Deal or No Deal

Joseph McGuire, a 23-year old online poker player from Columbus, SC is the winner of event #6 of the World Series of Poker Circuit Events at Caesars Las Vegas.  

McGuire played his way through a field of 190 entrants to claim his share of a $92,150 prize pool. After running bad earlier in day one, he picked up the pace to make it to the final table:

9th Place – While day two began at 2:00 p.m., play did not come down to the final nine until almost an hour and a half later. Thao Thiem was the first of the nine to be eliminated after moving his remaining 62k stack all-in with A-Q.

James Winfield made the call with suited A-8. On the flop came 4s-9s-Jd. Thiem seemed to be in good shape after the turn showed 5h, but was dismayed after Winfield caught a river 8, eliminating the 28-year old in 9th for $2,534.

8th Place – Out in 8th was Frank Rusnak. Rusnak, who started the day as chip leader, took a number of hits to his stack including a hand where on the board came 10c-8d-Qc-4c-3c. After calling 60k on the turn, Rusnak tanked for a minute when his opponent, Sean Westra moved all-in on the river. Rusnak made the call with the Jack-high flush, but was bested by Westra’s Ac-Ah. Westra’s Ace-high flush dropped Rusnak to around 40k in chips.

A couple hands later, Rusnak called Craig Fishman’s all-in with his remaining chips with Jh-10d. Fishman’s Ad-Ks held as the board improved neither player’s hand. Rusnak busted in 8th and took home $2,995.  

7th Place – Play slowed a bit as many of the short stacks caught good cards to double up, however the short stack of Nhut Tran just about ran its course when, all-in,  his 8-7 did not improve over Ann Mong’s pocket Queens. Tran, left with only two yellow 1k chips, was eliminated a couple hands later. His 7th place finish earned him $3,686. 

6th Place – Next out was Craig Fishman, another short stack who shoved his remaining 96k holding A-2 suited. Westra made the call with A-10 off which held, sending Fishman to the rail in 6th for a $4,608 payout.

5th Place –  5th place belonged to Bob Miller. The 64-year old from Sioux Fall, SD ran his Kd-10s into Joseph McGuire’s Ks-Kc and was eliminated. Miller received $5,759 for 5th.

4th Place –  James Westfield was eliminated in 4th after moving all-in with pocket 8’s. Joseph McGuire called with 10c-10s. Any hope for a miracle quickly dissolved when the flop came 10h-10d-Kd, giving McGuire quads. The 22-year old from Portland earned $7,372 for his efforts.

3rd Place –  The final three players discussed chopping the pot. A deal was almost reached as McGuire, with a huge chip lead over Westra and Mong, agreed to take $22k of the $24,420 first place payout while Mong and Westra would take home over $13k each.  

The coveted WSOP Circuit Event ring however, was not brought up during initial negotiations. Westra wanted to play on for the ring while McGuire wanted the ring as part of the deal. Taxes further complicated things.

With current tax laws, regardless of whatever deal is reached, each player is responsible for paying the tax on whatever place he or she finishes in. Talks further deteriorated and the three decided to play on.

The very next hand, Westra moved all-in with pocket 5’s while Mong called with Jc-Ac. A Jack on the flop ended Westra’s ring bid. He was eliminated in third, which paid $9,445, 4k less than what he would have earned had he said “Deal!”

“Anyone want to flip me for five grand right now?!” Westra shouted to everyone in the poker room. When asked about the deal Westra said, “I wanted the ring. I’m crazy like that.”

2nd Place – The final hand came with Mong all-in showing 10-A off against McGuire’s Jh-Jd. A Jack on the flop and another on the river gave McGuire quads a second time within an hour.

Mong, who nursed a short stack for much of the day, was more than happy to take second place and a $14,744 payday.“I just played tight and tried to climb the prize pool ladder.” Regarding the no deal Mong said, “It was the taxes.”

McGuire, who has been making a living playing online for the past three and a half years said that during the final table his game was “all about feel and knowing which players would bet and which ones would fold.”

With six events now completed at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, the tournament has now attracted more than 1252 total entries and has awarded in excess of $593,349.00 in total prize money.  Still to come are 16 more events and 28 nightly (single-day) tournaments which begin at 7 pm and 11pm.  The WSOP Circuit at Caesars Palace Las Vegas continues through April 30.