ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Nicholas Goedert, a 31-year-old graduate student studying congressional politics and game theory at Princeton University is the newest owner of WSOP Circuit Gold after a win in Circuit Event #5, Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City.

Goedert played aggressively throughout the two-day tournament, involving himself in more than his fair share of pots. His continued his style of play all the way to a victorious finish, his fifth major tournament cash.

The first-ever WSOP Circuit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better event at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City attracted 143 players for a total prize pool of $41,613. 14 players returned on day two to play it out for the $11,652 first place prize and the coveted WSOP Circuit Gold ring.

Just missing the final table in 11th place was tournament pro, Doug “Rico” Carli, who added to his WSOP Circuit record of most cashes with his 44th in-the-money finish.

Mike Somma held the chip lead when the final nine were determined.




Chip Count

Claudangelo Beaudouin

South Ozone Park, NY



Leonardo Palermo

Toms River, NJ



Mike Gabarick

Easton, PA



Ron Haiperin

Hoboken, NJ



Nicholas Goedert

Silver Spring, MD



Toni Pennington

Galloway, NJ



Mike Somma

New York, NY



Brent Keller

Horsham, PA



Ray Djangali

Maryland, MD



9th Place – Final table play began just before 2:20 pm with blinds at 5,000/10,000 and10,000/20,000 limits. The players wasted no time mixing it up with Leonardo Palermo reraising Nicholas Goedert for a total of 30,000. Goedert called and the two were heads up to a flop of    . Both checked the   turn and Palermo led out for 20k on the river, a  . Goedert called, turning over   X-X for the nut flush for a high and nut low to scoop, leaving Palermo with 5,000. Palermo was eliminated the following hand all-in vs. two other players who chopped the high and low pots. Ninth place paid $1,052.

8th Place –  Claudangelo Beaudouin was all-in on a     flop with Q-K-A-A vs. Mike Soma’s 8-8-9-10. It looked as Beaudouin would double up after another king hit the turn, but an 8 on the river completed Soma’s boat and sent Beaudouin out in eighth. Beaudouin is a 35-year-old detective with the NYPD. His best poker accomplishment was winning first place at the Foxwoods 2010 Poker Open Omaha 8 event. For his finish, he collected $1,318.

7th Place – Toni Pennington was the seventh place finisher. The short stack coming into the final table, she waited for a good spot, which she thought she found after moving her remaining chips into the pot post flop with A-4-2-8 vs. Mike Gabarick’s 5-3-A-K on a 9-3-K board. Pennington missed both her high and low draws on the K turn and 2 river and her day was finished. The second woman to final table a ring event so far in the 2010/2011 Harrah’s AC circuit, she earned $1,678.

6th Place – Ray Djangali was eliminated after getting scooped all-in vs. Somma. Djangali mucked his final hand and headed to the payout table to collect his $2,171 sixth place prize. Djangali is a 44-year-old jeweler from Cambridge, MD. This was his fifth major tournament cash.

5th Place – Two-time WSOP Circuit champion, Brent Keller was on a mission to pick up his third piece of WSOPC hardware, but was unable to gain much traction during the day. After taking a hit that left him with 4,000, He managed to triple up to stay alive, but was unable to fade an all-in vs. Gabarick holding [Q]   . Gabarick’s 2-5-5-8 was good enough to scoop both pots on a       board and send Keller out in fifth. Keller’s most recent ring came in a win at this year’s WSOP Circuit Omaha 8 Event at Horseshoe Hammond. His finish today was worth $2,855.

4th Place – Blinds were now at 10,000/20,000 with 20,000-40,000 limits. Another player who fought hard to survive was Ron Halperin. The 46-year-old from Hoboken, NJ played his short stack well to not only stay alive, but move into contention. He was able to outlast Gabarick, who busted in 4th place and survive through the next level of blinds, but was  stopped from going any further after losing an all-in vs. Goedert who had 5-4-6-10 on a 6-2-2-J-6 board, good for trips. Halperin took home $5,198 for third.

Gabarick is the former lead guitarist with 60’s pop group, Jay and the Techniques. The group is most known for their 1967 single, “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie,” which made it to #6 on the Billboard top 100 that year. Today, the 60-year-old continues his love of music as a professional disc jockey. His fourth place finish at Harrah’s AC earned him $3,820.

2nd Place – Heads up play between Somma and Goedert began just before 5:30 pm with blinds at 20k/40k and 40k-80k limits. Goedert held a slight chip lead when play resumed, which changed hands between him and Somma a number of times over the next hour. It was Somma who was on the ropes after a huge hand in which Goedert rivered a boat vs. Somma’s nut flush. Somma was all-in soon after with 9-8-8-2 but lost to Goedert’s 3-3-10-Q on the final board of K-6-3-10-2.

Somma is an accomplished poker player with over a quarter million in lifetime tournament winnings. He won a NLH event at the 2009 Harrah’s Poker Open and most recently, finished fifth at the 2010 Borgata Spring Poker Open.  For his runner-up finish in Circuit Event #5 at Harrah’s Resort,  the 29-year-old pro pocketed $7,202.

Goedert is from Silver Spring, MD. His Ivy League choice of study surely boded well for him during his two-day tournament run here at Harrah’s AC. In addition to $11,652 first place prize money and the coveted WSOP Circuit Gold Ring he earned 50 points for his victory which puts him near the top of the leader board along with previous event winners, Christopher Rivers, George Chen and Daniel Fischer. Alex Rocha is the current points leader for Harrah’s AC, having won event #3 and finished in 15th in event #1.

Still to come are six more official WSOP Circuit Events, including the Regional Championship which begins Sunday, December 19th and the Harrah’s AC Main Event which begins Sunday, December 12th.

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.

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