemed his.

For the win, Fitzgerald was awarded $12,565 along with his newly acquired second ring. Fitzgerald won his first gold ring a little over two years ago at the Harvey's Lake Tahoe Circuit stop.

“This one almost feels better because it like validates me. But, I play for people who are not here anymore, so that means the world to me,” said Fitzgerald.

Following his achievement, Fitzgerald humbly revealed playing in honor of his relatives who have since pasted. He was happy and thankful for the win. Fitzgerald even mentioned a shout out to his cat, Scooter.

Event #5 - Justin Heilman

Justin Heilman claimed his first World Series of Poker gold ring Tuesday evening at the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Circuit. The 32-year-old took down a 217-entry field in Event #5: No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack to claim the ring as well as $17,900.

“Feels great. It’s a been a long time, long time fighting,” said Heilman who has been playing poker since he was 18 years old. He got his start grinding the poker scene, then later acquired a job in the industry.

“Two years ago, I quit my job and moved to New Orleans with maybe seven grand to my name and just started playing,” explained Heilman. “About 10 months later, got close enough to the felt, so I became a poker dealer.”

Heilman now deals at Grand Falls Casino in his home state of South Dakota and still plays poker on the side. It was a big win for Heilman, who only recently started frequenting the WSOP Circuit a couple years ago.

Two seasons, at the Horseshoe Council Bluffs series, Heilman made a deep run in the Monster Stack, eventually falling in 5th place. He picked off a small cash in the Monster Stack again last year, and now, Heilman made his third cash with the WSOP one to remember.

Event #6 - Mark Fink

Mark Fink has emerged victorious yet again at the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Circuit. The 39-year-old from Sioux Falls, South Dakota topped 168 entrants in Event #6: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Six Max to earn $15,525 and his fifth World Series of Poker gold ring.

“It’s been a while,” said Fink, referencing his past gold-ring runs. “It feels really good, in that sense, because it’s the longest between out of all of them.”

Fink’s last Circuit victory came in a Bounty tournament during the 2016 installment of the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Circuit, which he characterizes as his home stop. His recent triumph in the Six Max, three years later, marks his third win at the Iowa-based series.

Day 1 of Event #6 finished off with an unofficial final table, and a stacked one at that. Two-time gold ring winner Jovan Sudar held the overall chip lead going into the Day 2 finale and was Fink's eventual heads-up opponent.

Sudar fell one spot short of winning his third Circuit title while Fink made it a full handful of five WSOP gold rings. The South Dakotan, who does hold a full-time job outside of the poker world, had a couple thanks to touch on following his win.

“Shout out to my boss Jeff for letting me take off time to keep playing,” Fink stated. “I’m blessed to be able to be here. I always like to give credit to Jesus who is my focus in life.”

Event #7 - Sean Moore

Sean Moore successfully defended his Omaha Hi-Lo title at the World Series of Poker Circuit at Horseshoe Council Bluffs. The 47-year-old from Omaha, Nebraska defeated 88 opponents in Event #7: $400 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better to win $9,398 and his second gold ring in exactly a years’ time.

Last season, Moore grabbed his debut gold ring in the same event. This time around, he used his experience and sureness to close it out again, even up against some formidable competition.

“I never felt pressure. As time went on, I felt more confidence because of my experience in my situations like these,” said Moore. “I actually use to play a ton of really short-handed, Limit Omaha 8s.”

Ultimately, the title boiled down to Moore and Mo Nuwwarah. Behind to begin with, Nuwwarah was never able to mount a full comeback, leaving Moore as the back-to-back Omaha 8 Champion.

“Next goal is final tabling a WSOP event,” stated Moore. “Hopefully I’ll have a deep run this summer.”

Looking forward, Moore is eager to take on some Omaha bracelet events at the 50th annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. This past summer the Poker Pro nearly missed the final table of a Mixed Omaha event, going out in 12th place.

Event #8 - Jason Corn

Late Thursday night, Bernard Morrow became Monster Stack champion at the current Horseshoe Council Bluffs Circuit series. The 67-year-old, hailing from Grand Island, Nebraska, ultimately conquered a field of 293 entrants in Event #8: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Monster Stack to win $23,198 and a World Series of Poker gold ring and.

“It’s something I’ve been wanting for a long time, so I’m… tickled,” said Morrow.

Morrow is a retired post office worker who got his start on the felt later in life. He now players poker recreationally and frequents the WSOP Circuit when it comes to town.

“I was probably 40 before I started. They used to have free games in Nebraska, that’s how I got started playing. You played for points,” Morrow mentioned.

During his time on the WSOPC stage, Morrow had accumulated a handful of cashes, including some close calls to winning. None were closer than the 2014 installment of the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Circuit where Morrow finished as runner-up in Event #1.

The narrow miss left Morrow on the wrong side of a two-player showdown. This time around, he would rectify his position and close out the tournament, but it was not till after a grueling heads-up battle that Morrow could revel in victory.

“It had been a long time since I got heads up like that, so it was hard for me to keep… patience, I guess,” stated Morrow.

Morrow faced off against Richard Arndt for numerous hours. A huge hand during heads-up play occurred, where Morrow got himself all-in with a made straight. All Arndt needed was a fifth diamond to win the tournament, but instead Morrow grabbed a huge double up.

From there, Arndt partially climbed back, but Morrow maintained his chip lead. Then, the fateful hand arose. Arndt moved all in with pocket threes. Morrow called the shove with nine-eight. Morrow paired his eight and it was all over.

