ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Alex Rocha, a 21-year-old former actor and student from Long Island, NY is the winner of Ring Event #3 at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City.

With a 15th place finish in Harrah's AC's record-breaking opening event this year, Rocha sits alone atop of the points leader board at 60. Previous event winners, Christopher Rivers (event #1) and George Chen (event #2) are currently tied for second place with 50 points each.

The Tuesday-start, $350 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Event drew 543 players, generating a prize pool of $158,013.

38 of those players returned on day two to play for the $33,183 first place prize, the coveted WSOP Circuit gold ring and 50 points toward the million-dollar Circuit National Championship to be held in May at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. It took about six hours for play to come down to the final nine.




Chip Count

Eric Lisica

Baltimore, MD



Alex Rocha

Long Island, NY



Eric Breuer

Downingtown, PA



Jim Boyd

Martinsburg, WV



Mark Shaffery

Odenton, MD



Nina DiPrima




Dustin Bradley

Tampa, FL



Grantel Gibbs




Christopher Schor

Philadelphia, PA



9th Place – Play got underway at about 7:30 pm with blinds and antes at 10,000/20,000/3,000. Early action was slow going for about the first hour and a half, but livened up with a monster three-way hand. Eric Breuer moved all-in for 250,000 and got a call from Mark Shaffery. Grantel Gibbs moved all in over the top for 555,000 before jumping up out of his seat in anticipation of the action to come. “This is how we roll baby, if I’m going out, I’m going out fighting!” he shouted while Shaffrey deliberated over making the call. Shaffrey eventually pulled the trigger and turned over   . Breuer showed    and Gibbs flipped over   .

The flop came down    , putting Gibbs farther ahead of his opponents with the flopped set. The   created a bit of tension, but it was short-lived when the   hit the river. Breuer was eliminated in ninth place and Shaffery was left nursing four big blinds. Breuer is a 44-year-old self-employed landscaper from Downingtown, PA. His second-ever Circuit Event appearance, grossed him $3,078.      

Shaffery busted soon after on an all-in with K-3 vs. Jim Boyd’s K-8. Shaffrey, a 33-year old pool builder from Odenton, MD pocketed $3,874 for eighth.

7th Place – Christopher Schor was the next to bust after running A-4 into Eric Lisica’s pocket kings. Kings held on the jack-high board, sending Schor on his way. For seventh place, the 29-year-old musician from Philadelphia, PA was paid to the tune of $4,943. 

6th Place – It was a battle of the blinds for Grantel Gibbs and Dustin Bradley. Bradley was all in for his tournament life from the small with    vs. Gibbs’   . The board paired both players’ pocket face cards, giving Gibbs the pot and eliminating Bradley. The 21-year-old former veterinary technician from Tampa, FL earned $6,392 for sixth. Blinds moved up shortly after to 15,000/30,000.

Gibbs was animated for much of the night, both in his demeanor and play, the former much to the enjoyment of his tablemates while the latter not so much. In one amazing hand, Gibbs and Lisica were heads up on a     flop Gibbs bet 30k, Liscia raised to 115,000 and Gibbs called.

Gibbs checked on fourth street almost before the   even hit the felt. Lisica fired out 172,000 but was taken aback when Gibbs made it 400,000 more to go. “I read the same book you did!” Gibbs cajoled.

 “This doesn’t make any sense,” mumbled Lisica, before calling the massive check-raise.

“I bet 750,000 blind!’” Gibbs announced to the table in a slight Caribbean accent. The river came down the   and after a few moments, Lisica laid down his hand. (Gibbs later claimed to have held pocket eights in the hand.)

5th Place – DiPrima was all-in for his tournament life on a coin flip holding pocket tens vs. Lisica’s A-K off. The flop came down ace high and with no help on the turn or river, DiPrima’s tournament run was over. Originally from Italy, DiPrima is 47-years-old and lives in Kenilworth, NJ. Having recently survived a heart attack, he decided to take time off from his two jobs to come out to Atlantic City to play in the WSOP Circuit Events. For his fifth place finish, he pocketed $8,379.

4th Place – Over two hours passed before the next player was eliminated. With blinds now at 25,000/50,000, Rocha limped UTG and action folded around to Lisica in the big blind. Lisica raised all-in and Rocha made the call. Lisica showed    and Rocha turned over   . The flop improved neither player’s hand, sending Lisica to the rail. Lisica is a 23-year-old longshoreman from Baltimore, MD who plays poker semi-professionally. Fourth place paid $11,137.

3rd Place – The 12 hours that went by since the start of day two play seemed to take its toll on Gibbs. His calm and subdued demeanor bore no resemblance to that of the energetic and comical player that sat in the eight seat a few hours earlier.

In a hand that he later admitted was the result of a lapse in judgment, he moved all in with    and was called by Rocha holding pocket jacks. The jacks held and Gibbs tournament run was over. Gibbs is a 39-year-old chemical engineer from Ontario, Canada originally from Jamaica. He is a former two-time national chess champion in his native country. Third place was worth $15,008.

2nd Place – ­­­Heads up play began shortly before 1:30 am with With a dominating chip lead over his final opponent, heads up action was short with Rocha all-in with Q-J vs. suited 6-5 for Boyd. The ace high board missed both players, giving Rocha his first live major tournament win. Jim Boyd is a tried and true member of poker’s old guard and has played with the best of them included the late Stu Ungar. The 57-year-old from Martinsburg, VA has over a million in lifetime tournament earnings with his first major tournament cash taking place back in 1989 World Series of Poker. Second place paid $20,524.

At 21, Rocha represents poker’s new guard and is quite optimistic for what the future holds. His immediate future is quite bright as his win tonight puts him at the top of the WSOP Circuit National Championship points leader board for Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City.

This year, all players on the WSOP Circuit can accumulate points which are used to qualify towards the WSOP Circuit National Championship tournament, to be held in May 2011 in Las Vegas.  The $1 million freeroll tournament will be nationally televised and will be open to only 100 qualifiers.  For the first time ever, a WSOP gold bracelet will be presented to the winner. One of the ways to qualify is to be crowned Casino Champion by earning the most points through the ten ring events at each Circuit Stop. Rocha says he is determined to earn that distinction.

See the complete Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City Circuit schedule and previous results here.  The WSOP Circuit at Harrah’s runs through December 22nd. You can find the complete 2010/2011WSOP CIRCUIT SCHEDULE here.

Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City
777 Harrah’s Blvd          
Atlantic City, NJ 08401

(609) 441-5165 
Toll-Free: 1 (800) 645-6774