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2015/2016 WSOP Circuit - HORSESHOE BALTIMORE (Maryland)

Thursday, August 20, 2015 to Friday, August 21, 2015

Event #1: $365 No-Limit Hold'em

download official report     download official winner photo
  • Buy-in: $365
  • Prizepool: $71,700
  • Entries: 239
  • Remaining: 0
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8/21/2015 5:51:19 PM PST (about 7 days and 14 hours ago)
Congratulations to Sara Hall, Winner of Event #1 ($17,925)
Sara Hall

Sara Hall is the champion of Event #1, a $365 no-limit hold’em event that kicked off the Circuit’s second visit to Horseshoe Baltimore. Hall bested a field of 293 players, conquering a fast-paced final table to earn her first gold ring. In addition to the prize money and the jewelry, Hall earned 50 points and an early lead in the Casino Champion race for this venue.

Hall is a 25-year-old pro from Cleveland, Ohio, though she considers herself primarily a cash game player. Just a year into her live tournament career, though, her record is already starting to claim otherwise. This marks her second significant score over the span of the last six weeks. Hall made it to Day 5 of the $10,000 Main Event in Las Vegas, before ultimately falling in 233rd place when her pocket aces were cracked by pocket nines. That cash was worth nearly $35,000, and she's added another $17,925 to her tournament results this evening.

"I just wanted to play my best," Hall said about her mindset entering the final table. "And get lucky," she quickly added.

Hall began the day fifth in chips, but she moved up into the top spot by the time the first break arrived. She was the first player to cross the million-chip mark, thanks in part to a big double-up with five players left. Hall was the preflop raiser, and Ian Davis three-bet from the big blind. Hall moved all in, and Davis called with the covering stack, putting nearly half the chips in play up for grabs. Davis was a slight favorite with pocket jacks, but Hall's ace-queen flopped a queen and rivered two pair to secure her double.

Less than two hours later, it was all over. Hall entered heads-up play facing a 3:2 chip disadvantage against Justin Cooke, but she wasted no time flipping the script. On one of the first hands of the duel, Hall was dealt pocket kings, Cooke was dealt a pair of threes, and all the chips went into the middle before the flop. The board ran out clean, jack-high, and Hall was suddenly in control of the match.

On the final hand, Hall was dealt pocket fours, and she found a set as a third four appeared on the flop. Cooke was all in and drawing to a gutshot straight, and he added a flush draw to his list of outs on the turn. Hall faded the river, though, improving to a full house to punctuate the victory in style.

8/21/2015 4:35:59 PM PST (about 7 days and 15 hours ago)
Sara Hall Defeats Justin Cooke to Win Event #1

Sara Hall opens the button with a raise, and Justin Cooke defends his big blind.

The flop comes , and Cooke checks. Hall continues for 50,000, and Cooke check-raises all in for about 580,000 total. Hall instantly calls with the covering stack, and the cards are shown down.


Both players stand from their chairs, and Hall presses her hands up against her face, rocking nervously behind her chair. She is well ahead with a set of fours, but the turn adds a flush draw to Cooke's list of outs. He needs any five or a heart that doesn't pair the board to stay alive.

The river is the , though, and that's safe for Hall. Cooke is eliminated as the runner-up, earning $11,079.

Justin Cooke

Sara Hall is the champion of Event #1, winning her first gold ring and the $17,925 top prize.

Sara Hall
8/21/2015 3:43:05 PM PST (about 7 days and 16 hours ago)
Sara Hall Doubles Through Justin Cooke

On one of the first hands of heads-up play, Sara Hall opens the button, and Justin Cooke three-bet shoves from the big blind. Hall started the hand with 895,000 chips, and she instantly calls to put herself at risk.


The board runs out , and Hall's kings hold up. She doubles up, almost immediately turning the tides of this duel.

Sara Hall - 1,798,000 (75 bb)
Justin Cooke - 592,000 (25 bb)

8/21/2015 3:37:56 PM PST (about 7 days and 16 hours ago)
Heads-Up Chip Counts
Justin Cooke - 1,465,000 (61 bb)
Sara Hall - 925,000 (39 bb)
8/21/2015 3:37:02 PM PST (about 7 days and 16 hours ago)
Christopher Enos Eliminated in 3rd Place ($8,063)
Christopher Enos

Christopher Enos is all in for just over 500,000 before the flop, and Justin Cooke puts him to the test. Cooke shows down , and Enos' needs to improve to keep him alive.