Event #9 - Jason Corn

An unlikely winner rose to the top of a World Series of Poker Circuit event on Thursday at Horseshoe Council Bluffs. It was Jason Corn taking down Event #9: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Big Blind Ante, picking up a gold ring and his first-ever WSOP cash worth $7,623.

Event #9 got its start on Wednesday, alongside the series’ Monster Stack, and ended up with a very modest field. By the end of registration there were only 66 entries. Corn had a solid Day 1 and bagged as chip leader. Going into Day 2, Corn sat amongst a handful of prominent professionals and multiple gold ring winners.

When play was four-handed, Corn found himself up against two-time gold ring winner Will Berry, two-time gold ring winner Ryan Phan and gold ring winner Bernard Lee. The three players, combined, boast a total of over $3,000,000 in WSOP earnings.

Corn ultimately closed out the tournament. The 54-year-old is a recreational poker player who works as a Truck Driver. The combination is what brought him to Horseshoe Council Bluffs.

“I’ve played down here a time or two before… I love playing poker, so I just said I’m gonna go,” stated Corn. “I haul grain back and forth from up our way [Moorhead, Iowa], down here to the Council Bluffs area.”

“It was just an easy way to get here too and I just told my boss ‘I’m taking the afternoon off,’ yesterday, he continued. “I hauled another load of grain to get down here this morning [for Day 2].”

Corn’s impromptu decision to participate in the WSOP Circuit turned into a profitable and memorable experience.

Event #10 - Lara Eisenberg

Lara Eisenberg came away with her first World Series of Poker gold ring and $28,199 at the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Circuit on Friday. The 50-year-old from Silver Springs, Maryland navigated through an experienced field of 94 registrants in Event #10 $1,125 No-Limit Holde'm Big Blind Ante, which took two days to reach a conclusion.

“This has been a big goal of mine… to win a ring. So, it feels really great to have that under the belt, and it’s been a nice site to do it in,” said Eisenberg after her victory.

It was a sort of an impromptu, weekend trip for Eisenberg, who lives in the Washington D.C. area. “Wife’s out of town and I get to go play,” Eisenberg mentioned.

Although the trip was spur of the moment, poker has been a part of Eisenberg’s lifestyle for many years.

“I started back in the Moneymaker days, but I have a regular job. I’m a Radiologist, so I’m a ‘Semi-Professional Amateur,’ whatever you want to call it,” Eisenberg said.

Before Friday, Eisenberg laid claim to eight cashes with the WSOP, including four final table appearances. Her fifth final table appearance did the trick and being in a big buy-in event marks her largest-ever WSOP cash.

Event #11 - Nick Burris

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.

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.

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.

Event #12 - Jose Mendoza

Jose Mendoza claimed his first World Series of Poker ring after falling one spot short of achievement earlier in the current Horseshoe Council Bluffs Circuit. The 47-year-old from Omaha, Nebraska topped Event #12: $400 No-Limit Hold'em (1 Day), which drew a field of 84 entries, to acquire the gold ring and $8,870. The win came a little over a week after Mendoza finished as runner-up in Event #2: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Bounty.

“It does feel good today because I’ve been chasing this. I told them in the poker room that I was due for a ring, so finally got one,” said Mendoza.

As a recreational player, who holds a full-time job as a Carpet Layer, Mendoza frequents the Horseshoe Council Bluffs poker scene from time to time. Consequently, Mendoza’s experience at the Iowa casino aided him with the fast-paced structure of Event #12.

“I like turbos. I mean, I’m use to these levels because I play the nightly tournaments here. They’re 20-minute levels, same as this one,” mentioned Mendoza.

The triumph marked Mendoza’s 10th cash with the WSOP. Nine of those cashes derive from the Horseshoe Council Bluffs series and five are final table appearances. It seemed only a matter of time before Mendoza grabbed a gold ring at his local Circuit, and now he has.

Event #13 - David Hengen

David Hengen picked up his second piece of World Series of Poker gold and $11,364 in the final ring event of the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Circuit series. The Lawyer, based in Omaha, Nebraska, late registered into Event #13: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Big Blind Ante (1 Day), which drew a field of 123 entries.

“I had a daddy-daughter dance at five o’clock. So, I didn’t buy in till very late and I was very aggressive my first three hands,” Hengen recollected.

Registration for Event #13 shut down around 7:45 p.m. on Sunday. Hengen entered in right on the cusp of registration closing. Coming in short, he had to play aggressively early. From there, Hengen rode the wave of chips, Hengen entered the final table with a healthy lead over his final nine opponents and closed it out.

“It’s been a while,” said Hengen, referring to his first Circuit title, which came at the 2015 Council Bluffs series. “This one, I would say there was much less pressure. I had finished second two times before I won the first one. So, I was more worried about finishing second last time. This one, things just came together.”

During Hengen’s first gold-ring run, the pressure to not take a third runner-up finish was heavy. Having won the debut ring, this time around, the pressure was lifted. On top of that, Hengen’s recent win comes in a turbo-style event, which are usually more lighthearted.

“Having a good time, drinking beers, which I don’t normally do. Yeah, it was a fun, friendly table,” said Hengen.

Hengen is a recreational poker player. The Omaha native hits the local Circuit stops on occasion and even makes an appearance at the annual WSOP in Las Vegas. When not on the felt, Hengen works as a Lawyer and keeps busy with his wife and two children.