2007-2008 World Series of Poker Circuit
Grand Casino Tunica -- Tunica, MS
September 6-7, 2007
Event #9
No-Limit Hold'em
Buy-In: $500 + $50
Number of Entries: 154
Total Prize Money: $74,690

Kentucky Plumber Gregory Marshall Wins Event 9 in First Circuit Attempt

He Plays Very Well, But Modestly Attributes His Win to Good Cards

Click here to view the official results.

Tunica, MS--Gregory Marshall may have won the ninth event of the Grand Casino Tunica Circuit, $500 no-limit hold’em, but he’s not one to boast. “He (runner-up Troy Weber) was a hell of a lot better than me,” he said. I was just catching cards.”

Perhaps, but he did play very well, because with 13 players left he was down to just 3,000, but fought hard to climb back. The win was worth an official $24,199, though when he was heads-up with Weber, the two chopped the remaining prize money, playing for the ring and title. At the end, with Marshall enjoying a 5-1 lead, Weber offered him the victory in return for a tax deal arrangement.

Marshall, 43, has been a plumber all his working life. He’s been playing poker for four years, learning by “jumping in head-first.” This is his first Circuit try, and he won his seat in a satellite. Now that he has a bankroll, he expects to play more events. His prior highlight was winning a Hold’em Radio tournament to gain entry into a $1,5000 WSOP event.

Blinds were 1,000-2,000 with 300 antes and 15 minutes remaining on the clock when the final nine players sat down. Marshall was in front with 54,700 chips.

Here were the starting chip counts:

  • Seat 1 James Williams 48,000
  • Seat 2 Benjamin Kramer 27,300
  • Seat 3 Juan Garcia 24,900
  • Seat 4 Gregory Marshall 54,700
  • Seat 5 Richard Hash 41,000
  • Seat 6 Will Hammock 8,700
  • Seat 7 Randy Langston 25,800
  • Seat 9 Roman Bayda 40,100
  • Shortest-chipped was Will Hammock. On hand 2 he was down to 5,100 after posting two blinds, and moved in with A-10. Juan Garcia called with A-K, and Garcia’s kicker played when the board came J-9-5-A-J.

    Hammock, 58, is from Macon, Georgia and has two children. Self-employed and self-taught, he’s played poker 40 years and also likes pool. Ninth paid $1,494.

    With blinds at 1,500-3,000 and 300 antes, Randy Langston moved in from the button for 5,000 holding K-J. No contest. Weber had pocket aces, and flopped a set, just in time for Langston to sign up for the second-chance tournament..

    Langston, from Memphis, is 51 and retired. He is married with two children, enjoys boating and fishing, and learned poker 12 years ago from books and casino play. He has one fifth-place cash in a major event. Eighth paid $2,241.

    On hand 24, Roman Bayda moved in for 20,000 with pocket 9s. After diddling with his chips, Weber finally called with pocket 8s. The board came 10-7-4-J, and then a river 8 gave Weber a set. As Bayda stood up to leave, someone noticed he had a straight, and he sat down again.

    We were now playing with blinds of 2,000-4,000 After a break, play resumed with James Williams now in a slight lead with 54,000.

    A couple of hands into the new level, Marshall opened for 10,000 and Bayda moved in for 37,000. Bayda had pocket 77, Marshall Ah-Kh. Marshall won the coin-flip when an ace flopped as he knocked out Bayda and took the lead with more than 100,000.

    Bayda, 29, was born in the Ukraine, now lives in Rowlett, Texas, and is in the “8 ball machine business” (whatever that might be). Nicknamed “Romeo,” he was playing his second Circuit event, and had no poker highlights to list. He took home $2,988 for seventh.

    Four hands later, on a flop of 9h-3c-2h, Williams bet 20,000 holding As-9s. Benjamin Kramer had 10h-8h, decided to go after a flush, and raised all in for a few more chips. He didn’t get there and Williams’ paired 9 left Kramer in sixth place, worth $3,735.

    Kramer is 22 and from Terre Haute, Indiana. He’s entered three Circuit events and has a ninth-place finish at the Midwest Regional Poker Championship at Caesars Indiana.

    Not long after, all the chips of Juan Garcia went up in smoke on a tough beat. He moved in for 15,500 with Ad-Qd and got a call from Marshall, who had As-5s. The flop came Ks-Qh-7s. Marshall then let out a yell as a 9s turned to give him a winning flush.

    Garcia is a 31-year-old chemical plant operator from Decatur, Illinois who taught himself poker eight years ago. This is third final table in three Circuit events here. The first one he played he finished second, and on his second try he chopped for first. Tonight he got $4,481 for fifth.

    Marshall had now upped his lead to about 130,000, and had a little more when blinds went to 4,000-8,000. Just before that, Weber displayed his poker skills when he raised to 32,000 after Williams bet 10,000 on a flop of K-J-5. Williams folded and then Weber showed a bluff.

    Two hands into the new level, Richard Hash, in the small blind, moved all in for 12,000 with A-Q. Weber was in the big blind with only 4-2, but had to call for 4,000 more. He flopped a 4 and then a deuce on the river, while Hash hit neither of his cards and finished fourth for $5,975.

    Hash, 65, lives in Maryville, Tennessee, has four children and eight grandkids, and has an interesting dual occupation: attorney and commercial pilot. He once represented seven frozen embryos in the U.S. Supreme Court. He’s played poker for 57 years, learning from his dad. He’s entered over 50 Circuit events and has numerous wins in smaller tournaments. His hobbies are restoring jeeps and buying and selling airplanes. Fourth paid $5,975.

    Disaster struck Marshall on hand 60. He moved in on the button with K-J and got called by Williams, who had Ac-8c. Williams flopped a flush draw, missed, but settled for an ace on the turn. Suddenly Williams had a big lead while Marshall was down to about 30,000. This kicked off a dizzying series of chip-lead-changing encounters.

    On the next hand, Marshall moved in with 10-7. Weber called with pocket treys and Williams with A-7. On a flop of K-J-9, Weber moved in A 10 turned to give Marshall the main pot while Weber took the side pot, and now Marshall led again. Next Weber took over the lead, beating Marshall with a higher kicker when both had a king. Then Marshall moved in front again. This time he had only 9-7 to Williams’ pocket kings, but won with a straight when the board came 9-8-5-6-3. Finally, Williams moved in and both opponents called. The board of 10-4-2-7-5 was checked down, Marshall won with 10-9, the other two mucked, and Williams was out in third place, worth $7,469.

    Williams is a 39-year-old writer from Atlanta who’s been playing 30 years. This was his fourth Circuit event.

    With Marshall enjoying almost a 2-1 lead, the deal to chop and play for the ring was made. Since no money was involved, the rounds changed to 15 minutes. But only four went by when Weber surrendered.

    Weber is 36, lives in West Terre Haute, Indiana, and is in industrial sales. His nickname is “Mr. Miserable.’ He’s married with two children, enjoys hunting, has been playing 15 years, and has a sixth in the Midwest Regional Poker Championship. Second paid an official $12,697