The board runs out , and Cooke's pair of jacks hold up. He wins the pot, and Enos is eliminated in third place, taking home more than $8,000.

Cooke is now heads up with Sara Hall for the first gold ring of the series.

Christopher Enos - Eliminated

8/21/2015 3:26:51 PM PST (about 7 days and 16 hours ago)
Ian Davis Eliminated in 4th Place ($5,963)
Ian Davis

Justin Cooke and Ian Davis are heads up on a flop. A battle of bets and raises ends with Davis all in for just over 300,000, and Cooke has him slightly covered.

Cooke: (pair of jacks)
Davis: (pair of queens)

Davis is well in front with his overpair, but the turn brings another jack, the . Cooke leaps out in front with trips, and the river fails to save Davis' tournament life.

Ian Davis is the fourth-place finisher, earning nearly $6,000 for his first WSOP Circuit cash.

Justin Cooke - 850,000 (35 bb)
Ian Davis - Eliminated

8/21/2015 3:20:57 PM PST (about 7 days and 16 hours ago)
Mondell Opoku Eliminated in 5th Place ($4,479)
Mondell Opoku

On a flop, Mondell Opoku gets himself all in for 254,000, on the draw with . Justin Cooke looks him up with , and he has Opoku covered by just 5,000 chips.

The turn is the , and the river is the to complete the board. Opoku can't find anything useful there, and he's been eliminated in fifth place. His first career WSOP Circuit cash is worth $4,479.

Justin Cooke - 590,000 (30 bb)
Mondell Opoku - Eliminated

8/21/2015 3:04:11 PM PST (about 7 days and 17 hours ago)
Huge Double Gives Sara Hall the Chip Lead

Sara Hall opens the cutoff to 41,000, and Ian Davis three-bets to 120,000 in the big blind. Hall moves all in for 550,000 total, and Davis calls, having his opponent slightly covered. Hall is at risk, and she's flipping for her tournament life.


Hall lets out a small fist pump under the table as the flop gives her a big lead with two cards to come. The turn is the , and the river is the . Hall wins the pot with aces up, doubling into the chip lead in the process. She's the first player to cross the million-chip mark, and she holds just less than half the total chips in play with five players left.

Sara Hall - 1,125,000 (56 bb)
Ian Davis - 130,000 (8 bb)

8/21/2015 2:18:09 PM PST (about 7 days and 17 hours ago)
Mike Dickson Eliminated in 6th Place ($3,417)
Mike Dixon

In a battle of the blinds, Mike Dickson opens to 35,000, and Sara Hall moves all in for just over 300,000. Dickson considers briefly, then calls. Hall has him very slightly covered, so Dickson is the player at risk as the cards are turned up.


The board runs out , and Dickson can not catch up. He's eliminated in sixth place, earning nearly $3,500 for his work over the past two days.

Sara Hall - 635,000 (40 bb)
Mike Dickson - Eliminated

8/21/2015 1:20:35 PM PST (about 7 days and 18 hours ago)
Updated Chip Counts
Seat 1: Mondell Opoku - 380,000 (24 bb)
Seat 2: Mike Dickson - 590,000 (37 bb)
Seat 3: --empty--
Seat 4: --empty--
Seat 5: --empty--
Seat 6: Sara Hall - 352,000 (22 bb)
Seat 7: Justin Cooke - 168,000 (11 bb)
Seat 8: Christopher Enos - 330,000 (21 bb)
Seat 9: Ian Davis - 570,000 (36 bb)
8/21/2015 12:35:53 PM PST (about 7 days and 19 hours ago)
Bryan Dickens Eliminated in 7th Place ($2,646)
Bryan Dickens

Mike Dickson opens the button to 29,000, and Bryan Dickens three-bet shoves from the small blind. It's just less than 120,000 total, and Dickson quickly calls with the covering stack.


The flop is bad news for the at-risk Dickens. Dickson pairs his ace to take a big lead with two to come, and the turn and river do nothing to improve Dickens' spot.

Bryan Dickens was the youngest player at this final table and the start-of-day chip leader, and he's just earned his first cash in a WSOP Circuit event. His seventh-place finish is worth $2,646.

Mike Dickson - 420,000 (42 bb)
Bryan Dickens - Eliminated

8/21/2015 12:14:17 PM PST (about 7 days and 19 hours ago)
Joey Wideman Eliminated in 8th Place ($2,079)
Joey Wideman

Action folds around to the blinds, and Mike Dickson completes from the small. Joey Wideman moves all in for 69,000 in the big, and Dickson quickly calls with the covering stack. Wideman is at risk, and he has some catching up to do.


The board runs out , and Wideman is eliminated. His eighth-place finish is worth $2,079.

"What a great comeback," Sara Hall commends Dickson as he stacks the pot.

"Thanks," Dickson answers. "Three big blinds," he says, referencing his low point a couple levels ago. He's now over 25 big blinds and back into contention for the title.

Mike Dickson - 260,000 (26 bb)
Joey Wideman - Eliminated

8/21/2015 12:04:13 PM PST (about 7 days and 20 hours ago)
Karim Baruque Eliminated in 9th Place ($1,658)
Karim Baruque

Mondell Opoku opens to 31,000 in middle position, and Karim Baruque three-bet shoves for 136,000 on the button. Opoku spends a few minutes in the tank, then calls for about 40% of his remaining stack. Baruque is at risk and slightly ahead as the cards are shown down.


Both men elect to use their, "One time," pleading with the dealer for something useful. The flop gives Opoku a big lead with two to come, and the turn and river provide no help to Baruque.

Karim Baruque finishes in ninth place, earning $1,658.

Mondell Opoku - 480,000 (48 bb)
Karim Baruque - Eliminated

8/21/2015 11:59:22 AM PST (about 7 days and 20 hours ago)
Updated Chip Counts
Seat 1: Mondell Opoku - 330,000 (33 bb)
Seat 2: Mike Dickson - 175,000 (18 bb)
Seat 3: Joey Wideman - 85,000 (9 bb)
Seat 4: Bryan Dickens - 220,000 (22 bb)
Seat 5: Karim Baruque - 135,000 (14 bb)
Seat 6: Sara Hall - 460,000 (46 bb)
Seat 7: Justin Cooke - 450,000 (45 bb)
Seat 8: Christopher Enos - 190,000 (19 bb)
Seat 9: Ian Davis - 280,000 (28 bb)
8/21/2015 11:33:32 AM PST (about 7 days and 20 hours ago)
Double or Nothing Early On

Over the course of the first half hour, there have been at least four all-in showdowns. Each time, the shorter stack has won the pot, so play is still nine-handed at the final table.

In the most recent confrontation, Joey Wideman opens from middle position, and Sara Hall three-bet shoves for an additional 196,000. Wideman calls, turning over . Hall is well ahead with , and the flop all but ends the drama. The turn secures Hall's double one card early, and the meaningless completes the board. Hall survives the must-win pot with kings full of tens.

Wideman is now the short stack at the table with just under 100,000 chips, while Hall doubles into the chip lead with more than 400,000.

Start-of-day chip leader Bryan Dickens has been responsible for several of the other doubles, and his stack is beginning to dwindle down toward the chip average. He has just over 300,000 left in front of him.

8/21/2015 11:01:43 AM PST (about 7 days and 21 hours ago)
Final Table Time in Event #1

The final nine players are in their chairs, and the final table is underway.


Bryan Dickens is the youngest player remaining, and he begins play with a commanding chip lead. Dickens' stack of more than 700,000 chips gives him well over 100 big blinds, and a more than 2:1 lead over the chase pack.

Everyone left is guaranteed at least $1,658, but all eyes are fixed on the top prize of $17,925. In addition to the prize money, the eventual champion will earn a gold ring and 50 points in the Casino Champion race for this stop.

There are just over five minutes left at 3,000/6,000 with a 1,000-chip ante.

8/20/2015 10:22:24 PM PST (about 7 days and 9 hours ago)
Final Table Set; Play Concludes

Over the course of this 13-hour day, the field of 239 players was reduced to the final table of nine. Each of the remaining players are guaranteed at least $1,658, but more than ten times that amount awaits the winner.

Here's the lineup for tomorrow's final table:

Seat 1: Mondell Opoku - 307,000 (51 bb)
Age: 34
Hometown: Woodbridge, VA
Occupation: None listed
WSOP Earnings: $0
Circuit Earnings: $0

Seat 2: Mike Dickson - 140,000 (23 bb)
Age: 51
Hometown: Columbus, GA
Occupation: Retired banker
WSOP Earnings: $0
Circuit Earnings: $12,104

Seat 3: Joey Wideman - 281,000 (47 bb)
Age: 51
Hometown: Belle Chase, LA
Occupation: Poker player
WSOP Earnings: $0
Circuit Earnings: $89,759

Seat 4: Bryan Dickens - 705,000 (118 bb)
Age: 21
Hometown: Columbia, MD
Occupation: Software engineer
WSOP Earnings: $0
Circuit Earnings: $0

Seat 5: Karim Baruque - 71,000 (12 bb)
Age: 26
Hometown: Tampa, FL
Occupation: None listed
WSOP Earnings: $0
Circuit Earnings: $4,703

Seat 6: Sara Hall - 252,000 (42 bb)
Age: 25
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Occupation: None listed
WSOP Earnings: $34,157
Circuit Earnings: $0

Seat 7: Justin Cooke - 118,000 (20 bb)
Age: 29
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Occupation: Financial advisor
WSOP Earnings: $0
Circuit Earnings: $0

Seat 8: Christopher Enos 209,000 (35 bb)
Age: 25
Hometown: Fayetteville, NC
Occupation: Poker player
WSOP Earnings: $0
Circuit Earnings: $0

Seat 9: Ian Davis - 307,000 (51 bb)
Age: 41
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Occupation: Financial planner
WSOP Earnings: $0
Circuit Earnings: $11,171

The eventual champion will earn $17,925, along with their first gold ring. Play resumes at 2:00 p.m. with the blinds at 3,000/6,000 and a 1,000-chip ante. There are 5 minutes 30 seconds remaining in the level.

The full list of payouts is available in the "Prizepool" tab above.

8/20/2015 6:55:59 PM PST (about 8 days and 13 hours ago)
Bubble Bursts, 24 Remain

Hand-for-hand play lingered for a long while, but the bubble has finally burst here in Event #1. The 24 remaining players are guaranteed to earn at least $662 this evening, but all eyes are on the top payout of $17,925.

The winner will receive the series' first gold ring in addition to the prize money.

8/20/2015 6:10:14 PM PST (about 8 days and 14 hours ago)
Three Tables Left; Bubble Approaches

Level 15 is winding to a close, and the field has been reduced to 27 players. A full redraw was conducted with 30 players remaining, and a trio of quick eliminations has left the final three nine-handed tables in play. The bubble is approaching fast, with only the final 24 players earning a share of the prizepool.

There won't be a repeat victory for Damion Norton this week. Norton, the defending champion of this event, was eliminated shortly after the dinner break. The same can be said for the defending Casino Champion, Justin Liberto, though he lasted a bit deeper into the evening before running out of chips.

Bryan Dickens and Jimmy Peters, on the other hand, have continued to grow their stacks since the last break, and the two men are the current chip leaders with about 200,000 chips apiece. Mike Dixon, a Georgia native, is a new addition to the top of the leaderboard. He's hot on the heels of the big stacks now, sitting with more than 180,000 chips.

Action is scheduled to continue until the end of Level 21, but they'll bag up early if they reach the final table of nine.

8/20/2015 2:59:48 PM PST (about 8 days and 17 hours ago)
Dinner Break

The first 12 levels are complete, and the players are on a one-hour dinner break.

WSOP Logo Baltimore

From a starting field of 239, just 51 players have survived the afternoon hours. Justin Liberto is the defending Casino Champion for this venue, and he's done some good work through the first half of the day. Liberto leaves for dinner with 82,600 chips, nearly twice the average stack. Damion Norton is a defending champ in his own right, earning his first gold ring in this same event last season. Norton suffered an early setback today, but he's rebounded nicely from the rough start. He will return from the break with 22,800 chips.

Everyone is chasing Bryan Dickens right now, though. Dickens is a 21-year-old local, and he's turned his starting stack into 137,900 chips during the first seven hours of play. Fellow Maryland natives Justin Cook (120,300) and Jimmy Peters (105,000) are currently second and third in chips, respectively.

Play resumes at 6:45 and will continue through the end of Level 21 or until the final table is set, whichever comes first.

8/20/2015 12:43:29 PM PST (about 8 days and 19 hours ago)
Prizepool and Payouts

The remaining players are back from their second break of the day, and they're playing Level 9 with 300/600 blinds and an ante of 50. Registration is now closed. As the survivors return to the room, the prizepool is already scrolling on the screen.

This opening event has officially drawn 239 players, easily exceeding the guarantee and generating a total prizepool worth $71,700. That money will be shared by the final 24 players, with a min-cash worth $662. Each of the final 15 players will earn at least $1,000, and the eventual champion will collect $17,925 and the first gold ring of the series.

The clock shows 99 players remaining, putting the average stack at just under 25,000 chips.

Click here to view the full list of payouts.

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